Greetings from Sarah Sundin in California! Today I have the joy of chatting with Doreen Hanna, who has made a career out of helping young ladies discover their royalty in Christ and to enter womanhood with grace. And isn’t that lovely?
Doreen, please tell us about your book.
Raising a Modern-Day Princess was written to mothers and mentors of teenage girls providing insights on the challenges and rewards of raising teenage girls. It also contains personal stories that reveal the value of a rite of passage journey that ends in a life-impacting blessing ceremony.
Greetings from beautiful and moving-toward-summer Mount Dora, Florida! I’m newly returned from the beautiful state of Colorado and a time of service and teaching at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. And guess what? Lori Wildenberg, the lovely subject of today’s interview, also served on faculty there. I’m delighted to have this opportunity to share her work and wisdom with you.
Welcome, Lori! Please tell us about your most recent book.
Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents with a wayward child. My daughter and I, along with other parents and prodigals, share our stories. The book offers practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating life with a detoured child.
I love the title. And what inspired you to write this book?
This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache, but it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child. So I guess my inspiration is my daughter, our journey, and the hope that others will be encouraged.
How beautiful that God allowed you to use your pain as a vehicle to bless and encourage others. So what would you say is your book’s primary focus?
The primary focus of my book is to encourage the relationship between the prodigal, the parent, and God. I hope to provide some peace and direction to the parents who are wounded by the way in which their child is living. It’s tough to navigate life when belief and behavior collide. When one is the parent of a prodigal, living in the tension of grace and truth while holding fast to convictions is a challenging task.
I love your voice of experience. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I pray that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented, they will feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.
Lori, I know you’ve been writing for a while. Would you tell us about your funniest moment with a reader?
One reader, a mom with little ones, mentioned to me she keeps my first book: EMPOWERED PARENTS: Putting Faith First in her bathroom, “So I can multitask.” One afternoon, her little one, who was being potty-trained, wanted to do a science experiment and tossed the book into the toilet and gave it a flush. Needless to say, I gave her a new book!
I guess you can say you have some very young readers in your audience! Now, please tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
Messy Journey moves people, some to tears, and touches their hearts. These readers will often express this to me. I feel blessed because I know God is using my messy journey to help them through theirs. These individuals know they’re not alone. One mom told me I gave words to feelings she had never articulated. Now I was the one moved to tears.
Lori, let’s learn a bit more about you. What ministries are you involved in and why?
The ministries I’m involved in revolve around faith, family, and mentoring. My heart is to help families build relationships that last a lifetime. You can find me mentoring at MOMS Together (www.facebook.com/momstogether), supporting and relating to parents over at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com, and ministering to moms and dads via my blog loriwildenberg.blogpsot.com . I love speaking to various parent groups, women’s groups, and mom groups on the topics of parenting and mothering.
Fantastic. And what are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
We live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Just out our back door are trails that stretch for miles. A perfect day in my world is time spent hiking with my husband, four kids (plus one daughter-in-love), and Murphy (the family labradoodle).
Anytime in or near the Rockies sounds wonderful to me, too. What can you tell us about your next project?
My upcoming project is in its infancy stage. I will be focusing on how to create a relationship between family members that lasts a lifetime.
That sounds like one that will meet a definite need. Thanks so much for taking time to share your life and your work with us, Lori. I know our readers will appreciate your thoughtful encouragement.
This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly, first uttered this
now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.
I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.
As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:
Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed? Linda is popular with those who value a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities . (On her website these images rotate automatically!)
Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match
who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do they represent my calling? Am I approachable and easy to relate to in this image? This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple. Linda explains, “Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”
In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.
What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!
Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”
Greetings from Sarah Sundin! What an honor to interview PeggySue Wells today. A popular speaker and radio host, this multi-published author of both nonfiction and fiction is brimming with humor and energy. I know you’ll enjoy her interview as much as I did.
PeggySue, how did you get into writing?
As a kid, my favorite aisle in the store was stationery – all those gorgeous pens and inviting paper with endless story possibilities. In college I was a modern dance major until I blew out both knees and the specialist said I would be lucky to walk. The other major in the college catalog that made my eyes light up was journalism and I took to it like a horse to sweet feed. In college I won the best feature award, best news story award, and my personal favorite, most misleading headline that year in the state of California.
Newly married, I was the head reporter for our small-town newspaper until I came home to raise and school my seven favorite children and do the occasional freelance project.
Armed with the caulk gun, one day I called my best friend and the only other person in town with a traveling husband. “Ants are coming in my second-story window, trailing across the bedroom, and disappearing somewhere in my bathroom. Someone should tell me how to be the wife of a frequently absent spouse.”
She laughed and we commiserated. About twenty minutes later she called back. “I think you should write that book and I would support you.”
Mary Ann Froehlich and I co-authored my first published title, Holding Down the Fort.