Today, I am pleased to welcome author Jacqueline Wheelock to I & R. Jacqueline's historical novels share the narratives of African American women seeking their identities in the difficult setting of the old South. Wheelock is a multi-published author whose works range from short stories and devotionals to a memoir of growing up during and after segregation. Published multiple times by University Press of Mississippi, she has been a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers for over a decade.
Today, Jacqueline is talking with us about her latest book God, Send Sunday and she is giving away one print copy to one person in the U.S. and one eBook to someone outside the U.S.
Jacqueline, welcome to Interviews & Reviews!
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
Probably the hardest thing for me about writing is resisting the temptation to edit as I write, rather than writing with abandon which is, I believe, the better idea.
Do you travel to the places you write about?
I do as often as I can. I have driven to Vicksburg, Mississippi—the setting for the last segment of my latest book, God, Send Sunday—numerous times. Though I have written about places I’ve only visited via research, nothing beats having seen and touched the places for myself.
Which do you enjoy more, the research part for a book, or the writing?
Definitely the writing. Only through the writing can I truly enter not only the world but the mind of the character.
What is the central theme of your book?
The theme of God, Send Sunday is that our dream of a Sabbath rest only has lasting meaning if it lines up with God’s will for our lives.
What inspired you to write this book?
After a day’s work, my mother, a domestic worker, would often say to no one in particular “Come day, go day; God, send Sunday.” It became a kind of trope for her—that need for Sabbath rest.
Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
Although it isn’t the first time I’ve offered this message in a fictional work, I hope the reader considers what an irony it is that so many antebellum African Americans chose Christianity—the religion of their oppressors.
Why do you think that is case?
I believe that only the One True God and His Son Jesus could have turned a people's hearts to Him in a situation as violent and demeaning as the Middle Passage and its results. Understanding that they were serving the God of people responsible for their enslavement, they were yet drawn to Him and are still drawn to Him until this day. I think that's a powerful testimony for Christianity.
Amen! Which character God, Send Sunday do you like the most?
This is a hard one, but I think the character who intrigues me most is Johnston Smithmore, a cotton planter who shows how the human heart can be claimed by God to override the systems of the times.
What is your favourite Scripture verse, and why?
My favorite, at this moment (For me, favorite scriptural verses sometimes change with my situation), is found in Psalms 61:2: “From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” When I
find myself becoming anxious about things to which I have attached an excessive amount of importance, this verse calms me.
Thank you for sharing with us Jacqueline. I look forward to reading your book. And now, Dear Readers, if you would like to win a copy of Jacqueline's book, God, Send Sunday, just fill out the form below. One winner from the U.S. will be chosen to win a print copy and one winner outside the U.S. will be chosen to win an eBook. This giveaway ends August 16, 2022. Winners will be announced here, on Facebook and will be contacted via email.
Congratulations to Fran Bott! You have won a print copy of