This week I’m hosting Kathi Macias with The Doctor’s Christmas Quilt (print book US only/ebook in other countries) and Grace Fox with Morning Moments with God (US and Canada only). If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at email@example.com. The drawings end Sunday (Dec. 8th) evening.
1. What made you start writing?
When I was a senior in Bible college, someone asked me what I’d like to do with my life. I thought about my answer and then journaled a list: “Be a missionary. Get married and have a family. Travel the world. Be a writer.” Be a writer? I wasn’t sure where that thought originated or what it meant, but it sounded romantic and exciting, so I tucked it into a mental back pocket. There it stayed for more than 30 years while life happened.
I married, became a missionary to Nepal, and a mother of three. Life consumed me, especially when my second child was born with special needs. During this time my desire to write began to grow. And as it did, I began to pray, “God, is this desire from You? If so, show me when it’s time to start and what You want me to write about.”
He answered my prayer. At first I tried designing greeting cards. Not knowing what to do with them, I googled the words “Christian greeting card publishers.” The result led me to a site for the Florida Christian Writers Conference. That was the first I’d heard of such a conference, and I sensed a divine nudge to go. The thought scared me, but the nudge persisted until I registered and bought an airline ticket to cross the continent.
My greeting cards received polite rejections, but I refused to let that discourage me. I attended the workshops about writing magazine articles, soaked up the teachers’ words, and began to write for publication. Articles came first (mostly profiles), and books followed.
2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I started writing in 1999, a few months after attending my first writers conference. I sold my first book in 2003, and it hit the shelves in 2005.
3. How do you handle rejections?
Every rejection brings disappointment and it’s tempting to take it personally, but I choose to trust in God’s sovereignty and try again. Sometimes that means completely rethinking my proposal. Other times, it means rethinking where I submit it.
4. Why do you write?
I believe my writing ability is a God-given gift and He expects me to use it. I refuse to be like the servant who buried his talents in the ground. I can recall several instances when I felt like quitting, but in each case, I received an email from a reader encouraging me to “please keep writing.”
The most memorable occasion came when I felt particularly discouraged and prayed, “God, if You want me to change direction and invest my time, energy, and abilities somewhere else, then please confirm that for me today.”
My phone rang five hours later. A woman—a stranger to me—said, “I’ve never phoned an author before. Please don’t think I’m a whacko or a groupie. I read your book Moving From Fear to Freedom and it changed my life. Today I felt compelled to call you and urge you to please keep writing. We need to hear truth.”
I’ve not doubted my calling since. The way I figure, God has made it abundantly clear that I’m to write, and He’ll make it clear when it’s time to stop.
5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I’d likely get more involved with women’s ministries in my church. Presently, my writing and speaking schedule makes it impossible to commit to teaching or even attending regular classes.
I would also invest more hours alongside my husband in our overseas ministry—International Messengers Canada (www.im-canada.ca). Presently we have an administrative assistant helping him several hours a week. If I wasn’t writing, then I could do that job and I could also spend more time ministering in the area of staff care for our 180 career missionaries working in Eastern Europe.
6. What are you working on right now?
I’m writing 40 devotions for Guideposts Books – Mornings with Jesus 2015 – and marketing my new devotional that’ll be released on January 1. The title of that one is Morning Moments with God: Devotions for the Busy Woman.
7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
As a devotional writer, I often write from personal experience or from insights gleaned from my own quiet times with God. My book Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation also contains numerous personal anecdotes. I feel it’s important for my readers to know that I “get” many of the same issues they’re dealing with and for them to see how I’ve dealt with them.
8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Morning Moments with God: Devotions for the Busy Woman (Harvest House Publishers) will be released on January 1. It contains about 160 short devotions written to encourage my readers’ faith journey. Each begins with a sentence prayer and ends with an action step designed to help readers apply the truth they’ve learned.
It’s a lovely pocket-sized book with a padded cover—perfect for gift giving. Great for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Christmas, or for thank-you gifts. It’s ideal for women from all walks of life who want to grow in their understanding of who God is and how He wants us to live.
9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. Writing requires a lot of discipline, sacrifice, and commitment. If God’s called you to write, then learn the craft well, write with excellence, and stick with it until He says otherwise.
10. How important is faith in your books?
Very. My books clearly show readers how to connect the dots between faith and real life.
11. What themes do you like to write about?
One of my favorite themes is about the importance of knowing who God is and claiming His promises. This is vital for victorious Christian living.
12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
My favorite book (to date) is Moving From Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation. That’s because it shows women how to break free from the chains of fear and move into whatever God’s purpose is for them. It’s changed thousands of women’s lives, for which I’m both grateful and excited.
This book was translated into Polish and was later developed into a DVD-based Bible study that’s impacting countless women across North America.
13. What is your writing schedule like?
I spend about 4-5 hours writing each day. That involves answering business emails, writing blog posts, and developing new materials to present at women’s retreats and conferences. When I write articles or books, I write for 8-10 hours each day.