Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Members Join in the Merry-Making!

Merry Christmas! May this season be more than your favorite gift. 'Tis the season of our Savior's birth! I hope that thrills your heart like no other news.

We have Christmas excitement here at the mine as well! Heading into the 2017 year, you might have noticed some changes. Several of our previous writers have went on to other pursuits, and we will sure miss them. But we are welcoming in five new contributors. Let me introduce them to you.

What a great gallery of Christian Writers! I know you, the readers, will enjoy getting to know these ladies over the next year. But enough of all the preliminaries. Let's unwrap some questions!

Welcome ladies! We are so blessed to have all of you. The readers are like children at the foot of the sugar plum tree, drooling over the goodies of Christmas. They can't wait to get to know you. Let's start the celebration!

All right, ladies. Tell us, what started all of you writing? 

Julie: Pure economics. When my husband was alive, we moved a lot for his job, and each time I found it harder to land a job. So at the suggestion of three friends, I began freelance writing eight years ago. As a thanks for the income, I promised God I’d tithe my writing time to Him first each day. Eleven fictional works later, I also write and edit for seven publications and websites regularly.

DiAne: From grade school forward I knew God gifted me to draw and paint. But in our household such things were frivolous, a girl needed to get a job at the phone company ‘til she married and had babies. But together with all that creative bent came a streak of rebellion. I’d show ‘em and I did. I entered art shows much to my mother’s horror—she referred to those years as my gypsy lifestyle.
At fifteen I won a local writing contest with the theme “The Basis of a Great Nation Is a Christian Home.” I still have the original and shudder at my grammar, but it wasn’t until I pursued every other brand of creativity known, moved to Texas, grabbed my camera and did some eyeball to eyeball photography with barrel racers and bulls in the rodeo arena that my ROPED series was birthed—and I won’t tell you how many years that took, but I have five other children’s books in the closet I’ve written and illustrated. My someday books.

Angela: I've been writing since I learned to read. I've always loved to do it and would spend time in my room crafting stories, which would concern and frustrate my parents.

V. Joy: In high school I realized that I actually liked writing assignments. . .and that, as they say, is history. By the way, who says that?

Abigail: I’ve always been an avid reader and wrote several books as a child, but about four years ago I read a book that had a predictable, boring ending, and I thought, I could write something better than that. So I started brainstorming and came up with a few ideas. I wrote the first chapter and just kept going until I finished my first book. In my heart, I believe God planted the idea and the desire to continue.

And what's your overall purpose of your novels? 

Julie: To help people find God in their daily lives. Too often people don’t “see” that. By reading how He moves in a fictional life, it might help them relate and start noticing Him in theirs.

DiAne: My purpose for writing is teaching. Years ago, I learned you can’t teach what you don’t know. And we have at least two younger generations who do not know the Word of God. Their parents didn’t teach them either because they didn’t know or became preoccupied with urgent things and forgot what was important.
Our young people face so many life altering circumstances each day. And we’re not talking about them until we find ourselves forced to react rather than act. The Roped series deals with difficult family issues good “church folks” refuse to believe can affect their children—‘til they’re forced to. Two Texas families and their generational feuds brings to light the differences faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ makes in the home, the school and their town. Of course, with a background in the arena with shoot-‘em-up cowboy flavor!

Angela: My overall purpose for my novels is to connect with readers who may not have any or very little acquaintance with the Gospels and try to open that door for them.

V. Joy: It's to write fun stories that don't just entertain, but that God would use to transform lives. Even if it's just my life.

Abigail: I write my books mainly to entertain. Regencies, but with a Christian message. Through them, even in a small way, I hope the reader can come away with a glimpse into the heart of God as well as an escape into the past.

Tell what your favorite thing is about writing. 

Julie: I write mostly by the seat of my pants (panster) and I love where my mind, guided by the Holy Spirit, takes the story. It’s like opening one of those Russian dolls.  Each one leads to another surprise. Isn't that what our earthly walk is? We know the beginning and kind of how it will end ( in eternity), but the joy is in the journey.

DiAne: Allowing my imagination to run wild! To sit in front of that blank page, like I sit in front of a canvas, and watch either the strokes of my paint-filled-brush or my words fill the page with color, movement, excitement, and purpose. Sometimes I succeed, other times I don’t. But like life in Christ, there are do-overs when we miss the mark.

Angela: My favorite thing about writing is how when I get "in the zone" an entire day can go by, and I haven't noticed, which beats the clock watching I used to do at work.

V. Joy: I think it's how the characters and their stories come alive. I feel their hurts. I fight to understand them. I love them.

Abigail: . Writing is my creative outlet where I am able to go on an adventure with my characters without leaving my home. And, the community of other writers is pretty wonderful.

How about letting us know a favorite thing about your readers? 

Julie: They are loyal and encouraging, and several pray for me. That means a lot.

DiAne: Now that’s a no-brainer for me—when a reader applies the story to their lives and says, “I saw myself in your words. Thank you.”

Angela:  Since I've only published one novel so far, I've not had much reader interaction. But it has been nice when someone reads my novel and the first question is when is the next one coming out? 

V. Joy: It's how encouraging and supportive they are! Each message blesses me so much!

Abigail: Well, I’m an unpublished writer, so I’ve had few readers yet, but already on social media and other platforms I’ve been able to meet such wonderful heartfelt people I’ve been able to connect with—because we’re all readers.

Given the season, I can't resist asking you all to reveal a secret Christmas wish!

Julie: As a widow dependent on freelance writing to make ends meet, I usually can’t afford to buy gifts. That’s okay because I have learned anew the importance of the season beyond all the materialistic hype. So my wish isn’t really a secret—that more people would discover Jesus and draw close to Him. What better gift is there?

DiAne: Our family is small and scattered. My son is an Air Force Fighter Pilot Colonel. My son-in-law is a retired Army Lt. Colonel. I would love to spend one Christmas with our whole family together. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But with military life things are rarely simple. That’s the price of freedom! Always appreciate the privilege of living with family close by; and remember Christmas is often difficult for families who’ve lost loved ones.

V. Joy: For someone to get me all the books in my Amazon wish list. Seriously. . .No, I am serious. 😉

Angela: I don't really have a "secret" Christmas wish, just that my family is happy, healthy, and living their lives in a way that is Godly, yet makes them happy.

Abigail:I’d love to sell my first book this year. J 

Now aren't these ladies awesome?! They've won some prestigious awards as well! (I'll let you dig those out on your own!) Now for the drum roll. In honor of the addition of these five gorgeous ladies, and in keeping with the Christmas theme of giving during this, our Lord Savior's birthday, we are giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate! As usual, there must be 5 responders (please leave your email!) or it renders null and void, yada, yada, fine print as interesting as a three-hour monotone university lecture on the effects of caffeine on oral floral. (Which may, or may not have been the topic of my collegiate senior paper.)

Thank you all for joining us! We are very thankful for our faithful readers. May these authors touch your lives profoundly, enriching and entertaining you in the Christian spirit. And may it ever draw you closer to the One who is the very meaning of life. Jesus Christ.

Now if you win the $25 bucks, and you need a few suggestions on good books, I just happen to know of a few. . . .

Merry Christmas!


Unknown said...

Enjoyed reading each of comments about their writing journey. lacy_1942@gmail.com

Peggy Trotter said...

Thanks Ann! You're a jewel for sure!