Welcome back, Michelle. How did you come up with the idea for this story?
This story has been on my heart for years, and I know it’s an experience that far too many have gone through. When parents get separated from their children, there’s a lot of pain. Misunderstandings. Rejection. I’ve read quite a few books from the children’s perspectives, but I wanted to explore what must be going on in the heart and mind of a man who walks away from his children. A part of me is like, “What’s wrong with you?” But parents are imperfect people, too. I wanted to go there and explore this character, Stanley Brown, and what made him do what he did.
If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?
This is going to sound bad, but I’m not a huge fiction reader. I read mostly non-fiction and then take the lessons I learn from that and use them in fiction books. So, I’m going to have to invite some non-fiction folks to he party (and only 5 – sorry)!
Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemoth – She has a lot to say to women, and since she recently married for the first time in her late 50s, I’d like to know how her thoughts about marriage and being a woman of God have changed—or not.
CaSandra McLaughlin – She’s the co-author of Deacon Brown’s Daughter. I would invite her because she’s fun and because she knows how to cook.
Jen Hatmaker – I don’t agree with Jen about a lot of things, but I love her heart. She would make the party fun, I’m sure.
Rhonda McKnight – Rhonda makes everyone feel welcome, and she’s got a perspective on writing/publishing that would lend itself well to any conversation about Christian literature.
Steve McVey – He sprinkles grace on everything. I’d love to hear what he has to contribute to the party conversation.
Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what people would you invite and why?
Piper Huguley – She’s a sweetheart and a powerball all in one. Her work is winning lots of awards already.
Michael Phillips – His was the first historical fiction book I ever read, and I thoroughly enjoyed Angels Watching Over Me.
I'd really enjoy being at that party. I don't know Piper, but I read a lot of Michael Phillips books, and I always love spending time with you, Michelle. Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?
My most difficult problem right now is a wonderful problem. My first granddaughter is here and I can’t tear myself away from her long enough to write – LOL! But she’s two months old now, so I’ve got to get myself back on track. I recently downloaded an app that keeps track of my “clocking in” and “clocking out” so that I am more aware of how I’m using my time. Balancing work and family has always been a challenge for me. When I do work (I’m a part-time education consultant), it gives me a greater appreciation for my more relaxed life as a writer. But I have to be careful not to get too relaxed or distracted. I also have to be careful not to overwork and neglect the things and the people who are most important to me. It’s a constant self-check.
Tell us about the featured book.
Deacon Brown’s Daughters is the story of a man (Stanley Brown) who sired four children by four different women back when he was younger. Now that he’s older and has come into the saving knowledge of Christ, he wants to make things right with the adult children. But they’re not all so happy to see him.
confused about things. He doesn’t understand why people (women especially)
always want to drudge up the past in order to move forward. He doesn’t know how
many times he can say “I’m sorry” before giving up again. The idea for Deacon
Brown’s Daughters isn’t exactly a new one, but to explore it from the
absent parent’s perspective brings a unique voice to the conversation about
absentee fathers, single mothers, and even blended families.
Please give us the first page of the book.
He was used to getting messages from random women. These days, the messages usually came through his phone in the form of a text or an email. Whoever wrote this one must have had a lot on her mind because she had taken the time and effort to write neat, cursive letters on the front and use an oversized envelope.
It was addressed To: Stanley David Brown, Care of: Effie Brown, followed by his mother’s address in Big Oak, TX.
No. Not Jack Daniels. He had to remind himself that he was a changed man. Even a whole year after accepting Christ, his mind returned to its old default ways without conscious resistance. Though
Stanley had never been an
alcoholic, he recognized alcohol as a gateway to the past for him. No need in
going back there.
Besides, it was two in the afternoon. Saturday overtime was always finished before he knew it. Coffee was still in order.
He ignored his mother. She would call at least three more times before adding his middle and last name.
I want to know who that letter came from! How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this book with us. I’m intrigued with the concept. I know my readers will be, too.
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