Sunday, August 20, 2017

Summer Love: Interview with Laura Jackson, author of "Worth the Time"

Interview questions for Laura Jackson about her book, Worth the Time:

Alexis: What inspired the title “Worth the Time” for your story?

Laura: Lindsey, the main character, is the mean girl in the first book in the Waltham Academy series. Behind her catty attitude and conniving schemes is a girl who just wants to be noticed, a girl desperate for those she loves to have time for her. 

Alexis: Tell us about your story’s heroine Lindsey Hamilton. What makes her tick? What brings her great joy? What breaks her heart?

Laura: Lindsey is a girl in hiding. When she’s embarrassed and has her heart broken in front of her entire school, she’s determined not to ever be hurt again. She has built a cold fortress around herself, but like most people, she just wants to be noticed and loved.

Alexis: What is it about Lindsey that allows her to get whatever she wants? Would you say that she’s ruthless? Why or why not?

Laura: At the beginning of the novel, Lindsey is ruthless. She knows what she wants and uses her good looks and popularity to get what she wants. She has little regard to how her schemes affect anyone else.

Alexis: Who is Ellie Lansing and what role does she play in this story?

Laura: Ellie is the heroine in Worth the Wait, which is the first book in the series. She’s dating Dylan Grant, and Lindsey wants him. She also wants Ellie’s seemingly perfect life.

Alexis: Who is Dylan Grant and how did Lindsey steal him from Ellie? What does she need to do to keep him as her boyfriend?

Laura: Dylan Grant is the stereotypical popular guy in high school. To Ellie, he’s her childhood friend and long-time boyfriend. To Lindsey, he’s a status symbol. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot of Worth the Wait to say how Lindsey gets him, but once she has him, she realizes sometimes what we want isn’t what we need or expect.

Alexis: Snagging Dylan made Lindsey the most popular girl at Waltham Christian Academy but her heart is still empty. Why? 

Laura: Lindsey is a desperate girl—longing to be popular, to be accepted, to be noticed. But those things don’t fulfill us. Only Christ can, and like many of us, Lindsey struggles to see that.

Alexis: Who is the “real” Lindsey? What does it take for her to stop being fake, heal and become a whole person?

Laura: There’s a guy. Sutton. Lindsey has to complete volunteer hours, and Sutton works at Covington House, where Lindsey is serving. He’s the first guy who doesn’t fall for her, so he intrigues her. He’s a Christian like many at her school claim to be, but he’s different—his faith is real. Because she spends so much time being fake, Lindsey is desperate to cling to something real. 

Alexis: What role does faith in God play in this story? Explain how it affects the lives of your characters.

Laura: Sutton lives out his faith. He loves Christ and serves at Covington House out of that love while Lindsey is there because she won’t graduate without volunteer hours. Through her friendship with Sutton and her new relationship with the father she never knew, Lindsey learns that the One who created her not only loves her but also has time for her.

Alexis: What role does high school counselor Mrs. Santana play in turning Lindsey’s life around? Explain.

Laura: Mrs. Santana sees beyond Lindsey’s walls to notice the girl desperate to be loved. She uses Lindsey’s volunteer requirement to build a relationship. When her mom doesn’t have time for her, Lindsey turns to Mrs. Santana for advice.

Alexis: Who is Sutton McCoy and why does he have a bad first impression of Lindsey? Is his first impression his last? Explain.

Laura: Sutton McCoy works at Covington House, where Lindsey is required to volunteer. He sees her as another snobby girl forced to volunteer. Because he serves weekly, Sutton cares deeply about the kids who come to Covington House. He doesn’t want to see another person come into the kids’ lives just to walk away again. Luckily for Lindsey, his first impression isn’t his last. 

Alexis: Sutton’s been through trauma in his personal life. How do the effects of that trauma prevent him from pursuing a romantic relationship with Lindsey?

Laura: Sutton judges Lindsey some—he sees her as a pretty, popular cheerleader from a ritzy private school. What could she possibly know what it feels like to have lost a father at a young age and to have a mother battling drug addiction? So, first, that causes him to not even want to be friends. His past has also given him a strong desire to make something of himself, and he can’t be distracted with a flighty girl.

Alexis: What role does Lindsey’s biological father play in her life? How does he affect her character arc? Explain.

Laura: Lindsey always thought her dad walked away before she was born, which wasn’t true. When her biological father finds her and wants a relationship with her, Lindsey’s world is rocked. All these lies she’d told herself were no longer true, and she learns that maybe she didn’t need those walls to protect her heart after all.

Alexis: Why doesn’t Lindsey believe in a loving God? What makes her change her mind?

Laura: Our earthly fathers play a big role in how we see our heavenly father. It’s hard to imagine God as a loving father when your own father never wanted you. As Lindsey gets to know her father—as he pursues a relationship with her—she begins to see how much God loves her too.

Alexis: What was the most challenging aspect of writing this book? Why?

Laura: Lindsey was such a mean girl in book one that I struggled to convey her wounded heart. In my mind, I loved her because I knew her, but I worried readers wouldn’t see her like I did. In the beginning of the book, she’s broken and angry. She lashes out. I prayed readers would give her a chance because I do think Lindsey’s story is an example of the transformation that happens when Jesus comes into our lives.

Alexis: What do you want your readers to remember most about Worth the Time?

Laura: I want them to know that they are loved. The One who spoke and created galaxies not only loves us but pursues a relationship with us.

Alexis: Thanks for the interview, Laura! Would you like to share closing thoughts?

Laura: Thanks for having me!


Author Bio: 
Laura Jackson loves books—reading and writing them. 

A life-long reader, Laura studied English in college and taught 7th-grade language arts before earning her Master's degree and becoming a school librarian. 

Now, she spends her days sharing great books with kids and her evenings writing books about teenage girls discovering God and His plan for their lives.

Blurb for Laura's book, Worth the Time:

Doesn't anyone feel she's worth their time?

Routinely ignored by her single mother, high school senior Lindsey Hamilton hides her loneliness behind a mask of flirtatious self-confidence that has many boys wrapped around her finger. However, during community service required for graduation, she meets a shy guy with a haunted past who barely gives her the time of day. Why doesn't he like her?

Then the father she thought had abandoned her before birth wants to meet, and she discovers everything she believed about him is a lie.

How will Lindsey learn to trust so she can realize that she has been loved all along?

Buy Laura's book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble

Enter this book giveaway contest for your chance to WIN a copy of this book by filling out the entry form on the Rafflecopter widget below: 

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  1. This is a new author to me, and I would love to win a copy of her book. It sounds great. Thanks for the chance. 😊

  2. My family is always worth my time. God gave them to me to nurture them in the ways of the Lord.

  3. My family is the biggest thing worth my time.


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