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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:
- A greater awareness of the horrific crime of the sex industry.
- A determination to help stop human trafficking in our lifetime.
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.
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.