Greetings from Sarah Sundin! Today I have the joy of interviewing novelist Marsha Hubler, who has turned her love of children and the Lord into a string of books for young people.
Marsha, please tell us about your new book, Tommi Pockets.
Thirteen-year-old “Pockets” Leland wants to be the first female world champion pool player. She also runs with a gang, is arrested, and meets her match in fiery “Captain Ar,” a Salvation Army counselor, who shares what’s really important: loving God and loving others. Does Pockets listen or does she continue in a downward spiral leading to more trouble in her young life?
Intriguing! What inspired you to write this book?
I have a passion to share the gospel in all my books so that my young readers know the truth that Jesus saves, and He can help everyone with any problem in their lives.
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today we’re traveling to Florida to visit with one of our newest CAN members, novelist Sally Jo Pitts. Sally Jo has worked as a home economics teacher, a high school guidance counselor, a private investigator, and an expert in lie detection! I think every single one of us who has ever worked with or raised a teenager would love those lie detection skills! Come see how Sally Jo uses this unique background to craft her popular romances and cozy mysteries!
Welcome, Sally Jo! Please tell us about your book Designed for Love.
A new War Between the States is brewing in Hamilton Harbor, Florida. North and South clash when a local interior designer is pitted against a New Yorker in a competition that will shape the destiny of the small town.
Welcome from Davalynn Spencer to today’s interview with author Ginny Dent Brant as she visits about her featured book, Unleash Our God-Given Healing: Eight Steps to Prevent and Survive Cancer.
Ginny, please give us a brief overview of your book.
My book pulls back the curtain on cancer in a way rarely seen and answers the question “What can I do to help my doctor beat this disease?” I challenge you to change what your doctor has no control over—your lifestyle and health habits. These changes can be powerful.
Greetings from Marti Pieper in Seneca, South Carolina, where I’m rediscovering the wonder and beauty of fall after spending the past twelve-plus years in Florida! I’m excited today to introduce a new CAN member who also happens to be a longtime friend. Many years ago now, Julie Lavender and I were both young homeschooling moms who shared not only a church home (my husband was her family’s pastor for several years) but many family adventures and lots of laughter (please don’t ask her about the time we nearly lost each other in downtown Los Angeles). Welcome to the CAN blog, Julie. I’m so excited for you to share your words and your wisdom with our readers!
Your most recent book releases this month. Can you tell us about it, please?
365 Ways to Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories (Revell, 2020) offers creative suggestions for activities, gestures, and expressions of love to show a child how much they are treasured. Parents are encouraged to make memories with their children while giving them a glimpse of the heavenly Father’s love.
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of interviewing Kimberly Rose Johnson, a multi-published novelist whose stories have won the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award and been a finalist for the Selah Award!
Please tell us about your book Certain Threat.
The co-owner of Protection Inc. has one thing on his mind for the week of Christmas—rest and relaxation, but when his favorite neighbor needs his help, he calls in his team. Unable to turn their backs on someone Frank clearly has feelings for, the co-owners agree to help out Katrina.
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the honor of interviewing Sandra Glahn, an acclaimed speaker and author—of both nonfiction and fiction. Today, Sandra’s sharing with us about her new book, which covers topics of vital interest in our society.
Sandra, please tell us about your book, Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World.
Bringing together twenty-five experts, co-editors Sandra Glahn and Gary Barnes address issues of sexuality Christians face, such as the theology of the body; male and female in God’s design; abortion; celibacy; marital intimacy; contraception; infertility; cohabitation; divorce; same-sex attraction; and gender dysphoria. A handbook for pastors, counselors, instructors, and students.
What inspired you to write this book?
As I watched the battle over the Supreme Court decision about same-sex marriage, I paid attention to how Christians argued their cases. And I observed that we have a long way to go in how we handle Scripture and hermeneutics, how we draw conclusions, what sources we leave out, how much we need to look at the good world God made for some evidence, and how we talk and listen—or fail to listen well.
Greetings from Marti Pieper in almost-fall Seneca, South Carolina! We have cooler weather for our morning walks now, and we have to walk earlier at night to get our walk in before the sun sets. Although I haven’t met Kim Vogel Sawyer in person, I am a fan of her work, and I know you will love hearing from her today.
Welcome, Kim! Let’s start by having you tell us about your book, The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow.
During the Great Depression, city-dweller Addie Cowherd takes the only employment she can find—delivering books on horseback in the hills of Kentucky, where residents are steeped in superstitions and deeply suspicious of outsiders. When someone sabotages the town’s library program, will the culprit chase Addie away?
Greetings from Colorado where autumn is waiting to burst through the backdoor of summer. Davalynn Spencer here, welcoming CAN author Martha Rogers.
Martha, so glad to visit with you today. Please give us a thumbnail of the book you’re featuring, The Gift of Christmas.
Cherie Kenton came home to Edenville to help her widowed aunt. Troy McNeil came home to partner with his father. Cherie’s humiliation and embarrassment by Troy at the senior prom ended their relationship. She cannot forgive him, but he loves her. Will the true gift of Christmas reunite them in love and forgiveness?
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in smoky California! Today I have the joy of interviewing one of our newest CAN members, Joan C. Benson. Joan has written many articles and devotions, as well as material for Sunday school. Today she’s sharing with us about her debut historical novel!
Welcome, Joan! And congratulations on your debut novel! Please tell us about the story.
His Gift begins at the onset of The Great Depression. A talented young woman aspires to become a professional musician. When her world is destroyed by the Great Crash, she is left to find peace by yielding her gift to the Giver of all gifts.
That sounds lovely. What inspired you to write this book?
His Gift is based on a true event in my mother’s life growing up at the onset of the Great Depression. After she passed away, I read some of her diaries and realized what a story her life held.
I love novels based on family stories. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope the readers will be encouraged to see how God can take our losses and give us peace and purpose even in the rubble of our dreams.
So true. So, what was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
Since it’s based on a true event, I couldn’t figure out how to resolve the conflict. I eventually realized the main character had to resolve her problem spiritually, as we all do before finding peace in crisis.
What’s your favorite scene in this book?
The last chapter still stirs my heart even after reading it so many times. Molly finally understands her answer as she yields her dreams to the Lord.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
Our all-powerful God can deliver us from anything when we yield our lives to Him.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
When my children were still young, I felt God wanted me to use my gift of communication for His glory. It took me years to walk into the fullness of this, but in baby steps, I kept moving forward and developing my craft.
Baby steps are remarkably effective! Do you have an unfulfilled dream?
I want to write at least one, or even a series of fiction stories, drawn from my experiences as a pregnancy center trained volunteer counselor. I believe many young women have been deceived by our culture and media about their sexuality and abortion.
What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I was a trained volunteer counselor at our crisis pregnancy center for several years. I believe young women need to know they have options for unplanned pregnancy beside abortion.
I am part of a local women’s speaking ministry called Women Victorious—Ordinary Women, Extraordinary God. We share testimonies of God’s faithfulness, illustrating Scriptural examples, as well as our own, even in our most pressing times of need. We show women how to understand God’s faithfulness, pointing them to Him in their trials and victories.
Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
Yes, I was an educator, a reading specialist, for many years, working with children from kindergarten through middle school. When I taught literature in middle school for several years, I was dismayed by the lack of virtue in many of the books my students were reading. It was then that I determined to write stories which pointed to biblical moral values whether the book was openly Christian or whether it presented His truths and principles without reference to Christianity.
Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
We have two adorable Bichon doggies who are now running fourteen. They curl up under my desk and are very content while I work. Very cozy.
How cute! Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I actually am very good about meeting external deadlines, but I have a harder time meeting my own personal ones. I’ve done lots of contract writing over my career which means deadlines. I do struggle to make my personal deadlines carry the same weight as the ones others impose.
Please tell us about your next project.
I am writing a contemporary novel about a young woman who faces a difficult choice, to hurt those she loves the most or to hurt someone she is barely aware of. The book is written for Christian families and comes as a result of my work as an advocate and counselor for young women in crisis.
Sounds interesting! Thank you for sharing with us, Joan!
Greetings from Sarah Sundin in smoking-hot California! Today I have the joy of interviewing a fellow historical novelist with Revell Books, Cindy K. Sproles. Cindy has put her Appalachian background to good use, creating a backdrop for her newest story—a story with an unexpected timeliness for today!
Cindy, please tell us about your book, What Momma Left Behind.
Taking place in the Appalachian Mountains during the late 1800s, mountain folks face a pandemic leaving hundreds of children parentless and needing to be taken in. Worie Dressar sees fit to make caring for the children, her mission.
Pan-de-mic…that word sounds familiar. Obviously, this novel was written long before COVID-19, so what inspired this story?
The inspiration behind this book is the need for families reaching out to adopt children – especially older children and to adopt them here, in our own country. A child adopted, regardless of what country they are from, is a win, but our own country faces hundreds of thousands of older children needing love, guidance, and someone to care.
Why did you write this book?
I wrote the book to honor those who step out in faith to adopt older children. Those who see the good in every child and want to make a difference.
What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
I suppose what surprised me most was . . .
1) that when the book was written 22 months ago, there was no clue of COVID. As I researched this book, I found just how many children were left parentless in the backwoods of the mountains because their parents had died from the flu. Influenza passed through the mountains killing more adults than children, and since records were rarely kept, there are only theories as to why more children did not die.
2) I learned about the orphan train. I’d never heard of that, and when my research took me there, I was floored that children as young as four were placed on a train and shipped out west, stopping along the way for farm families to pick and choose cheap farm labor.
History is endlessly fascinating! What was the hardest scene to write?
The hardest scene to write was the first scene of the book when Worie finds her mother has killed herself. She is forced to bury her mother and try to get past the attempt she had made to save her mother. It had to be emotional and it had to be hard. Life in the mountains during the late 1800s was treacherous. It wasn’t a walk in the park. Being able to help Worie convey the mixed emotions of hurt, guilt, determination, and anger at her situation and her mother.
That would be a very difficult scene to write, but those are usually the most touching. Cindy, how do you share Christ in your writing?
I don’t believe in preaching to the choir. My books are geared to non-believers. I want them to see that faithful people suffer hardship, yet the difference between them and the average person, is they understand grace and mercy, as well as how to repent. There is always an underlying thread of faith, but my characters make serious mistakes. They battle with the issues of the world and the emotion that follows, yet by the end of the story they have been gently and subtly introduced to a loving God. It is not overt. Though in historical Appalachia religion was very much a part of the culture, so I can get away with showing God’s love without repercussion.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
Hope. Gratefulness. Victory in the eventual overcoming of a situation.
Why do you love writing?
Writing is who I am. I prayed (and still do) that God will allow me to be a writer. All the work is returned to Him for His glory. Writing is just who I am.
When did you first recognize God’s call to write for Him?
As a child. My brother is 12 years older than me. I basically grew up as an only child. My favorite playmate was the God I learned about in Sunday school, so I imagined stories all the time with my friend, God. I knew from childhood I wanted to tell stories, and I prayed as an adult for the opportunity to “just be a writer.”
I love it! What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I serve as a lead editor for LPC Books/Iron Stream Media. This is a ministry in and of itself and an opportunity to give back to new writers. I am the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries and the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us. Again, the call came, and my ministry partner, CAN member Eddie Jones, and I answered. I also serve as part of our church food ministry.
Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
Sometimes it’s tough to manage time. I recently retired (end of July) and within two days, others were filling my days for me. So, I have set morning work hours three days a week, and afternoon work days two days a week. Weekends are there to write when I want.
What’s your favorite bookstore—and why?
My favorite bookstore is my local mom and pop store, I Love Books Bookstore. The owner, Mr. Moody has become my number one sales guy. In all he’s sold over 3000 copies of my book. He is a wonderful man and a jewel to work with.
What a blessing to have such a supportive store in town! Thank you for sharing with us today, Cindy!