Recently you began a new series of posts called “The Strong Woman”. (http://www.cnbring.org/cnbring-lets-talk-blog.html) Where did the idea for this series of posts begin? What is the heart or idea that you are trying to place before your audience?
I write about a strong woman of faith and valor, Commander Celia Kelly, and as I developed her character I realized how much she had in common with so many people I admire. There are so many women out there who are heroes to their families, coworkers and strangers on a daily basis. You don’t have to be in the military, you just have to be willing to be present and willing to serve those around you, as God asks of us in His Word. The purpose of the series is for us to encourage each other. Thank you, Lisa, for being one of those strong women who shared with us!
What sparked the idea for the life, faith and service of Commander Celia Kelly in the series that includes at this point The PACT, The Lie and now The TRUTH?
I wanted to create detailed mysteries, with no profanity or sex. Although love is a part of the series, I prefer to write in a more realistic format. I am not a romantic gushy person. I want to talk about something real, so that’s what you are going to find in the series. It used to be that Christian fiction was nothing but romance. So fifteen years ago when I couldn’t find my James Patterson or Tom Clancy version in a Christian book store, I decided to write one. The idea of Celia Kelly came to me and that was that.
When I read these stories, they seemed to be thrillers, part suspense with mystery sprinkled in. How many novels are envisioned to be in the series?
There are two more in line and I will continue the series until I run out of material and that doesn’t seem to be any time soon.
What can readers look forward to seeing from you? Is there any particular idea or thought you hope your audience comes away with after reading the books?
I want them to be entertained. I hope as they read they put the clues together and try to solve the mystery right along with Celia Kelly. I want people to feel inspired and find a character they have fun with and connect with in the series. I have gone to a lot of signings where people come up to me and say, “I love Gwen Sherwood!” or “McDonald is so funny.” The great thing about a story is it can mean different things to different people. It’s both the challenge and reward.
On your website, you have a link that takes people to a blog you write called CN Salutes? http://www.cnbring.org/the-cn-salute-blog.html Care to share the vision of these particular posts?
I come from a family whose various members have served in the military, part of my inspiration for the Celia Kelly Series. The CN Salutes is a blog dedicated to the men and women who have served or serving our country. Every story is unique, every job is important, every lesson learned from them inspiring. It began with a couple of blog posts and turned into what it is today. I am always humbled by the sacrifices made by these brave men and women and their families.
Recently you had a unique experience when moving. Would you share that with our readers? What did you learn or are learning about the Lord and yourself through that experience?
Awe…yes…the house! We had tried to sell our house a couple of years ago, but only three people even looked at it. My husband and I had been feeling like the Lord was calling us to move. I do love Montana, but there was this “but”…it’s hard to explain. Last November 2013, my husband and I both felt that tug again, so we put the house back on the market.
I honestly didn’t think it would sell. But here’s the thing about God, if He has a plan and you answer, it doesn’t matter what you think is going to happen. It just happens! We had three offers and were signing papers by February 28, 2014. So here we are: no plan, no house and moving all of an accumulation of 30 years of our things in the worst snow storm in twenty years with over a foot and a half of snow. Faith? That was pretty much all I had left to go on. Sometimes I think that’s how God works. Sometimes, He puts you in a position where the only place left to look is up! We followed the call and depended on Him for the rest. What a ride outside of my comfort zone that has been!
Some authors have developed a team of people to help read, review, promote, and share their books. I have also seen attempts by authors to be more personal with their team by limiting the number, having them share their prayer requests, thoughts, ideas, etc…
Have you ever considered doing something similar to help people become familiar with your blogs, books, etc?
My publisher has a team for editing and developing the product, but outside of that, no. That sounds like a really cool process. I’d be interested in learning more about that.
Are you studying any particular book or topic in the Bible?
The Church we are going to right now is collectively as a congregation doing what they call a the 70 Hour Challenge. It is a Bible reading plan where they map out the scriptures for every day of the week and give them out every Sunday. It is a challenge, because as you know it can be very difficult to commit to every day. Life has a way of getting in the way. The cool thing about this is there is an accountability. On Sunday someone might be asking you, did you read your scripture today?
How can people pray for you and your family?
Thank you for asking. Pray that God uses me and my family for His Glory. It is my daily prayer. At the end of the day it should be all about Him. When there is a light focused on us, sometimes we forget that. The focus should always be on HIM!
What are the avenues in which readers can connect and communicate with you?
My website has a contact page. I check the page daily and will always reply! I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. We are starting a Facebook Group called GOD. FAMILY. COUNTRY so be sure to check that out. I love to hear from readers!
The Facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/440299066072989/