Welcome back, Mesu. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write biblical novels because I love to research biblical texts, and a story always seems to emerge. In order to understand God’s Word, I dig into its context—who wrote it, when, and why? When I discover the amazing details of interconnected lives—prophets, kings, patriarchs—the Scripture comes alive for me in ways I hadn’t seen before, which fuels my passion to write the novels others read. I tried to write Bible studies at first, but since I didn’t have the training or degrees to back up my findings, novels became the outlet for the wonderful information I found during my research. And frankly—I think fiction is more fun!
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My wedding day. It wasn’t a picture-perfect, storybook wedding by some standards. My husband Roy and I were married in a hotel banquet room, and we honeymooned at a Holiday Inn in
But I married the man who led me to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and our
love has grown every day since. Our lives haven’t always been easy, nor has our
marriage been without bumps in the road, but on my wedding day, I knew the Lord
had given me the desire of my heart—a man who loved me more than anyone else on
earth. And I’ve never been happier. Cincinnati, Ohio
How has being published changed your life?
I actually have to WORK now! Ha! I’m thankful and extremely blessed, but I must say it’s been a surprise that with each published book, the workload becomes heavier. I used to write a few days a week and still have time for shopping with my daughters or coffee with friends. Now, those little excursions must be scheduled, or they don’t happen! I’m easily working forty hours a week, sometimes more. Marketing, writing, re-writing, blogging, etc. The time really slips away, and I’ve had to budget my time like a REAL business woman. Oh my! Li’l ol’ me! It’s downright shocking! ;)
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Jill Eileen Smith’s book, Rebekah, right now. The next one in the queue is Joan Wolf’s, This Scarlet Cord. I try to read as much biblical fiction as possible to stay current on what’s out there. Historical fiction/romance is my favorite genre overall, and I love anything written by Laura Frantz, Tessa Afshar, Francine Rivers…
What is your current work in progress?
I just submitted my rough draft of The Shadow of Jezebel, which is scheduled for release March 2014 (Revell). Here’s a sneak peek:
Princess Jehosheba (
wants nothing more than to please her Baal-worshiping abba, Judah’s King,
and his first wife Queen Atalyah, the daughter of notorious Queen Jezebel. But
when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the
king’s household, Sheba
realizes her dark skills as Baal’s priestess reach beyond the world of earthly
governments. When both light and darkness align, forcing her to marry Yahweh’s
high priest, Sheba enters
the unknown world of Yahweh’s Temple.
Her husband shows her Yahweh’s truth and a love beyond hope, but can Sheba overcome Jezebel’s
lingering torment? Can Yahweh use a fallen priestess to shine the unquenchable
light of His love to faithless Judah?
The Shadow of Jezebel—Meet the woman who saved a king, delivered a nation, and
preserved the Light of the World.
What would be your dream vacation?
A Holyland cruise! I love cruise ships. My hubby and I have cruised several times in the Caribbean and to
and we toured Israel
for ten days in 2000. I’d love to combine my two passions. I’ve always heard
it’s cheaper to book passage on a cruise than pay the per/day fee for a nursing
home—so maybe when it’s time for me to enter managed care, I’ll reserve my spot
on a ship bound for Israel! J
How do you choose your settings for each book?
While some of the ancient locations are specified in Scripture (i.e.
Jerusalem, Tekoa, Samaria, etc.), the layout
of houses and palaces is largely guesswork and imagination. Some archaeological
information is helpful to establish the arrangement of ancient cities or
buildings. For instance, much has been revealed about Samaria’s palace being built on a hill,
creating a natural fortress, since King Omri was a soldier with a military
mind. The layers of each tel (or mound of an archaeological dig) help define to
which century a piece of pottery or a building’s foundation belongs, so I must
sift carefully which information is relevant for the time period of my
characters/story. The same is true for even flowers and trees of Israel. Some of
the flora and fauna in Israel
today would not have been native to the ,
so I can’t include it in my settings. To answer your question, I suppose I
don’t get to CHOOSE much of my setting at all. I get to discover it! Land of Scripture
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Mel Gibson. Yes, it’s partly because Braveheart is my favorite movie, but there’s a deeper reason. I want to ask what it was like to direct the movie, The Passion of the Christ. I know how utterly consumed I become in my plots. When my hero or heroine is despairing, I despair. When they’re in a tight spot, I can’t rest until I figure out how to get them relief! I’d like to ask Mr. Gibson how directing The Passion changed him personally? Or did it? What was it like to see Jesus beaten, mocked, crucified—before your very eyes? Talk about the Bible coming alive! I’ve watched that movie once, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch again. It crushed me so. I want to meet the man who created such a stirring picture of my Savior…
I’m sure his work on that movie is what made him such a target for the enemy to try to bring down. I’ve prayed a lot for him. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I LOVE movies. Old movies, new movies, all kinds of movies! And we recently purchased a small parcel of land in the foothills near our house. My husband and I lived in
our lives, so moving to the Pacific Northwest in
2007 was sort of magical to us. Its emerald green moss and grass year-round
sort of captured our hearts. We’re hoping to clear a little spot and do some exploring
before our bones get too old and creaky! Who knows what the Lord has in store
for us on our little mountain property—maybe a writer’s getaway.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
My health is always a hurdle to be crossed. I still fight daily migraines, controlled to a dull roar with meds and limited activity. Fibromyalgia and a couple other chronic issues keep me from running marathons (just a figure of speech—I never ran a marathon on my best day!), but the Lord has blessed me with a wonderful doctor who keeps me rolling along. Writing is the perfect ministry for me, and the Lord knew it way before I did. I used to be a TOTAL extrovert. I needed people like I needed air to breathe, but after spending six months in bed, I discovered only One Friend was essential to my existence. All the other folks in my life are a true blessing and icing on the cake—a sweet addition to my world—but I get most of my fellowship through my computer screen these days. That’s why I love connecting with readers on Facebook, my website, Goodreads, and NovelCrossing!
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Trust in God’s timing, and go to writer’s conferences! I’m so thankful I didn’t get a book published when I first began trying. My life was too crazy to have added all that comes with a book contract! I scrimped and saved to attend a writer’s conference each year (or every-other year). The training I received, and the long-term contacts I made were invaluable. Christian publishing is a small world. Hang around long enough, get to know the people, and people will know you. Stubborn proficiency gets published!
Tell us about the featured book.
Love in a Broken Vessel is a biblical novel about Gomer and Hosea. Deserted by those who love her and betrayed by the gods she once worshiped, Gomer lives a bitter existence … until one day her childhood friend reappears—Hosea. But is it too late for Gomer? Is her heart too broken to capture even a drop of love? While unfaithful
Israel breaks God’s heart, Gomer’s
broken spirit tests Hosea’s faith. Can the two find faith in Yahweh’s power to
Please give us the first page of the book.
When Yahweh first spoke to Hosea, Yahweh told him, “Marry a prostitute, and have children with that prostitute. The people in this land have acted like prostitutes and abandoned Yahweh.”
Hosea’s empty house throbbed with sweet silence. He soaked it in, letting it nourish him like the last bite of warm, fresh bread soggy with lentil stew. His stomach rumbled, and he realized it was past time for his evening meal.
The stone worktable stood like a sentry in his main room. Covered baskets hung on the wall, filled with day-old bread and hard cheese. The meager fare would suffice until he could soak lentils for tomorrow’s meal. He approached the table, noticing dust dancing in a shaft of dusk’s golden light.
A second look at the glow drew him deeper into contemplation. I only see the dust when light shines through the window. Hosea waved his hand through the light, stirring the dust, but felt no resistance. Visible and real, yet without recognizable sound or weight, the dust was present but immeasurable. A slow, satisfied smile crept across his lips. Now, that is a good topic for the prophets’ class tomorrow. Jonah would enjoy the—
A breeze swept through the house, startling him, swaying the hanging herbs. Hosea turned to the front door, confused. Had the wind blown it open?
The door was closed.
“What was that?” he whispered to no one. The wind stirred inside the house again, this time not a breeze but a gale that whipped his robe around his legs.
The wind spoke. Marry a prostitute.
Hosea gasped. Yahweh?
Marry a prostitute, and have children with that prostitute.
The wind grew stronger, and Hosea covered his face, fell to his knees, listening.
The people of
Israel have acted like prostitutes
and abandoned Yahweh.
The wind stopped. All was silent. Tranquil again.
Powerful. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Please stop by my website and order free bookmarks and get downloadable questions and Bible studies! http://www.mesuandrews.com/
Or visit me on Facebook: Mesu Andrews
Pinterest: MesuAndrewsBlog posts on Fridays (inside scoop on characters, plots, and new releases!): http://www.mesuandrews.com/blog/
Thank you, Mesu, for sharing with us today. There are many parallels between your life and mine. The greatest is that I have always been an extrovert, but in this season of my life, I am staying home because of infirmities and spending most of my time writing and connecting to my readers and other authors.
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Love in a Broken Vessel: A Novel - paperback
Love in a Broken Vessel: A Novel - Kindle
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