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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Welcome Jennifer Slattery

Today I have the pleasure of sitting down to talk with author, Jennifer Slattery. She shares a little bit about her writing life.

      Welcome Jennifer! Did you always want to be a writer?


Nope. Actually, I think I’ve wanted to do almost anything but. Although I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I was the girl who absolutely loved those long research papers. Those were like guaranteed As to me, a way to pull up my grade. But I never really considered it as anything but a hobby or assignment until I sensed God’s call to pursue writing wholeheartedly in 2009. I did have some hints along the way, however, that this was the direction He was leading me.

      Chuckle. I can relate to liking to write research papers and it was also in 2009 that God called me back to writing fiction again. :) How do you get your story ideas?


Usually, my story begins with a character that becomes quite real and vivid in my mind. It all happens relatively quickly. First I may see a face, then maybe a flash of the character with her family. Then I’ll get a glimpse of her inner struggle, and from there, everything else unravels. 

LOL. I like the way you said everything unravels. So you like to put your characters through a lot of struggles. If you have a day all to yourself how would you choose to spend it?
 
With my husband for sure. We’d visit a coffee shop in the morning, maybe one inside a bookstore. He’d have his Kindle, I’d have a paperback. We’d maybe talk a bit, read a bit, then go for a walk or bike ride. Then to lunch. Then maybe we’d take a nap together, him lying on his back, me beside him with my head on his chest. At some point, we’d go out to dinner, and it’d be in walking distance. We’d have no set agenda; lots of walking, lots of coffee. 

Sounds very relaxing. :) Tell us about your new novel.
 
I’d love to. It’s about a woman who has a very stressful job in the medical field, one she’s come to see as her ministry, a ministry that gives her great fulfillment and peace. But at home, things are falling apart, and one night, her husband shatters her heart with three cold words, “I love someone else.” The rest of the story, Tammy, a woman forced into single parenting, finds herself fighting for her job and her sanity. And in walks her first love Nick Zimmerman, right into her mess, stirring feelings of love within her once again. But to embrace this second chance of love, she’ll have to release the bitterness she’s held on to since her ex-husband’s betrayal.

It sounds like a novel rife with conflict. What advice can you give to writers trying to break into the publishing world?
 
I’d say keep it at, take your thoughts captive and refuse to entertain negative thinking, and get plugged in to a great critique group. Oh, and be teachable. Everyone has a great deal to learn, even the most successful and prolific writers. The better you receive instruction, the faster your writing will grow. 

Great thoughts. :) Now for a fun question. What foods do you eat when writing to keep you going?


I really need to do better with this, but I can be a convenience eater. I don’t like taking time to eat or cook, at least, not for myself. This is exacerbated by the fact that I’m paleo, which means almost everything I eat must be cooked. From scratch. So, if I don’t have something cooked and I’m in a rush or immersed in storyworld, I might forgo lunch or grab a handful of almonds.

My favorite fun food is peanut butter. I’m not sure if peanut butter is allowed on the paleo diet, and I’ve intentionally not checked… 

Ignorance is bliss. LOL. Let's end with a final question. How did you develop a love of story?

I've always had a propensity to slip into a world of my own, or someone else's, making. When I was young, my dad used to read a story titled Mr. Bun to my sister and I. The story is similar to the Gingerbread Man in that it involves a baked good running away from those who would like to meet him. And every time he does so, he sings a song that goes like this: 

I was scraped from the flour-box
And swept from the bin
And baked in the oven
And cooled on the sill.
I ran away from Grandpa,
I ran away from Grandma,
And I'll run away from you, this minute I will!


And every time, my dad would sing these words as well. I can still hear his deep voice in my mind, and that memory was so special, I often look back on it as when my love for story was born.

Over the years, I developed a love for journaling and poetry. Writing allowed me to process my emotions and make sense of my thoughts. In my sixth grade year, my language arts teacher had us participate in a story contest, and mine was chosen. (Funny, I don't remember what it was chosen for or what happened next, but I remember my teacher praising me and my storytelling profusely. Though honestly, I didn't think much of it, because I had no intention of being a writer. So, it was nice, in the way it's nice when someone tells you you make a great cake or maybe did well on a test, but I didn't really think too much of it, until decades later when I began to sense God's call to write and was able to see how God had been molding me and guiding me in this direction all along.


What a great story! If you want to learn more about Jennifer, be sure to check this out:

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte 

Thank you for stopping by today for a visit. Don't forget all comments this month will be entered in
the October drawing for:

This Saturday you won't want to miss guest blogger, Vickie McDonough and our interview next Wednesday will be with author Gail Kittleson.






Monday, October 26, 2015

Let Your Light Shine

For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
    Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
    May your glory shine over all the earth.
Psalm 108:4-5 (NLT)
 
I've developed a new habit of walking each morning after I finish my Bible reading. If I'm up early enough, I get to witness the sun beginning to come over the horizon. I love the first light of the morning. The sky has an indescribable beauty of its own.
 
As I walk, I'm in awe of the Creator and the beauty He paints each day. I love when the air is brisk and the sun is shining its bright beams on me. It provides warmth and a special glow.
 
I can't help but think we should be the same way to those we come in contact with - showing God's light to those around us. They should feel the warmth and glory of His 'shining' through us. Not because of us but because of Him.
 
Let your light shine today!

Friday, October 23, 2015

A New Step

I took a step of faith this past Saturday. I spoke at a women's event at my church. Now for most people it wouldn't be a big deal. I happen to be one of those writers who enjoys being at home, sitting at my computer and writing.... not speaking in public.

You could say I was shoved into stepping in a new direction. The woman who asked didn't exactly give me the opportunity to say 'no'. It was a combination book swap and me talking about what it's like to be an author.

The women enjoyed asking questions about the writing process and how I plan out a novel. I shared a couple pages of the new book I'm working on which is set in my home town.

While I was a little bit nervous, the Lord supplied the words and strength to speak. I know this is the first step of many to get me where God wants me to be for publication.

It touched my heart on Sunday morning to hear some of the women still buzzing with excitement from the day before. I love the way God provides encouragement when we choose to step out in faith and trust Him with the rest.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Welcome Molly Noble Bull

Today we have the pleasure of learning more about the writing life of Molly Noble Bull. Let's begin with having you tell us how you develop your love of story.


In developing a love story, I first write a character, either male or female, with a problem. No problem, no story—whether in a romance novel or some other genre.

In my newest Christian novel, When the Cowboy Rides Away, the hero, Alex Lancaster, has just arrived in the ranch country of South Texas after spending three years in a Mexican prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He is searching for his lady-love. He was not allowed to write her while in prison, and he is hoping she will forgive him for his long and unplanned absence.
 
Ooh, that sounds like a fun story. Did you always want to be a writer? 
 
As humans, we all like to do things we are good at, and we like to have others tell us we are good at something. If I could tell parents and teachers one thing, it would be to find something a child likes to do and is good at doing and not only to encourage the child to engage in those activities but tell the child that he or she is good at it—maybe even talented.

I decided to be a writer in the fourth grade when two of my teachers told me that they liked the stories I made up, that I was creative and had talent. If they hadn’t said those three little words, you have talent, I might not be an author today.

I know what you mean about teachers telling a child they have a talent. I too had teachers who spoke into my life and encouraged me in my gift of writing.Tell us about your new novel. 


Actually, I have two new novels. One is available now; the other will be published soon. 


When the Cowboy Rides Away is a historical western romance and available now, and the novel has two non-fiction companions, two study guides for home school families written by Jeanette Pierce and based on When the Cowboy Rides Away—one for teachers and one for students.



The second novel is a remake of Sanctuary, an adventure-story novel, set in France, England and Scotland in 1740 and published in 2007. Sanctuary won RWA’s 2008 Gayle Wilson Award in the inspirational category for published authors and also tied for first place in a second national contest for published authors that year.

Sanctuary will soon come out again under a new title, The Secret Place, in paperback and as an e-book. The Secret Place isn’t published yet but will be soon.

Wow! How exciting to have two books coming out. Can you tell us how you became a Christian?

From early childhood on, I wanted to be close to the Lord. I just needed to learn how to seek and find Him. Since I didn’t seem to be able to find Him in the liberal denominational church I grew up in, I went looking for God in all the wrong places, and ended up reading books on the occult and doing some of the things suggested in the books.

At that time, the Lord Jesus made himself known to me in a personal way, and I have been following the Lord ever since then. 

Thank you for sharing your story. Along those lines... What spiritual truths do you desire to convey to your readers? 

My books have the Lord in them all the way to The End, especially my newer books.
Gatehaven, my scary Christian Gothic historical novel, won the 2013 Creation House Fiction Writing Contest as a manuscript and was published in paperback and as an e-book in 2014, and it is a good example of showing spiritual truths in a fast-paced novel. The hero, a pastor in training, learns about spiritual warfare from an elderly pastor, and the reader learns these truths along with him.

One truth that I especially want my readers to become aware of is the fact that Satan is alive and well on planet Earth at this time, and he is looking for those he can devour. I know this is true because he tried to devour me. If Jesus hadn’t showed up when he did, I might not be answering these questions today.
Seek first the kingdom of God, and don’t stop searching until you find Him. It is the most important thing a person can ever do in life. 

Amen. What foods do you eat when writing to keep you going?

Anything I can get my hands on.

LOL. :) I know what you mean. If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go?

I would go to Israel. In fact, I will live in that nation after Jesus comes again for one thousand years. 

I'd also love to travel to the Holy Land one day. Thank you so much for allowing us to see into your writing world.

Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win the giveaway for this month.

Next week be sure to tune in to learn more about Jennifer Slattery.