Author Interview: Varina Denman & Jaded

Posted April 19, 2015 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, romance, Varina Denman / 35 Comments

Varina Denman author interview

Since Jaded has the honor of being the first book I reviewed on my blog, I felt it would be fitting if Varina Denman was the first author I interviewed on the blog as well. (Okay, so she’s also the first author I’ve interviewed ever but let’s keep that our little secret.)

Varina Denman

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She has five children, teaches creative writing and literature, volunteers in her local homeschool cooperative, and boasts sixteen years as a home educator. She resides with her family in North Texas. Her first novel, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis Award.

You can connect with Varina on her website, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Jaded by Varina DenmanJADED by Varina Denman
Mended Hearts #1

GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
PUBLISHER: David C. Cook
RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2015
PAGES: 432

As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.


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Hi Varina! Welcome to the blog!

Varina: Apples. Because they go nicely with peanut butter, and peanut butter is the bomb.

Carrie: It is indeed the bomb! And apples and peanut butter are my favorite snack.

Varina: Dogs. I’m allergic to cats. ☹

Carrie: Zuzu (my dog) says, “Good answer!” You may now move on to the next round!

Varina: Dr Pepper! Because I was raised on it. Like milk.

Carrie: Hmmm… I see where Dodd got his love of that particular soda now. 🙂

Varina: I don’t eat sugar, but if I did? Chocolate. Every. Time.

Carrie: I am the opposite!

Q: Does UT mean University of Texas or University of Tennessee? (Please bear in mind that my daddy was born and raised in Tennessee… 🙂 )

Varina: There’s a University of Tennessee? (Go Longhorns!)

Carrie: I had such high hopes for you, Varina. GO VOLS!!!! lol

Q: Jaded is your debut novel and you have set the bar high! What did you learn from the process? What surprised you?

Varina: The road to publication has certainly been bumpy, but I’ve had so much fun! Besides learning the craft of writing, I’ve learned tons about the publishing industry. It’s been interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at how a book is made, from conception to final product. And I’m surprised that all those scary agents and editors turned out to be real people after all.

Carrie: haha and hopefully not so scary?

Q: Jaded has so many interesting and vivid characters.  Who is your favorite character overall (the one who claims the fondest spot in your heart)?

Jaded quote The people are everythingVarina: Ruthie Turner is definitely my favorite character because I feel compassion for her. Even though I’ve never been hurt by the church to the degree that Ruthie was hurt, I can almost feel her pain. I wanted so badly for her to come close to God again, but the people kept getting in the way.

Carrie: I loved Ruthie! Fragile, yet feisty at the same time. And so ready to be loved – by her Savior and others. My favorite character was Dodd, and not just because of the obvious. *Dreamy sigh*  He was quietly persistent, courageous even when he was confused, and he just loved others as best he could like Jesus loves. Plus, he has a soda pop addiction so we connected.

Q: Who was your favorite character to write in Jaded?

Varina: Ruthie’s Uncle Ansel tugged at my heart strings because I modeled him after my own grandfather. Ansel is a hard-working, slow-moving, soft-talking rancher who loves Ruthie like a daughter. As I was writing him, I felt as though I was spending the afternoon with my grandfather.

Carrie: I love that so much!

Q: Was there a character who kept getting away from you and maybe took on a life of his/her own during the writing process?

Varina: Goodness, that Neil Blaylock! For a while I didn’t know what to do with him. I knew he was the bad guy, but I couldn’t decide how bad he was going to be. He had to be re-written and tweaked many times before he ended up just right.

Carrie: Yes, Neil and I had a few words while I was reading Jaded. They didn’t seem to faze him. lol

Q: Speaking of Neil, Jaded deals with church hurt. You’ve talked about how you were affected by this, how you learned to let it go, and what we all can do to stop it. What would you say to someone else who has been wounded by church hurt?

Jaded quote church hurtVarina: After answering blog comments for the past month, I’ve determined there aren’t enough words to convey everything that ought to be said. Not in a paragraph anyway. Maybe someone smarter than me will write a nonfiction book on the subject.

But in a nutshell, I think the key to both sides of the church hurt issue (the hurt person and the one causing the hurt) is forgiveness. God calls us to love each other in all situations, even when it’s sticky. After all, Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. I know that sounds easy, but it’s SO not easy. When we’ve been hurt, we want someone to fix it for us, and someone will … God. We just have to be patient and let our hearts heal. Hang in there.

Carrie: Amen. Such a difficult situation. Like I said in my review, when the Church gets it wrong, we tend to get it REALLY wrong. But I am so thankful for His mercies that are new every morning and that He extends grace to us while we’re learning to be His people. Now if we could only master extending that grace to others!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Varina: Justified, which releases June 1, is the story of Ruthie’s childhood nemesis, Fawn Blaylock. Where Jaded tells the story of church hurt from the perspective of an outcast, Justified deals with church hurt from the inside out. Fawn has always appeared to be the “perfect Christian,” but when her life falls apart, she judges her own sins with the same harshness with which she judged Ruthie’s. Because of her piety, Fawn has a difficult time forgiving herself and believing that God loves her.

Carrie: I cannot wait! We got to meet Fawn in Jaded and while I really wanted to dislike her because of her family, I just couldn’t. I’m excited to read her story and see how she also encounters Jesus’ grace and love in a way she can’t ignore.

What about you? What makes you want to read Jaded by Varina Denman?

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35 responses to “Author Interview: Varina Denman & Jaded

  1. Tonya Robinette

    I enjoyed your interview, it was a hoot. I also love Dr. Pepper, so that was definitely the right answer. At my house, UT could only mean one thing, as my husband is from Tennessee. But I will forgive Varina for that terribly wrong answer if I win her book. LOL

    • See, Tonya, I’m tempted to give you 10 bonus entries for your very correct response to that 5th question. I won’t because that wouldn’t be fair to everyone else but just know that the intent is there 🙂

  2. Linda Booth

    Great interview! Characters and storyline sound so interesting! And the author and interviewer were both delightful! ?

  3. I loved the interview! I’m new, and haven’t read any of your books before. After reading this I would really enjoy reading this book and others. I’m so glad I found you.
    Donna Harris

  4. Liz Waters

    Really enjoyed the review and interview! Great word on forgiveness.
    Carrie- following the blog also. 🙂

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