Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Jeanne Takenaka

Today I welcome author: 
Jeanne Takenaka

A prepublished author's
journey led by God

Jeanne and I have been good friends for a couple of years. I can't even remember where we met. We just did. Was it through My Book Therapy? The Writer's Alley? At a conference? I'm not sure, but what I know is she is one sweet person. She always smiles. Works really hard. Is dedicated to God's call for her to write. Wow. Jeanne is not yet published, but I am convinced she will be back here on Let's Talk with a debut novel some day. I asked Jeanne to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:

The Story Only We Can Write

I’m the one who said I could never write a book.

Oh sure, I wanted to, from the time I was thirteen. But when the idea first entered my mind, the thought of creating settings, plots and characters seemed way too big to this insecure girl. So, I chalked it up as one of those, “I could never…..” passing fancies, and I got on with living the real life of growing up.

Fast forward to four years ago. As my husband and I sat in a couple’s retreat, an idea literally popped into my brain. A story question something along the lines of, “What if ballroom dancing could save a marriage?” A skeleton of a plot as well as the heroine’s name accompanied this crazy impression. 

I know agents and editors dread hearing, “God told me to write this story.” He really did give me the inspiration for it, though. I talked with a trusted writing friend and told her about my idea. Would she think it was as crazy as I did? Her words: “I think you should write this story.” 

My heart pounded as the shelved dream blossomed into a strong desire. I talked with my husband about it, knowing I needed his support to do something this radical (at least for me). He  told me I should do it. We talked about the things that would need to change in our lives so I could really pursue this dream of writing a book. 

Jeanne Takenaka, Gabrielle Meyer, Lindsay Harrel
at a My Book Therapy Retreat
I learned about My Book Therapy and devoured everything I could learn about writing craft. I attended their Story Crafter’s retreat and learned that I still had a lot to learn about crafting a compelling story. Their other retreats also gave me great teaching as well as introducing me to other people who understood this drive to write. 

God has put me in touch with encouraging people on this writing journey. They’ve shown me the necessity of being teachable, of hard work and of believing in this calling God places on the crazy ones (translated: writers). One crucial message I heard early in the journey goes along this line: “God gave me this story to write. He didn’t give it to someone else.” I need to write it because I’m the only one who can tell it the way I do. He knows the story we each need to pen because only He knows who will one day read it and be moved by it.

My first two books are women’s fiction because relationships and seeing them whole and healthy is my heart beat. My current manuscript is a contemporary. Each of my stories has a component that deals with understanding who we are in God’s eyes.

As I’ve grown in my writing skills, I’ve entered contests. I’ve finaled in a few, including the My Book Therapy’s Frasier contest in 2013 and 2014.

I’ve found blogging has helped me discover my voice. More than that, I’m meeting people and finding that comments left on the posts I write challenge me to consider the topics through different perspectives.

I’m not published yet, but I hope I will be one day. I’m working on my third book, and of course, I’m hoping this is “the one.” Ultimately, my writing is for God’s eyes first. I’m learning to trust His timing and his plan for my writing journey.

God’s the giver of every good gift. He equips us to fulfill the call to write for Him. I try to be teachable so that I can improve in telling stories He can use to touch readers.

Jeanne Takenaka writes contemporary fiction that deals with real life issues with a heart to draw women closer to God and to those around them. She is wife to one amazing man who is her real life hero, and mother to two exuberant boys who hope to one day have a dog of their own. She loves being God’s girl always learning about His grace, hanging out with friends and enjoying a great cup of coffee. She and her family live near the mountains in Colorado. She is a member of ACFW and My Book Therapy Voices.

You can connect with her on: 
Facebook author's page Jeanne Takenaka 


Jeanne's Manuscript:
 Safe in the Shadows
After being humiliated by a Hollywood scandal as a teenage TV star, Tiana Emory ran from fame—a dream come true that turned into a humiliating nightmare. She hid behind an altered name and the “normal” life of a non-profit manager, wife and mom. Now widowed and the mother of two children, Tiana clings to her anonymity. But when her husband’s former best friend, NFL player Carter Maddox, asks for her help, Tiana’s security is threatened. How can she say no when the job will help pay for medical treatments her chronically-ill daughter desperately needs?

As her choices draw her further into the public eye—and closer to Carter, Tiana must decide who truly defines her—the gossip-dishing media or the God who created her. And, was her safe life merely a mirage all along?.

Wow! Jeanne, This sounds like a fantastic book!

Thank you, Jeanne, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!

What about you? Do you have any dreams you’ve stacked in the, “I could never….” shelves of your life? What dreams are you working toward accomplishing?

Reader, Take a moment and leave Jeanne a word of encouragement.

Thanks so much for joining our chat today. Don't forget to help yourself to virtual coffee/tea/pastries!


Jeanne Takenaka said...

Mary, thanks so much for inviting me to spend the day over here!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Not just the day, friend. We get to enjoy talking with you for the weekend. Yeah!

Jennifer Major said...

I love this!! Jeanne is an amazing person and I am humbled to know her! Thank you both for this.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Yeah, Jennifer, I'm so glad you stopped by to chat with us!!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Awww, thanks, Jennifer. And thanks for coming over here. :) I'm blessed to have lots of amazing people in my life—you and Mary included!

Andrew said...

When Jeanne makes it, she's gonna put JK Rowling in the shade.

Her heart of faith will also spark quite a Revival.

God's got BIG plans for her!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I totally agree, Andrew. Thanks so much for encouraging her with your words.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Sounds amazing! Loved hearing your story!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Amy! Thanks for stopping today and chatting with Jeanne and me.

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

I loved hearing her story. I feel like I'm on a similar path. I have known for a long time that I would like to write, but didn't know which direction to go, so I didn't go ANYWHERE. Then one day I was looking for a Children's/teen book for girls who have been molested, to give as a gift to a young family member, & found there was NOTHING in this category, and God said, "there you go--there's your direction". I've been working on this book, but been sidetracked by a couple others (one being my memoir of going through breast cancer 20 years ago, plus a contemporary romance

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

Sorry, my iPad froze & would only post...
The romance is inspirational...
Yes, lots on my plate, but I'm going in a direction now--well, more than one direction--but at least I'm moving! Keep it up Jeanne--I believe you will get there! That book you described sounds good.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Vicki! So many ideas! That is wonderful. Kinda sounds like the teen book could really help a lot of people. I hope you get a chance to finish it. The others sound good, too.

I'm so glad you stopped by to share with us and to encourage Jeanne.
Blessings on you.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I am so glad I was able to connect with both of you this Sat. afternoon. Jennifer, I feel confident that if God has given you the words that have grown into stories, then He certainly will find the perfect publisher at the perfect time. And when this happens, you will have 3 manuscripts ready to go! I wish you much success and the time to enjoy your family and special friends like Mary.
Blessings to you both!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Jeanne, I apologize!. Auto correct kicked in and I failed to preview my text before I published it. If we had been talking face to face, I would be guilty of 'Foot in my mouth'!!!!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement, Andrew!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Thanks, Amy! Someday, I need to hear all of yours. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Connie, You're so funny. Auto correct has made me look silly so many time. AND even when I go back and fix something, the rascal helps me by "fixing" the word again. Good grief.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Wow, Vicki. When God directs, He makes sure we know, doesn't He? It sounds like He's given you a lot of wisdom to share with others through writing what's on your heart. I look forward to reading you one day. :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

You keep moving forward too, Vicki! :)

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Connie, don't you just LOVE auto correct?! ;) I've been embarrassed by that darn editor many times. ;) Thanks for your words of encouragement!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Jeanne,
I have no doubt that with your wonderful attitude toward your writing that God has great things in store for you! And when the time is right, you'll be ready to jump in!
Best of luck with your journey!

Patricia Bradley said...

I met Jeanne at the 2nd Deep Thinker's Retreat in 2011 and knew she would be published one day. And she will. Love the story she was working on in 2013 in Destin! Wishing you the best, Jeanne!

Tea Time said...

Great encouragement. Many blessings to you Jeanne. I wish you all the best wishes at ACFW. Warmly, Gail.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hey, Sue!!! So happy you stopped by! This party is really taking off. Thanks for encouraging Jeanne with your comment. You are a treasure.

Mary Vee Writer said...

What a special treat for writers to get together at a retreat. The thoughts just run like a river rapids. Bubbling with great ideas so fast sometimes it is difficult to write them all down. I am so glad you were able to go the retreat, too. :) And now look at you with your own published books. How awesome is that?? Thanks so much for stopping by. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

So nice to see you here today. Isn't it fun to share what God has done in our lives? Thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Thanks Sue! God knows the timing for each of us, doesn't He? Appreciate your words!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Pat, I love that we met at that Deep Thinkers! It's been fun to see how God has worked in your journey! I appreciate your encouraging words!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Gail, thanks so much for the well wishes! :) I'm so glad you stopped over here. :)