Author Interview: Jen Dodrill & Birds Alive!

Posted February 26, 2024 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, cozy mystery, Jen Dodrill, mystery/suspense / 7 Comments

Jen Dodrill interview

I’m delighted today to introduce you to debut author Jen Dodrill who is here to talk about her brand new cozy mystery, Birds Alive!

Jen Dodrill

Jen Dodrill is living her dream and using her faith and passion for healthy families by writing novels that encourage and inspire hope. A retired Navy wife, former homeschool mom, and mother of five, she is thrilled to be called Grandma by three of the most amazing little humans. When she isn’t writing, reading, or drinking coffee, she spends time with her family in West Tennessee.

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

Birds Alive by Jen DodrillBIRDS ALIVE! by Jen Dodrill
The Empty Nesters #1

GENRE: Cozy Mystery (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Scrivenings Press
RELEASE DATE: February 27, 2024
PAGES: 252


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Birds Alive book review

Hi Jen! Welcome to the blog!

Jen: Coffee – black, dark roast/Starbucks froufrou coffee (chocolate and whipped cream) sometimes; occasionally hot apple/cinnamon tea

Carrie: i want to like coffee or tea… i really do. Especially if chocolate and whipped cream is involved 🙂

Jen: Only over, let’s be real, what’s the point of under? Especially in the middle of the night.

Carrie: hahaha fair enough

Jen: Only Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper. Pepsi is yucky.

Carrie: agreed!

Jen: Oceans! Florida-girl here!

Carrie: I haven’t spent as much time listening to the ocean as I’d like.

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Jen: I have to think about this. I’ve had five kids, but that’s not a superpower… Been a Navy wife for almost 23 years. No superpower there… Homeschool mom. Hmm, I think my superpower is friendship. I love my friends as family and try to be a really good friend.

Carrie: I think ALL those things are superpowers!

Q: Which books are “on your nightstand”? 

Jen: I have tons of books on my hearth in an old embalming fluids box that was my great-grandfather’s. He was a Navy doctor. It’s filled with a variety of genres. Everything from Fatal Witness by Patricia Bradley, Forever Free by Hope Toler Dougherty, Shield of the King by MB Mooney, to Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Carrie: oh how fun! what a unique & fascinating heirloom to have!

Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?

Jen: Because we are empty nesters now, I have my own office! I have a very messy desk with my laptop, notepads, sticky notes, pens, and stuffed animals, and that’s where I write most of the time. I like having a door to close if I need to (animals or my hubby watching TV). My office walls are covered in posters, pictures, photos, and the ever necessary whiteboard.

Carrie: sounds like the perfect place to write!

Q: What surprised you about Birds Alive! or your characters as you wrote their story?

Jen: What surprised me was when Hazel, Peg’s mother-in-law, appeared on the page. She started as a grumpy old lady and turned into someone I would love to have as a friend. She’s a nut! Peg is the main character, but Hazel probably deserves her own book.

Carrie: Oh my goodness, I adore Hazel!! 😀

Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing Birds Alive!, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?

Jen: I don’t plot really, but I am using the Save the Cat Beat Sheets. I use it as I write though, so pretty much my characters tell me what they will do!

Carrie: my husband recently discovered Save the Cat – he loves it!

Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Birds Alive!?

Jen: I came up with the idea for this book series when my dad was dying. He and his wife were big birders. I stayed at his house to help, and then when he went into hospice at home, I was there a lot. So, there is a strong, emotional connection between this book and my time with my dad. God was, and is, very real through all of what we went through. He carried me and surrounded me with friends and family in a way that was so tangible. Writing Birds Alive! was definitely a cathartic thing.

Carrie: that’s so special ♥

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.

Jen: I’m working on the 2nd book in the Empty-nesters Cozy Mystery series, called Where’s the Quetzal? I also have a completed women’s fiction that I’m considering self-publishing and I’m writing another women’s fiction!

What about you? What makes you want to read Birds Alive! by Jen Dodrill?

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7 responses to “Author Interview: Jen Dodrill & Birds Alive!

  1. As an empty nester who loves birds, this seems like a perfect fit for me. Besides, I met Jen Dodrill before this book came about. I enjoyed her writing then, and I’m sure this book will be wonderful.

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