Friday, May 16, 2008

Author Jo Franz - SOAR UNAFRAID - Free Book

Today, we're talking to the author of a nonfiction book, Jo Franz.

You are writing nonfiction. Do you also write fiction?

I have never done so, but I’m thinking of trying.

What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?

I am passionate about living by the Spirit’s power—that’s the only way I can do all I do with multiple sclerosis. Having MS has kept me in this place of seeking the Spirit’s strength and wisdom, so I’m grateful for it (though I certainly prayed for miraculous healing and eventually claimed God’s sovereignty over the disease as well as all of life). I love sharing how the Spirit has worked through my weaknesses, and how we can know God as our Abba Daddy! With every difficulty I’ve experienced, I’ve been reminded that God brought me through something before, so I can trust Him again. And because every difficulty has brought me closer to Jesus Christ and my Abba, I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Tell us about your family.

After my first husband (a pastor) had an affair with an older teenager and divorced me, I was alone for several years. Then I met Ray, who fell head over heels in love with me, but needed to go through a period of struggling with the uncertainty of MS before marrying me in 1987. Then I realized Ray was emotionally and verbally abusive. God had a plan for us, though, and we bonded tightly together as we overcame things together. I became an “instant mom” to his daughters, eight and ten, whom he had raised alone for seven years. We have three granddaughters and a grandson!

Have you written other nonfiction books?

I have stories in 8 compilation books:
The One Year Life Verse Devotional
His Forever
Bounce Back Too
Teatime Stories for Mothers
Heart Stirring Stories of Romance
Stories of God’s Abundance for a More Joyful Life
God’s Vitamin ‘C’ for the Hurting Spirit
I’ve also contributed to the writing of:
The Art of Helping
The Tailor Made Marriage
Love Extravagantly
Come as You Are

Actually, I wrote one of the devotions in the One Year Life Verse Devotional book, too. What other books have you written, and where can the readers of the blog find them?

Soar Unafraid: Learning to Trust No Matter What is my first.

Do you have any other books in the works right now?

I’m at work on several ideas.

Where on the Internet can the readers find you?

book sales:

What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?

I love to read, travel, sight-see, view wildlife, jeep in the Rockies, (all while spending time with my husband, Ray!) I only gave up downhill skiing with helps for the disabled and tandem cycling six years ago due to arthritis (from using my crutches for the MS since 1981).

Why did you write the featured book?

Audiences have requested my story in book form since 1984. When they picked up one of the compilation books I sold at speaking events, they would ask, “Is this your story?” and I would have to answer, “It has one of my stories in it along with those of others.” I tried several times through the years to write my memoir, but knew it wasn’t time. Four years ago I heard, "Soar unafraid as you write" and I began reading journal entries from the 1970s up until then, compiling experiences and even conversations I’d actually journaled (in order to make sense of what was happening to me, what my part was, and what, eventually wasn’t mine to claim.) My life has been full of joy and thanks, learning to rejoice in all things and live adventurously, but I’ve also had so many varied difficulties, anyone can relate—it’s not just about living with a chronic, unpredictable illness; infertility, divorce, remarriage, step-parenting—there’s so much more! I have always admitted my mistakes and how I needed God’s grace in order to grow. I’ve been told my story is an inspiration, and I wanted to get it out there to touch hearts, to bring people to Christ, and to a closer walk with Him. The feedback I’ve been getting brings tears to my eyes. Since I am a certified peer counselor and inspirational speaker for the National MS Society, a portion of all sales is being donated to them.

What do you want the reader to take away from the book?

With Christ we can joyfully overcome anything in our lives. That living in fear does not have to be the norm, it can be conquered by living according to the truth—truth we find in God, and the truth we must learn to tell ourselves based on God’s Word. When we make the choice (often through painful growth) to follow him, a heart of thanks and rejoicing in all things gives us wings to soar no matter what happens to us.

Thank you, Jo, for spending this time with us and sharing about your book.

Readers, as always, leave a comment if you want a chance to win a free copy.

Check out the other interviews, too.


Mrs. Sidney said...

This story really reminds me of my neighbor who has lupus and is really having a hard time still loving God. I continue to pray for her yet she is just stuck in darkness.

Thanks for sharing.


Terri Tiffany said...

What an enouragement she is!!

stampedwithgrace said...

wow, this sounds like an encouraging book!

ChristyJan said...

I would really like to read this book. Sometimes I feel like I am afraid and living in fear more than I'm not.

Jo Franz said...

Hi Mrs. Sidney,
Thanks for your comment. And thanks for caring about your neighbor--I have NEVER given up and she needs friends who won't give up on her! If you go to you'll be able to read many readers' comments. You might want to purchase the book for yourself or your neighbor. If you order from that site I will autograph the book. (You can send me an email from my website saying you ordered it and to whom I should autograph it.) I'm blessed to know that it is touching people in any and all situations--it is even inspiring those without any illnesses or problems!
Bless you!

Jo Franz said...

Hi Terri,
Thanks so much for your encouragement to me! I love encouraging others, and you gave it back! Bless you, and please read what I wrote to Terri about how to get an autographed copy.

Jo Franz said...

Hi stampedwithgrace!
I've been told it is, and thanks for the encouragement! I hope you'll get a copy. Read my post under Mrs. Sidney and you'll find out how to get an autographed copy. I love getting the word out about living a full, adventuresome life NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS!
Have a great weekend!

Jo Franz said...

Hi Christyjan,
I hope you'll get a copy. I've dealt with so many fears. right now we have another one that we're giving to God. Read what I wrote to Mrs.Sidney's comment about how to get an autographed copy--I'd love for it to encourage you!
Thanks for being honest, by the way. all of us deal with fears!

Karen said...

This sounds very interesting. I have an uncle that has been diagnosed with MS for over 5 years now. He is an aspiring Christian author who has struggled to be published (aside from magazine articles and Soup for the Soul books). I would be thrilled to surprise him with this book for his birthday in August. Thanks!

kpuleski at gmail dot com

Jo Franz said...

Hi Karen,
Thanks for posting! Quite a few people have read the book not only because of having MS, but also because they are aspiring authors! It is certainly a labor of love poured out from my heart and I am blessed that it is touching people! I hope you can get a copy for your uncle!

Ausjenny said...

Wow this looks like an amazing book
I can see it appealling to many people not just ones with ms or other illnesses, even people caring for people with illnesses.
and even people like me who have fears that can almost paralize you at times.

Jo Franz said...

Thanks so much for your comment--Soar Unafraid really is touching lives! Even those who don't deal necessarily with fears! If you go to or you can read two men's comments! I'm so blessed to know that my vulnerability is touching others. Hope you can get a copy!
Thanks again for writing, and bless you!

Abi said...

I'd love to win this book. wonderful interview.

Jo Franz said...

Abi, thanks for your comment about the interview. I love telling what God has done and is doing in my life for HIS glory alone!

Have a great weekend up north!