At What Cost...With Jessie Andersen!

12:29 AM Elizabeth Seckman 24 Comments


Jessie...in like one of the most awesome author pics ever!



Jessie Andersen (on Facebook as J. Andersen Books) launched her first novel earlier this summer. I profiled the story here on its release and planned an interview with Jessie. However, shortly after her book debuted, her grandfather passed away. So, while Jessie took care of her family, I read the book. When I was finished (and delighted), I just had to ask Jessie a few questions...












In AT WHAT COST, you handle a very serious and highly sensitive subject...teen pregnancy and abortion. What prompted you to write this story? 
The abortion topic has always been at my heart. Not exactly sure why, so when I decided I was going to write my own book, I began praying about a topic. God told me I needed to write about abortion. I said, "Umm, no."  He said, "Umm, yes." He won. 
(Smart not to argue with the Big Guy!)     
You treat the subject very tastefully- without judgement or blame. You're the daughter of a minister and write for a Christian publisher. Most people see the "Christian" response to abortion as the hate mongers who carry baby killer signs outside of clinics. While writing this story, did you think of that at all? Like did you intend to give Christians a fairer representation in the debate or did that just happen by accident?

Yes, I thought of that all the time. Every word I wrote I felt like it was being too judgmental. Or that it was "too Christian". Originally, I had a more churchy storyline planned, but in my heart, I knew it wouldn't work like that. My audience is the secular community, so I needed to write it in such a way that would keep them reading without being too offended. It's a fine line. Just having the abortion topic in the story is going to offend someone. In one sense, I tried to be conscious of that, but I also wanted to show what it's like for a lot of women who've made that choice. I can't say I thought about giving Christians a fairer representation. I guess that just happened.

So far, I've received positive reviews, even had a few people tell me that though the come from "another line of thinking" that I treated the subject fairly and wasn't pushy with my views. This must have been God working, because there's no way I could have done that on my own. :) One woman even told me that she was worried when she read it because, being a friend, she didn't want to not like it. She told me she thought she would have to just read the ending and come up with some great lie, like, "oh, yeah, it was wonderful...", but she finished it and really respected how I dealt with the subject. I'm trying to prepare myself for those nasty reviews, which I'm sure will come with the topic I've chosen, but how do you prepare yourself for something like that?

Another thing I enjoyed about this book is how you touched on the emotional effects of abortion. As a former social worker, I have seen too often the ramifications of the choice and I have personally advocated that women be counseled honestly about depression, lowered self-esteem, sexual dysfunction, and so on linked with abortions. I often wonder, all legal issues aside, if we have "scrubbed" it too much until it is just a "choice" and a "medical procedure". How would you change the pre-abortion counseling that a girl receives before making the decision?


It's hard for me to answer this in detail because I'm not a psychologist or counselor. I know what I believe but I have no training and no background to say what should or shouldn't be done. That said, I think ultra sounds should be mandatory. I think that girls should have to talk to women who have regretted their decision. So many times they just make a choice because it is the easy thing to do without thinking how it might affect them ten years down the road. 

Have you had any negative feedback about the story?
Not yet, but I'm sure I will. :) I keep telling myself that I shouldn't even look at the reviews, but you can't help it. We want people to like us. It's a natural thing. And we want people to like the things we create (Our kids, our work). I'm trying to prepare myself for when that time comes, because I'm sure it will happen sooner or later. Then I'll probably allow myself to cry a bit before I push it aside and get on with writing the stories I feel need to be told. 
    (*If it happens, big IF...I'll send chocolate!)


 I know you are donating part of your sales to a women's center. What kind of services do they provide?
Here's their websiteThey give free pregnancy testing, options counseling, WAIT training in schools, which is an abstinence training. They use the HOPE program, which helps young mothers earn what they need to raise their child and includes parenting education and one-on-one counseling. They also provide after abortion counseling and support groups. 

You can also like them on Facebook HERE
 .
And finally, since you're no stranger to heated debates...what's the better pet? Dog vs. Cat?
This question isn't fair. I'd say both because I love both, but my hubby hates cats, so we only have dogs. Does that make me a dog person?
Well, I suppose that makes you a dog family! LOL
    Thanks for stopping by Jessie. God bless. :)



24 comments:

  1. I remember seeing this book on your blog and thinking it sounded really good! Now I have to have it!

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    1. Yes, Please do. :) I'm humbled that people keep buying it. It's amazing to me that someone wants something I created. If you do get it, I certainly hope you love it. :)

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  2. Thanks so much for having me, Elizabeth. I appreciated your questions. They were a little more out of the ordinary and that made this interview one of my favorites to do. Also, I'll be contacting you for that chocolate when I get a bad review. I prefer Orange creams in dark chocolate. :) Maybe I should pay someone to write a bad review just so I can get chocolate from you. :)

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    1. It's a pleasure having you! They were thoughts and questions I had while reading the book. Hopefully there are no bad reviews in your future! I'm not sure the chocolate is really worth it!

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    2. Chocolate is always worth it. :)

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  3. Oh, and that awesome author pic...my sister-in-law, Deb Bailey did it. Her photography website is www.phosterimages.com.

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  4. How brave to tackle such a sensitive topic! It is always wonderful when a writer's work can open a constructive discussion amongst people and get them to think outside of their own views! Good for you. Wishing you success with the book!

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    1. Thank you so much. I realize I'm opening myself up to a heated topic, but one must write what's on the heart, you know?

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  5. I read about this book and loved it! So happy you did the interview Liz. Should finally be getting cash in my paypal next week.

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  6. Thanks for highlighting this author. I purchased her book.

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    1. Thank you for purchasing my book! I hope you enjoy it.

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  7. This is such a great book! I loved reading it.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. I'm so glad you both enjoyed it. It's always nerve wracking when someone reads what you've spent years creating. I'm sure you know, Elizabeth! For people to say they like it is more rewarding that anyone can know. It's still on sale for 2 more days till the end of July for 99 cents. I'd love for you to share it with someone. Thanks for stopping by, Gina.

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  8. An interesting and difficult subject. Congratulations to Jessie on her release. I'll look out for the book.

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    1. Glad you could stop by, Annalisa. We authors always appreciate our fans. Without you guys, we'd be writing for the walls. Okay, and maybe our kids too. :)

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  9. This sounds like a really intriguing approach to the abortion topic. I've never heard of it being written in fiction from a Christian perspective. It sounds like you've really given it a lot of thought. Good luck with the reviews!

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    1. Welcome back Jess! And congratulations on the newlyweddedness. It's Monday and I'm making up words!

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    2. I think the most difficult thing about writing this book was to keep the Christian perspective without being overtly Christian. Especially considering I'm aiming at the young adult age group in the secular realm.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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