We met in person at the 2013 ACFW Conference in Indianapolis, which was a very memorable conference for Jennifer (and all her friends), when she accepted representation from literary agent, Mary Keeley, who happens to be my agent, as well. I also spent time with Jennifer this past October at our agency retreat in Monterey, California, and we had many laughs together.
|At the Books & Such Literary Retreat in Monterey, California|
Take it away, Jennifer!
My name is Jennifer Major, I’m Canadian, and I pretend to be a grown-up. Like, every day.
I’m also part of the “We have four kids and…what do you mean you’re hungry, you JUST ate a side of beef! And shut the fridge!” club.
Only, I’m not as calm as Gabrielle, heretofore known as The Gabinator because umm, four kids. Besides, everyone needs an inator, right? Points if you get the reference.
Okay, now that we’ve established that I should not consume caffeine, I have four kids (12, 17, 21, 24), don’t look a day over 52, I’m Canadian (NO, I do NOT know Anne Shirley…but I have been kicked out of Green Gables) and I think P&F is brilliant…let’s talk writing, and reading.
I love to read deep, soul stirring stories. And I love laugh out loud stories. Yes, sometimes those are in the same book, but not often.
One would not look at me and think “Well, there goes a woman who writes about the most horrible event in the entire history of the Navajo Nation.” Otherwise known as “The Long Walk of the Navajo,” and the subsequent imprisonment of 9500 Navajo and 500 Apaches at a place called Bosque Redondo, in New Mexico. (1863-68)
But, I do. And the only source to whom I can attribute my literary obsession is God. He infused me with a physical need to tell this story as best I can. He is my fuel. Because it’s not like I write comfy fiction that has an HEA for everyone, therefore not getting a kick to the gut every time I do research. If you want to get good and crushed, read up on something called The Doctrine of Discovery, and Manifest Destiny.
The years at the Bosque (boss-kay) decimated the Navajo. Roughly, 2000 people died in 4 ½ years. They refer to that place as “Hweeldi,” most likely a variant on the Spanish word for “fort,” which is “fuerte.”
Now, Navajo history is told “before Hweeldi” and “after Hweeldi.”
There are few Navajo who don’t know about Hweeldi, but the ones who do, all know the same thing. Their people were herded there so that they could learn to become good Christians, and adapt properly to live among white settlers.
So, WHY do I write about it? Because if I can tell the story, if I can bring attention to it, and if I can shine the love of God into the darkness, maybe I can go back to those days in the 1800’s and tell those dear people what I want them to know…
What was done in the name of God, was not done with His blessing.
Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Jennifer Major is a West Coast Canadian learning to handle life under 6 feet of snow in Eastern Canada. She speaks lousy French, and pretends she can speak passable Spanish. She and her handsome husband (of 26 years) have 2 grown kids, 1 high schooler, and a middle schooler who really needs his own TV show. Or not. She writes historical fiction based on Navajo history.
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To celebrate Jennifer's visit, she's giving away Canadian Chocolate to one lucky winner! (I've had this chocolate, and I'm bummed I can't enter this contest!!). Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter below. Thanks, Jennifer!
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Your Turn, Reader: Doesn't Jennifer's last statement send chills up your spine? "What was done in the name of God, was not done with His blessing." This statement is true for so many events in history. I love what she's doing with her writing. Do you have any questions or comments for Jennifer?
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We also have a winner of Meek and Mild, by Olivia Newport! Be sure to check out my interview with Olivia here. The winner is: Wendy Newcomb. Congratulations, Wendy! I'll be sure to email you soon.