Allison Wells–Interview of the Day

Allison Wells is a Southern wife, mother, and writer. She became a Christian at the age of sixteen. She’s a graduate of Clemson University and she still lives close enough to hear football games on Saturdays. She love to read, hates the snow, prefers the mountains to the beach, loves the color turquoise and she will belt out any 80s song from the top of her lungs. Allison’s motto is “Life is short, eat the Oreos.” She thanks the Lord for her husband and four children daily.

You can find her on online at: http://www.allisonwellswrites.com and http://www.facebook.com/allisonwellswrites

How or why did you become a writer?

  • It was definitely a calling to become a writer. I wrote my first book – in pencil – when I was twelve. It was a murder mystery. I majored in journalism in college and wrote for a newspaper out of college. I hated the constant barrage of bad news. So I began writing fiction a way to write something encouraging. I wrote four books before any of them were published. Three of those four have now been put into print, and the fourth will come out next year!

Why do you write Christian Fiction?

  • I write Christian fiction because I want to show redemption. I want to bring encouragement. I call my writing “gritty Christian,” because it’s not a Hallmark movie with little to no conflict. It’s very much true to life. Being a Christian doesn’t mean life is all roses, but it does mean we have Christ to lean on when life becomes thorny.

Tell us something interesting about yourself. 

  • Something interesting about me? Um, I have four children, three cats, two turtles, and one dog. And one husband. And I was born on Christmas Day!

Tell us a little about your books.

  • So far, all my books are historical in nature, but all take place in the twentieth century. One takes place parallel to WWI (Bell of the Night), though the war is not mentioned. One during WWII (War-Torn Heart), and a third during the sixties (When Waves Break). In each, my heroines face hardship and opposition from a powerful adversary. War, racism, bondage, even abuse. But overall they carry stories of redemption, of God’s unfailing love, and the promise that weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning.

Tell us a little about your current book. 

  • Bell of the Night is the story of Bluebell, a young woman who was forced to work in a brothel in New Orleans. She meets an optimistic preacher named Teddy who thinks all brothel workers do so willingly and is appalled to find that is not the case. He falls for Bell, but she would rather see her friends saved from their life than save herself. Can they follow God’s plan and still find each other in the end?

Why do you consider this book a modern-day parable?

  • If this were a parable, I think Christ would be teaching that no sin makes somebody too far gone for salvation. Every person is capable of redemption and that their life can be completely and utterly transformed by accepting the free gifts of love and salvation that God offers us all.

Thanks so much, Allison, for being a guest on Modern Day Parables. By the way my nephew graduated from Clemson as well and is a HUGE fan of their teams. Go Tigers! (I think that’s right.)

Lillian Duncan

Author of the Day–Michelle Shocklee

Michelle Shocklee is the author of several historical novels including Under the Tulip Tree. Her work has been included in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, magazines, and blogs. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of two grown sons, she makes her home in Tennessee, not far from the historical sites she writes about. Visit her online at michelleshocklee.com.

Let’s learn a little more about Michelle.

How or why did you become a writer?

I’ve always loved the written word. Long before I started writing my own books, I was an avid reader. When I was in my late 20s, I began work on my first novel. I had a lot to learn, and it took many years with a lot of life in between, before my first novel, The Planter’s Daughter, was published in 2017. I thoroughly enjoy the process of research, letting the imagination run wild, and finally putting it all down on paper (or computer screen!).

Why do you write Christian Fiction?

For me, writing my stories is an expression of my faith and hope in God. More than anything, I want the books and articles I write to bring Him glory and reveal this truth: that ultimately nothing matters more than our relationship with his Son, Jesus Christ. Our time on earth is so short, so I want to use every moment to point people to Him. I don’t “preach” in my books, however. I simply let the lives of my characters go on a faith journey in much the same way you and I experience as we traverse this life.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

My husband and I work as Estate Caretakers. That means we live and work on a large property (in our current job, it’s a 600-acre gorgeous Tennessee farm!) and help the owners with anything and everything. We love it!

Tell us a little about your books.

I write historical fiction. History was not my favorite subject when I was in school, but I’ve since become a history nerd. I love visiting historical sites and letting my imagination run wild with ideas. History books fill my bookshelves these days, many that once belonged to my parents who were also avid readers. I truly believe we can learn from much from the past and the lives of people who’ve gone before us.

Tell us a little about your current book.

Under the Tulip Tree is about a young woman, Rena, who accepts a position interviewing former slaves for the Federal Writers’ Project. There, she meets Frankie Washington, a 101-year-old woman whose honest yet tragic past captivates her. As Frankie recounts her life as a slave, Rena is horrified to learn of all the older woman has endured—especially because Rena’s ancestors owned slaves. While Frankie’s story challenges Rena’s preconceptions about slavery, it also connects the two women whose lives are otherwise separated by age, race, and circumstances. But will this bond of respect, admiration, and friendship be broken by a revelation neither woman sees coming?

 

Why do you consider this book a modern-day parable?

When I began writing Under the Tulip Tree in 2018, I could have never imagined the racial division it would release into in 2020. Sadly, the same issues Rena and Frankie face in 1936 and the 1860s are the same issues we are dealing with today. Their story, while fiction, speaks to the answers found only through forgiveness, friendship, and unconditional love. Listening to one another is so important. As Jesus spoke parables to his followers, Frankie tells her story to Rena, reminding us that we all have a story worth telling.

Thanks so much for being our guest today, Michelle. Your job sounds wonderful. I love Tennessee.

 

Barbara M. Britton–Interview of the Day

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical Fiction and enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Barb ventures into Christian Historical Fiction with “Until June.” Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America, and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Find out more about Barb’s books on her Facebook Author Page or on her website http://www.barbarambritton.com/books.html

Thank you for having me on the blog today, Lillian.

Why did you become a writer?

 I never thought I would be an author. I enjoyed creative writing in high school, but no one ever mentioned writing as a career. Many years later, when I was in my forties, I taught elementary chapel at a Christian school. Since I taught kindergarten through fifth grade, all at one time, I had to modify curriculum. One day I prayed, “Lord, hit me with some creativity.” I did get my lessons plans finished, but I also got a prompting to write. I wrote three books before I wrote about a Bible story. My Biblical story was the first one to be published.

Why do you write Christian Fiction?

 I love teaching the Bible, especially to children. Bringing Bible stories to life through drama, or song, or artwork is fun. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise that the first book of mine to be published was Biblical Fiction. I taught Bible stories every week to children. I hope Christians and unbelievers learn something about the Bible through my books. I learn so much researching the Bible for my stories.

Tell us something about yourself.

 I am a terrible typist, yet I manage to get books written. I asked to be placed in typing class my freshman year of high school. I was one of two freshman placed in biology class instead. I love science, but I never had the opportunity in my schedule to go back and take typing. I write all my stories by hand on a pad of paper before I “type” them on a computer.

Tell us a little about your books.

 I enjoy writing about Bible characters that may not be familiar to most Christians. All of my stories have come from the Old Testament. I am amazed at how much of the Bible I did not know and still don’t know. I love to discover details that I overlooked in the Bible, or even a story that was new to me. I taught the story of Nehemiah many times to children. Imagine how shocked I was to discover a false prophetess who worked against him. I also had no idea the tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out by the other tribes of Israel. My latest series deals with the incredible story of the daughters of Zelophehad. These sisters were hidden in the book of Numbers and I learned about them only a few years ago. I missed teaching their story in chapel.

Tell us about your current book.

 My latest book is a WWI Historical. The story was one I heard on a cruise ship excursion outside of Juneau, Alaska. My family and I visited the Taku Glacier Lodge on the Taku River and ate lunch while hoping to see a black bear. While we were eating, we were told that a WWI veteran and his caregiver lived at the lodge and were isolated during the winter months when the river froze. A man and a woman alone in a lodge? That is how “Until June” was born.

Why do you consider this book a modern-day parable?

 In “Until June,” a caregiver goes over and above the call of duty to help a WWI veteran overcome his injuries and learn to live life again. In Luke 10:25-37, the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus tells the story of a severely injured man who was beaten and left for dead. Who had compassion on the man? A traveler who was considered an “enemy” of the Hebrews. The Samaritan had compassion on his fellow man—his neighbor.

My character, Josephine Nimetz, receives care and compassion from the Chambers family. When the Chambers family needs help, Josephine is compelled to help their son. It’s not an easy task for Josephine to care for a double amputee, but she does her best and shows compassion to her neighbor (literally). Josephine is my Good Samaritan.

BOOK BLURB ~ UNTIL JUNE

When seventeen-year-old seamstress, Josephine Nimetz, agrees to take care of a WWI amputee in a remote Alaskan lodge to escape the influenza of 1918, there’s enough friction to melt the Mendenhall Glacier. Her position is only until June, and it pays well enough to overlook the hardship of managing a rustic home and a shell-shocked veteran, Geoff Chambers.

Geoff makes it clear that he isn’t too fond of the “runt” sent to take care of his needs, nor of her painful mistakes. Dealing with a depressed and addicted amputee, pushes Josephine to the brink of leaving, if not for the money her salary brings.

But Josephine is a perfectionist, determined to get Geoff back on his feet—figuratively. Though, sending a rich, handsome veteran back into society may cost Josephine the man she has grown to love.

 

Johnnie Alexander–Interview of the Day

Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget. Her award-winning debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, is a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian. She also writes contemporary romances, cozy mysteries, and historical novellas.

She is a Serious Writer, Inc. and Mid-South Christian Writers Conference board member, co-hosts an online show called Writers Chat, and interviews inspirational authors for her Novelists Unwind blog. She also teaches at writers conferences and for Serious Writer Academy.

A fan of classic movies, stacks of books, and road trips, Johnnie shares a life of quiet adventure with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing Papillon. Connect with Johnnie on her website and on Facebook.

Let’s learn a little more about Johnnie.

How or why did you become a writer?

“You have an imagination like I don’t know what.” That’s what a friend wrote in my autograph book way back in elementary school. Throughout most of my childhood, I was the heroine of the stories I made up while drifting off to sleep. For most of my adult life, I put the dream of writing stories in a box. Then the day came, when the box refused to stay shut any longer. I thank God for that!

Why do you write Christian Fiction?

I write both faith-based and general (clean/wholesome) market fiction. Even in the latter, inspirational themes organically appear. I am deeply grateful for the writing gift God has given me, and I aspire to honor Him with my stories.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

Let’s see, in the past six years, I have moved from the Orlando area where I lived for about twenty-five years to Memphis to Tampa to Tulsa. I actually moved just last month into a different Tulsa home. It’s been a season of quiet adventure with highs, lows, and everything in between. A few highlights:

• For a time, my sister and I had our own alpaca herd;
• I shoved a huge and stubborn pig into a dog crate all by myself;
• A couple years ago, my sister and I flew to Barcelona with backpacks, Eurail tickets, and a vague itinerary. Our first week, we took the train from one European city to another. We spent the second week in Lisbon. So much fun!

Tell us a little about your books.

God has led me on a crazy path involving multiple publishers and genres. Even so, reviewers consistently comment on the emotional depth of my characters, the underlying spiritual themes, and the “can’t put it down” quality of my stories. My debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, seems especially notable for its WWII angst while my Misty Willow Series (Where She Belongs, When Love Arrives, and What Hope Remembers) resonates because of its strong sense of place and emphasis on family legacy.

Tell us a little about your current book. 

The Mischief Thief, my first indie novel published with The Mosaic Collection, is a light-hearted suspense featuring a con artist with a conscience and a minister without a ministry. Chaney Rose meets Adam Thorne after breaking into his home and taking a few items from his safe. But in a Les Miserables-inspired moment, Adam tells the arresting detective that he gave the stolen items to Chaney. So begins an unlikely friendship as the two team up to right a wrong and save a racehorse from an untimely death. This is the first story in the Rose & Thorne Series.


Why do you consider this book a modern-day parable?

Nothing is going right for Adam Thorne. His fiancée returned his engagement ring, a member of the church board handed him severance papers, and his father seems to be mixed up with a mobster’s missing racehorse. But when he meets Chaney Rose, a grifter from a family of grifters, he sees the tender heart beneath her protective wall. The grace he extends to her and the trust she places in him reflect the graciousness and trustworthiness of our Savior.

BOOK BLURB–The Mischief Thief by Johnnie Alexander

Two wrongs don’t make a right . . . except when they do.

For con artist Chaney Rose, life hasn’t been easy. In desperate need of cash, she readily agrees to find Mischief, a stolen racehorse. Hunting for clues, she breaks into the suspected horse thief’s home only to be caught—with a few pilfered items in her pockets—by the police detective who’s tailing her.

By-the-book Adam Thorne was fired from his church because of his father’s involvement with the valuable thoroughbred. In a burst of Les Miserables-inspired grace, Adam tells the detective that he gave Chaney the stolen items.

Adam wants Chaney to find his missing father. When Chaney learns that Mischief’s owner intends to kill the racehorse, she needs Adam’s help to expose the cruel plan before it’s too late.

Will a con artist with a conscience and a minister without a ministry risk imprisonment to do the wrong thing for the right reason?

Thanks so much, Johnnie for being our Interview of the Day. The book sounds wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allen Steadham–Interview of the Day

Allen Steadham created comic books and webcomics before he started writing novels. He has been married to his wife, Angel, since 1995 and they have two sons and a daughter. When not writing stories, Allen and his wife are singers, songwriters and musicians. They have been in a Christian band together since 1997. They live in Central Texas. You can learn more about Allen at https://allensteadham.com or at https://goodreads.com/allensteadham.

How or why did you become a writer?

I started making my own superhero comic books at the age of ten. I continued that into adulthood, making webcomics and eventually novels.

Why do you write Christian Fiction?

After I became a Christian in January 1996, my writing focus changed. I was married by then and my wife co-wrote a Christian webcomic together (I did the art) called “Due East.” By 2007, we put that comic online and it won two awards in 2008 from The Duck Webcomics: “Best Spiritual Comic” and “Most Profound Comic.”

I had health issues for a number of years, but once I recovered, I felt compelled to enter National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) in November 2013. However, before I began, I prayed and handed over all of my creativity to the Lord and asked Him to help me write a 50,000-word Christian novel. God blessed me to write a 56,000-word first draft within three weeks. That first draft eventually became my debut novel, Mindfire, which is a superhero thriller with themes of redemption, forgiveness, and second chances. It also featured many characters and story elements from my earliest comic books, though adapted for the present day and a Christian story.

I write Christian fiction because that is where my inspiration comes from: God and His Son, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. I want to reach people for Him and show them the hope and salvation only He can offer.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I like to take sky pictures (sunrises/sunsets/clouds/weather) and post them on Instagram.

Thanks Allen, for sharing about yourself and your writing.

 

Julie Arduini–Interview of the Day

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the contemporary romance series SURRENDERING TIME, (Entrusted, Entangled, Engaged,) as well as the stand-alone novellas, MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN and RESTORING CHRISTMAS. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. Her other latest release, YOU’RE AMAZING, is a book for girls ages 10-100, written with her teenaged daughter, Hannah, and is book 2 in their SURRENDERING STINKIN’ THINKIN’ series. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, as well as monthly with Inspy Romance. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to opt in to her content full of resources and giveaway opportunities.

 How did you become a writer?

My writing journey has twists and turns, but overall, it’s the call on my life. I was always writing little stories in school. I joined yearbook and was known in high school for all things writing. However, in college, writing was all academic. I didn’t have time or energy to write fiction. I missed it. In my single years, I was completely inspired and a new Christian, so I wrote a lot of romances. They weren’t good, but I had so much fun writing them. I felt complete. Marriage and parenthood took over, and writing took a backseat for a long time. When there was an opportunity to join Mothers of Preschoolers, MOPS, and their publicity team, it felt so right and ignited a spark to write more. During a service I felt God ask me if I was willing to let my MOPS writing go and trust Him. I obeyed, completed the Christian Writers Guild, started submitting weekly challenges to FaithWriters, and received a request to allow one of my writings in an anthology. Today I write through Surrendered Scribe Media with the goal of encouraging readers to find freedom in Christ by surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate.

Why do you write Christian Fiction?

I write Christian fiction because I love reading Christian fiction. I’m an introvert that spends a lot of time praying for others, but I’m light-hearted as well. I love to be entertained. Writing fiction is where God has me, and I believe it gives a balance to who I am and how God can use me. If I can entertain readers and yet share a life-changing message on surrender, I’m blessed to have the opportunity.

Tell us something interesting about yourself. 

There are so many weird trivia aspects to me, but one is that I can usually guess the date of when movies and songs came out. I remember a lot of zip codes that I’ve used in Upstate NY. Yet I struggle with Bible memorization. Go figure!

Wow! I’m impressed with your memory, Julie. Thanks for visiting us today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lillian Duncan…turning faith into fiction

Lillian Duncan…turning faith into fiction.

Lillian writes in a variety of genres, but mostly in suspense and mystery. She loves to write the sort of books that she loves to read! Lillian lives in Ohio with her three parrots, two dogs, and one husband.

How did you become a writer?

I’ve always loved books. From the time I could read, I would always have a book with me no matter where I went. Visiting family…had a book. Doctor’s office…had a book. Fishing…had a book. And yes, I was one of those people that got in trouble when the teacher caught me reading one of my books instead of a text book!

To me a writer was more awesome than a rock star!

As much as I loved books, I didn’t start to write until I was 40. I can’t explain why it took me so long to figure out that I wanted to write, other than it seemed impossible that I could become a writer.

Why do you write Christian Fiction?

I didn’t start out writing Christian Fiction, but as my faith became more important to me, it became clear to me that I couldn’t or wouldn’t write for the mainstream market.

I now consider my writing my ministry as well. All the books I write illustrate some spiritual principle–usually more than one. That’s why I call them modern day parables.

Share a bit about your books, including a few titles.

Most of my books are romantic suspense–heavy on the action and suspense but with enough romance to sweeten up the story. My Sisters By Choice series (Deception; Betrayed; Redemption) was my first series. But I love my stand-alone books as well, such as Game On; Broken Trust; and Trapped. 

I have two books that will come out this year. Jane Doe is romantic suspense while Suffer the Little Children is women’s fiction.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.

I received my first traditional contract in 2011. In 2012, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors. Even though they were not malignant, they have wreaked havoc on my health. I had two books under contract when I was diagnosed. That means I’ve written more than twenty books while undergoing a variety of treatments for the brain tumors and dealing with all sorts of side effects!

I don’t say this to brag or to get sympathy but to encourage others who are struggling because of their health. With God, we are so much stronger than we think.

How can readers learn more about you and your books?

They can connect with me at http://www.lillian-duncan.com.

Thanks for having me.