I began writing in 2003 during a time of frustration. I was in Bible College and very upset about the reason I believed people always inquired about another person’s denominational affiliation. I wanted to write a book about this ranting and foaming at the mouth. Needless to say, that book was never actually completed, but my writing career had begun to take root.
What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
My most recently released book: When Will Eve Be Forgiven?, came about due to the fact many of the women I spoke to during my religious training admitted their confusion and dissatisfaction with the roles and perceptions of women in religion. Some of which are: “Women are the gateway to hell” (Tertullian), “Women do not have a soul and so not belong to the human race, as shown by many passages of Holy Scripture” (Valentius Acidalius), and “Women are a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic peril, a deadly fascination, and painted ills” (Chrysistom).
Many expressed a certain guilt they carried being associated so closely with Eve. I began to think about how I had been viewed as a woman in the military with a job position viewed as an occupation only for men (Fire Control Specialist [I set the crosshairs on tanks]). I also thought about the comments I had received for going into the field of theology and came to the realization that women need to be encouraged in life through Scripture. Starting at the beginning of creation, I looked at how women have been defined by man and how God intended for her to be defined. My book is a fascinating rediscovery of the power and beauty of womanhood.
What inspired you to write this book?
I love writing on topics women may find enjoyable. Women motivate me to write. Christian women motivate me to write. Just like any good public speaker knows, which I am also, loving your presentation topic ensures a good presentation. I love having discussions and debates about the role of women in religion and religious history. I enjoy the complexities of womanhood in general, so it is logical that I am constantly stimulated to rediscover or uncover issues regarding women others may not want to address.
I have written several manuscripts. I have books in various stages of completion waiting the day they are in the hands of a veracious reader. To date I have 3 published: (1) Diary of a Wannabe Gardener, released in 2003 is a work of fiction. My first attempt at humor with a dash of spirituality, $9.95, (2) When Will Eve Be Forgiven? Is a work of non-fiction just released this month (Sept) 2010. It is a book on Christian Living and self help, $16.95, (3) The Politics of Prayer, another non-fiction work. Release date (Oct. 2010) is also Christian Living and self help, $17.95. All of the books are available for purchase on www.buybooksontheweb.com.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a transplant to West, Mississippi. I live 17 miles from the birthplace of Oprah Winfrey, Kosciusko. In my small rural area, we still “go to town” for groceries and such. So, Kosciusko is the big town where all the rest of the county shops. My elementary school has closed down due to the fact “people are just not having babies like they use to” and there were not enough of students to keep it open. My high school is still open staffed by many of its former graduates. I attended Magnolia Bible College, BA in Bible in 2007 and Wesley Biblical Seminary graduating with a MA in Christian Studies in 2009. I hope to soon go back to college for my doctorate.
I am a married mother of three daughters. My nest emptied August 2010. I have had what I believe to have been a very interesting life thus far. I am a Gulf War Veteran and avid gardener. I am a 40 something year old woman looking forward to all of the adventures yet to come in my life.
One of my best experience so far as an author had to be when I gave a presentation in Columbus, MS at the library for a reading club. The ladies really enjoyed it. The presentation was on my gardening book and in the book I speak about enjoying seeing how excited children are to see the butterflies in my flower garden. A lady approached me after the presentation and asked if we ever caught any of the butterflies. With over the top enthusiasm I explained it is one of the things my kids look forward to doing. She then began to tell me with a stern face that she was a member of the Butterfly society and that catching the butterflies injures them and causes them to lose the powdery substance on their wings (scales) making it impossible for them to fly. Can you say “Foot in my mouth?” All that was left for me to do was apologize and say I would not do it any more. I laugh now, but it was not funny then.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
One of my favorite authors is Jane Eyre. I dream of writing like her. I enjoy Catherine Coulter and her trilogies and hope to catch up with some of her new releases soon. But, I have just come to a new found respect for an author’s writing. I just finished Memoirs of a Geisha. I decided to read it to get writing tips. Did not look at the author’s name until I had finished reading it. It was written by a man named Author Golden! If no one had said anything, I would have sworn this was the recollections of a woman about her life. He captured every essence of womanhood. Pure genius.
How did you publish this book?
So far all of my books are self published. It is the best way to get your work out there while receiving the tons of rejection letters from publishers that is just a part of this career. The only negative thing I would say is if you do not have the money to invest in paying to get your book published then you can become disappointed with the process. I am lucky enough to have a publishing company I am pleased with (Infinity Publishing) and have been happy with their work and efficiency. I continue to submit queries to publishers and self publish.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
As I said earlier, I have manuscripts in differing stages of completion. I hope to edit and publish another work of humorous fiction: Death: Life’s Annoying Neighbor at least by January 2011. I am in the researching process of a book: Don’t Dread Dreads: The People Speak. Whenever I show my mother my books she always asks, “Where are the pictures?” So, this book has pictures and interviews of people who wear dreadlocks.
The message my book leaves the reader with is “More questions.” I want to stir up conversation. I want to encourage the reader to have questions and not to be ashamed to not stop searching and inquiring until they are satisfied with the answer. My books do not attempt to persuade or pull you to a particular direction of thought, but that it is a good thing to question your own motives and beliefs as well as established institutions. I pose far more questions in my writings than I answer purposely. I want my books to be the beginning of growth, healing or education. I write the type of books I would want to read. I call them “real talk books.”
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
The perfect readers for my books are those that do not mind being challenged. I hope people choosing to purchase my books are those not afraid of mental exploration of topics many people force you to choose one side or the other. Even though my books are not overly academic and interject a bit of levity, they are a great resource for information and a valuable learning tool. Small discussion groups would benefit from using my books as a guide for their topics.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
I enjoy receiving feedback from readers. I can be friended and followed on Facebook and on my blog:http://dirt2diamonds.blogspot.com. Read a excerpt from my book at www.buybooksontheweb.com and read or post a review of the book there.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
The best advice I can give to those interested in writing is just to begin writing. Many publishers turned down the book Angela’s Ashes and of course it went on to become a best seller, movie, and Pulitzer Prize winner. Enjoy what you do and that will be reward enough.