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Word Weavers Presidents
Thursday, November 7, 2019 by Tammy Karasek

Getting to Know Your Presidents?

Today we meet Jennifer Odom


1. Where do you live?  I’m a native of central Florida, where my dad’s grandparents migrated from South Carolina right
after the Civil War. I love the beauty of central Florida and the most places in the South.


2. How long have you been a Word Weaver? I’ve been a Word Weaver since 2013 when
Delores Kight and I started the Ocala chapter as co-presidents.

a) What chapter are you President of? Ocala


3. How long have you been writing—or when did you feel God was calling you to be a writer?
About 15 years ago. That’s when the idea for Summer On the Black Suwannee came to me early
one morning. I was still teaching elementary school, and it never occurred to me to write a book
myself. Being naive, I just thought the book idea would be a good one for a favorite author of
mine, Frank Peretti, to write about. But when I mentioned it to my pastor, he said God gave that
idea to me, not him, and I ought to write it. The light came on and though I enjoyed the task, I at
first tackled it out of simple obedience. The task was fun, but it took a long time before the drafts
were anything more than pathetic. Despite conferences, my self-help, and study, the education I
gained from two patient editors, Johnnie Donnelly Alexander and Fay Lamb, was my best
investment ever.


4. What do you like to read? I like to read a lot of things, historical novels, mysteries, thrillers,
but not horror.


5. What do you write? I write suspense for young adults in the Black Series; Then there is my
sweet book for middle graders, Peanut Man. One of my favorites, Peanut Man includes some
puppy love, and is the tale of a desperate young runaway, her survival adventures, and her
recognition of her true friends and helpers. It also contains a twist of mystery (but is not out yet).
For new adults I have my WIP, Under the Mango Trees, set in Fort Myers. A young neglected
girl is rescued by an elderly neighbor woman and an unexpected romance develops with the
woman’s relative.

a) If you are published:
1. First book? Summer on the Black Suwannee
2. How many written? I’ve written four, with one in the works. I also love
writing flash fiction and short stories with a punch. Along the way I did some correspondence
work for the local newspaper and have written some magazine articles.

3. Newest book? Summer on the Black Suwannee released in July of 2019, and
Secret of the Black Case is due out before Christmas, 2019.


6. Where’s your favorite place to write? At my desk.


7. If you have a dedicated writing space, describe it for us. I’ve adopted my grown son’s old
bedroom as an office. It’s sunny and bright. I keep my back to the palm tree at its southern
window so I’m not distracted. (I love working out in the yard and being outside). An array of
current files leans against its right corner, and though I try hard to get the stacks off my desk, I
have a series of “to do right now” piles arranged around the keyboard and monitor. Sticky notes
cling around the edges of its shelves. On the left corner sit the six copies of 1500 words from my
last Word Weavers meeting waiting for members’ comments to be evaluated for edits. A folded
list of ideas (in duplicate) lays in front of the monitor for me to study and weave into Secret of
the Black Case...today! And always, over there on the right corner where it stays out of trouble
stands my big styro-cup of unsweet iced tea!


8. What’s your ideal writing routine (time of day, with or without a beverage, snack to get to the
finish line, etc.) All times of the day. I try to turn off the computer by 8:00 pm or I won’t
ever get to sleep at night. I tend to work during the hot part of the day so I can save the cool part
of the day for any gardening. The tea keeps me alert. I don’t like to sit still very long, and I get
up and down a lot. I’ll go put something in the crock pot or throw in a load of laundry, but all the
time I’m thinking about that last edit. Then I hustle back and type some more. This editing, or
combing through material, is all very enjoyable. The challenge is new material, and I like to
work on it from a roadmap, not exactly an outline, but a series of notes or index cards revealing
main events, story arcs, etc. I bite the story off in chunks to write. One chunk a day or more.
These are very intense sessions. This is not a time to get up and down, it’s a time to really
visualize, to feel and to sense, and I don’t like to interrupt that thought process. It always amazes
me how time can simply disappear while I am writing.


9. We all have several authors we love to read so I won’t make you pick a favorite—but what has
been your favorite book this year and why? (Great story, impactful, educational, etc.) For
suspense, I’m very fond of many writers. On top of the list is Frank Peretti for great writing,
content and spiritual inspiration. Similarly, I appreciate Mark Mynheir. Other favorite authors
are not necessarily Christian, but are great writers and can teach me a lot. I enjoy plowing
through all of a writer’s books at one time in chronological order. But I do hate to have to wait
on that next book...from my favorite authors. In a different genre, my most recent favorite books
this year have been an old series I’ve just discovered. They are the My Folks books, full of
simple narrations from everyday people of stories their ancestors have passed down to them.
Examples are My Folks Rode The Rails, My Folks Back to the Basics, My Folks Came in a
Covered Wagon, etc. I’ve had to search the internet for each new title. I’ll be sorry when I am
finished with all of the books, it’s been quite a relaxing educational vacation reading them.


10. What’s one piece of writing advice you’d like to share with other Word Weaver members?
(Maybe something you wished you would have known as you began writing.)
Here’s my advice-cluster:
1. Get out of the house. GO PLACES, even small simple places. Learn about the places.
MEET PEOPLE. See and observe. You will always have material.
2. Study the craft of writing! (Read and go to conferences). You can always improve.
3. Read other things. Feed your imagination.
4. Don’t think you know it all or can write it once and edit it twice and be done. Comb,
comb, comb. Let it incubate for a few days or weeks. Read it again. Then read it aloud.
Comb some more.
5. Wait until you have polished it as much as you can, then get someone else to read it over.
You’ll probably still be surprised at what you missed, or what is not clear or completely
misunderstood by the other person. That’s one of the beauties of being part of a group
like Word Weavers. Iron sharpens iron.

 

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When Publishing Doesn't Go Your Way
Edie Melson
9/8/2017

It's That Time Again! Time to Register for FCWC 2018!
Eva Marie Everson
9/1/2017

The ABC's of Driving Traffic to Your Blog
Andy Lee
8/18/2017

Steady On!
Penny Hunt
8/11/2017

Compelled to Write
Andy Lee
8/4/2017

Letting Go of the Numbers
JoAnne Macco
7/28/2017

Freelancing Offers Freedom a "Real Job" Can't
James Watkins
7/14/2017

Six Tips from Literary Agents
Eva Marie Everson
7/7/2017

What Writers Are Really Worth
David Brannock
6/23/2017

Wisdom in Knowing When to be Quiet
Eva Marie Everson
6/16/2017

Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary
Lori Hatcher
6/9/2017

The Winner of our Flash Fiction Contest
Andy Lee
6/2/2017

When You Want to Quit Writing
Meg Gemelli
5/26/2017

Blogging for the Bible Study Writer
Katy Kauffman
5/19/2017

Boomerang Stories
Belinda Grimbeek
5/12/2017

What's Holding You Back?
Tina Hunt
5/5/2017

Using Flash Fiction to Test Your Ideas
Tez Brooks
4/28/2017

How to Prepare for Your Book's Release
Ginger Monette
4/21/2017

When God Gives You Manna
Sherri Stewart
4/14/2017

Why You Won’t Submit that Piece I Asked For
Lori Hatcher
4/7/2017

How to Decide When to Self-Publish and Advice from One Who Has
Diane E. Tatum
3/31/2017

Faith In Process: Why Prayer is Essential to Our Writing
Terri Rhoden
3/24/2017

Writers Are a Strange Lot
Lori Hatcher
3/16/2017

When Balance and Writing Don't Co-exist
Heather Iseminger
3/9/2017

Six Blogging Trends for 2017
Andy Lee
3/1/2017

Six Things to Do When You Want to Give Up
Maresa DePuy
2/24/2017

Faculty Interview with Heather Iseminger
Bethany Jett
2/22/2017

Faculty Interview with Susan Reichert
Bethany Jett
2/21/2017

Faculty Interview with Linda Gilden
Bethany Jett
2/20/2017

Faculty Interview with Tina Yeager
Bethany Jett
2/19/2017

Faculty Interview with Beth Patch
Bethany Jett
2/18/2017

Faculty Interview with Karen Ball
Bethany Jett
2/18/2017

Faculty Interview with Erin Taylor Young
Bethany Jett
2/17/2017

Faculty Interview with Dawn Anderson
Bethany Jett
2/17/2017

Faculty Interview with Dan Walsh
Bethany Jett
2/15/2017

Faculty Interview with Nancy Lohr
Bethany Jett
2/14/2017

Faculty Interview with Natalie Gillespie
Bethany Jett
2/13/2017

Faculty Interview with Shana Asaro
Bethany Jett
2/13/2017

Faculty Interview with Dr. Dennis E. Hensley
Bethany Jett
2/12/2017

Faculty Interview with Bethany Jett
Eva Marie Everson
2/11/2017

Media and Promos with Punch
Kathy Bruins
2/11/2017

Faculty Interview with Lindsay Brackett
Bethany Jett
2/10/2017

Faculty Interview with Michelle Medlock Adams
Bethany Jett
2/9/2017

Faculty Interview with Eva Marie Everson and Mark Hancock
Bethany Jett
2/8/2017

Faculty Interview with Edie Melson
Bethany Jett
2/6/2017

Faculty Interview with Eddie Jones
Bethany Jett
2/3/2017

Faculty Interview with Hannah C. Hall
Bethany Jett
2/1/2017

Faculty Interview with Cyle Young
Bethany Jett
1/30/2017

Faculty Interview with Kristen Stieffel
Bethany Jett
1/28/2017

Faculty Interview with Bill Watkins
Bethany Jett
1/27/2017

Glimpses from the Writer’s Glossary
Linda Gilden
1/23/2017

Faculty Interview with Torry Martin
Bethany Jett
1/20/2017

Faculty Interview with Marti Pieper
Bethany Jett
1/18/2017

Faculty Interview with Shellie Arnold
Bethany Jett
1/16/2017

Writing a Standout First Page and Blurb
Shana Asaro
1/11/2017

How to Evaluate Your Options
Cheri Cowell
1/9/2017

Faculty Interview with Linda Glaz
Bethany Jett
1/6/2017

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Continuous Critique Track?
Shellie Arnold
1/4/2017

Faculty Interview with Lora Zill
Bethany Jett
1/2/2017

Faculty Interview with Laura Petherbridge
Bethany Jett
12/30/2016

Interview with Katy Kauffman
Bethany Jett
12/28/2016

Interview with Kristen Hogrefe
Bethany Jett
12/26/2016

Faculty Interview with Ben Wolf
Bethany Jett
12/23/2016

5 Reasons to be a Word Weaver
Kristen Hogrefe
12/21/2016

Finding Your Tribe
Katy Kauffman
12/19/2016

Faculty interview with Angela Hunt
Bethany Jett
12/16/2016

Faculty Interview with Alton Gansky
Bethany Jett
12/14/2016

Faculty Interview with Cheri Cowell
Bethany Jett
12/13/2016

A Silent Retreat
Laura Petherbridge
12/12/2016

How to Get More Readers Using Libraries and Magazines ( A Class Offered)
Susan Reichert
12/9/2016

Platform is Not a Four Letter Word
Andy Lee
12/7/2016

Writing for CBN.com
Beth Patch
12/5/2016

Nonfiction A-Z
Edie Melson
12/2/2016

Blogging for the Soul and Making a Difference
Andy Lee
11/30/2016

Will I Ever Be Published?
Linda S. Glaz
11/28/2016

Conquering Mountains
Erin Taylor Young
11/25/2016

I've Written a Children's Book . . . Now What?
Hannah C. Hall
11/16/2016

To Plot or Not
Nancy Lohr
11/14/2016

Writing to Satisfy Our Insatiable Longing to Feel God's Pleasure
Lora Zill
11/11/2016

The Problem with Procrastination
Andy Lee
11/9/2016

Tips for Mastering Dialogue
Dr. Dennis Hensley
11/7/2016

Self-Editing: The Key to Better Writing
Bill Watkins
11/4/2016

Poetry: Cross-Training for Prose Writers
Lora Zill
10/31/2016

Issues Writing That Matters
Bill Watkins
10/28/2016

7 Trends in Book Publishing
Eddie Jones
10/24/2016

Ethics for Christian Writers
Marti Pieper
10/21/2016

Ministry Multiplied
Alton Gansky
10/17/2016

Guidelines for Effective Networking
Deb Haggerty
10/14/2016

Stay Current: Keep Italics Out of Your Fiction
Dr. Angela Hunt
10/7/2016

To E-Book Or Not To E-Book: That is the question
Cheri Cowell
9/30/2016

Is My Writing Good Enough?
Tina Yeager
9/23/2016

Look Who Is Teaching the Fiction Continuing Class
Eva Marie Everson
9/16/2016

The Difference Between a Dream and a Call
Andy Lee
9/2/2016

Lose the Parts Readers Skip
Dan Walsh
8/26/2016

How to Let People Know Your Book Exists
Natalie Gillespie
8/19/2016

Advice from an Editor Regarding Your Manuscript
Fay Lamb
8/5/2016

Through the eyes of an acquisition editor
Ramona Richards
7/29/2016

Be a Book Influencer
Deborah Raney
7/15/2016

Finding Value Through Faith
Denae Haas
6/24/2016

Never Discredit Anyone (Especially God)
Eva Marie Everson
6/17/2016

The Quote for the Quarter Hour
Robert Benson
6/3/2016

Thank a Military Family
Andy Lee
5/27/2016

The Benefits of a Small Press
Eddie Jones
5/20/2016

12 Steps to Prevent Writer Burnout and Nurture Balance
DiAnn Mills
5/13/2016

Write Thoughtfully
Diana Flegal
5/6/2016

3 Keys to Writing Bible Studies that Sell
Andy Lee
4/29/2016

The Benefits of Writing Devotions
Ava Pennington
4/15/2016

A Different Perspective in Crafting Fiction
Steven James
4/8/2016

Some Miracles Take Time
Andy Lee
4/1/2016

A Tribute to Mary Sue Seymour
Andy Lee
3/25/2016

How to be an Influencer
Deborah Raney
3/18/2016

Why Platform is Important--Now I Know
Andy Lee
3/11/2016

4 Resources to Help Writers Write Well
Andy Lee
3/4/2016

What's in and What's Out in Publishing Workshop
Blythe Daniel
2/24/2016

How to Write for Children . . .
Michelle Medlock Adams
2/19/2016

Mistakes Made After Meeting with Agents & Editors
Blythe Daniel
2/17/2016

10 Secrets for a Great Writers Conference
Bethany Jett
2/15/2016

A More Than Enough Kind of God
Michelle Medlock Adams
2/12/2016

For Want of a Hook
Dan Walsh
2/10/2016

What Does a Writers Conference Chaplain Do?
Marti Pieper
2/8/2016

Author Marketing
Edie Melson
2/5/2016

Move Over Clark: The Basics of Journalism
Michael Ray Smith
2/3/2016

Tips to Get the Most Out of the Critique Track
Shellie Arnold
2/1/2016

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Critique Track?
Shellie Arnold
1/29/2016

An Introvert's Best Friend (Live Streaming)
Bethany Jett
1/27/2016

Who am I Writing For?
S. Kim Henson
1/25/2016

The Day I Decided to Keep Writing
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
1/22/2016

Invest in Your Writing
Lucinda Secrest McDowell
1/20/2016

Your Writers Conference Checklist
Andy Lee
1/18/2016

5 Reasons to Launch a Blog
Andy Lee
1/16/2016

Craft Fiction with Vivid Emotion
Tina Yeager
1/13/2016

Thoughts on being a Submissive Writer
Edie Melson
1/9/2016

How Fast Should Your Blog Grow?
Edie Melson
1/6/2016

The ART of Exceptional Editing
Deb Haggerty
1/4/2016

Happy New Year
Andy Lee
1/1/2016

Finding Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Mary Keeley
12/28/2015

Do Writers Need a Blog or Website?
Edie Melson
12/22/2015

"Second-Fiddle" Characters Play an Important Role
Tom Morrisey
12/16/2015

Let Them Eat Bread: An Editor's Thoughts on FCWC
Jesse Florea
12/14/2015

Preparing for Promotion
Michelle Medlock Adams
12/10/2015

Jesus Believed in the Power of Story
Dan Walsh
12/7/2015

How to Use Hashtags in Social Media
Edie Melson
12/4/2015

Where Writer Conference Connections Can Take You
Lindsey Brackett
12/2/2015

Why Should I Attend a Writers Conference?
Andy Lee
11/30/2015

How to Fight Discouragement... as a Writer
Andy Lee
11/23/2015

An Interview with Acclaimed Author, Robert Benson
Eva Marie Everson
11/18/2015

How to Write a Synopsis of Your Nonfiction Book
Kristin Stieffel
11/14/2015

How to Write a Synopsis of Your Novel
Kristin Stieffel
11/9/2015

Let God Define You
Michelle Medlock Adams
11/4/2015

10 Clues that You Are a Fiction Writer
Taryn Souders
10/31/2015

The Basics of a Book Proposal
Kristin Stieffel
10/27/2015

What To Wear at FCWC
Eva Marie Everson
10/23/2015

The Skinny on Business Cards
Andy Lee
10/15/2015

Just Do Your Part
Michelle Medlock Adams
10/12/2015

A Sneak Peek into a New Class at FCWC 2016
Shellie Arnold
10/2/2015

50 Reasons Why You Should Never Write
Pro Krasta Nation Publishers
9/28/2015

The Best First Step on Your Journey to Published
Eva Marie Everson
9/21/2015

10 "Not-So-Secret" Secrets for a Great Writers Conference
Bethany Jett
2/10/2015

Go Where God Leads
Allison Bottke
2/1/2015

Moving From Passion to Process
Ava Pennington
1/27/2015

Your Last First Conference
Kristen Hogrefe
1/19/2015

What Is Compel Training?
Suzie Eller
1/9/2015

That Agent Meeting
Tamela Hancock Murray
1/3/2015

Three Problems with Point of View
Kristen Stieffel
12/21/2014

How to Evaluate Your Options
Cheri Cowell
12/5/2014

Writing Effective Book Proposals
Jim Watkins
11/29/2014

Do the Math
Marti Pieper
11/21/2014

Becoming More Media Savvy
Natalie Gillespie
11/15/2014

The Perfect Book Pitch
Dawn Anderson
11/8/2014

Moved With Compassion
Diana Flegal
10/20/2014

Splickety In A Flash
Ben Wolf
10/9/2014

Look into Their Eyes: Why Editors Go to Writers Conferences
Ramona Richards
9/29/2014

A Writer's Life
Dan Walsh
2/21/2014

The Good, The Bad, and The Gutless
DiAnn Mills
2/20/2014

I Want 2 Write 4 Teens
Marti Pieper
2/13/2014

6 Things Writers Should NOT Say to Editors or Agents
Jevon Bolden
2/12/2014

Don't Be Labeled "Dead On Arrival"
Eddie Jones
1/30/2014

Imagine. Create. For a More Confident Faith
Lora Zill
1/28/2014

Burnout or Balance
DiAnn Mills
1/21/2014

Money Workouts for Writers
Ellie Kay
1/18/2014

The Tale of Three Authors
Cheri Cowell
1/10/2014

Three Questions, Three Answers
B.J. Taylor
1/7/2014

The Introvert's Guide to the Writers Conference
Marti Pieper
1/2/2014

After Your Meeting with an Editor or Agent
Blythe Daniel
2/23/2013

It's Headed Right Towards Us
Amber Weigand-Buckley
2/16/2013

So, Tell Me About Your Platform
Cheri Cowell
2/11/2013

How Will Readers Find Your Book...
Eddie Jones
2/1/2013

Tips For Coming to the FCWC From a Floridian
Cheri Cowell
1/26/2013

How to Write For Kids When ...
Michelle Medlock Adams
1/23/2013

Why Take the Chance?
Fay Lamb
1/7/2013

Having a Positive Influence
Deborah Raney
1/4/2013

Managing Your Time
Rusty Wright
12/29/2012

Are You Ready for the Conference?
W. Terry Whalin
12/26/2012

Devoted to Devotions
Ava Pennington
12/21/2012

A Different View of Story
Steven James
12/18/2012