Hi there, booklovers! Welcome to my Romance Rendezvous with Jennifer Rodewald, author of the super fun, super cute novella The Cupcake Dilemma, which released yesterday. If you haven’t read my review yet, don’t forget to check it out here. (You can go ahead and click on it now, because it will open in a new window. I’m thoughtful like that 😉 )
Jen writes some of my all-time favourite romances—although they’re definitely not all light-hearted like this one—so I couldn’t wait to get some of her thoughts on romance!
~ About the Author ~
Jennifer Rodewald is passionate about the Word of God and the powerful vehicle of story. The draw to fiction has tugged hard on her heart since childhood, and when she began pursuing writing she set on stories that reveal the grace of God.
Aiming to live with boundless enthusiasm, her creed is vision, pursuit, and excellence. Blessed with a robust curiosity, she loves to research. Whether she’s investigating the history of a given area, the biography of a Christian icon, or how nature declares the glory of God, her daily goal is to learn something new.
After growing up in Denver, Jen moved to Nebraska to attend college where she met and married a Husker. She now lives and writes in a lovely speck of a town where she watches with amazement while her children grow up way too fast, gardens, laughs at her horses and chickens, and marvels at God’s mighty hand in everyday life. Four kids and her own personal superman make her home in southwestern Nebraska delightfully chaotic.
~ Jen’s Books ~
~ Rendezvous ~
Thanks for joining me today, Jen! As a romance writer, part of your job is to make other people swoon, but what makes Jen Rodewald swoon?
Hmm…. Depends on the day. 😉 A man holding tulips and a generously frosted cupcake (my hubs came home with tulips and a Dove bar the other day—same effect 😊). An aching look of love—oh I’m a sucker for that. A man who chooses deep compassion and stays the course when walking away would be easier.
Oh, an aching look of love. I like that! And yes, definitely a man who chooses deep compassion and stays the course. (Insert plug for Red Rose Bouquet!! ❤ )
What’s one of your favourite bookish swoon moments, and why?
Huh. You know, I don’t know. Don’t hate me!
I think I would probably quake in my boots if someone asked me that question! Too many to choose from!
Why do you think romance is such a popular genre?
We are wired for romance—the deep longing to be known and loved completely. It’s one of God’s calling cards. It’s also one of His beautiful gifts for us to enjoy in this life.
How does being a Christian influence the way you write romance?
First, I seek to see romance from God’s point of view, so my definition of it is different than a worldview that excludes Him as the Great Author. Romance is so much more than physical attraction—more than touches and kisses and heavy breathing and a string of I-can’t-see-past-this-heady-moment moments. Romance is soul deep, and it involves not just a man and a woman, but the Creator Himself as He lovingly weaves their story together. When I write, I’m ever aware of God’s presence not only in my stories, but in my real life, and my real, nearly twenty-years-young romance with my husband.
You might notice that I’m not huge on physical descriptions—especially when I write male characters. I have to do some—it’s kind of required—but I do as little as I can get away with, and I do that on purpose. Again, because there’s so much worldly emphasis on physical attraction—and that is valid—but the heart of romance is so much deeper, and I don’t want my readers to miss that.
*Sigh* Folks, this is why she is one of my faves!!! ❤ ❤
Who are some of your favourite romance authors and why?
Denise Hunter, Tamara Leigh, and Sarah Monzon are all go-tos for me. I can count on them to weave a story with many sigh-worthy moments and yet not lose sight of the Author of Love. I have to pause here and confess to you, though, that I don’t read nearly as much fiction as maybe my readers think I do (or should), so if you think my list should be longer, you’re probably right. 😉
Well, if you’re going to have a short list, you’ve definitely picked wisely!
Time to pucker up! Readers and writers have different preferences when it comes to how kisses are written in romance novels. How do you like to capture those memorable moments on the page?
I’m a less-is-more kind of girl. Here’s my honest take—for better or worse—I feel like if you’ve left my book and the only things you remember about my story are the kisses, then I totally failed my calling. Don’t get me wrong, just like every romance loving girl, I like a good kiss—but I want it to be memorable because of the heart behind it. The deep-seated emotion that leads up to that kiss, the honest love that fuels it, and the abiding commitment that makes that kiss mean more than a heated moment of passion. If I don’t have that in play throughout the story, then a kiss is just a kiss. So, when it comes to a kiss, I’m looking at everything I’ve built up to that moment. If I didn’t build the emotion, the attachment, and the ‘lead’ well, then I feel like no amount of wordy, steam-littered paragraphs about lips and hands and laboured breathing or whatever are going to make up for that in the end.
Where did the idea for The Cupcake Dilemma come from?
Haha! Well, that’s lots of fun. Because it literally started with the hook. Let me begin by stating this clearly. I was voluntold.
I was finishing the rough draft for Finding Evergreen, which is a heavier, harder story, and once again found that I really needed a break—a trip to the lighter side. The last time I needed that, I played a little mental game called write a hook and then build a story. (catch, right? I made it up. Aren’t I so clever?) Ordinary Snowflakes was born that way. So, I did it again. Wrote the hook, and then let the story develop from there. It’s a refreshing break from heavy research, tough storylines, and complicated characters. Really, a step back into the sheer joy of creating. And honestly, The Cupcake Dilemma is the first book of all the books I’ve released thus far that I’m not tied up in knots nervous about as launch day approaches. It was just plain fun, and I feel like the story shows that.
It definitely does!
What did you enjoy most about writing Kirstin and Ian’s story?
Embracing laughter. I’m known for deeper, more serious things—and that is a true reflection of who I am. But it’s not a complete reflection. I love, love, love to laugh. Truly, if given the choice between watching a tragic drama or catching the performance of a live comedian, nine times out of ten, I’ll pick the second. I feel like comedy is a rare gift, and I’ve often lamented that I don’t have it (I so wish I was funny!), so when this story became something that made my husband laugh (repeatedly!) as I was reading it to him, I was thrilled.
I also very much enjoyed the whole just be you—do what you do theme that emerged. I tell my kids everyday when I drop them off at school “Go be your best weird self,” which always earns a smile, so when this theme began to surface as I wrote, it rang true. Plus, this was a story I was able to read out loud to my family as I completed chapters, and that doesn’t often happen, so that made it a fun family affair, and I loved that.
I love that! Sharing humour is one of the things I’m enjoying more and more with my kids as they get older. And, um, I might just borrow your little pep talk. I think it could come in handy! 😉
If hubby was going to buy you a cupcake for Valentine’s Day, what kind of cupcake would say ‘I love you’ the loudest?
He’d better know this. 😉 If he were home right now, I’d make him answer, just to see if he got it right. I’d swoon over a chocolate-peanut butter cupcake, loaded with frosting and with a little bite of Reese’s on top.
And a bouquet of tulips.
Lol. Don’t forget the tulips! But you can keep your choc-peanut butter. I’ll go for something citrusy. 🙂
Thanks for the rendezvous, Jen!
Thanks so much for letting me chat with you! This was fun. 😉
~ Giveaway ~
I have THREE ebook copies of The Cupcake Dilemma to be won. Just leave a comment letting me know what flavour cupcake says ‘I love you’ the loudest to you, and then click on the graphic below to go to the Rafflecopter giveaway! Giveaway closes on 21 February 2018. For general terms and conditions, click here.