Jenkins writes memoir: "Fourteen-Day Fiancé"
“When I sat back down, it hit me hard that instead of me walking down the aisle to say “I do,” I had to walk down the aisle to see his body in a casket and say my final goodbyes.”
- Natalie Jenkins in Fourteen-Day Fiancé
Natalie Jenkins was planning her future, buying her wedding dress the day her fiancé was fatally injured in a two-vehicle wreck. Now she’s a world-published author, telling her story about the couple’s relationship, the accident, and her healing, with the book scheduled to go on bookstore shelves later this month.
Jenkins’ fiancé, Jason Tackett, 26 years old, was a middle school teacher, volunteer firefighter and ordained preacher. He had popped the question to Jenkins on Christmas Eve 2017, the wreck occurred the day she bought her wedding dress, and he passed away on January 7, 2018, the day after the wreck and only 14 days after getting engaged.
A few months after the wreck Jenkins had a dream that spurred her to write the book.
“I had a dream and Jesus told me to tell my story, so I did,” Jenkins explained.
The writing process was difficult at times, but cathartic, she said.
“Writing was therapeutic,” Jenkins remembered. “I used it to express my feelings.”
She told stories of their one-year relationship, which she said was nice to revisit, as well as the aftermath of the wreck.
“The hardest part was describing about the funeral process, remembering having to go make funeral arrangements and that was terrible,” Jenkins said.
She said the book, a memoir, is a fast-read at around 100 pages, but is chalked full of emotion and descriptive details.
In July last year, after seeing a commercial on television, she sent her memoir to a publishing company called Christian Faith Publishing and within a month she had heard back from them and by August she had signed a contract with the publishing company.
“They told me this could be a New York Times bestseller and a movie,” Jenkins said. “Which I’d love to see it become a movie, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
At almost 24 years old, Jenkins told the Independent she wants to share her story with the world in hopes that it may help other people going through similar situations.
“Just keep going,” Jenkins said for people suffering from a devastating loss. “Don’t give up because it does get better. It took a while, even after the book I was still struggling. I struggled with anger until about Christmas. But it does get better.”
She also emphasized the importance of seeking professional mental health help when necessary.
“I knew I wasn’t going to get through it unless I had some sort of help,” Jenkins said. “I started seeing a therapist right after Jason died and she diagnosed me with PTSD, which is horrible, and I still have nightmares and probably always will. Reach out and get help and if any medication is given to you, take it because it definitely helps.”
Jenkins, who was a translator, had never thought about writing professionally, but now she hopes to write for the rest of her life, she told the Independent.
She already has been honored by the Author’s Alliance and Fourteen-Day Fiancé has been nominated for the best new non-fiction release award through the International Book Awards.
Jenkins is also working on a sequel to her first book, which will be a novel.
Fourteen-Day Fiancé is scheduled to go up for sale at all major book retailers at the end of this month, with a book signing tentatively slated for May at the Magoffin County Public Library. The book is in the process of being distributed to the U.K., Australia and Canada.
Jenkins, a 2013 Magoffin County High School graduate, is the daughter of Annjennett and Jeffery Jenkins. Jeffery also joined Natalie at the Independent office.
“It’s been hard on me and her mother to watch her go through it,” Jeffery said. “The book has helped some, but we’re still worried about her. It was really, really hard for the first six months. You just want to fix it, but we would take her to the therapist and that was all we can do for her. We are very proud of her.”