Jessica Snell is the general editor of Kalos Press, where she has the joy of working on Christian books that are beautiful in content and form. She also writes speculative fiction and freelance non-fiction articles. She lives with her husband and four children in sunny southern California, where she enjoys knitting, hiking, and cooking meals with as many spices as her family will tolerate! Let’s welcome Jessica today!
Jessica, when did you first discover that you loved writing?
Oh, I’m one of those I’ve-been-writing-since-before-I-learned-to-write types. (I’d draw picture books and my mom would write down the narratives I dictated.) But I started writing seriously for publication in college, where I convinced our campus paper to pay me ten dollars every week for pieces of short fiction set at a university that eerily mimicked our own. (My first, immature attempt at satire!)
Has writing changed your life in any way?
Yes! Among other things, whenever anything bad happens, I have the terrible habit of wondering, “How could I use this in a story…?”
Editing has also changed me. Much of editing is about trying to see what the author is really trying to say, and helping them say it in the clearest possible way. I think (I hope!) it’s changed how I listen to people in real life.
What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?
The Psalms. I know it sounds like a cheat to cite a whole book, but several years ago I started listening through the book of Psalms once a month and it absolutely changed my prayer life and my interior thought life. I’ve heard the Psalms called “the prayer book of the church” and I feel that letting them soak into my mind and heart has really taught me how to pray.
What is one book everyone should read?
I’ll go with Dallas Willard’s “Renovation of the Heart”. Every time I dip into that book, I come away encouraged and helped.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because you or someone you love has almost certainly dealt with miscarriage or infertility, and it’s when we’re in pain that we really need the support and love of our friends and family.
Tell us about the featured book.
“Not Alone” was a project I joined after it had already started, but I was compelled by it from the beginning. So many dear friends and family members of mine have been confronted with either infertility or miscarriage (or both) and it’s a kind of suffering that the culture at large doesn’t understand very well. But as Christians, who believe children are a good gift from God, the loss or absence of children is something we should be able to understand, and to mourn. So much of the support we can offer to loved ones who are confronted with this issues is simply hearing and believing their stories. “Not Alone” collects some of those stories, in hopes that those in the middle of these struggles will find companions on the way, and that those who love them will know how to love them even better.
Here is the book blurb:
Our society understands how terrible the loss of a child is when that child is out of the womb, but what about when a child dies before birth? Or what about the emptiness that comes when a very-much-wanted child is never even conceived?
These quiet, private losses are hard for those who have not experienced them to understand. And these losses leave those who have suffered them feeling alone in their grief.
Not Alone: A Literary and Spiritual Companion for Those Confronted with Infertility and Miscarriage is a resource both for those who have suffered through these experiences and for their friends and relatives, who want to understand what their loved ones are going through.
This collection contains true stories that are:
- sensitive, and yet honest
- angry and raw, but not despairing
- unique, and yet relatable
The contributors to this book are male and female, old and young, some who eventually had children and some who never did, and yet despite their differences, they share a common grief and a common faith.
No experience of miscarriage, infant loss, or infertility is like any other, yet by reading these painful and hope-filled stories, you’ll be comforted by knowing there are others who understand the journey you’re on, the loss you’ve suffered, and you will find that even though your loss is uniquely yours, you are not alone.
Where can readers find you on the Internet?