Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Welcome, Eileen Rife. We're Happy You're Visiting This Week!

She's giving away a copy of her book, Chosen Ones! Leave a comment and email address for a chance to win it!

How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?

When I was a child, I used to walk to school. To fill the time, I created characters who talked to one another, creating conflict and developing a story line. Later, I delved into drama, acting on stage and writing plays. Since I received good feedback, I began to try my hand at other writing projects. However, I didn’t pursue publication until 11 years ago.

What fun imaginations are! What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?

I write both Christian fiction (romance, contemporary issues, women’s fiction, general) and Christian nonfiction on topics that deal with marriage, spiritual growth, and contemporary issues the Church faces in our culture today.

How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?

Someone once asked a mother of five, “Which child is your favorite?” The mother said, “The child who is sick or needy.”

In some ways, that’s true of my work day. Typically, I devote equal amounts of time to several pursuits: researching, writing, marketing, teaching, and speaking. However, if one of those babies is in critical need, as in a deadline to meet or my creative juices are particularly flowing in that area on a given day, I will devote more attention to that baby.

If I’m able to devote at least four hours a day, three – four days a week to writing, I can complete a first draft in around two to three months. Of course, then comes the rewriting and critiquing by others. All told, a novel might stay in my hands as long as a couple years before editing and publication are complete, and that’s if the novel has already been contracted by a publishing company. And even after publication, I still find errors and areas that need further work. Writing is an art form which requires continual study and growth.

You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?

CHOSEN ONES profiles a missionary couple in crisis who unexpectedly meet a child taken captive.

Here is the back cover blurb:

Life in Chennai, India is complicated. While Maggie and Gavin Munsfield adjust to a new baby, missionary friends Dan and Yvonne Pratt experience the heartbreak of infertility and miscarriage. When their lives intersect with a young girl caught up in the horrors of sex trafficking, each of them will receive a precious gift. But will they find it in their hearts to accept an outcome so different than what they expected and hoped for?

Oh, my, it sounds fantastic! What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?

I want readers to come away with two things:

  1. A greater awareness of the horrific crime of the sex industry.
  2. A determination to help stop human trafficking in our lifetime.
Good goals. Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through?

Do I ever feel like giving up? Oh, just every other day, sometimes more, sometimes less. Whenever I feel especially discouraged, I ask the Lord, “Is writing really what You want me to do, or is there something else I’m supposed to devote my time and energy to for Your Kingdom?”

Invariably, I receive a book order, an email, letter, or phone call from a reader sharing how much my writing has encouraged her/him. Here’s a note that accompanied a book order the other day:

“You keep writing! God has given you a special gift.”

The best inspiration to keep writing, definitely. Who’s inspired you the most?

In the writing realm, I would have to say Francine Rivers and Angela Hunt, my two favorite Christian authors.

Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?

OakTara picked up my first novel, Journey to Judah, Book one in the Born for India trilogy, after Writers Edge accepted the proposal. The agency posted the proposal along with chapter one on their website and in their print magazine which goes out to around 75 Christian publishers.

After waiting a year and a half, I received an email from the editors at OakTara saying they liked the book idea and wanted to see the full manuscript. A year later the novel was released with two other books in the series contracted by the same company.

Another stand-alone title, Second Chance, has also been contracted by OakTara.

Since I have only worked with this one publishing company, my experience is limited. I still very much consider myself a novice in the writing journey. I know that I must continue to hone my skills, seek the Lord’s direction, and listen for His still small voice every day to know the next step He has for me.

Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?

  • Screw bugs in my popcorn—definitely a dislike! In fact, this little shield-backed fellow winds up in my next novel, as my protagonist crunches into one by accident while eating, yep, popcorn!
  • I sing and play the piano, both for my own pleasure and in ministry.
  • I design my own cards and bookmarks under the name, “Artistic Expressions by Grandma Eileen.”
  • But my biggest interest these days is playing with my six grandchildren, ages four and under. When they’re around, you can find me under a homemade tent in the living room reading stories with a penlight, racing matchbox cars across the kitchen linoleum, or playing dress up.
  • While I’ve been to Canada, several parts of India, and Uganda, I have yet to tour Europe. I’ve endured several layovers in Europe on route to other places, but never any extended trips there. That’s where I would go, especially Ireland, Greece, and Switzerland.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?

Available in paperback, Kindle and Nook formats.

A portion of proceeds from CHOSEN ONES supports a girl through Destiny Rescue who has been placed in a Safe House for counseling, education, and a gospel witness.

We wish you the best and many more published books.
Thank you, Eileen, for your wonderful, inspiring comments!
Blessings, Readers! Don't forget to leave your comments and email addresses for a chance to win her book.


Teresa Slack said...

Thanks again, Carole for another great interview. Welcome to Hartline, btw. It was wonderful getting to know Ellen and her writing ministry. Sex trafficking is a topic none of us want to think about. But it's here and destroying countless lives. Thanks for bringing it to our attention & making us sit up and take notice.

Carmen7351 said...

Sounds like a life-changing book. Sex trafficking is unconscionable. Please enter me.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Karla Akins said...

These are the kinds of books I love: books that are a message and create awareness of social issues that need to be fixed. This one looks delicious!

Mom R said...

Excited to meet readers who not only enjoy a good story, but also want to see lives changed!

You're right, Teresa, sex trafficking is destroying countless lives. I'm so thankful for those individuals and organizations who are intervening on behalf of these abused ones.

The compelling question put to me during the writing of CHOSEN ONES was, "Is there something more I can do to help these children and women?"

The answer came through Destiny Rescue, a Christian org that is instrumental in both rescue and placement in Safe Houses. I have been supporting a young girl for a couple years now.

And yes, my prayer, Carmen, is that CHOSEN ONES will continue to change my life and the lives of those who choose to read and reflect on the story.

Karla, your statement is compelling (create awareness of social issues that need to be fixed). For far too long the Church has swung to one side of the pendulum (address the spiritual need only) or the other (address the physical/emotional/social need only). High time we incorporate both aspects into our gospel witness, just as Jesus did while on earth.

Faye said...

Great interview! Thanks for bringing it to us Carole!

Sounds like a great book!
please enter me

crazi.swans at gmail dot com

Mom R said...

Great to meet a reader who values life-changing books, Carmen. My prayer is that CHOSEN ONES will continue to change my own life as well as the lives of those who choose to read and reflect on the story.

Teresa, you are so right when you say that sex trafficking is destroying countless lives. I am so thankful for those individuals and organizations who are stepping up and assisting abused children and women.

Karla, I resonated with your statement, "create awareness of social issues that need to be fixed." For far too long the Church has swung the pendulum to one side (address spiritual needs only) or to the other (address physical/emotional/social needs only). The Church's scriptural mandate is to follow the pattern of Jesus who addressed the total person.

The question that haunted me during the writing of CHOSEN ONES was, "Is there something else I should do to help these suffering children?"

The answer came through Destiny Rescue, a Christian org that assists in the rescue and placement of girls into Safe Houses. In addition to fostering awareness about the horrific crime of sex trafficking and putting a face to this tragedy, I have supported a child for the last two years.

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Elieen, I loved your interview. I can't wait to read Chosen Ones. I have read several articles about sex trafficking and did not realise until time how rampant it was. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with is.
Carole, Thanks for the interview and please add my name to the giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Teresa Slack said...

Eileen, sorry I wrote Ellen earlier. Guess my fingers weren't listening to my brain, or vice versa. A young man came to our church a year or two ago who brought the ministry of fostering these victims to our attn. Very powerful. I wasn't able to then but would like to look into it again. Do you have info on your website or can you point me & other readers in the rite direction?

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This is an awesome giveaway. It looks like a great book. Thanks again.

agent_beckster (at) yahoo (dot) com

Lisa Lickel said...

Congratulations, Ellen, on your book and message. Hard-hitting topics for contemplation.

Mom R said...

Thanks, Everyone, for stopping by to comment. I can see that you are moved by the abuse of these precious children, teens, and women.

Teresa, I include a lengthy list of resource agencies at the end of CHOSEN ONES. Below are a few of the Christian orgs:

Destiny Rescue

Free for Life Ministries

Compassion International


World Vision

Hope this helps!

Teresa Slack said...

Thanks, Eileen. I'll check them out.

Mozi Esmé said...

This looks like a terrific book! Having been born in Bangladesh and in Chenai a few times more recently, I know I would thoroughly enjoy this topic.

apple blossom said...

sounds like a good book thanks for the chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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