An Encouraging Word From Norma Gail, an Extraordinary Woman and a Talented Writer.
“Never give up.” It’s easy to say and hard to do.
Life, like writing, is an ongoing lesson in perseverance. All the best things in my life came after a wait and involved some degree of uncertainty, commitment, hard work, and prayer.
My second book, a contemporary Christian Romantic Suspense, releases on May 19th. One of my favorite quotes from it says, “If we fail to accept what God sends with trusting hearts, we refuse His greatest blessings.”
In my freshman year at the local university, I was put on the waiting list for the College of Nursing. My parents and I looked into out-of-state schools, even though it would have placed a considerable hardship on our family. While preparing to go away, we prayed. Three weeks before I was to leave home, I received a phone call offering me a place. Waiting on God taught me to trust, pray, and never give up.
My husband and I were engaged for almost two years so I could concentrate on nursing school. Our love not only survived but thrived. The next big challenge to never give up came with the decision to begin a family. Following eight years of marriage, a social worker laid a baby boy in our arms. At that moment, we held the answer to years of prayer in our arms. I realized all the waiting was because our baby hadn’t been born. Twenty-one and a half months later, we adopted a baby girl. We trusted and God gave His best.
The contract for my first book, Land of My Dreams,came after my second writer’s conference. I was spared the wait many authors experience. But the second time, I had two books rejected. By then, I knew that God always has a better plan. As I prayed, it became clear that I had listened to what other people wanted me to write. Within Golden Bandsis the result of writing what the Lord said to write—the story of a young couple struggling with infertility, what appears like an insurmountable roadblock to adoption, the potential loss of their livelihood, and perhaps their lives.
The lesson: Never give up. Isaiah 59:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” His plans are always best.
Norma Gail writes Fiction to Refresh Your Spirit, exploring the theme of women whose faith triumphs over trials. Her debut novel won the 2016 Bookvana Religious Fiction Award. A women’s Bible study leader for over 21 years, Norma is a former Bible Study Fellowship discussion leader, and founding leader of the women’s Bible studies at her church. Her devotionals and poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 44 years. They have two adult children.
Social Media Links:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/norma-gail-holtman-3b271a42/
Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/normagailth/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/normagailwrites/
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459.Norma_Gail
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Norma-Gail/e/B00ILHXBAK/
Land of My Dreams- https://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail-ebook/dp/B01ENKEL02/
Within Golden Bands - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084TSQ432/(The release date is May 19th)
Welcome Martin. Thank you for stopping by. Tell us about your latest book.
My most recent book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Noisy World, is a compilation of 52 devotions, all of which relate spiritual truths to camping, hiking, or backpacking experiences I have had with either friends or family members. Since devotional books are quite common and do not enjoy a long shelf life, I wanted to put together something different this time.
What sparked this story?
As with most of my devotions, these come from true life stories. I had made the pitch to the publisher at Ambassador International. While he showed interest in publishing the book, he was not overly fond of any of my proposed titles. Along this same time, I was attending the annual Asheville Christian Writer’s Conference and asked one of my writer friends, Latan Roland Murphy, if she might have an idea. She gave me the title, which the publisher loved and accepted.
What’s the one thing you haven’t yet written, but hope to one day?
With the exception of one of my books, all my published books have been devotional in nature. I would love to write a novel, but am not sure I ever will. While I know all the mechanics of doing so, they just have not come together in any of my previous attempts. I am still holding out the hope that it might happen one day.
What genre do you enjoy reading the most?
Although I read many genres of literature, historical fiction is my favorite. I have a love for history and fiction, so I can think of no better way to put them together.
What are you reading now?
The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer, The Confessions of St. Augustine, and Heart Cry of Every Teen. At the moment, no historical fiction is on my list.
Where is your favorite place and time of day to write?
My writing space began as a secluded spot in my quiet office. Currently, it is nestled in a part of our small patio townhome between the den and the dining room. Since my children are grown and gone—and since the grandboys my wife keeps leave after supper—I have plenty of quiet time if I need it. My main time for writing, however, begins at 4:30 a.m. I’ve always been a morning person—my brain shuts down around 8:30 p.m.—so my inspiration comes before the sun rises. My desk is the bottom iron table on which once sat a sewing machine that belonged to my great-grandmother. The top is a thick piece of plywood that either my father or my grandfather mounted on it. It’s a small space, but with most everything I need stored on my laptop, I don’t require much space.
Share one thing our readers may not know about you.
I did not start writing in earnest until I was almost 50—in 2009 to be exact, the year my father died. I’m not sure the connection between those two events, but for some reason I felt compelled to begin writing devotions and articles. My father was not a writer, except for his sermons, so I don’t think it was his example that compelled me.
What is your next writing project?
I am working on finding a publisher for a nonfiction work I have written but am revising.
What advice would you like to share with a beginning writer?
Don’t give up. Getting published, whether for a book, devotion, or article, is getting increasingly more difficult, so patience is necessary. Write for the right reason, and God will open the doors he wants your publication journey to take.
Please give us the first page of your book.
BRING ON THE RAIN
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. James 1:2
“Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. AND IT DID. BY THE bucketful. My wife and I had headed to the mountains for a few days of camping. Check in wasn’t until two p.m., but the camp host said we could come anytime. Knowing the tendency of thunderstorms to crop up around noon in the mountains, we went early. Gorgeous sunny cool weather greeted us … for one hour. No sooner had we erected the tent and put up a tarp than a gully washer marched in. My wife headed for the tent. I stood outside under the tarp. We had chosen the place for our tent based on the electrical box’s location. That spot was also the low spot of the campsite. As the water ran, it puddled several inches deep outside our tent. Soon, I heard my wife say, “We have a problem.” I didn’t have to ask what. Having no shovel, I used the next best thing, a hammer, to trench the water away from the tent. Then I took the broom and swept away the excess. After the rain stopped, we placed a tarp around that part of the tent to ward off any future puddles, which fortunately never came.
Share your bio and your social media links with us.
Martin Wiles lives in South Carolina and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, minister, and author who serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and as a proof-editor for Courier Publishing. He is the author of six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Busy World, released in December 2019.
Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Woods-Quiet-Escapes-Noisy/dp/1620208652
Social media links:
LEANNA OPENS HER HEART AND SHARES HER THOUGHTS
Hush is my seventh suspense novel. I’d had the idea for a story with a serial killer who used the “Hush, Little Baby” lullaby as a sort of blueprint for his murders knocking around in my head for a while, but I didn’t start writing it until my mother entered the final stages of her Alzheimer’s disease. In my opinion, Alzheimer’s is straight from the blackest pit of hell. It’s a death sentence, but it’s the worse kind of death. It wasn’t satisfied with just killing my mother, it was intent on stealing away everything that made her the person she was, leaving an empty shell that lookedlike her, but that was where the similarities stopped.
I guess I used the writing as a kind of therapy…a way to rid myself of some of the negative emotions. It worked. After reading the first murder scene aloud to my husband, he looked at me with the strangest expression on his face and said, “Sometimes you scare me.” Good. My goal in my writing is to make my readers feel every emotion, from laugh-out-loud to crying like their heart is breaking, and everything in between.
I decided to give my main character’s mother Alzheimer’s. In a way, I hated to do it. Even in fiction, it seemed like a mean thing to do, but it allowed me the ability to weave some of the things Mama said and did right into the story, and that was cathartic. It gave me a little control over something when the rest of my world seemed to be spinning out of control.
I dedicated the book to Mama, but I wanted to do more, so I decided to give any royalties I make to Alzheimer’s research. It’s my hope that it will help them to find a cure for this awful disease so that others won’t have to experience the pain, frustration, confusion, and sadness that my family did.
A summary of the book…
Lacey Campbell can dream murders before they happen. The problem is her dreams are in fragments—bits and pieces—not enough clues to allow her to stop the murders from happening. She dreams flashes of a man singing “Hush, Little Baby” while he strangles a young woman. When she awakes, she tried to convince herself it doesn’t mean anything, but the next night she dreams a second murder—same scenario—the lullaby... another strangulation. It’s time to tell the police.
State Bureau of Investigation sends in their man, Detective Ford Jamison, to help the local police which results in the typical territorial skirmish between the two forces. Ford soon has a two-part working theory: the killer is using the lullaby to stage his murders and he’s targeting women who look remarkably like Lacey. That knowledge doesn’t slow the killings, though and the police are always one step behind. Now Lacey is afraid to go to sleep because the next face she sees in her dreams might be her own.
As a hurricane churns ever closer to the little coastal town, danger and suspicion spin out of control. Time is running out. Can they stop the killer before the last verse of the lullaby?
North Carolina author, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, before moving back to mountains of western NC. Her Southern suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method that successfully rolls elements of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon all together, making it her own. She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Hush-Leanna-Sain/dp/1645262502/ref=sr_1_1?
Website and blog: http://leannasain.com
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