Hope-in-Christ Book Club had the pleasure of interviewing Author Ann Marie Bryan. She has authored an amazing novel titled "Mirrored Hearts - Sealed by Fire." Listed below are the interview questions and her answers.
1. Mirrored Hearts is an amazing read. It addresses a very serious topic. What made you choose this very needed topic?
I am a member of the Tallahassee Authors Network (TAN) Christian Sub-group and we decided to write an anthology about the consequences of sin. We were given various topics and some how I ended up writing about infidelity. I knew it would be challenging but it’s a topic that cannot be addressed enough. There are so many couples who have gone through this heart-breaking experience.
2. Have you thought about completing a small group with couples and discussing this painful topic? I think that it would be awesome.
That's a great idea. I'd love to be a part of that group. It would be awesome. I would need more stakeholders, like pastors and counselors. I would also need a towel. I would be crying the whole sessions. breaks my heart the things couples go through.
3. What authors have inspired you to write?
I love reading. I particularly enjoy reading Christian Fiction. Authors who have inspired me to write include Waletta Mason Dunn, J.L. Campbell, Marsha Malcolm, Rhonda McKnight, Michelle Stimpson, Kim Cash Tate, Melissa Mallory, Vanessa Riley, Genevieve Woods, Danyelle Scroggins, Melinda Michelle, Angela Hodge, Barbara Joe, Adrienne Thompson, and countless others.
4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I am am excited about my writing journey, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share with others. Firstly, whatever I write must bring honor to God. Secondly, my writing projects must educate, inspire and empower others. Thirdly, I desire to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places.
In ten years, I hope I would have written many more books. I believe in working together, exchanging ideas and sharing of resources, so I hope that my writing adventures will take me all over the world to share at conferences, seminars and workshops. I would also love if some of my books are made into movies.
5. What is your work schedule like when your writing?
Authors are encouraged to write every day. I have to admit that I don’t, because of my schedule, but hoping to change that. I like to write in the morning… early morning, when it is quiet.
6. What was one of the most surprising things that you learned when creating your books?
Writing a book was not on my list of things to do. However, I learned that God will use you when you make yourself available. I discovered how much I like writing. Most surprising and delightful are the connections that I continue to make with amazing readers and authors. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
7. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
I use a basic outline but I pretty much like to see where the story takes me. I find that to be very liberating.
8. Do you plan to write any non-fiction?
9. Any tips on what to do and what not to do as an author?
My Advice for Aspiring Authors are as follows:
1. Determine why you desire to write. After you have completed that task, do an outline of your ideas.
2. Ask for help. Don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge about writing or the publishing industry. Select an individual, group or organization with the knowledge or ability to help you succeed.
3. Educate yourself. Do research to obtain information on how you can best leverage your knowledge and abilities to fulfill your dream of writing. The internet is filled with information of all sorts about writing, publishing and marketing your book.
4. Determine the genre of your book.
5. Benchmark against the best in the area of your writing assignment. Nevertheless, be a trend setter. Do not be afraid to break new ground.
6. Research your publishing options (traditional publishing, assisted self-publishing, do-it-yourself publishing) before making the decision.
7. Remember to budget for editing and promotional activities. Create a marketing plan.
8. Create your author platform (website and social media) to connect with readers.
9. Be enthusiastic about your book. It will help you to move forward when things are not going as planned.
10. Stay away from negative people and those who will talk you out of writing your book.
11. Celebrate the milestones you have achieved during the process of completing your book.
12. Stay expectant. Trust God. He will bring it to pass.
Ready! Set! Go!
10. Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of your family members?
My church folks! My Pastor & his wife. Yep, they all rock. ;) I can't leave these good folks out - Tallahassee Authors Network (TAN), Tallahassee Authors Network (TAN) Christian Sub-group, Tallahassee Writers Association, Hope-In-Christ Book Club and others.
11. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The ideas for my books come from many sources - a moment in time, being in particular places, family members, friends, and the list goes on. But I believe that my best writing ideas come from God and my interaction with people.
We truly enjoyed Ann Marie and pray many blessings over her book ministry!
Hope-in-Christ Book Club interviewed Waletta Mason-Dunn, author of "More Than Sisters." We enjoyed reading and discussing her novel. It was indeed a page turner. Here are her answers to our questions after the book study:
Question 1: You having an amazing novel that could easily be turned into a movie! If your novel was chosen for the big screen and you could choose the actors and actresses, who would you choose to play the characters?
Answer: Wow! I didn't anticipate that question. If "More Than Sisters," was chose for the big screen, I would love to see Kiki Palmer as Dani, Taraji Henson as Gayle and Della Reese as Olivia.
Question 2: For those that are aspiring authors, what does your writing process look like?
Answer: First, I start with an outline. Then I fill in the parts that I know at the time. It keeps me organized. But it usually changes because I am open to whatever the Holy Spirit has in mind.
Question 3: Which character of "More Than Sisters" do you identify with the most?
Answer: I can identify with all of the sisters, but I identify with Dani the most.
Question 4: What other authors have inspired you to write?
Answer: I am inspired by Kimberly Lawson Roby, E.N. Joy, and Mary Monroe. However, my biggest inspiration was my sister, Judi Ann Mason. She is with the Lord now, but she taught me many things while she was here. I have my memories of her until we meet again.
Question 5: What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Answer: My least favorite part of the process is publishing. I know that this is an important part, but it feels like work to me. The process of preparing the manuscript before submitting it for publishing requires meticulous formatting such as margin requirements, line spacing, etc. I would much rather spend my time writing.
Question 6: What advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Answer: Never give up! God's Word says that your gift will make room for you. My journey began years ago, but I believe it started with a seed that God planted in my heart. As long as I was obedient to his Word, He continued and continues to open doors. For instance, who would have thought I would have connected with this group. God opened this door. He's good like that.
Question 7: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Answer: I enjoy reading, working crossword puzzles and playing scrabble. My kids are grown, but when they were younger, most of my time was taken with their activities. My advice to all parents is to enjoy your kids, because time moves very quickly. I also like to sing. But that's not my gift either.
Question 8: What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Answer: If you were to ask me why I choose to write Christian Fiction, I would say that it is my way of sharing the love of God. People are hurting and we can help each other. When I think of how the Lord has manifested His love in my life, I want to share it. Maybe one of my readers will be inspired to find out more about Christ. He must receive all of the Glory.
Question 9: How long did it take to write your novel?
Answer: "More Than Sisters," was my first book. It took me four years to complete the manuscript. My second book, "Faithful Father," will be released this month and I worked on it for about six months. I am currently working on Book 3. I'm curious to find out how long it will take to complete the manuscript.
Question: What is your favorite motivational phrase/scripture?
Answer: Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Won't He do it?!!!!
Mrs. Waletta Mason Dunn has a great talent and a beautiful! Her literature will cause many to Hope-in-Christ!!
Hope-in-Christ Book Club had the privilege to read an amazing book, "I Reign: A Survivor's Guide to Thrive." After reading and discussing this great resource, we then were honored to interview the author, Minister Annie Bell. Minister Annie is an amazing leader and mentor, called by God to survivors of childhood trauma and her ministry focus is stopping child abuse and sex trafficking. Below is the interview questions and responses from Minister Bell:
1. What made you decide to tell your story to the world?
"In my years of researching childhood trauma, I found that there are not a lot of spiritual resources out there and I wanted to create one for others to use. I also realized that I was still suffering and I ran across others who were unable to resolve their trauma. I wanted to help people realize why they do what they do and how to fix it."
2. How much research did you have to complete before finishing your book?
"I had to complete over 10 years of research. I did research from the scientific side and study of psychology from a Christian point of view."
3. How did your family handle you sharing your story?
"My family was very supportive because I prepared them before time and made them aware that they may be named in it."
4. What is your favorite scripture(s)? What scriptures keep you going?
There are several.
"One is Psalms 118:17" (NKJV) , "I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord." "I like this one because there is a reason why we are still alive."
"Another one is Jeremiah 29:11" (NKJV), "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." "This makes me to latch on to the confidence that He is the author of a good end."
"Finally, Isaiah 54:4" (NKJV), "“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore." "I like this one because I will not be ashamed of believing in God."
5. How did you feel when you first saw your story in print?
"It was surreal. I had a myriad of feelings at first. It hit me that people who I didn't even know would know some very intimate details about me so I felt a bit embarrassed. I got over that pretty quickly. LOL. Then there was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and fulfillment. I am still amazed at what God is doing through this broken vessel."
6. How did you manage to type your story without tearing up every second?
"Well, I actually cried a lot because I had to allow those feelings to come back, resurface, so that I could write it. I had to stop a few times and come back to it because of the tension that I felt having to replay the events."
7. At anytime, did you think of asking someone else to write your story?
"I did consider it but I really believed that God wanted me to write every letter of every word and every word upon every sentence, etc. Now I see why; while writing this book, I was able to go to another level of healing that would not have been possible otherwise. This healing journey is truly an amazing one when we let God be the pilot."
8. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
"I would say remember that life continues to happen so make a schedule that you can stick with. For example, two hours twice a week. Also, create a social media platform. This will assist you in creating a following. This will help you when trying to get published; the publishers will see that you have a following. Finally, self-publishing is a good route to take.