What a treat for me to introduce award winning author and my friend, Julie Cosgrove, to the Diamond Mine audience this evening. Julie, will you share with us the whys and wherefores of how your writing journey began?
I began creatively writing in high school. After that, college, marriage and life took over. But I kept several stories running in my head, editing, deleting, adding. Then, my husband’s career turned us into gypsies. We moved seven times in ten years seeking work. It became harder and harder for me to land a job. In 2008, three friends in three different cities suggested I write for a living. Buy a computer and make money anywhere. I took a quickie course in freelance writing and immediately landed jobs. In thanksgiving to God, I promised to tithe my writing day to Him first.
Now, He is the only one I write for. Not only am I a multi-published novelist, but an internet missionary for Campus Crusades for Christ Canada - Power to Change. I am on staff for The Life Project, a digital doorway which helps people find Jesus, one click at a time. Right now, we average 600,000 inquiries a month. It is exciting to enter this new mission field in cyberspace where most people interact today.
It is exciting to see how God directed your life. He opens the right doors in His time! He is amazing! But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of your delightful Bunco Biddies Series. Please share with us how you came up with your delightful characters.
Cozy mysteries are almost always about amateur sleuths set in small towns who use common sense to help solve crimes. So, I approached an agent and asked her if a retirement community would fit the mold. I had a book fest booth at one and became impressed by the lively, full lives the residents led. Inching on toward that stage in life, I began researching these communities that are popping up all over Texas, and elsewhere. Anyway, she thought about it and said yes.
Unfortunately, she didn’t contract with me, but another publishing house did.
And we’re all grateful for that “other” publishing house! But what about your characters, are they real life people?
Not really. I wanted each to be unique and full of personality. My mother lived to her late eighties and had a group of friends she’d known since they all huddled together for comfort while their husbands fought in WWII. All of us kids grew up together. I watched their bonding over the years, something I never knew living a more mobile life. Perhaps they are my templates.
Yeah, Janie’s a template all right…of Wonder Woman! Do you know how many books are going to be in this series?
Two are published – Dumpster Dicing and Baby Bunco. The third, Threes, Sixes & Thieves releases in June and the fourth, ‘Til Dice Do Us Part is scheduled sometime in early 2018. There may be a fifth - A Dicey Deal. We’ll see.
Oh goodie! I’ll hope for five! But how about the horizon? Any new books lurking there? That you can tell us about?
I have a three book contract for a spin off mystery series called the Manson Mysteries, which is set in 1969-1972 when the lead character of my other cozy series, Janie, was newly married and first met her later to be Bunco Biddies. So, her sleuthing began way back when in Austin, TX as her hubby moved from beat patrol to detective. I have been interviewing two retired APD detectives who were on force in that era, and they have filled my notepad with stories! Over the next eighteen months, I am sure we will have many more fascinating conversations. The Blame Game releases January 2018, The Shame Game in August 2018 and The Name Game in March 2019. The books will be in eBook, print, and large print formatting. On the back burner may emerge The Same Game and The Flame Game, but God is in control of that, not me.
Yes, everything is in His control. What comfort that is! But I’m sure we all want to know a little more about your new entry into the mission field.
I have voluntarily written devotional and inspirational articles for seven publications and websites, including The Life Project, since 2009. Last fall the church where I worked laid me off. At that time, my editor with The Life Project approached me about coming on staff, which meant raising donations to offset my salary. After three months of prayerful discernment, I passed muster. I have supported missionaries most of my adult life. Never in my wildest dreams did I think God would call me to be one…from my keyboard. I write and edit and free articles daily devotionals, which encourage people to deepen their faith, and if need be, contact a confidential mentor. We have two writing paths―for those who have already given their lives to Christ (the Life.com) and for those who are curious about Christianity (IssuesIFace.com).
Here is a short video that helps explain: https://vimeo.com/147793848
Technology has certainly opened the door to things beyond our imagination…but just think, God knew about all this from the beginning! And He is awesome! How can we help you?
Prayer? Absolutely. All missionaries need prayer. I am already feeling the attacks. But the Cru staff is amazing. Each Tuesday I join them in Vancouver over the internet for weekly prayer time and a staff meeting. I am honored and humbled that they want me to be a part of this amazing ministry
Specific Requests. Like any missionary, I am dependent on the financial support of others. That is a true leap of faith since I am a widow. If any of the readers feel God tugging at their hearts, they can give into my designated account: https://thelifeproject.com/give/?designation=111070
Now it’s celebration time! A little birdie told me some exciting news! Any truth to those whispers?
For the second year in a row, I received the “One of 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” award by the nationally syndicated radio talk show, The Author Show. I also received First Place for Dumpster Dicing in the Cozy Mysteries category by the Texas Association of Authors.
God is so good to provide encouragement along the way. Awards are wonderful, but knowing our God hears and answers prayers…that’s the best! Can you share with us the latest answered prayer The Father has given to you?
To become a missionary utilizing the writing skills He has given me to touch hearts and help people discover the loving and unique ways He moves in their daily lives. It’s a deep desire of my heart, which has germinated over the years. The seed was planted nine years ago, watered through my blog Where Did You Find God Today over the past four years that now reaches into ten countries. It continues to grow through The Life Project reaching hundreds of thousands all over the world.
To learn more about how an internet missionary works, or to preview any of the ten novels of mine which are published, including Threes, Sixes& Thieves to launch in a few months, log onto www.juliebcosgrove.com
Julie has numerous books out there. Her series beginning with "Hush In The Storm" is exciting! Thanks for sharing with us tonight, Julie. And I understand Julie will be giving away a copy of your choice, of one of the Bunco Biddies Series. Leave a comment and we'll enter your name and contact you when the winner is chosen. Bye for now! DiAne Gates