I was blessed to be born into a Christian home with a strong Christian mother who taught me the Bible from birth.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Chicago, but most of my extended family at the time lived in various parts of Indiana. Every summer, I spent time on my grandmother's farm near the Indiana/Ohio border and visited my other grandparents in West Lafayette, IN. Being in the "Bible belt" part of the United States guided me to develop conservative, Bible centered, Christian views.
What do you think is the most important part of being a Christian?
Everything starts with accepting God's deity and the salvation He offers us through Christ's atonement on the cross. Once that first step is taken, it then becomes important to grow in the faith and actively practice what you profess. Turn your beliefs into actions in your daily life. The Bible says faith without works is dead. We worship a living God and we need to practice a living faith.
Church attendance at many churches is anemic these days. Where do you think churches are going wrong?
The Bible says there will be a famine of the word and I think we are beginning to experience that now. People are not getting spiritually fed. Churches need to focus on getting people active in the church to fellowship with other believers. A minister's sermon is a great starting point, but he/she can't do it all. Even if a minister delivers a great message, they need to teach the people how to digest the message and use critical thinking skills to apply it to their personal lives.
Who are your favorite authors?
I'm a fan of Perry Stone from Voice of Evangelism ministries. He has a way of connecting modern Christianity to our Jewish roots which I find fascinating. Eschatology is also a strong theme in his works which I find intriguing.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I saw a need that wasn't being addressed. So many of the Bible studies out there right now drive the reader to arrive at a pre-determined point. My study is designed to stimulate conversation using critical thinking skills to help the group examine the application of their faith in their lives.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After I wrote the Bible study for our group, everyone enjoyed it so much I wanted to share it with others so they could have as much fun as we did. The concept worked so well the way it was, I didn't want to go the traditional route and leave the door open for a publisher to request multiple chops resulting in a significantly altered product.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I love the author tools that Smashwords offers. Being able to create coupons that are customized to the dates and amounts that I choose is an amazing benefit. Even being able to do an interview like this sets Smashwords apart from other self-publishing venues.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to have a positive impact in other people's lives. If only one person walks away after completing my study series feeling spiritually fed, then I have accomplished something of value.
What are you working on next?
Throughout 2014, I'm releasing the rest of the books in "The No-Homework Women's Bible Study: Group Hug" series. Each book I write gets "test driven" in a real world environment before it gets published, so the rest of the year I'm involved with group testing and revisions. After that, I'm thinking about starting another series based on Jesus' parables.
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