Saturday 16th November 2013
Bookish Banter is proud to present today’s Featured Author.
Please just give us a short intro all about you.
Well, the first thing you ought to know is that I became an author by accident! I never dreamed or imagined that one day people in many different countries all over the world would be buying my books. But they are, and I put this all down to God and His plan for my life. You see, I had a career in banking for many years and then my own business as a Management Consultant. I was far too busy to write. But then I had the opportunity to be able to stop working in paid employment and therefore the chance to do other things. I am a Christian and my real love and passion has always been to tell people about Jesus. So I took the opportunity with both hands. I began to do voluntary work for different charities and I began to write.
It is so lovely to see a Christian following her passion and God given gift and pursuing her dream of writing books with purpose. Too many Christian writers, it seems to me, think that they shouldn’t be indulging in writing even though it is what they love to do and think they should be more hands on in their ministry. I say – the church is more than that building you visit once a week and the few people you talk to face to face, how many more people can you share your testimony with when you write a book? And anyway – why can’t you write and do hands on charitable works at the same time? Well – not literally – you know what I mean! 😀
What part of the planet do you call home?
I live with my husband in Kent – otherwise known as the ‘Garden of England’.
Hello neighbour! Can you see me waving at you from East Sussex? Well – maybe some smoke signals? 😀
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for about 10 years but have only had books published in the last five years.
Have you got a book to promote at the moment and can you tell us a little bit about it please?
Yes, the book I would like to promote is ‘How do I know I know God?’ As I have said, I became an author by ‘accident’. As a Christian I have often been asked questions about God and Jesus and faith and so on. However, about five years ago I met a new group of people who were very challenging in the questions they asked me. I did not always feel I answered very well. So I decided to sit down one day and write down all the questions I could remember both from them and others during my life. I also included many questions I had asked myself. I then tried to answer them all from my own experience and from this my first book was born! The book is in the form of an ongoing discussion between two unknown people but it is based entirely on real-life conversations.
That’s a really lovely idea for a book Margaret. I agree It can be very hard to explain to people on the spot about matters of faith. For me it’s really hard because it isn’t as simple as being a Christian – my spirituality is very complex and can confuse people – I know it often confuses me 😉
Are you working on anything else at the moment?
I have two ongoing series. The third book in the ‘how do I know?’ series has just been published and the seventh book in the BSBP series (more about this in a moment!) will be published in January 2014.
❤ What a busy lady you are. You sound like you need to come up for air. ❤
Where did the inspiration for your latest book come from?
The three books in the ‘How do I know?’ series all began from the questions about my faith. When the first book had been published several people wrote to me and the second book was therefore a natural follow on. The same thing happened when the second book was published. So I now have a series of three books in the form of an ongoing discussion between two people. Each book can be read separately but the questions continue right through the series.
Which genre do you write for or do you cross genres?
I only write Christian books based on the Bible.
Did you do a lot of research for the book and how did you tackle it?
The research happened over many years although I didn’t realise at the time that it was research! As I said, the discussions in the books are all based on real life conversations so my ‘research’ has been taking place throughout my life.
I suppose we are all involved in research on our personal journeys through life and every meeting, every interaction and all the media we consume naturally builds into experience – they do say there is a book in all of us! Maybe your publishing experience should be a lesson to all those wannabe authors out there who are ‘sitting on a book’, to use your own experience and just go for it!
Do you think you have improved as a writer since beginning your book and what lessons have you learnt about the process?
Yes I think I have improved over time. I have learned how much I didn’t know about writing books! It has been a really exciting and enjoyable process but it has also meant a lot of hard work too.
Any stumbling blocks in the writing process for your latest book?
No not really. Obviously you do come across problems but nothing insurmountable.
What is it that you love so much about writing?
I love the opportunity it gives me to tell others about the Lord Jesus and about the Bible. I just long for others to know Jesus and to understand that the Bible is such a fantastic book. It tells us about the past, the present and the future. At the beginning of my writing I thought that if I could just provoke interest in one person to investigate further for themselves, then all the hard work and effort would be so worth it. And guess what? I have heard from many more than one! I have received lots of emails from different people about my books, telling me that they have enjoyed them and learned from them – so I am well happy!
Excellent! Every writer wants to engage with their audience and a shared faith and love of God certainly is a good place to start writing.
Did you craft a carefully well thought out plan for the book or did it just flow naturally?
I do have a plan every time I begin a new book. I think you have to have a clear structure or the book will be very muddled.
Do you have a blog and do your fans encourage you?
Yes I do have a blog. You can find it on my website www.howdoiknowbooks.com I do get occasional comments on the blog but most people seem to prefer to email me. I have built up quite a list of email addresses from people who want to know when I publish a new book.
Self-published or traditional or both?
I went down the ‘indie’ route which is somewhere between the two. This means I don’t have to pay any money out to publish and I receive royalties from sales, but I don’t get an advance payment from the publisher. This method suits me perfectly because I can retain control over what I write, when I publish and how much time and effort I put in re sales and promotions. This last point is particularly important because I have never wanted to spend a lot of time on promotional stuff. It has also worked well for me because all my profit goes to a brilliant charity called Tearfund. This charity is working in many different parts of the world to release people from both material and spiritual poverty. The link is here if you want to learn more – www.tearfund.org The books have sold really well even though I am not a sales woman! I have always said that everything is in God’s hands and I am very happy to leave it there.
Well I’m sure our bookish Banter readers will be very excited and moved to hear that Margaret. What a wonderful cause and very generous of you indeed.
Is your book a part of a series?
Yes I actually have two different series. The ‘How do I know?’ series which consists of three books – ‘How do I know I know God?’ ‘How do I know what God wants me to do?’ and ‘How do I know God answers prayer?’ And the BSBP (Bible Studies for Busy People) Series. So far there are six books in this series:- Bible studies for the books of Ruth & Esther, Job, 1 Corinthians, James, Revelation Part 1 and Part 2. The next one for Hebrews will be published in January 2014.
What other passions do you have apart from writing?
I love reading and walking.
❤ A healthy mind and a healthy heart – I think you have the right balance there Margaret ❤
Do you have any inspirational heroes, literary or otherwise who have really influenced you?
Oh yes too many to list here, but the three that immediately come to mind are John Bunyan, C.S. Lewis and A.W.Tozer.
I shall just pop a few links here if anyone wants a quick look at Margaret’s heroes…
Do you have a book trailer?
No but I do have my own website at www.howdoiknowbooks.com
How do you pace yourself with writing and do you have a special place to do it?
I write for enjoyment. It is my hobby so I don’t have a structure or a special place, I find I just do it whenever I have time and because I enjoy it I make time for it.
It’s really good that you are comfortable in your writing and if you can write anywhere I do think that must make it a far more natural process. I often think how constrained I would feel if I had to stick to one particular desk. I suppose laptops are ideal for the modern writer who can take his/her office with them wherever they go.
Do you belong to any writers’ circles and does it help you to focus?
I belong to ‘authonomy’ which is a great site. I have met lots of lovely people there and also received valuable help and advice regarding my writing.
Well that is a valuable resource for our readers to visit – I might just pop on over there myself and take a look around – http://authonomy.com/
If you could give one piece of advice to a budding author – what would it be?
Write from the heart and don’t give up
❤ Fantastic advice Margaret ❤
Where can we buy your book and like your fan pages?
You can buy my books on Amazon (and other book stores and sites too) or on my own website. The link for this featured book is below but if you put the title of any of my books into the search box on Amazon then you will easily find them. You can also find them all very easily on my website – www.howdoiknowbooks.com
Thank you for joining in the fun Margaret – it was my pleasure to chat to you here on the ‘Bookish Banter’.
❤ Xx Laura Crean xX ❤
If you are an Author (or artist of any kind) and would like to be Featured please email me with Author Interview or just interview if you are not an author but would like to be featured for another reason at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as I can