About the Book
Book: Fleeing Egypt
Author: Jaycee Pierce
Genre: Women’s Fiction (Christian)
Release date: October 24, 2022
When Jennifer (Jen) Hoyt leaves for college, the word ecstatic feels like an understatement for how she feels. She can finally move away from the dysfunctional family who neglected and abused her to make a better life on her own. After being an overachieving outcast in school, Jen is confident of academic success, but what she wants most is to be a part of a loving family.
During her first year of college, Kyle, a friend of a friend, captures her heart, but her attempts to “make him love her back” have dire consequences. When Jen finds out she is pregnant, she knows one thing: she wants to keep her baby. Will Kyle decide to form the family she so desperately wants? If he doesn’t, how will Jen keep her baby safe from those who hurt her? Jen doesn’t know the Lord yet, but He’s already making a way for her.
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About the Author
No one is more surprised than I am to read the word author and know it applies to me. I had different dreams as a child, and this was not remotely on my radar. At three, I wanted to be an Olympic swimmer. When I was eight, I “ran for president,” telling people to vote for me in the election year when I would finally be thirty-five (I had calculated it precisely). In my teens, I had lowered the barand just wanted to be a lawyer. While those doors never opened, God has faithfully led me on a winding path to get me where I am today.
I have held a variety of jobs: customer service representative, loan processor, professional video game player, city councilwoman, church secretary, math teacher, and most importantly, mother. While I was training to be a teacher, God inspired me to write a yet-to-be-published children’s book. Not long after, I began this novel. I wrote a week each summer between school years while my son and his father were camping without me. Depending on how you want to count time, it either took me five weeks (of actual time in front of a computer screen) or three years (looking at a calendar) to finish. Then I spent several years editing and finding a publisher. I hope that you find as much pleasure from reading it as I got from writing it.
More from Jaycee
God works in mysterious ways. I honestly never intended to be a writer, and this entire endeavor started in a way that seemed almost accidental at the time. I had just finished my first year of teaching mathematics. That summer, the members of my immediate family went on a five-day “male bonding” camping trip.
Left home alone, I called friends and family members to reconnect and fill my need for social interaction. One conversation in particular left me with a lot of “what if” questions about how life would have been different for me without God in the picture. I wrestled with different scenarios and then decided I needed to organize my thoughts.
I started writing and thirteen hours later ended up with about 40 pages of text. I sent those to my cousin, Jill, who wanted to know what happened next. Her encouragement kept me writing until this novel was completed, two summer camping trips later.
When/how did you decide to become a writer?
I somewhat stumbled into being a writer around 2011. While working on a master’s degree, I took a class on adolescent psychology. The teacher of the class began speaking about the effects of being abused on children. He discussed one case where people had decided the child involved had “no hope of being normal”. This verdict left me livid. I lived through abuse in my childhood and have found a path with God’s help to live a life which was much more than what the experts predicted for the girl he discussed with our class.
I wanted the girl involved and her family to know there is hope and not to give up on trying to create a “normal life”. I wished I had the opportunity to speak to them. I tossed and turned thinking about what I would say, but eventually fell asleep. In the middle of the night, God woke me up and wrote a children’s book through me. I felt the Holy Spirit as I wrote, and the process took less than 10 minutes. That book presents my story to children that are experiencing some or all of what I went through as a child to offer them the idea that they can find ways to live happy, healthy lives. Interestingly, it is not a particularly Christian book, but it is just the beginning of the conversation.
Not long after that experience, another conversation inspired me. One of my cousins and I were discussing the fact that my doctor told me in my late teens that I would never have children. God gifted me with a child in my thirties, but my cousin asked me how I thought my life would be different if I had gotten pregnant earlier. That question stuck with me and caused me to start writing. The result of that introspection was the novel I just published, Fleeing Egypt.
The main character has a background somewhat similar to my own. The book is the first part of a series that will show her difficult journey to faith. I wanted the opportunity to talk about the power of forgiveness and some of the obstacles that come when abuse is part of your background. Among them are anger at God and the feelings of being unloved and unlovable that come when your own family treats you poorly. My greatest hope is that as this character comes to eventually find faith in God that it will help others from my background also find healing and relationship with God.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
When I wrote Fleeing Egypt, I was teaching. I find that teaching and writing occupy the same part of my brain. I do not seem to be able to do them at the same time. During the school year, I would concentrate on teaching. During three consecutive summer breaks, my husband and son decided to go camping without me. This left me home alone for a week at a time. When they were gone, I worked on my book. As soon as I woke up, usually as early as five or six am, I started writing. I worked intensely for hours, barely taking breaks to eat. Then I finally went to bed around midnight or one am. The first two summers, when they got back, I just stopped. The last summer, I kept pushing so that I could finish. Then it took a long time for me to be brave enough to look for a publisher.
I am no longer a teacher, so my process is different now. I still have a “day job” but when I am done working, I try to push myself to write about five hundred words a day. I wrote the sequel to Fleeing Egypt in about 5 or 6 months. My publisher has accepted it, and I am hoping it will be out sometime in 2023. I am still working on final content edits right now.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I read somewhere that JK Rowling is a plantser. I think that word applies to me as well. I have a basic outline plotted out when I start. I have some conversations and plot points that are planned in advance, but I fill in details in more of a pantser way. Sometimes this even changes the outline. For instance, some of the material that was originally in Fleeing Egypt got pushed into the sequel, Crossing the Desert. The ending of Crossing the Desert came as a complete surprise to me even but felt like a natural outgrowth of conversations that had occurred.
Who was/is your biggest inspiration?
My great grandmother, Mimi, is my biggest inspiration. When she was in her 80’s and I was three or four, someone broke into her home. They beat her up, shattering her hip bone to the point it could not be repaired, and stabbed her. She was found unconscious in the middle of her living room floor by a relative not much later. Thankfully, she lived through this event. When she awoke in the hospital, her response to being told what had happened to her was “I will have to pray for that young man, he must have been hurting so much to have done this to me.” Then I heard her pray for him many times as I grew up. I just didn’t know who “that young man” was until I was told the story by my mother much later.
Mimi had this inner glow about her. You could feel the presence of God when you were around her. She lived a simple life, but her funeral was standing room only in a large Houston church. I remember the things everyone said about her. They talked about how they always felt she cared about them. She carried a small notebook with her and asked everyone she met if they needed prayer. She would write down whatever they told her and pray over the concerns daily. She then followed up with people if she saw them again, updating her journal to praise or add additional things that were needed. She fearlessly talked about Jesus with people. I hope some day my grandchildren or greatgrandchildren will think of me as someone who had that same inner glow.
Do you prefer traditional books, ebooks, or audiobooks?
I prefer traditional books. I tend to be a visual person, so I am not sure audiobooks would ever be a good choice for me. I have read a few ebooks. As the medium is becoming more familiar, I am starting to like it more. I guess I am old enough that technology takes me a while to master.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse, or is there a particular Bible story that really resonates with you?
There are actually several Bible stories that resonate with me. At this point in my life, the dominate one is the story of Sarah. I was told at 18 or 19 that I would never have children (as in zero percent chance because my body does not produce ova). My doctor indicated I have one of the most severe cases of what is now called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome that he had seen in thirty-five years of practice. I had to have my ovaries operated on in my early twenties.
After I got married we did nothing to prevent pregnancy, but after six years of marriage, nothing. One day, my husband came inside and said, “You are never going to believe what just happened. God just told me we are going to have a son and what we are supposed to name him.” (At the time he told me the name, I just want to respect my son’s privacy.) When I laughed, he called me Sarah.
We went another six years and nothing. We went to a fertility specialist. The specialist tried medications, but they didn’t work. Eventually, the doctor told us that we should try invitro fertilization and ask family members if one of them was willing to donate an egg.
I went to a church conference and stayed in a dorm room with 3 other women. When we discussed this situation, they decided to pray over me. They prayed for the child God promised to come and multiple other things. The next time I went to the doctor, just a few weeks later, I found out I was pregnant. Everything the women prayed for me happened and I now have a teenaged son with the name that we were given.
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 3
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, February 4
Artistic Nobody, February 5 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, February 5
Cover Lover Book Review, February 6
For the Love of Literature, February 7 (Author Interview)
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 8
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 9
Susan K. Beatty, Author, February 10 (Author Interview)
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 11
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, February 12
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, February 13 (Author Interview)
For Him and My Family, February 14
Guild Master, February 15 (Author Interview)
Pause for Tales, February 15
To celebrate her tour, Jaycee is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.