Hi Diamond Mine fans. Julie B Cosgrove here. Today I have the privilege of introducing you to a multi-published author named Shellie Arnold.
So tell us - Who is Shellie Arnold (inquiring readers want to know)?
Hi Julie. Thanks for having me. I’m a wife, home school mother of three, mother-in-law to Kate (whom I adore), and a lover of movies, Chili Cheese Fritos, power tools, and cuddly critters. We have one dog, two cats, and three bunnies.
Chili Cheese Fritos takes me back to hosting the snack stand as a band parent at football games.
Good for you for homeschooling. So, tell us, with all you have on your plate, why do you write Christian fiction?
Actually, writing Christian fiction wasn’t on my radar until 2006. Prior to 2002, writing non-fiction about marriage was my goal. I hoped to share everything I was learning the hard way about marriage. From August 2002 to May 2005, I faced a near-debilitating illness that halted all my writing dreams. After God healed me, my husband and I both prayed for eleven months before I began writing anything. I tell people God healed my brain, then turned my head to fiction. I said to God, “That’s not what we were doing.” His response, “That’s what we’re doing now.” So, I write novels about the perfect storms in marriage—what happens when my weaknesses hit yours head-on, and we’re both left wondering if anything can be salvaged. Then I speak and write other non-fiction works about marriage, too.
Do you write anything else?
I have a blog that I’m sort of re-starting now. Right now, I’m finishing my fourth novel, then I hope to buckle down to write some romances. I also hope to pursue publishing my first non-fiction work next year, as well as launching online courses for those who want to strengthen their marriage.
Tell us briefly about these three novels you have written and if they stand alone or are sequels you have to read in order?
My first three novels are the first three books in The Barn Church series, a series that focuses on couples who attend The Barn Church in Rowe City, Alabama. Each story highlights a specific couple within that church body.
My first novel, The Spindle Chair, is the story of Pierce and Laurie Crane. They’re a youngcouple who is desperate to have a child, but they have no idea how their marriage will be threatened when God grants that request.
Book two is Sticks and Stones, about Rick and Julie Matthews. They’ve been married almost twenty years and have a special needs child. But coping with that unexpected blessing had some negative effects on their relationship that won’t be ignored after Julie is injured in an accident.
Abide With Me is book three and looks at Nicholas and Angelina Rousseau, a couple who lacks no material thing, but their marriage is emotionally bankrupt. Each of these couples comes to a crossroad where choices must be made, and hopefully I’ve realistically portrayed the various challenges and struggles they face. While it’s not critical they are read in order, a reader might enjoy them better in order, simply because each consecutive book highlights a couple the reader meets in a previous story.
What do you hope your readers will take away from the third book we are featuring today?
First, that no marriage is beyond saving. I believe that with all my heart. It’s why my tagline is “Live Happily Even After.” I truly believe despite baggage, or past mistakes, any marriage can thrive if both parties obey God. God can heal, redeem, and restore anything. I’m living proof.
Second, that God is always there, always trying to speak to us, lead us, teach us, and grow us into becoming more like Jesus and stronger in His love. It’s only when we are growing in God’s love and in relationship with Him, that we can truly grow love in our marriage and our relationship with each other. It’s a win-win that so often gets overlooked when we stare at our problems.
What else is on your to-be-written list?
As I said, I’m completing my fourth novel. It’s my first stand alone. It’s not part of The Barn Church series, although I don’t think I’m finished writing the series. And my non-fiction projects include a book on sexuality in marriage. I think I have a different perspective than most, since I’m not a psychologist or pastor’s wife or even a counselor. I’m a kid from a broken home, as well as a sexual abuse survivor, as is my husband, so I approach the subject from a different place.
When you aren't writing, what do you like to do?
I wasn’t kidding that I love power tools. Home improvement projects are fun to me. Last weekend we hung new drywall in my kitchen ceiling. If I had my way, I’d be renovating and remodeling houses on a regular basis, but so far that hasn’t been God’s path. I enjoy reading and I really do LOVE watching movies. I enjoy watching sports—football, tennis, world cup soccer, the Olympics. Dates with my husband. Shopping with my youngest, my daughter. Writing or working at my desk with the dog or a cat on my lap.
Maybe I'll see you on HGTV? But for now, where can people find you? (Website, FaceBook, blog, etc).
I maintain a web site at www.shelliearnold.com and my blog is there, as well.
On Facebook I’m https://www.facebook.com/shellie.arnold.7
On Twitter I’m @ShellieArnold1
On Pinterest I’m https://www.pinterest.com/ShellieLArnold/
Thanks, Shellie, for reaching out to the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. Please let others know about our blog!