The other challenge is that so much after the writing is beyond my control and knowledge.  Writing a book is just the beginning; it’s the birth of the child.  After that many other people are involved in raising the child – mostly for the good, some not.  It’s very much like raising a real child, trusting that child into the world.

Finally, what I like least is being categorized.  I don’t write only for black readers or Christian readers.  For some reason, I didn’t expect that.  I don’t think that is God’s heart.  All are invited; all are my brothers and sisters.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?
I’m working on several book proposals, most of them historical.  I also have a children’s book that I would love to see have a publishing home.  It’s called "The Apple of His Eye."  We’ll see.

What advice would you give to a person trying to become a fiction writer? 
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God” … I know it may sound trite, but it’s been true for me.  I didn’t come to writing and being published in the traditional way, so I don’t know a lot about that.  What I share is what I’ve experienced.  I began writing to worship God in a way that I felt He wanted from me personally.  It was a gift I gave to Him in private.  I wasn’t seeking publication.  I didn’t think I was good enough, or even a good enough person.  But I wanted to love Him the way He wanted to be loved.  It was a gift I gave in private that the Lord chose to make public.  I went to a writer’s conference seeking other writers, thinking they would give me feedback.  Instead, I left with a publisher, an agent, and an award.  I was seeking God, loving God.

So first, seek God.

Then, keep your eyes, ears, and nose working wherever you are.  Soak in information and store it away.

Finally, read.  Read books, all kinds of books, but read books that challenge you.  Let the books teach you.  Read writers that write beyond anything you could think or imagine; then pray and then write.  Whatever fruit you produce from these three things will be your own fruit and it will be good.

What message would you like your readers to take away from "Abraham’s Well"?
Don’t surrender to fear and hopelessness.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?
As a writer, I want to use the gifts God has given me to tell good stories, stories full of truth and love, even difficult truths and love.

As a child of God, I hope that the Spirit will somehow breathe on those stories and bind up the brokenhearted, free the captives, release prisoners from darkness, comfort mourners, give a crown of beauty for ashes, give the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  I hope to speak peace and to build bridges of hope and love among all people and all nations.


 
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