Shoshone woman publishes first novel
By John E. Swayze - Times New Correspondent
Friday - May 14, 2010
SHOSHONE - Jennifer DeNaughel compares the creative process to a
parent watching a child grow from infancy into adulthood.
The Shoshone writer has spent 20 years nurturing the seed of an
idea for her first novel, "Face the Rain," from manuscript to an
April publication with Misty Peak Publishing in Filer.
"I started working on the basis for this book during my
sophomore year at Minico High School," DeNaughel said. "I've been
writing a long time but didn't feel I had the life experience to
finish it the way I wanted to until now."
The author's own Burley childhood was filled with happy memories
of family and friends. In contrast, her novel opens by introducing
Jenna Kendrick, whose maternal instincts shield her two children
from the trauma of domestic violence and lead to court testimony
that sends her ex-husband to prison. Returning to the home of her
youth on the Oregon coast, Jenna uncovers a twisting storyline
filled with family secrets, murder and the search for
"There's a lot in there that's not necessarily from first-hand
experience, but comes from family and friends who have dealt with
physical and emotional problems or situations like the rape I put
in the book," DeNaughel said. "I love the ocean and have always
been drawn to the coast, so Oregon was a natural setting."
In much the same way the story's main character took action to
protect her children, DeNaughel wanted to protect the integrity of
her novel. "I honestly didn't think I'd ever get it published, but
everything fell into place," she said. "I had this fear of going
with a major publisher and having it pulled out of my hands. This
way, by going with an independent publisher, you keep control and
they can't turn it into something you don't recognize."
Last July, she met Misty Peak publisher Cliff Johnson. Misty
Peak was established seven years ago as a way for Johnson to get
his own work to the public and help other aspiring authors.
"At first, I didn't want to publish Jennifer's book, but Sandra
Heptinstall, who has Whispering Wind Book Review, told me I was
crazy if I didn't and she knew some that would," Johnson said.
"It's a great story that could have easily gone with a mainstream
publisher, but I'm glad I could help Jennifer realize her