Greetings from Marti Pieper in still-steamy Florida, where we hurricane veterans have been praying for those affected by the recent Hurricane Florence. Today, I’m delighted to introduce to you an author whose vacation was interrupted by that hurricane but found joy in the time God gave her family anyway.
Cindy K. Sproles is a godly woman, an encourager, an editor, and an award-winning novelist who I’m blessed to call my friend.
Welcome to the CAN blog, Cindy. Please tell us about your book.
Liar’s Winter is an Appalachian historical novel about a woman born with a port-wine birthmark that covers her face and neck. Since the mark is known in the mountains as the mark of the devil, Lochiel Ogle has to overcome and find forgiveness and redemption.
You’ve become well-known for Appalachian fiction. Why did you write this particular book?
The rich culture of the deep Appalachian Mountains is filled with hardship and strife. I wanted folks to see both the devotion of the mountain people and the hardships they met, overcoming terrible poverty and illness to be some the strongest people around.
What surprised you the most during the research or writing of Liar’s Winter?
The two illnesses prominent in the mountains were typhoid and influenza. Both were labeled “the fever.” There are no good records of the people in the deep mountains about their sicknesses, but we do know that oddly enough, it seemed more adults were dying with the fever than children. The belief that children were seen and not heard played a part, since children were probably pushed away from adults when they gathered. Plus, the young were a bit more resilient. But these are only theories. We simply know, for some reason, the fever seemed to take more adults than children, leaving scads of orphans.
Fascinating! What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
They should walk away with a wonderful example of unconditional love and forgiveness.
How do you share Christ in your writing?
I aim to show human failings and how people seek and find redemption. I want folks to know redemption is available to the worst of the worst; they simply have to seek God, ask, and receive.
What a powerful message. How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
It has taught me to wait on His timing and to trust, believing that God will answer.
That is great encouragement for any writer. When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
As a youth. Though I have a brother, he is twelve years older than I am, so I basically grew up an only child. There weren’t many children on the hill where we lived, so I found my time was spent sitting in the base of a big oak tree with my imaginary friends and God. Even as a child, I was always very tuned-in to God. It seemed all sorts of wonderful adventures twirled around in my head. So when I felt God call me to tell my stories, I was young. My first story was published when I was a freshman in high school.
God’s call grew stronger after my children were grown. That is when God called me into ministry with a dear friend. Christian Devotions Ministries was born, and my writing continued to be offered back to God. My daily prayer was simple: “God, may I be a writer for You. I just want to be a writer.”
Why do you write Appalachian Historical?
I write in this genre because I have such a rich heritage in these mountains. I wanted others to know the beauty and the hardships of the mountain people.
What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I am the cofounder of ChristianDevotions.us (Christian Devotions Ministries). This was a calling God placed on my heart along with a friend ten years ago. We wanted to both spread the word of God to the world via devotions, but we also prayed God would allow us to be the stepping stone for new writers. He blessed us by allowing us to build a solid relationship with editors, publishers, and agents. This platform would allow us to offer that first writing credit so many new writers need to break into publishing.
ChristianDevotions.us is read in over 170 countries. We mail approximately 16,000 emails a week to our free devotional subscription list. We have DevoKids.com, InspireaFire.com, and Christian Devotions Speak UP!, our blog talk radio show that is now syndicated. We also have the Asheville Christian Writers Conference that is held each February at the Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, North Carolina. We are a 501(c)(3). God has blessed our work.
I know some of those many writers you have encouraged through your ministry. Do you have a “day job”? Does it influence what or how you write?
I am an office manager for Comfort Keepers, an in-home, non-medical business that places caregivers in the homes of the elderly. It does influence my work. I write a monthly eldercare column for a magazine.
That’s so interesting. Now, what’s your favorite bookstore—and why?
My favorite Bookstore is I Love Books in the Kingsport Mall, Kingsport, Tennessee. Mr. Moody is an amazing book retailer, and he works to sell tons of my novels.
Please tell us about your favorite library memory.
I remember thumbing through the card catalogue and dreaming one of the cards had my book on it. I was fourteen years old.
That’s great. And I know that dream has come true (even if the card catalog is digital now). Please tell us about your next project.
I’m working on a new Appalachian novel about a young woman who starts an orphanage in the mountains. She’s met with hardship, lies, and a brother who looks to be her undoing.
We’ll look forward to reading that one, Cindy. Thank you for all these insights, and His best to you in this new book and all your endeavors.
For His glory,