Meet Jenny Keller.
Jenny is the author of the upcoming book, "Give 'Em Hope Cafe," a historic novel set in the Great Smoky Mountains, near Cades Cove.
More importantly is the type of novel this will be. Jenny writes for the genre of Christian Romance. I applaud her - frankly, it is refreshing to see an offering besides the literary detritus of "50 Shades of Grey." The novel is set in the early 1900s and features a young woman who loses everything. She has to make a choice between hope and despair, and that, frankly, is something we will all face at some point in our lives, not mysterious millionaires with BDSM tendencies. The world is such that we need some more uplifting pieces like Jenny's book.
In light of her work, it was only fitting that I photographed Jenny's headshot in Cades Cove, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is hard to find a more beautiful setting, and we used sites such as Sparks Lane, the old Methodist church, and Dan Lawson's cabin and barn.
I also like the nuanced continuity of photographing Jenny in this location. Cades Cove is not simply a nature site; rather, it was a thriving mountain community prior to the government purchasing the land from its inhabitants to create the national park. Their home and churches still stand as evidence of their lives so I suspect their spirits are pleased to have a woman in the 21st century write a novel whose heroine is one of those mountain folks. There is no tragedy in death, but in being forgotten, and Jenny's book will honor the lives of Appalachian homesteaders.