Greetings from Marti Pieper in beautiful Florina! In case you don’t recognize that place, it’s my coined word for “in between Florida and South Carolina,” which is where I find myself this week as my husband and I are “in between” our former home in Mount Dora, Florida, and our new one in Seneca, South Carolina. But no matter where my home is, I’m thrilled to welcome my friend Michelle S. Lazurek to our CAN blog.
Welcome, Michelle. Can you please tell our readers about your book?
In The Best Gift of All, Paige receives two special gifts for Christmas—a homemade bear made by Mom and her favorite doll she wanted more than anything. When Paige disregards her other gifts, Mom wants to show her where real gift-giving originates—from the heart. Through serving at a homeless shelter, Paige learns the best gifts are not those wrapped in beautiful bows or packages—but ones from the heart.
Just in time for Christmas! What inspired you to write this book?
My daughter Leah, when she was about seven years old, wanted a toy video camera for Christmas more than anything. I hid the gift inside the Christmas tree. When she opened all of her gifts, she crossed her arms across her chest in a huff and pouted. When I showed her the gift in the tree, she ripped it open and screamed with delight! It was nice that she loved the gift but made all of the other gifts we gave paled in comparison. I wanted to highlight the reason for gift giving during the holiday season.
And what do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I wanted to teach kids the lesson that Christmas is not just about having the best and most expensive gift but about giving from your heart, even if a homemade gift looks less attractive than a gift from a toy manufacturer.
Sounds perfect! What would be your ideal writing place? And . . . what’s your actual writing place like?
My ideal writing place would be a quiet cabin overlooking a lake. My real situation is on my couch in my living room. Sometimes I pull the lever and recline in my chair—that is just like lying back in a beach chair on the lake, right? Lol!
What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
It is so hard! And the path to publication is fraught with rejection. In this line of work, writers must know they will experience rejection. They must develop thick skins and do the soul work they need so they can be content with being a writer no matter what happens with their books.
What ministries are you involved in, and why?
As a pastors’ wife, I wear many hats in my church. I serve on worship team, help lead small groups, teach classes, and in the past, have led my women’s ministry team and organized/spoken at women’s retreats.
Sounds like most pastor’s wives! Everyone struggles with time management in our 24/7 world. How do you stay disciplined and meet your deadlines?
I keep regular work hours from 8-3 or 8-4. Sometimes I work a bit late, but since I am mom of two teens, I try hard to be finished when the kids get off the bus at the end of the school day. Therefore, I must keep strict hours, and with the exception of a doctor’s appointment, I stick to those hours as best as I can.
That’s great. What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I love reading, exercise, taking walks at night with my family, and movies.
Tell us about your next project.
I have another children’s book called Who God Wants Me to Be, co-written with fellow CAN member Crystal Bowman, that helps girls ages four through nine dream about what they want to be when they grow up and align those dreams with God’s plan for their lives.
That sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for taking time to share with us today, Michelle. Thanksgiving blessings!
To learn more about Michelle’s writing, visit Michelle’s website.
For His glory,