Today we’re visiting with Jaycee Pierce talking about her book Fleeing Egypt.
About the Book
Book: Fleeing Egypt
Author: Jaycee Pierce
Genre: Women’s Fiction (Christian)
Release date: October 24, 2022
When Jennifer (Jen) Hoyt leaves for college, the word ecstatic feels like an understatement for how she feels. She can finally move away from the dysfunctional family who neglected and abused her to make a better life on her own. After being an overachieving outcast in school, Jen is confident of academic success, but what she wants most is to be a part of a loving family.
During her first year of college, Kyle, a friend of a friend, captures her heart, but her attempts to “make him love her back” have dire consequences. When Jen finds out she is pregnant, she knows one thing: she wants to keep her baby. Will Kyle decide to form the family she so desperately wants? If he doesn’t, how will Jen keep her baby safe from those who hurt her? Jen doesn’t know the Lord yet, but He’s already making a way for her.
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I’ve been looking forward to our interview.
Q. What advice would you give your pre-published self?
A. I think I would tell myself to learn more about social media and how to use it effectively. Now that my book is out on the market, I do not have enough of a presence to draw readers. I imagine that if I had more of a following, the book would be selling more copies. I am still trying to learn how to do this, but between being a parent, trying to write more books, and the job that pays the bills, I find having the time to do it difficult. Hopefully, I will be able to juggle this better when my son graduates from high school this year.
I hear you! I don’t have all those other things demanding my time, and I still find social media as an author challenging.
Q. Is there a genre you like to read but don’t see yourself writing?
A. I love reading legal thrillers or even just stories about the legal process. At one point I was on track to go to law school, but then I served on a city council for 4 years. I discovered that was not the career path I wanted as I sat through all the tedious meetings and watched what lawyers actually do for a living. I don’t see myself writing that type of book because I do not have the level of expertise needed for it to be authentic feeling. There are some interactions with police officers in my book. I talked to some friends of mine in that field to try to be sure that readers who work in criminal justice would not need to roll their eyes and say we would never do that in real life. Hopefully, I got it correct, but the books are definitely not legal thrillers even with the presence of the police.
It’s great to have friends in careers we authors can go to for research.
Q. Do you have any writing preparation quirks? (For example, do you have a favorite coffee mug you use before you sit down at your computer to write?)
A. I guess the biggest “quirk” I have is that there needs to be music playing while I write. Complete silence is distracting for me. Then the music must correspond with the type of scene I am writing. For instance, if I write something sad, I listen to sad music. If the scene is upbeat, I usually pick praise music. For this book, I listened to some eighty’s music as well since the book is set in the 1980s to pull some memories of that era into focus and lend authenticity.
Interesting how many authors are on opposite sides of that aisle: quiet vs mood music. I usually need quiet.
Q. What was your favorite character to write?
A. In this book, my favorite character was Matthew. I enjoyed writing about how he allows his faith to form his choices. He is a praying man of principal and integrity. His devotion to his wife keeps him by her side even though she has dementia and cannot remember him. He is determined not to just shove responsibility for her onto someone else. I admire his devotion to those he cares about.
I also love how Matthew quickly gets attached to Jen, the main character, and tries to make her part of his family. This leads him to attempt to influence the choices she makes. I am not sure the advice he gives is always practical for those of us in the real world, but it is always given with the best intentions. He sees what he wants to have happen and works hard to make it so.
I also loved putting his backstory together. Matthew lived through the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, WWII, Korea, and the Cold War. He tells long rambling stories about his life. As he converses with the main character, he reveals little pieces of history. I loved layering that into the story.
I love how Matthew is such a multi-layered character.
Q. Are you at work on a new novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
A. My current book, Fleeing Egypt, really centers around a young woman trying to escape the problems of her youth and find love. She is introduced to God by the Christian characters around her, but she is just barely getting to know Him and has doubts.
The sequel, Crossing the Desert, should release sometime in 2023. My publisher has accepted it. I am doing one last round of content edits before turning it in for their editing process. The theme of Crossing the Desert is forgiving the unforgivable. The book begins with a tragic event. The reality of that event pushes Jen even further from God. She has a difficult faith journey because of the bad things she has endured in life. Crossing the Desert gives us insight into what some of those things were and why it is hard for her to trust God. Additionally, we find out more of the back story of the older characters, get some information on the prodigal son from book one, and the ending even surprised me a little.
The final book in the series, Entering the Promised Land, is still in the beginning stages. I know where this book is going but I need to plan it out more completely. The book completes Jen’s faith journey, but I want it to be more than that. I wrote Crossing the Desert in about 6 months from start to finish. I am hoping this last book will be available in 2024, if I can keep to the same time table.
The series sounds really exciting. I can’t wait for books two and three!
Thank you for joining me today, Jaycee. May God bless your plans.
About the Author
No one is more surprised than I am to read the word author and know it applies to me. I had different dreams as a child, and this was not remotely on my radar. At three, I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer. When I was eight, I “ran for president,” telling people to vote for me in the election year when I would finally be thirty-five (I had calculated it precisely). In my teens, I had lowered the bar and just wanted to be a lawyer. While those doors never opened, God has faithfully led me on a winding path to get me where I am today.
I have held a variety of jobs: customer service representative, loan processor, professional video game player, city councilwoman, church secretary, math teacher, and most importantly, mother. While I was training to be a teacher, God inspired me to write a yet-to-be-published children’s book. Not long after, I began this novel. I wrote a week each summer between school years while my son and his father were camping without me. Depending on how you want to count time, it either took me five weeks (of actual time in front of a computer screen) or three years (looking at a calendar) to finish. Then I spent several years editing and finding a publisher. I hope that you find as much pleasure from reading it as I got from writing it.
More from Jaycee
God works in mysterious ways. I honestly never intended to be a writer, and this entire endeavor started in a way that seemed almost accidental at the time. I had just finished my first year of teaching mathematics. That summer, the members of my immediate family went on a five-day “male bonding” camping trip.
Left home alone, I called friends and family members to reconnect and fill my need for social interaction. One conversation in particular left me with a lot of “what if” questions about how life would have been different for me without God in the picture. I wrestled with different scenarios and then decided I needed to organize my thoughts.
I started writing and thirteen hours later ended up with about 40 pages of text. I sent those to my cousin, Jill, who wanted to know what happened next. Her encouragement kept me writing until this novel was completed, two summer camping trips later.
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Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 4
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deb’s Book Review, February 5
Cover Lover Book Review, February 6
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Locks, Hooks and Books, February 8
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Susan K. Beatty, Author, February 10 (Author Interview)
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 11
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 12
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 13 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, February 14
Guild Master, February 15 (Author Interview)
Pause for Tales, February 15
To celebrate her tour, Jaycee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Caryl Kane says
Thank you for hosting. Jaycee Pierce is a new-to-me author.
Susan Beatty says
It was my pleasure. Thank you for reading and commenting. Happy reading!
Nova S says
thank you for the interview!!
Susan Beatty says
My pleasure. Thank you for reading and commenting. Happy reading!