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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, January 20, 2016

Welcome Connie Almony

I feel like I'm in a time warp lately and the weeks are flying by while I'm staying still. How does that happen? :) It's a new week to get to know an author better. Today we're chatting with Connie Almony.

Welcome Connie. Here's our standby question.... how did you develop a love of story? :)

I’d have to say my love of story actually came from old movies—musicals mostly. I always love the sensory immersion of musicals. I didn’t read a lot of fiction until I hit my twenties and felt like I’d discovered a whole new world. This one was richer than the one on the screen because it invited my mind to expand on the descriptions given, making the story, characters, and scenery even more to my liking. Better yet, I could take this story with me everywhere, and it lasted longer than movies.

Ooh. I love that description. :) How does your faith and spirituality work in with your writing?

 
It has everything to do with it. When I first began to write, I really only wanted to tell regular stories within a biblical framework, not meaning to make it overly spiritual. However, God is such a central figure in my life, I couldn’t write without making Him an integral figure in the book. How do you write a story where people overcome great challenges and not mention Him? To me, it’s like writing about Superman and not say he flies. If you don’t describe his superpowers, it’s like ignoring the elephant in the living room. After I thought about it a bit, I realized, every story is about God, so it’s unfulfilled if He’s left out. For that reason, God will always be a significant factor in all my books.

I know exactly what you mean. God is an integral part of my stories too. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?

Whenever I get asked this question, I feel like I need to give two. I was not brought up to study the Bible or memorize verses. I was in my late twenties when I began. The first I’d memorized was Psalm 77:3, “I remembered you, O God, and I groaned.” I’ve always loved this because it speaks of my life at that point when I’d realized how much I’d drifted away from Him, and yet He was still there, waiting for me. The groan I felt at the time served two purposes. One, it was a groan of disappointment in myself for having gotten lost. Two, it was a groan of relief in being back in His presence once again.

My other favorite verse is Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.” This is a guiding verse. Whenever you don’t know what to do, at least you always know step one—seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness—and then the rest will come to you. There is peace in that!

 
Amen. Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book?

The inspiration for my latest novel, Flee from Evil, actually came from a Mel Gibson movie almost twenty years ago—Ransom. It was about a man whose son is kidnapped and he has to find a way to get him back. I’d just begun to read Christian fiction, so every time I watched a movie I wondered how it could have been done from a Christian worldview. I also tend to love romances, so I began to weave a little romance into my wonderings. A little while later, the idea of A pastor with a past who uses his underworld connections to save the child of the woman he wronged many years ago was born. It took many twists and turns, characters added and subtracted, settings adjusted, details polished, over the decade-plus years, until it became what it is today—Nothing like the Mel Gibson movie that inspired it.

That's an interesting way to come up with a book idea. :) Do you have a favorite scene in your newest release?

The pizza analogy scene. At least that’s what I call it. It was inspired by a discussion I’d had with my daughter one night when we’d ordered a pizza. Because my son and I are gluten free, we couldn’t have any, so we got McDonald’s French fries on the way home from church. Since my daughter was going to get pizza, she didn’t get fries. She was jealous, of course, until she got home, but the smell of fries made her feel very deprived. Believe it or not, this led to a discussion on why it is important to dress modestly so as not to be waving tempting food in front of someone who isn’t going to get any. It’s just not nice. She totally got that!

In the book, the young teen is coming to grips with her burgeoning figure. Discovering that it gives her a certain power with the “hot guy,” she decides to see what that “power” can do. The pastor (with a past) sets her straight by talking about pizza.

 
LOL, that's quite a tangent. What do you plan to work on next?

I am currently working on a novella for a Christian Romantic Suspense multi-author anthology, called Smoke and Mirrors. The working title of my novella is The Long View. It’s about a man who’d been fired by the FBI, getting involved with a home-grown terrorist cell at the request of his neighbor. It’s been kind of creepy over the last month or so, seeing some of what I’m writing about play out in the news. Even the names I’d chosen for characters. I can’t help but wonder if God was telling me this was the right story for just the right time.

Sounds interesting. Thanks for stopping by today. Before you leave, where can readers connect with you?

I’m on most major social media sites

And readers can sign up for my newsletter on my website

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

Next week, debut author Terri Wangard will be stopping by for a visit.

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