This year, we have two Page Turner champions – one in fiction (see Meghan Andersch’s interview here) and one in nonfiction.  Join interviewer Joanne Sher as we learn more about Nonfiction winner (and Aussie) Nicki Jeffery, her family, her book and her dreams.

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on winning the Nonfiction Page Turner! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

NICKI JEFFERY: It was about 6 one morning. I am a morning person and wake early, especially since I have young children. I pressed the home button on my iPhone to check the time, and it appeared I had $250 waiting for me in my PayPal account (from the few lines of Gmail that came up on my screen). I woke up my husband, exclaiming, “I think I’ve just won the Faith Writers Page Turner competition!”

JOANNE: What a fun way to find out! When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing?

NICKI: In primary (elementary) school. I remember being in Year 6, about 11 years of age, and loving story writing. We used to have other tasks to complete each morning, like spelling, handwriting, and reading. When these tasks were completed, we could move on to creative writing. I used to rush through my other tasks because I loved writing my stories.

From about that age, I knew I wanted to become a teacher and an author.

048JOANNE: I’m sure you aren’t the only person with a story like that :). In fact, that kind of sounds like me.  Is writing a hobby or potential career for you? Or something else?

NICKI: Writing is a hobby but I would love to develop two careers – primary school teaching and being an author with a ministry.

JOANNE: Share a bit about Encouraging Mums: 31 Days of Hope. Where did you get the idea for it? Who is your audience? What is the focus? How far along in it are you?

NICKI: I gave birth to my first son in 2010 and what followed were months of maternal mental illness. I had not recovered from my first bout of post-natal depression when I fell pregnant with my second son and gave birth to him in 2012. Five months later I spent almost a month in the mental health ward of the local hospital. I had suffered from post-natal psychosis. The past few years have involved my climbing out of a deep pit with the help of God and professionals in the field of mental health. My desire is to give new mothers a resource filled with stories, professional articles, topical issues, tips and hope.

My manuscript is almost ready for editing. I have compiled most of the stories, articles and tips from others. This week I am emailing my contributors for final approval from them.

JOANNE: I have read some of it, as you know, and can testify to the hope within it. How did you find FaithWriters and what made you stick around?

NICKI: I believe I found FaithWriters in a Google search many years ago. I was a silver member and didn’t look at the website often. Last year I became a platinum member and decided to start entering the Writing Challenge (sporadically). I love that FaithWriters is a place I can write for Jesus, be encouraged by other Christian writers and have a voice in the media.

JOANNE: And it is all those things – we are glad to have you. What kinds of books or genres do you prefer to read and/or write?

NICKI: My favourite genre to read is fiction, specifically romantic fiction and youth / young adult fiction. Growing up, I wrote for children and youth / young adults. I would love to return to this. But in recent years, I have both read and written Christian non-fiction.

JOANNE: That’s a good amount of variety! Tell us about your family.

NICKI: I’ve been married to my Prince Charming, Nathan, for nine years. We have been blessed with two sons, Matthew (six) and Ethan (four). I am one of four girls.

JOANNE: I’m sure it’s an adventure being the only female after growing up with all those girls! What are your other passions besides writing?

NICKI: Tennis, teaching, water-skiing, walking, bike riding (we love to do this as a family too), the beach, cooking, hospitality, scrapbooking, reading, music and watching movies with my husband.

JOANNE: Where can people find you online?

NICKI: My new website is being built: www.nickijeffery.com. My social media name is nicki_jeffery

My Facebook author page is Nicki Jeffery author

Regarding my newest book, I have created a Facebook group and Instagram account: encouraging mums with hope.

JOANNE: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

NICKI: I believe God has given each of us a story. Sometimes our greatest ministry comes from our greatest pain. I stand on these verses regarding my journey through post-natal depression:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3,4

JOANNE: That verse has been a comfort to me for a a long time – and I absolutely believe you are correct. Thanks so much, Nicki, for sharing your story – and again, Congratulations!

Watch for interviews with the fiction and nonfiction runners up – Sylvia Young and Sherry Stone – on the blog in the next couple weeks.

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