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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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 barand 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.
Interview with Jaycee
How do you select the names of your characters?
My lead character’s first and middle names for this book are the names I would have given a daughter if I had been blessed to have one. Many of my character’s first names are Bible names because the family has a tradition of naming their children that way. Other first names came from former students or were googled to find common names for the time period in which the character was born. I have a much harder time with family names and think many of them were just common names that came to me. They don’t have specific meaning, but were probably just the first thing that popped into my head at the time. I am hoping as I continue to write I will find a more interesting way of coming up with names.
What was your hardest scene to write?
This question is difficult to answer. I feel as if answering it with any specificity will give spoilers. The reality is that the hardest scene I have ever written is in book two of this series, Crossing the Desert, which will be released next year. The two main characters are grieving the loss of someone important to them. I cried the entire time I was writing about their crying.
In this book, the scene that was the hardest also induced tears. The main character, Jen, feels rejected, unloved, and potentially unlovable. She speaks reassurances to her unborn child, but her heartbreak from years of being abused bubbles up. I think the tears she cries and the doubts she experiences will resonate with many people, but it was hard to get the balance right.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
I am not sure there is a straight forward answer to this question. As I wrote this book, I had a clear vision for my main character, her mother, the father of her child, Kyle, and her best friend, Beth. I also had some key plot elements planned and knew the content of some conversations. All of the other characters and plot elements were made up as I wrote.
Each day, as I begin my process, I pray about what I am writing and ask God to inspire me. I write freely and then edit. As I add characters to the mix, I often base them on some individual I know. Then I ask myself, “What would that person do in this situation?” The answers to that question then guides plot. The process co-mingles character development and plot development even to the point that I have thrown away the original plan.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
My son is currently a high school senior. Most of my life is spent taking care of him right now. I am trying hard to create good memories for both of us as he will be moving away soon. In the last few months, we have attended an airshow, a local theme park, and several sporting events together.
When we are relaxing at home, I enjoy games of all varieties: card games, board games, and even video games. I also love to read. When I am actively reading, I tend to devour a book a day. If I am writing, the number of books I read slows down.
If you could invite one person to dinner, who would it be and what would you cook?
I guess the answer to this question depends on if I could bring someone back from the dead for an evening or not. If I could choose someone already departed, I would dine with my great grandmother. Before she died when I was a child, Mimi was the most significant source of love and shining example of what a Christian should be in my life. I miss her and would love to have the opportunity to get to know her as an adult. Finding out about the events of her life and being able to just hear her voice again would be such a great joy. I would most likely cook meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and a veggie of some kind. I have fond memories of eating those dishes with her.
If I had to pick someone living, I would pick a successful author such as Francine Rivers, Debbie Macomber, or Priscilla Shirer. I would ask for advice on how to navigate the process of promoting my work and other helpful hints to being a writer. I would most likely serve taco soup or chicken fajitas because those recipes are among the tastiest that I cook on a regular basis. I am more of a comfort food cook than a fancy one.
Thank you for letting us get to know you better!
Texas Book-aholic, February 2
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 3
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 4
Artistic Nobody, February 5 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, February 5
Cover Lover Book Review, February 6
For the Love of Literature, February 7 (Author Interview)
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 8
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 9
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.