Saturday, April 11, 2015

Author Interview with Varina Denman

Heidi here. Today we have the opportunity to meet debut author Varina Denman. A few months ago I read her first novel, Jaded, and was mesmerized!

Varina Denman writes stories about the unique struggles women face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life in her three book Mended Hearts series which is set in rural West Texas. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance and is now available anywhere books are sold. You can follow Varina on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest.

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.

Varina, congratulations on your debut novel, Jaded. I read Jaded a few months ago and adored not only your writing style, but the plotline. I believe Jaded is a personal story for you. Can you tell us what made you write Jaded and who Ruthie was modeled after?

Thank you, Heidi. My main character, Ruthie, represents a jumble of people I’ve known over the years who have been hurt by the church. Even though I don’t have a monumental church hurt story, it wounds me to see others going through it. It’s funny, because I didn’t set-out to write a book this deep. I planned to write a light romance, but when I got into the characters, this is the story that poured from my soul. I guess God had other plans!

And His plan turned out awesome. While reading Jaded I could feel the hurt Ruthie and her mother felt from the church, and how it affected their daily living. Varina, please tell us who or what spurs you to write?

Real people who have vivid personalities, romantic movies that I’ve seen a million times, and craft books that give pointers on writing. For different reasons, each of these things (sometimes) inspire me and make me run to the laptop to type up a scene.

Spoken like a true author! How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?

While I was writing Jaded, I often imagined God talking to me at worship service. When sitting in a Bible class or listening to a sermon, I would suddenly get an idea for a character or a plot twist. Then I would grab the worship handout and scribble the details before I forgot them. It’s interesting how a sermon can apply to fictional characters just as much as real people, and it’s cool to feel God working in my stories.

Thanks for sharing. It's neat how God worked on your characters during the writing of this novel. Where do your story and character ideas come from?

I can’t stand to see people hurting emotionally, so all my stories involve women who are experiencing pain in some way. It sort of hurts to write their pain, but in the end, I can give my characters the happy ending that I can’t promise women in real life.

You are so sweet and tenderhearted. What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?

Probably the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing. I haven’t had much training, so my voice just sort of spills out on the page. But apparently it works out all right, and I get the impression my writing sounds like I’m talking, telling a story. Just me, on a page.

Which is probably why it was such a page turner! Time for a fun question . . . You are alone and stranded on a desert island and can have ONE food product and ONE drink, what would they be?

Easy. A banana strawberry peanut butter smoothie with chocolate granola on top. Yum!

Okay, I was expecting something more . . . chocolaty and decadent, but healthy it is! Please tell us about any future books that you have planned.

Justified, book two in the Mended Hearts series will release June 1st. The setting remains, the same, but the story focuses on Fawn Blaylock, Ruthie’s childhood nemesis. The third and final book, Jilted, releases in 2016 and will tell of Ruthie’s mother, Lynda.

Ooh, that sounds very interesting! Varina, thank you for your time today, it was fun! And congratulations again on Jaded, and we look forward to Justified!

 Heidi, I’ve enjoyed being here. Thank you so much for inviting me, and thank you for reading Jaded!


  1. A lovely post thank you. JADED sounds most interesting.

  2. I get the best ideas in church sometimes! And when I'm writing a story, our pastor invariably preaches on my character's sin. lol
    Great interview and Jaded sounds great. The whole series sounds great!

  3. Well, just wanted you to know, I hopped over to Amazon and read the sample--did you know they purposefully left out pages here and there? Anyway, after reading the first chapter-minus page 17, I had to have Jaded! Good job!!