Jennifer Hallmark, a local author of the recently published novel Jessie's Hope, is speaking at the Stitch-N-Time book club meeting at the Lawrence County Public Library on Thursday, July 25 at 6 p.m.
Hallmark will be there to sign copies of her novel, Jessie's Hope, which was published June 17, this year.
The book's main character, Jessie Smith, is planning her dream wedding to her high school sweetheart, but many obstacles lie in her way, including her own mobility challenges. Jessie was confined to a wheelchair following a car accident that took her mother's life.
Though her wedding day is fast approaching, Jessie also feels she can't start new chapters without closing old ones and begins a search for her runaway father. The book's tagline, can a sliver of hope lead to everlasting love, suggests this book is as much about redemption and faith as it is about finding true love.
Hallmark is an author of Southern fiction and fantasy genres who has published more than 200 internet articles and interviews, short stories in magazines and co-authored three book compilations.
She shares her wisdom and encourages other aspiring writers in her blog, Inspired Prompt.
"It is a blog for beginning writers," she said. "It has a lot of information that myself and 11 other writers have shared. All of us have been scammed at one time or other by things that seem too good to be true. We try, on our blog, to really share what we can."
In her most recent post, "Are You a Writer Trying to Break into Publication? One Word of Advice," Hallmark stresses the importance of hard work and perseverance.
She instructs that like most trades, with writing, practice makes perfect. Write. Revise. Repeat.
Hallmark also suggests beginning authors make all the connections they can. She suggests attending conferences, writer's workshops, or meeting with trusted organizations or publishers.
"Really, just start submitting your work. Be ready for rejection. I've had so many," she said. " It's taken me 13 years to get here; to get traditionally published since my first writing class."
Hallmark said she has felt tremendous support from her community, the library and the book club, and she is happy to pass on as much support and encouragement to others on a similar path.
"I enjoy helping younger writers learn, and maybe not make some of the same mistakes I've made," she said. "It's been a fun journey. Everybody's been very supportive in the community. I've had so much support."
A book launch celebration for Jessie's Hope will be held on Sunday, July 21 at The Bridge Southern Baptist Church from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hallmark will be at the Lawrence County Public Library on July 25 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to sign her book, which will also be on sale at the library.
She will also speak to the book club, which will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Each of these events is open to the public, but those interested in staying for the club meeting should RSVP to the library.
The Lawrence County Public Library is located at 401 College Street in Moulton. For more information, call 256-974-0883.