Visit Donna on Facebook Follow Donna on Twitter Check out Donna's blog

Deeds of Darkness;
Deeds of Light

Subscribe to Newsletter

Follow Us With RSS

Donna Fletcher Crow Website


Donna Fletcher Crow

Donna 2.jpg

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.

Fay Sampson

Fay Sampson.jpg

Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick.

Jessie Anderson: Writing a YA Novel on a Sensitive Topic

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ November 6, 2012

Donna: My guest today is the lovely Jessie Anderson whose young adult novel AT WHAT COST about an important and sensitive topic was released this summer. Welcome, Jessie.

Jessie: Thanks for having me, Donna!

Donna: To get started, tell us something about yourself, Jessie.


Jessie: I live in a small town in Western New York with my husband and three kids. I'm a former English teacher, and I now spend my time writing while the kids are at school and the baby is sleeping. I volunteer at the local library and sing in the church band. You can find information about me and my books at, and you can follow my blogs at (Personal blog) and (Book blog). You can also follow me on Twitter at and on Facebook at

Donna: Every road to publication is a unique struggle. What was yours like?


Jessie: About six years ago, I began a journey that ended in AT WHAT COST being published this last June. Here's the long and short of it:

I was teaching English and reading what the kids were reading. The entire time, I felt like I could write books like the ones I was reading. So I started praying about what I should write about. God told me abortion; I said no. Well, you can see how that turned out. : I started writing and got stuck. So I wrote another book, one that the world will never see. (Yes, it was that bad.) After I got that out of my system, I went back to AWC and finished it. Soon after, I started querying agents. Like, a LOT of agents. I wasn't too good at narrowing down the options at first. Three years later, I ran into my agent, Steve Hutson. He accepted my work and sold it in six months! Now, AWC is available for the world to read. (That's a scary thought.)

Donna: Oh, yes! I think most authors have that skeleton-in-the-closet early manuscript tucked away in a dark corner. I certainly do. Can you give us a plot summary for AT WHAT COST?

Jessie: During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she's reading, What to Expect When You're Expecting. Maggie's 'Mother Dearest' lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can't turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She's pretty sure he'll stay by her side.


While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won't throw her out and cut her off like they'd always threatened if she got herself knocked up. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it'll be a tough road to travel.

Donna: That sounds really gripping- and such an important topic. What's next for you?

Jessie: As any author should, I didn't wait around until AT WHAT COST was published before starting a new work. Nope. Actually I have 2 novels that are finished. One that Mr. Agent Man has (Unviables) and one that needs another run through (Wait). Wait is another contemporary YA, and Unviables is a dystopian. Currently, I'm working on a sequel to Unviables. Keep writing. That's the key.

Donna: Best wishes with all of it, Jessie. It sounds like you've really got your feet under you and you're on your way in this crazy world of writing! Congratulations!

Jessie: Thanks so much for having me today, Donna. Below are links for your fans to check out my book.

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.

Share This Post:

Reader Comments:

Thanks for hosting me, Donna. It was lovely to be here and to be able to share about AWC.
-jvdlandersen, November 6, 2012

What an important topic to delve into. Thank you for listening to God's still small voice, Jessie.
-LeAnne, November 6, 2012

You're most welcome, Jessie. I love having you here. I hope lots of people wilkl read the interview and then get a copy of AT WHAT COST. It's such an important topic for today.
-Donna, November 6, 2012

Yes, I agree. It is an important topic and a scary one to be so public about in this day and age. People are very opinionated about this topic. The book, however, has been well received so far. LeAnne, I don't think it's the listening that was hardest; it was the following through on what I heard. Isn't that always the case? :)
-jvdlandersen, November 6, 2012

Agreed, Jessie. My devotions this morning were on obedience.
-LeAnne Hardy, November 6, 2012

Three cheers, Jessie! I'm so pleased to see you tackling relevant topics in your novels. May you touch many hearts as you continue to write for His glory!!!
-Kathi Macias, November 6, 2012

Thank you for stopping by, Kathi. I knew you would love this. Jessie--you must read Kathi's novels--this lady majors in tough subjects handled sensitively!
-Donna, November 6, 2012

Kathi, I'll have to check out your books! Thanks for the cheers. I'd appreciate your prayers as I continue writing issue type books. :)
-jvdlandersen, November 7, 2012

Jessie and Kathi, What fun to have connected two readers. Since I'm a bit of a pusher i love to have friends reading friends books!
-Donna, November 7, 2012

What a great topic. I'm glad you followed the call.
-Sheila Deeth, November 7, 2012

Thanks for stopping by, Sheila.
-jvdlandersen, November 7, 2012

Please share your comments
on this article:
Email address:
(will not be shown)

View Newest Posts | View Older Posts | RSS - Click here to follow