Christmas Off the Beaten Path: JPC Allen

Christmas Off the Beaten Path: JPC Allen

Welcome to the second of my Christmas interviews with my fellow authors in the Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path anthology, available for purchase right here! If you missed it, here’s the first interview with Ronnell Kay Gibson.

I’d like to invite you to grab a slice of leftover pie from last week’s celebrations and pretend you’ve just joined us at a table where you can enjoy listening to a conversation between two authors you’re interested in learning more about. Ready? Then let’s dive in!

Hello, JPC, thanks for joining us today. I’d like to ask you some fun Christmas questions to get to know you better, but let’s start with an introduction. Tell us a little about yourself.

I started my writing career in second grade with an homage to Scooby Doo. I’ve been tracking down mysteries ever since. A former children’s librarian, I am a member of ACFW and have written mystery short stories for Mt. Zion Ridge Press. Online, I offer writing tips and prompts to beginning writers. I also lead writing workshops for tweens, teens, and adults, encouraging them to discover the adventure of writing. A lifelong Buckeye, I have deep roots in the Mountain State.

I, too, lived in Ohio for a time. (Shout out to Sidney!) For those who haven’t had the chance to enjoy reading your story in our anthology, could you give us a quick pitch?

“A Rose from the Ashes”—Nineteen-year-old Rae Riley knows she needs to fulfill her late mother’s dying wish. She also needs to find her father. And the man who tried to murder her pregnant mother twenty years before on Christmas Eve. And if her father and the attacker are one and the same.

Another thought-provoking piece in this collection, for sure. Now let’s get into the fun part…

1. What is your favorite Christmas carol?

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, “Joy to the World”, “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In”

2. Hot cocoa, pumpkin latte, or apple cider?

None. Chai latte.

Ooo, I forgot about chais…I think I’d have to agree with you!

3. What’s the first thing to go on your Christmas tree each year?

The lights.

4. If you could be any character in The Nutcracker, who would you be and why?

I don’t know The Nutcracker very well. I think I’d be a rat.

5. When do you start watching Christmas movies and what’s your favorite?

I wait until after Thanksgiving. I have two favorites. Fitzwilly with Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Feldon and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a TV special, with Loretta Swit.

I didn’t know they had a TV special! That was one of my favorite Christmas books to read every year.

6. What’s your favorite Christmas treat?

Petit fours. I used to get them every year for my grandmother. Now I buy them for my family.

You should connect with Ronnell—she said petit fours, too!

7. Which version of the Grinch do you prefer? The book? The classic cartoon? Jim Carrey? Or the newest version?

Definitely the book.

8. If you could be any ornament on the Christmas tree, what would you be and why?

I have ship ornaments from the carol “I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In”. I love sailing. It’s such a wonderful feeling of freedom and being immersed in God’s nature.

9. What’s your favorite Christmas story?

This is tough. It depends on my mood. If I want to laugh, I read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. If I want to smile, I read mystery short stories like “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle” with Sherlock Holmes and “The Christmas Party” with Nero Wolfe. If I want to bring a lump to my throat, I go to “The Killer Christian” by Andrew Klavan and “A Scandal in Winter” by Gillian Linscott, a story about an elderly Holmes investigating a crime involving the possible love of his life, Irene Adler.

Ooo, thinking outside the box there. I’ve never thought of reading Sherlock Holmes stories at Christmas, but of course there are stories that take place around this time of year!

10. How do you keep Christ at the center of your Christmas?

This is tough, too. All the activities give you a false sense of celebrating Christmas without really celebrating it. We participate in our church’s Advent and Christmas activities. I teach Sunday School, and this is the second year, the kids will prepare to lead the service on the Sunday before Christmas.

11. Why did you write your story for Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path? What makes your story “off the beaten path”?

I really think God gave me the story. As I wrote “A Rose from the Ashes”, I felt a great responsibility not to wreck it. I would come up with a vivid description or a fun piece of dialogue, but if it didn’t serve the story, I’d cut it out. The story was a collaboration, and I was the junior partner.

I think what makes my story “off the beaten path” is that it’s a mystery without a romantic element. So much of Christian fiction is romantic suspense. But in a sense, this is a love story. A teen is looking for her father and hoping he’ll want her.

12. If you could ask for one thing for Christmas this year, what would it be?

I feel like I should say world peace. But I’ll go with something more personal. When the Holy Spirit filled me as I wrote “A Rose from the Ashes”, I got to know my Heavenly Father in a completely different way. I discovered that He loves to be creative, and he loves to be generous with His creativity. I would like anyone who reads this to gain some knew insight into who God is.

I know I did. I absolutely loved “A Rose from the Ashes,” and would strongly recommend it to anyone.

Thank you so much, JPC! If you’d like to learn more about JPC Allen, she says:

Join the adventure on my blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Goodreads.

Thanks again for joining us at our table! We’d love to hear your responses to these questions in the comments below!

Be sure to pull up tomorrow when we speak with Sandra Merville Hart, author of “Not This Year.”

If you’re in need of a copy of this wonderful anthology, you can purchase a copy here, or if you’re in the Spokane area, join me for my reading THIS Saturday, December 7, at 2:00 at the South Hill Branch of the Spokane Public Library. Signed copies will be for sale, without shipping/handling. 🙂

Merry Christmas!

2 Replies to “Christmas Off the Beaten Path: JPC Allen”

  1. Hi, I’m glad you invited me to read this blog! I got to more a little bit more of you JPC Allen, Thank you for sharing some of yourself and what you like and what you think. God Bless you my friend.

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