Welcome back, Joy. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write Christian Romance because it’s what I read. Those who know my personal testimony, know that I married my best friend. Not because I loved him, but because he was the only man I’d ever truly trusted. He loved me to Jesus. So, I write the stories of pastors or their kids to show how God still uses relationship to convey His love for us.
The opportunity to weave my community, church, and love for God’s word along this writer’s journey is an added bonus.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
There are so many, I hate to be partial. Besides the day I realized I’d fallen in love with my husband, or the birth of my children, it would have to be the arrival of my grandchildren.
How has being published changed your life?
There are so many different facets to the process that you discover you can’t succeed alone. God has brought so many new people into my life. It’s humbled me, taught me to serve others even more, and pushed me beyond my comfort zone. There is so much to learn. More than anything, my prayer life has matured.
What are you reading right now?
Psalms 119 every day.
Getting into Character by Brandilyn Collins.
In the car I’m listening to the audiobook, A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers.
What is your current work in progress?
RUTH Book 2 in The Wounded Lamb series while I seek God for the scripture basis for Janice and Derrick’s story. I have to finish what I started in A Heart Surrendered.
What would be your dream vacation?
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’ve started in the Pine Woods of East Texas because I love my hometown area. But my characters will lead me to new places, I’m sure.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Francine Rivers. It’s always been one of my dreams. Her relationship with God bleeds from the pages of her books. I love it. I’d be honored to sit in on her Bible study. I’d want to hear her speaking casually to her writing buddies around the table at one of their retreats.
I met Francine when she was the speaker at the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference. I love her books, and her testimony is awesome, too. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love Sunday evenings with my family when they come to the house and sit around. I love to cook their favorites. Play board games. Anything that involves laughing and making memories.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Editing! I dread it. It tears at my confidence. It strips the cover away, exposing my fears. It unearths my doubts.
However, I go back to the scriptures I wrote in my journal when I accepted the calling on my life to create word pictures so people might be prompted to seek the source of the love I write about.
God’s promises are true. He equips those He calls. Not because my fear leaves, I write because I choose to take Him at His word, trusting Him with the outcome. Trusting Him to help me.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Know why you write. Write it down. Then, do it.
Write something every day until you have a finished work.
Tell us about the featured book.
Sharonda Peterson is afraid she’ll surrender the one thing she’s tried to protect all these years. Her heart. However, to gain the things we really want in life, that’s just what we have to do. Put our hearts on the line. True relationship is about trusting someone else.
I believe everyone struggles in this area. While this is a romance, the main characters’ personal challenges mirror that of the rich young ruler story told in the Bible. When they learn to trust God with everything, only then do they realize God’s plans for their lives to be better than anything they could have created for themselves.
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Sharonda pulled the lapels of her pink blazer together with trembling hands. Despite several attempts, the third button never slipped into the hole. Even if it had, she wouldn’t be able to lift her arms. The tightness pinched across her ample bosom.
“I hate Sundays,” she said through gritted teeth.
A door slammed from the hallway. Her mother’s shouts from her parents’ bedroom stopped. Dad had taken a verbal beating. He might be esteemed as the great Pastor Broddrick Peterson at the church, but in this house, until he was elevated to Bishop, First Lady Marianne would find something to nag about.
Sharonda sucked in her breath and tried again to fasten the resilient button. She exhaled in defeat. The jacket remained open and exposed the matching camisole beneath.
Rather than rehang the two suits she’d tried on, Sharonda scooped them from her closet floor and stashed the garments in the back corner. After service, she’d fill a thrift store bag with everything too snug. That meant half of her wardrobe.
She eyed the hat box stored high on the shelf. Another something pink. Paste a label across her chest and she’d pass for a human billboard for Pepto Bismol. “Not today.” She grabbed her Sunday curriculum satchel and purse from the hook instead. Crossing her bedroom to the bureau, she placed her hand on her Bible and traced the lettering.
Mother won’t approve. Get the hat.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, Joy, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m sure they’ll love it as much as I do.
Readers, here are links to the book.A Heart Surrendered - Paperback
A Heart Surrendered - Kindle
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