Rose Chandler Johnson’s devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments was released in July 2013. Her devotions, poems, and articles have appeared in numerous Christian publications and online. She enjoys writing for her popular blog, Write Moments with God, and engaging with her readers. Rose is a native Georgian and happily makes her home near Augusta, GA. She has been a French and English teacher over the last twenty plus years. Currently, she is an English instructor at a community college.
Rose enjoys baking, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their families. You get a glimpse of those interests in the pages of My Father’s House, where sweet iced tea is served in abundance. Rose wants to make it clear that the mention of all that sweet tea wasn’t a shameless plug for her devotional. No, ma’am. It’s just the beverage of choice in the South.
Tell us a bit about yourself, how long you’ve been writing, what types of writing you do, etc.
I wrote in the late 70s and 80s, had some poems and articles published then, and then basically didn’t write for close to 20 years. Due to the demands of my family life—I raised six children as a single parent—and the fact that I’ve been a teacher and a student myself over the last twenty-five years, writing took a backseat until 2008. I began writing again in 2008 almost daily and I’ve been writing ever since.
Why did you decide to become a writer?Writers write because they have a passion to write. I always enjoyed it so much. I was a big fan of the classics growing up and very studious. I decided to get a degree in English and French and dreamt of one day writing a great novel.
What is the one piece of writing advice you wish you’d had at the beginning of your career?The one piece of advice—write everyday.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?Keep a writing journal and jot down words, phrases, and ideas that come to you every day. I’ve forgotten entire story ideas because I failed to write it down.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?Write. I simply start putting words on paper. It’s called “freewriting” and I’ve found that if I just start writing that I will eventually come around to the words I needed.
What are you currently working on? Any special projects? I’m working on a couple of projects. When I find the time, I’m working on a non-fiction book and a second devotional. I think of the non-fiction as a priority because it’s an overflow of what the Lord has done in my life and what He continues to reveal to me about Himself. I am working on another novel, doing research for it, and working on my characters. I’m looking forward to see God’s timing in all of this. In the meantime, I want to be faithful to write everyday whatever God puts on my heart.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? I love the classics. My tastes are a bit old-fashioned. My favorite novel is Jane Eyre, which I read every year or so.
I actually read more spiritual non-fiction than anything else. I also read memoirs. I’ve recently reread On Writing by Stephen King and The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Theroux. I recommend both of those. I’m usually reading 2 or 3 books at once.
Do you have a favorite time of day to write?I like to write first thing in the morning, even before I begin my bible reading. This is when I’ve written most of my devotions. My most productive time to write fiction is the middle afternoon to early evening. I figured this out over time.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?My Father’s House was recently published. I lived with those characters for a few years. I had my plotline developed all the way down to chapter summaries, and I found pictures for each character, even for places, things, and pets. (See my Pinterest pages for my books.) But, one of the most delightful things about writing My Father’s House was that my characters and events surprised me. Things happened that I didn’t anticipate. I learned things about the characters that I didn’t know when I started. Together we discovered the story.
How can my readers find out more about you and your work?I’d really appreciate it when readers connect with me on the social media sites, including my Amazon Author Page. My blog offers encouragement and monthly book giveaways from guest Christian authors. I always respond to the reviews readers write for my books, and that leads to the occasional sharing of personal information as well.
Connect with Rose:
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is available for sale in kindle ebook, paperback, and audio book.
My Father’s House is available in kindle ebook and paperback.
Can you give our readers a short description of your new novel, My Father’s House?
Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to her one constant – her father’s love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning with her father’s sudden death. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and a life she thinks is gone forever.
Marriage to her prince charming promises fulfillment, but their happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Beneath the sophisticated façade lies a brooding man who hides dark secrets. When all illusions of happiness shatter, Lily must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about.
In spite of heartbreak and regrets, will she find the strength to survive whatever comes? Or will her husband find her and shatter all her hopes . . . again. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to faith and who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.
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