PT: Welcome, Martha! We're so glad to get to learn more about you! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
MR: The main thing I like for people to know is that I never gave up on the dream I had for writing that began when I was a child. I wrote my first novel in college at Baylor University in 1954 then marriage, three sons, teaching, earning a Master's Degree in Education, and grandchildren ate of my time, and I had no idea how to do anything with my writing. Now, with thirteen novels published, I've learned to balance the time I spend on writing and enjoying my life as a grandparent and great-grandparent.
PT: That is so awesome! I, too, encourage people not to forget or give up on their dreams. Some dreams get put on hold because life gets in the way. Not only are you an inspiration to holding out on your dreams, in a world of disposable marriages, you stayed faithfully married for a long time! Congratulations! Any inspiring marital advice?
MR: After fifty-five years my best advice is not to sweat the small stuff. I had lots of arguments with husband in my head over little things. Only when a major disagreement occurred did I say anything and then it must be said with love and not anger even though the anger is there.
PT: You've been blessed to receive many prestigious awards. I actually witnessed you winning the Volunteer of the Year Award in September at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in St. Louis this past year. Can you tell us one of your most exciting volunteer jobs?
MR: Writing the Verse of the Week devotional on the main loop of ACFW may not be the most exciting, but it's the most rewarding as I find verses that have meant so much to me and share them with my fellow writers. The most exciting would most likely be serving as a greeter at meal times during the conference. I get to see so many more people that way.
PT: I don't know how you find time with so many things to do. But I love to keep life full of blessings, and I see you do too. What's the greatest challenge at this point in your life?
MR: My greatest challenge right now is caring for my husband as we fight the melanoma that is taking over his body. He's always been a strong man who took care of our home and me with love. Now his strength is ebbing and he can't do all the things he once did. Our faith is strong, but it's a challenge for me to stay upbeat and encourage him when he feels so lousy. We keep trusting in God and know he will give us everything we need to make this journey.
PT: I know you have a very positive spirit, but it can lag with so much stress. I encourage any reader to add both of you to their prayer list. Prayer, indeed changes lives and keeps families strong. Speaking of family, you wrote about your direct family line in Love Stays True. How did you find fodder to fill the empty gaps in your family's history?
MR: I have eleven cousins plus my brother and sister, and we meet at "Cousin Camp" once a year with as many of us as possible in attendance. When I told them what I had discovered, they begged me to write it down. I did and then wrote a story around the information. After that we brainstormed to come up with ideas to make it into a novel. I've never had so much fun writing a novel as I did with Love Stays True and getting their ideas.
PT: Yes, it take a village to actually see a novel come to print, from the idea starters, the brainstormers, the agents, the editors and everyone else in between. I believe you have Tamela Hancock Murray as your agent. How does she enhance your writing experience?
MR: She believes in me and is willing to do whateer it takes to get my writing where it needs to be. If she's not sure about a manuscript idea, she lets me know and makes suggestions for making a plot stronger. Most important to me is the fact that she is always available and never puts me off. She truly has the best interests of her clients at heart.
PT: Martha, thanks for being with us at the Diamond Mine. I'm so thankful to have met you and had a chance to know you better. Before I sign off, one last question. What are you working on now?
MR: I'm working on a Christmas novella with eleven other writers for a series of e-books to be released one at a time for twelve weeks before Christmas 2015. The series is Mail Order Angels and is about a group of mail-order brides who travel west to find true love. I also have a contract for a Christmas book that will follow the characters of Love Never Fails, and it will be released in the fall of 2016.
PT: I can't wait and I know the readers can't either! Here's Martha's book that she's giving away this week FOR FREE for some blessed reader who leaves comment.
Martha Rogers is a freelance author of both fiction and non-fiction and a speaker. Her stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first fiction novella released in 2007.
Her experiences as a public school teacher, Sunday school teacher, youth leader, First Place leader, Mom and Grandmother give Martha a unique field of ministry. You can lean more about Martha at these websites: