Greetings from Marti Pieper in springtime in Seneca, South Carolina, where we’re bonding in isolation as we recover from the recent tornado and remain on lockdown due to COVID-19! I’m grateful that, during our years in Florida, I bonded with today’s interview subject, my dear friend, Janet Perez Eckles. She’s a lovely lady with a unique story and message, and I know you’ll enjoy her interview!
Welcome to the CAN blog, Janet! Please tell us about your book.
Written in a friend-to-friend style, Simply Salsa explores the simplicity of living with joy. Each real-life episode illustrates the path to overcome fear, insecurities, and heartache, and embrace a new, triumphant victory in Christ.
What inspired you to write this book?
The victory God gave me when I lost my eyesight. The healing when my youngest son was murdered. And the new beginning after the abandonment of my husband after 42 years of marriage.
Rather than a life of misery, my life illustrates a series of miracles. Each episode fueled my faith in Christ, sparked a deeper trust in Him, and ushered in a victorious, successful, and joy-filled life.
And I can testify to your joy! So why did you write Simply Salsa?
To inspire, encourage, and empower women to look beyond their circumstances. And show them how to dance into God’s arms, taking steps according to the melody of His promises.
What is the primary focus of your book?
To provide a practical guide to overcome fear and insecurities and embrace a triumphant life.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
The truth that no matter how deep or dark the valley, God’s hand is ready to lift them up, dust off the heartache, and take them to a new beginning, fresh and rich.
That’s beautiful. How has God used the message of your book in your own life?
It sparked a speaking ministry that takes me across the U.S. and other countries to impart the message, showcasing God’s redemptive power.
What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
Being blind, using a screen reader can be a challenge. Unable to “see” the format, I relied on sighted friends for help.
You see better than most of the sighted people I know. What was the hardest section of the book for you to write?
The episode of my nineteen-year-old son, the details of his tragic death, and the acquittal of the man responsible.
Just reading your answer hurts my heart, but I know the beauty the Lord wrote through this story, too. What’s your favorite section in this book?
In general, I’m pleased that the style of writing is warm, a bit sassy, but overflowing with God’s truth.
That sounds just like you! How do you share Christ in your writing?
Each chapter focuses on God’s active role in each situation—through the pain, the acceptance, the peace, and the healing.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
The deeper the pain, the more dramatic the victory.
I love and hate that all at once. Janet, how has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
It forced me to be more devoted to His Word, more diligent in studying His message, and more frequently aware of His presence.
Why do you love writing?
Because it releases my passion to encourage, inspire, and point my readers to Christ.
And why do you write in this genre?
Because it comes from my own life’s experiences and from my firsthand encounter with God’s love that transcends all adversity.
What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
The learning of the craft is a must in order to honor God with the message.
Since I first met you through a Christian writers group, Word Weavers, I know you have put in your time on craft!
Please tell us about your most touching moment with a reader, please.
I received a call from a woman in Mexico who shared that Simply Salsa gave her a guide to follow, and for the first time, she understood what it means to use God’s Word for peace and healing.
That would encourage any writer! Do you have an unfulfilled dream?
Yes, to expand my reach through the internet as well as travel to more countries.
What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I support Access Life, a ministry that reaches out to the disabled and their families by bringing Christ to them through activities uniquely designed for them.
Sounds like a great fit for you! Do you have a “day job” or a previous career? Does it influence what or how you write?
I’ve been a Spanish interpreter for twenty-seven years. Interpreting in various settings from court rooms and medical settings to 911 calls, I gather material which reveals the needs, flaws, and defeats of many.
Tell us about your favorite library memory.
At 16, my first job was in my local library. Placing those books back on the shelves exposed me to the vast array of topics and genres.
What are your hobbies, activities, or passions outside of writing?
My passion is delivering messages of God’s healing power before English and Spanish-speaking audiences.
Now, tell us about your next project.
You Got What It Takes: Your Private Guide to a New Victorious Life. It’s my WIP (work in progress) that will include steps to start over, embrace a new mindset, and prepare for the best.
For His glory,