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Meet Author, and Ghostwriter of When the Unexpected Strikes, Leah Jennings

What inspired you to publish your book? What inspired me to write my book was pain. I was in so much pain that I wanted/needed relief. Writing this book offered that and so much more!

What can readers take away from your book? What I’m praying my readers will take away from my book is that every one of us deserves to live an incredible life. We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves or to allow any one bad circumstance to stop us from searching for our “niche” or place in life—the reason why we were born.

What was your writing process like? It’s amazing how pain will knock you off your butt and force you to do something. This is what happened to me. One day, as I slumped down deep in my seat, feeling incredibly defeated and sad, I realized I needed a “means of escape.” The only thing I had in my hand at the time was an iPhone, which I pulled out and began to write my husband and I’s story just to get some things “off my chest.”

It took me less than three weeks to capture the essence of the story.

Are you planning to write other books? I am planning to write other books. The idea for my next book came to me as I began to develop this first book.

What's a cool or interesting fact about yourself? A cool and interesting fact about me is I was Salutatorian of my high school graduating class. I wanted to be number one—in fact, I thought I should have been. I remember when our third quarter grades were posted, I had all A’s and one B. The B came from my English teacher. Although all of my English classroom work, homework, quizzes, and tests were all awarded an A, my teacher said since I was out on maternity leave earlier in the school year to give birth to my son (yes, I am a teenaged-mom), she could not “give” me an A. The highest grade she felt comfortable “giving” me was a B for my hard work.

I felt like someone had “kicked me in the stomach.”

Later, towards the end of our senior year on the day the top ten students’ GPAs were announced, the difference between mine and the Valedictorian’s was off by a fraction of a point. Hers (we will call her ‘Lisa’) was 4.8776 and mine was 4.8775. The next highest GPA was 4.3227.

Some of the other senior class faculty argued that it was only fair to round up our GPAs. If they did, then we would both have the same GPA, and both of us could be named Valedictorian.

Since the English teacher was chair over the English department and she held other prominent positions in the high school, she overruled that idea.

Needless to say, I was devastated. In my opinion, this particular teacher was very tough and not so friendly towards me after it was announced I was pregnant. She looked “down on me,” and definitely treated me differently from the other students.

For a long time afterwards, I thought of myself as always being second best—never number one. I lived in Lisa’s shadows for many, many years, believing I was not worthy of many things.

I don’t think that way anymore. God has given me a voice and a message to share! I intend to do just that.

What is some advice you would give aspiring or first-time authors? The one piece of advice I would give aspiring or first-time authors is there is no one on this earth like you. You are a designer original. No matter how similar your life may appear to others, it is not. You are a unique individual with a voice unparalleled to anyone else’s. There is something about you that is unlike any other. The world needs to hear what you have to say—don’t be silent any longer. SPEAK!


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