Sunday, February 20, 2011

Welcome to Dwellings.

A blog that hi-lights authors from the world of Christian Publishing, Dwellings features books by Christian writers led by the Lord to write about characters and stories set all over the world, in the distant past....or perhaps in a vision of the future.

They are exciting stories of romance, adventure and suspense, written to inspire and encourage. Occasionally you may find non-fiction books as well, so if you're looking for a book for yourself, a loved one, or those who may need an uplifting message woven through an entertaining story, please consider the new monthly releases in books found here.

And let us know if you've read any of the books featured on Dwellings, you have a review to offer, or just found it an interesting spot to visit. (If you leave your e-mail address, you'll be entered in a drawing for a great giveaway if its available that week, so visit often!)

This week, the spot light is on:"Love Amid the Ashes" by Mesu Andrews

Title: Love Amid the Ashes

Author: Mesu Andrews
Publisher: Revell

Unfortunately there is not a giveaway for this book, but we we welcome comments about "Love Amid the Ashes", or about this blog.

Readers often think of Job sitting on the ash heap, his life in shambles. But how did he get there? What was Job's life like before tragedy struck? What did he think as his world came crashing down around him? And what was life like after God restored his wealth, health, and family? Through painstaking research and a writer's creative mind, Mesu Andrews weaves an emotional and stirring account of this well-known story told through the eyes of the women who loved him. Drawing together the account of Job with those of Esau's tribe and Jacob's daughter Dinah, Love Amid the Ashes breathes life, romance, and passion into the classic biblical story of suffering and steadfast faith.),

Mesu has graciously stopped in to answer a few questions about how her writing career got underway...

How did you prepare to be a writer? College courses? Workshops? Books on Craft?

I had attended two previous writers’ conferences, and was attending Mt. Hermon’s Writers’ Conference when I met my editor. In fact, I was involved in Gayle Roper’s intense mentoring clinic and realized that the proposal I had submitted for critique was WOEFULLY flawed! Before Gayle’s clinic, I didn’t even know what POV was! After a full week of Gayle’s instruction, I promised extensive changes, and my editor agreed to look at my full manuscript. The only other training I’ve received is through ACFW’s monthly courses (which are fabulous) and by reading in my own genre.

Were you writing fiction before you got published?

I had no intention of writing fiction! My passion was Bible studies and devotionals. However, when I tried to get my first manuscript published (on the Song of Songs), an agent said, “I couldn’t sell a Bible study on The Song of Songs if it was written by Billy Graham!” They were definitely not interested in trying to sell one by a novice author! A very good (and persistent) friend convinced me that the only way to teach my Bible study on that Scripture was to write the fictional story I’d been sharing at retreats to illustrate Christ’s love. The fiction was never the goal. It was the tool. But now that I’m writing fiction, I love it!!!

How many years/stories did you write before the first one was accepted?

I first attempted to write "Sacred Song" in novel form way back in 2001. It was AWFUL! I spent my first writers’ conference in tears. One agent was so offended by the chapter I chose for my proposal, she yelled at me and called me everything but a heretic. Two editors told me I’d better stick with speaking at retreats. I went home and tucked the manuscript into a drawer and started writing devotionals. The discipline of writing and sharing those devotionals with a consistently growing audience prepared me to write better fiction seven years later. I began to apply the fictional principles of story to my devotional introductions, and they became quite popular.

How did you happen to pick Job (the oldest book in the Bible) to base your story on? Considering its heavy theme, did it get difficult at any time?

Revell actually contracted my Song of Solomon novel, but because Jill Eileen Smith’s Wives of King David’s Trilogy released consecutively until 2011, they didn’t want to publish my Solomon book until 2012. So they asked if I would consider writing another story while we waited. I had done a little preliminary research on other biblical novels, and both Job and Hosea intrigued me. I chose Job because of the interesting link between Job and Dinah that piqued my interest in early research. Revell graciously agreed to my suggestion. So my second book is being published first, and my first novel is actually second to be published!

Are you working on something new? (Maybe a quick sentence or two of what it's about to whet our appetites? :)

Of course! I’m hoping to introduce three more Old Testament women, who have been long overlooked or little understood. Hosea’s wife, Gomer, is the first woman I’d like to show readers more clearly. The prostitute that became a prophet’s wife to illustrate God’s love – can this be anything but a fabulous story?

Thanks for stopping in Mesu and sharing about your writing struggles. You can find out more about Mesu's personal struggles with her chronic illness, writing (and meeting those deadlines)--and leaning on the Lord's love and guidance-- on her website:
Please stop in to visit; she offers an incredible witness!

I hope this interview has piqued your curiosity in some way; especially if you're struggling with illness, financial, or relational problems. It is well-written fiction like this that nudge us once more to turn to God, the True Author of our Salvation--and His Word--once again. Blessings!

1 comment:

Ann Lee Miller said...

I just started reading Love Amid the Ashes and am loving it. Mesu is a very adept writer and storyteller.

Ann Lee Miller