When Love Ends and The Ice Cream Carton is Empty – author interview – Jackie M. Johnson

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Jackie M. Johnson is an accomplished author and freelance writer who has a passion for helping people who’ve experienced brokenness. Her first book, Power Prayers for Women has sold almost 200,000 copies. 

A Milwaukee native and graduate of Trinity International University, Jackie lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 You can visit Jackie online at http://whenloveends.com/ and at her blog http://anewdaycafe.blogspot.com/.

About the Book:

While most books for singles tell readers how to get the next guy, When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty encourages a healthy healing process. Practical and biblically based, each chapter guides the reader through a metaphorical day of restoration. Twilight recognizes and deals with endings, night validates and grieves the loss, dawn awakens hope, and day is the new beginning based on the solid assurance of Christ.

Hi, Jackie M. Johnson.


Welcome to Paperback Writer.


Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?  Sure, the idea for When Love Ends came as a result of my own breakup experiences.

I’ve been through a few relationship endings, but the last one hit me the hardest. So I went to my local bookstore and I couldn’t find a suitable resource to help me process the pain. There are a lot of books for getting over a divorce, but not many for singles to get over a dating relationship. The few books I did see gave me a more shallow view of heart healing, and I wanted something deeper.

I learned that how people handle their losses (or don’t) will greatly determine their ability to move forward and find the lasting love they long for.  Unresolved grief and emotions can hinder the process, and we can get stuck in our story. So When Love Ends covers some of the topics I wanted to read about when I was hurting. It’s the book I wanted to read after my last breakup but could not find.

Some of the topics in the book include: finding the comfort and support you need, dealing with rejection, grieving losses, learning why it’s so hard to let go and how to get unstuck, rebuilding your shattered self esteem and finding confidence and joy again.

Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time? After a painful breakup a few years ago (okay, six years ago) I was a mess. There are many books that tell you how to get together in a relationship, and not many books for singles that help you through the shattering when it falls apart. So, yeah, I thought about it for a few years and then decided to act and pursue publication.

How did you come up with the title? The book is about how an ending of a relationship is also a new beginning, so it caused me to ponder, “When love ends, then what?” When love ends, healing can begin. When love ends…you have choices about what you will do in your healing process. Will you be intentional about it? Or, will you ignore your hurt and pain? I wanted to provide a helpful resource for single and single again readers to get through a relationship breakup, and When Love Ends came from that desire.

How did you find an agent and publisher? When I attended my first writer’s conference years ago, I learned about the importance of having an agent. Most publishers today don’t take unsolicited manuscripts, so it’s crucial to have an agent to represent your work. I was in the right place at the right time when I found my literary agent. He was new, and had the time to review my work. He submitted the manuscript for my current book to about a half dozen publishers, and we chose the one that showed interest and was a good match for my goals and the manuscript.

Who reads your work in progress? I have a few close friends who read my first drafts and give me insightful feedback.

Who made a difference in the book’s quality? God. My editor.

How long did it take you to complete the first draft? Well, the concept had been marinating in my head for about five years. Over that time I’d jot down ideas and put the notes in a file—bits of ideas that I’d write on scrap paper in a restaurant or in the middle of the night, or pretty much anywhere when an idea came to me. So by the time I sat down to write, it took about seven months to complete the manuscript.  

 How long did it take from start to publication? From the time I signed the contract until the book was released: fourteen months.

Do you have any advice for new authors? Yes. Hone your craft. Go to writer’s conferences. In addition to taking classes, you also have the opportunity to meet with editors and agents to pitch your ideas. Know your market and make use of the myriad resources available like Writer’s Market Guide, The Christian Writer’s Market Guide, or Guide to Literary Agents to name a few. Hold on to your passion. Have courage—and lots of tenacity. 

Thank you, Jackie M. Johnson for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of your tour. Thank you! It was good to be here.


Twilight is a time of transition. As late afternoon fades into evening, the vivid colors of day disappear, and the sun, low in the horizon, dips slowly into earth’s edge. In the dimness before nightfall it becomes increasingly hard to see. Soon it will be dark. Likewise, a relationship ending is your own “heart

sunset.” Good-bye day; good-bye love.


As early evening settles in, dusk becomes an ambiguous zone. With less light, things can seem uncertain or unclear, like why your relationship ended. Sometimes you are left without the answers or closure you want, and you wrack your brain trying to figure out what went wrong.  He was indifferent, he just couldn’t commit, or he was immature. Maybe you were the one who

couldn’t do it anymore, and you were just plain done. Perhaps you finally realized that you didn’t really have that much in common after all, or the timing was bad, or he found someone else. Maybe you know exactly why you split up, and it makes you livid, depressed, or resentful. There are as many reasons as there are relationships. There’s always the “I don’t know what I want right now” explanation or the fear factor. Maybe you never had any good role models in your life of what a healthy love relationship or marriage looks like and it scares you to death. You’re afraid to trust because you don’t want to end up in an unhealthy, dysfunctional, or boring relationship—or one

that falls apart again.

I was surprised when a man I’d been getting to know online for a few months sent me an e-mail to break things off by saying, “I was looking at my calendar for the next year and I’m going to be really busy.”Well then what were the past four let’s-get-to-know-each-other-better months about? Was he really busy or was he afraid of a commitment? I guess I’ll never know. Sadly, you may never know the real reason why the person you once shared everything with will now tell you nothing.

Whether the final send-off came gradually or you were blindsided, endings are never easy. Katy and Will enjoyed a year of Saturday night indie films and Starbucks runs before Will shocked her one summer afternoon when he said he couldn’t see himself marrying her. But he still wanted to “hang out,” and Katy,

not wanting to lose him entirely, continued to see Will for six more months—and in the process lost herself and her self respect. Finally, she could no longer endure the emotional turmoil of longing and lack, hoping that one day he would come around. As she began to learn more about her true worth and value, she courageously broke it off entirely.

Unlike Katy’s drawn-out breakup, Chaundra’s ending was sudden. Darren exited as quickly as he entered her life. He was a “comet” dater—burn fast, burn

bright, and burn out. From the day they met at her best friend’s house, Darren called her every day (sometimes two or three times a day). After a few weeks of spending all of their free time together, he just stopped calling. No explanation. The next Saturday Chaundra saw Darren with another woman at a café and she was heartbroken.


Then there’s your story. When you end a significant relationship, you may feel a hundred different emotions, from some snarly name-calling or a disillusioned, “I really thought this would go somewhere,” to a despondent, “How am I going to get over him? ”You’re sad, angry, confused, hurt, depressed, and some days you just want to sob with your two new best friends, Ben and Jerry (and their ridiculously good frozen treats).

Everyone responds to loss and pain differently. For some of us it takes longer to absorb the changes, adjust, and begin again. Whether you were together for a long time or a short time, you may have had a close, deep connection. Your personality, temperament, and background all make a difference in how you deal with emotional pain (or don’t) and how long it takes to heal.

If you’re the one breaking it off, you may be hurting someone you care about (or once cared about) and that can bring a host of emotions from guilt and shame to remorse and blame. No matter what the guy says—like the classic, “it’s not you, it’s me”—or how he says it (in person or by phone, fax, letter, e-mail, text, or other electronic media), your relationship has ended .Game over. You’re not together anymore. Now what?

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4 thoughts on “When Love Ends and The Ice Cream Carton is Empty – author interview – Jackie M. Johnson”

  1. We’ve all had bad relationships but I love the fact that when she couldn’t find a book in the bookstore to help her, she decided to write one!

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