Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Author Interview: Brenda S. Anderson and Hungry For Home

Today I'm interviewing Brenda S. Anderson. She just released Hungry for Home, which is Book 3 in her Coming Home series. We'll get to the book details in a minute. First, I have a few questions for Brenda...

Welcome back to my blog, Brenda! I always enjoy having you here. You've published several books in the past year or so, and I know your influence is growing. Tell us about your favorite reader encounter or piece of fan mail/email/FB message so far.

My favorite piece of mail from a reader came from someone who'd read my first release, Chain of Mercy. Like my hero in Chain of Mercy, the reader's brother had accidentally killed someone in an auto accident. Chain of Mercy helped her and her brother's girlfriend find peace in this tragedy, and they're praying for her brother.

Wow! It's wonderful how God used your story to help someone. So often He uses our stories to teach us. While writing Hungry for Home, how did God meet you on the page?

God is constantly challenging me to see beyond my narrow perspective. In my new release, Hungry for Home, I focus on a homeless teen who mugs a woman. Not exactly hero material for a story, but God showed me the heart of this teen, the heart He sees, and I believe God shines through that.

Where is your favorite place to people watch for inspiration?

Oh, I have so many places, but walking the sidewalks of Minneapolis provides some of the best inspiration. You see such a wide range of people from the outwardly successful to the wildly dressed to the homeless. Seeing them all as children of God paints them in an entirely different light than their appearances might otherwise show us.

If you wrote a letter to your younger self at whatever age you first dreamed of writing a book, what would the opening line say?
Just go ahead and write! You don't have to wait until you come up with the perfect story, you don't have to be afraid of what others are going to say. God's given you the gift and the passion, and He rejoices when you use your gifts.

Amen! All right,
by now you know I'm a fun-loving girl, so of course I have something a little quirky for you to try... Please give us the summary of your new book, Hungry for Home, in Haiku.
A homeless young man
Mugs a woman but mercy
Is what she returns
I'm blown away! Great Haiku and great premise! I can't wait to read Hungry for Home. Thanks for stopping by today, Brenda.
Here's a little about Brenda's new release Hungry for Home... 
After a troubling encounter with a pregnant teen, Sheila Peterson-Brooks hurries from the crisis pregnancy center into the frigid Minnesota winter where she is mugged and left for dead. After a frantic search, Richard, her husband, finds her, and the police quickly nab the mugger …A hungry, homeless teen. The brother of the pregnant girl Sheila had just counseled.

The girl pleads for her brother, and Sheila and Richard choose not to press charges. Instead, they open their home to the boy, a move that could cost them their possessions, and their hearts. And, in the process, teach them the true meaning of home.

Order Hungry for Home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Inspiration, Embracing Sweetness, and Doing Research in the Attic

My great-grandmother's Bible and 4 leaf clovers from 1916
You’d think after releasing three novels in less than a year, I would’ve stopped for a breather this summer. I tried. Briefly. I really did.

But I had so many ideas...

I wanted to write a cozy mystery (there I said it!) and I wanted to explore what might happen next with Connor and Lydia in the Uncharted series and I outlined a Christmas novella and I started research for the next Founders story and... shew! I’m out of breath just thinking about it.

Having too many ideas can be just as bad as having none, at least for a girl like me. I’d never encountered this before: a head full of stories and an inbox full of readers encouraging me to write more. I’m a people-pleaser and a prolific writer. That can be a dangerous combination, friends.

I needed direction. I needed wisdom. I needed quiet.

I cried out to my Savior.

See, I’m on a journey here. I have not arrived. I’m winging it, but I’m not alone. I’m never alone.

The Lord was with me through the hurricane of ideas that devastated my mental summer vacation. While the gusts of voices and storylines and marketability statistics lashed at my peace, Christ so graciously held my gaze.

He reminded me of who I am and more importantly who I am in Him. And He took me to Proverbs 31:10-31 again and again. Thank You, Lord!

It’s a new month, a new school year (*virtual high five to my fellow homeschool teachers*), and soon to be a new season. I might be rushing autumn a bit—it’s 85 degrees out and I’m baking pumpkin cookies. That’s okay. I’m eager for cooler weather and a slower pace so I can settle in to a new writing project, cup of apple cider in hand.

Happy September, everyone!