What inspired you to write the short story that was featured in Birds of Passage?
An International Crisis Aid representative shared a true-life story of human trafficking at my church. He only talked for a few minutes from the rescuer’s perspective, but a fictional character in desperate need of rescuing was born in my mind as he spoke.
How long have you been a writer and how did your interest in writing start? I have been writing as long as I can remember. My first short piece was published in 2008.
What would you like to accomplish as a writer?
I want to use my talents to build God’s kingdom through writing.
Who has influenced your writing? How?
My deep love for Christ and His love for me influences my writing more than anything else. When I want to improve my writing, I reread Psalms, Isaiah, and Job and try to emulate the beautiful use of words in those amazing books. Also, I should credit some of my technique for short fiction writing to Charles Dickens and Gustave Flaubert.
Do you write on a regular basis or sporadically and when and where is your favorite time and place to write?
I write a little something every single day. Inspiration comes to me as I drift off to sleep so I keep a journal within reach of my bed to jot down the idea. The real writing takes place at my desktop computer the following day.
What book and/or short stories have you written, besides the short story in Birds of Passage?
I write and edit a lot of Christian literature. One of my favorite projects is a book called Never Forsaken: A Testimony Collection. It is a collection of compelling true-life Christian testimonies like a drug-addict turned pastor, a Hindu turned Christian through a supernatural experience, and many others.
Do you read Christian and secular novels of just Christian works? Do you have a favorite author, can be Christian or non-Christian?
I have read lots of secular novels in the past, but the more my spirit grows in Christ—the more I realize Christian literature takes me closer to my desired goal of drawing nearer to God. My favorite book to read is the Bible. When it comes to more recent works, I am a huge fan of Bo Caldwell’s magnificent writing in City of Tranquil Light.
As a Christian author, do you plan a faith message before you start writing or does your faith message grow out of writing a particular story? If no faith message in your writing, why not?
For the most part, my literature seems to write itself while I act as the scribe. The faith message is an integral part of the work from its inception. If I finish a piece and there is no overt faith message, I try to be mindful of the message it would send to the reader. Is it Christlike? How can I make it more positive? How can I glorify God better with this piece? Then it is time to make some edits.
Do you outline every chapter of your story, or do you simply let if flow without a preconceived idea as to where you might be headed?
Honestly, I start my writing with a prayer. It writes itself from there.
What is the biggest challenge facing you as an author in general? How about as a Christian author?
Perseverance is my biggest challenge as a writer. As a Christian writer, I struggle with the inability to portray God as wonderful as He actually is.
Tell me about your current project. What you are trying to achieve, how far along are you, when it will be ready, any particular challenges with the work, target audience, etc, I recently finished acting in the role of editor on Beseeching Grace: An International Prayer Collection. The goal of the project is to facilitate relevant prayer for countries around the world. Finding persons to volunteer their writing is always the greatest challenge on any project that I act as editor. God is faithful, though. He always provides kind and talented authors to take the project to completion. Although I continue to blog poetry, I am taking a bit of a breather right now.
Given the choice, would you rather be an independent author or be traditionally published? Why?
I like both. Traditional publishing can reach an audience I could never reach on my own, but independent publishing gives me the ultimate freedom to write whatever I feel inspired to write.
Is there anything else about you or your writing that you would like to share?
Writing can be such a lonely adventure. It is so helpful when readers communicate their presence on their end. Either with a simple click to “like” or “follow” my site or social media, I suddenly feel connected to the reader on some level. This helps me feel less alone during my writing journey (and my life journey).
If someone wants to reach out to you, how should they do that? What is your preference?
Visit me at www.drawneartochrist.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am always looking to connect with Christians who want to draw near to God through Christian literature and authors who want to write for the sake of Christ.