Glynis M. Belec Author Headshot

Glynis M. Belec

Welcome, Glynis! Tell our readers, who is Glynis M. Belec?

I wonder that myself some days. The first thing for sure, though – I am a child of God. It took me a while to realize this, but now I also love the God nudges and the way He reminds me to pay attention to daily blessings.
Some call me an award winning writer and children’s author just because I’ve won a few contests and I have some pretty ribbons, plaques and fancy scrolls in frames on my wall.

One thing – I cannot imagine a world without little people to inspire and bless me. I have lived in Drayton with my happy hubby, for almost 30 years. I got my first big break and my real start in writing professionally writing a weekly column – Sugar and Spice – in the Drayton Community News. I approached the editor with knees-a-knocking. But she apparently liked what I had to say, because I ended up writing that column for over 11 years. The word spread and the same column was picked up in another nearby town for 8 years – kind of like mini-syndication!

I also write devotions, short stories, blog posts, magazine articles for children and big people and most of all, I rejoice daily because I am constantly reminded about God’s amazing grace and His unconditional love.

I was a private tutor for over 18 years but last year, I had to give that up because I needed to convert my classroom to a ‘granddad’ apartment for my 89 year old Poppa Bear after his heart attack. I sure do miss my students but thankfully, I still manage to surround myself with children at every opportunity. Oh how I love to collect story-fodder from the everyday. It’s amazing where and when inspiration comes.

Sorry – I’m rambling. Next question?

How long have you been writing?

Okay, that’s an easy one. I am almost an antique. I started writing, seriously, almost 30 years ago. At least, that was my first paying gig. I had won first prize in a county-wide writing contest that I saw posted in a local library so it started me thinking that maybe people might want to read what I have to write. I was head over the heels thrilled and when we relocated to Drayton, I happened upon a 12-week course for freelance writers. I was hooked.

Why do you write?

I write because my momentum needs momentum. Seriously, I have this deep inner longing to write and nothing else satisfies it. I can’t really say I have ever had writer’s block. My problem is time and opportunity. I have a lot of personal issues going on in my household that draws me away often from my office. It’s okay, though. I’m not complaining. The way I see it is God’s timing is perfect. One day I will be able to spend long, uninterrupted hours at my desk, proffering forth paragraphs to my heart’s content. Until then, I keep reminding myself that I write when I can for God and I write because it allows me to share my heart. I like to think I don’t write for monetary gain, but I think many writers know that this is not always a good reason to write! I write for children because I love to see children smile and laugh and escape and fall in love with words. Nothing warms my heart more than when a Mom sends me a quick note telling me one of my books is their child’s favourite! Can you hear me purring?

 

What do you write?

I love writing for children. I especially love writing picture books with purpose. When I say ‘with purpose’ I don’t mean preachy. What I like doing is getting inside a child’s head and figuring out what they might be dealing with and then write something about that. I LOVE humour. I love to laugh and I love to make others laugh – probably about time I grew up, but I find staying a little child-like makes me less stressed and more focused on my passion.

I also write a lot of short stories for anthologies such as the Hot Apple Cider series and the Chicken Soup books. Writing devotions, too, is a good way for me to practice writing tight while focussing on passing on God’s word.

Presently I am working on a devotional, inspirational book for women called Help! I Need a New Fig Leaf. I’m really excited about that. I am not sure if I will publish it through my own Angel Hope Publishing company or if I will seek a traditional publisher.

I have a tween book in the offing, too. It’s the first book in my Stone Angel Series and it is called Broken Wings. I really need to blow the dust off this manuscript and resume high speed.

As well as all of these, I periodically write magazine articles and I have a regular column in a writer’s magazine and a faith article in a local newspaper.

I hear you have a bit of a speaking platform. Can you tell us about that?

I sure do. I have been speaking for a few years now and I love it. I have always been a bit of a drama queen (my husband bought me the sign) and no stranger to the amateur theatre stage, but that was with rehearsed lines and a memorized script. That I could handle no problem.

After my cancer journey – or maybe I should say during – God got hold of me and seemed to be stretching me and refining me for something very cool (bald joke intended). I wasn’t wise about it at the time but I had a wonderful girlfriend in Florida who called me often and helped me through much. She told me, one day when we were chatting on the phone, she had felt God tell her to tell me (kind of like a prophecy) that I would soon be writing and speaking about my journey and how God was working in my life. At first, I laughed. Then I learned that I shouldn’t laugh at God.

[Tweet “At first, I laughed. Then I learned that I shouldn’t laugh at God. – @GlynisMBelec”]
I regularly speak to women about Hope (my favourite topic) and other subjects – usually joyful, upbeat, and hopefully, inspirational. Sometimes I speak about my cancer journey and then share how God always has our backs. I really like leading writing workshops and talking about my books and for a while now, I have been speaking in schools to children about reading & writing. My favourite children’s workshop is called, Writing Rocks!

Did I hear you have a publishing company?

You heard correctly. ANGEL HOPE PUBLISHING is my baby and I love it I don’t advertise it a lot because I am afraid that it might get too much for me to handle and I don’t ever want to lose what writing time I can squeak in each day. My daughter, Amanda, works for me a few days a week and she is my great graphic designer and bookkeeper. We make a good team but she also works in a sign shop so I can’t have her full time! Angel Hope Publishing has a definite criteria for publication.

Do you have any advice for writers?

I really love teaching new writers and encouraging them in their craft. I remember what it was like going it alone in ‘the olden days!’ So here goes my three favourite pieces of advice for new and seasoned writers:

Never give up hope. Keep writing no matter what, if it truly is the passion of your heart. Even if you don’t think you are making headway, you really are. It’s called experience. Keep swimming!

[Tweet “Keep writing no matter what, if it truly is the passion of your heart. -@GlynisMBelec”]
Cut it down by half and leave nothing out. In other words, don’t fill your page with empty words. Keep the message but cut the fluff.

When you write from the heart, you touch other hearts. I have this saying on my website. Really listen to what God is telling you to share and then share it with all your soul. There is no better compliment about your writing than when someone says with all sincerity, “I know exactly what you mean. Thank you for speaking your heart. Your words touched me deeply.”

Thank you. Glynis, for joining us! If you would like to learn a bit more about Glynis M Belec’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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Janis Cox Author Headshot

Janis Cox

Janis Cox, Tell us a little bit about your church background. How did you come to faith in Jesus?

Raised in a denominational church I was baptized as a baby and as a child attended Sunday School, and belonged to youth church groups. However while in university I stopped attending services. My husband and I were married in a church and returned to attendance when our son was born. For the next few years I faithfully joined groups, helped with Sunday school and even did the treasurer’s job for a couple of years. But through all this something was missing. There was no passion; no understanding of Jesus. I just did everything out of habit.

Around 1999 God led me to a different church where I came to know Christ and gave my life to him in 2001. My quest to find Jesus led me to read many Christian books and join in Bible studies. God fueled my love for reading and opened a brand new life for me.

When did your interest in writing start? Can you look back and see God working through and with you in your desire to write. If so, explain your thoughts.

As a student I always did well in writing essays. I took a BA in English in university and actually enjoyed writing reports on what I studied.

I am a former public school teacher. I have written reports, report cards, planned workshops and created poems for bedtimes stories. But I had never written in a journal. Starting a journal was the best writing exercise I could have done. From 2001 until the present I write almost every day. During the first 2 years of being a new Christian I wrote 150 poems to help me interact with God, ask questions and find answers from His Word.

How and when do you spend time with God? Do you have a favourite devotional? What version of Bible do you use the most?

I spend the first hour or two in the morning with God – in prayer and in study. I have read through Oswald Chambers at least 3 times. Now I am studying Charles Spurgeon and A.W. Tozer. I use the NIV text as I find that the easiest to understand. However, I use Biblegateway to find other translations. I very much like The Message.

What is your favourite scripture or scriptures and why? What is your thinking about memorizing Scripture? Do you have any tips for our readers on ways to memorize that work the best for you?

My two favourite scriptures are: Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Since I had such a fear when I met Jesus this is the scripture He gave to me. It is the first scripture I memorized. Now instead of fear I have peace. Thank you Jesus.

[Tweet “Now instead of fear I have peace. Thank you Jesus – @AuthorJanisCox”]

John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

I struggled at the beginning of my faith walk to understand the Bible. Now that I know His Word better I know Who Jesus is and I can see God’s plan. While I read the Bible I become better connected to Jesus.

Memorizing scripture makes it come alive to me. I love recalling a verse when I need to encourage someone. I love to paint what I see in verses. I write out the scriptures on cards and when I dry my hair I review the verses.

As a writer, time is important; quiet is important. How do you find that quiet time to reflect and write?

Thankfully I am retired now. I have such a passion and respect for moms who faithfully find time to read His Word. When I visit my grandkids I don’t seem to have the same discipline that I do when at my own home. At home I arise early – usually between 5-6am. That gives me 2 hours to pray and study before my husband awakes.

What new project/s are you working on? Why do they seem important to you?

I am working on many projects. That’s one problem with a mind that likes to go in different directions. This year I joined Hope Stream Radio and I prepare and tape a weekly podcast. I blog 2 or 3 times a week on Growing Through God’s Word. I’m beginning my publishing venture for my second children’s book called The Kingdom of Thrim. This year God led me to use my creative abilities to not only paint in books but paint in my Bible. I run a Facebook Group called Word of God Speak Community Facebook Group where we study and attempt to memorize a scripture a week through art. In addition I am working on adult colouring books with a Bible study and journaling. In the works, too, is a second in the Tadeo Turtle series.

These activities are very important to me because I believe all Christians should be reading their Bibles regularly. In the colouring books I help the reader to study a passage and reflect on it through writing and praying. I believe if we study His Word we will hear His Voice. My children’s books are made for children to Grow with God too.

Are you compelled to write or do you need to find inspiration? How do you deal with interruptions?

I am compelled to write after reading the Bible or a devotional. That’s how I am inspired. I see the picture in my mind before it becomes words on the page. I’m interested in so many things that I do become scattered in knowing how to focus on one thing at a time. So interruptions can really pull me off course. I am best left alone to write, no music, no phone, no Internet.

Do you have hobbies, or sports that you are interested in? What is it about these activities that you like? Looking at your personality are these activities ones that God has brought to you?

I have trouble sitting still unless I am writing. For that reason I love to tap dance and also attend community dances with my hubby. I also love to walk and we do at least 2 walks a day with our little Maltipoo dog, Snowball. I love art. My favourite media is watercolour although I have started to work with watercolour pencil crayons lately. And I can say “yes” God brought these activities to me because I didn’t do them seriously before I gave my life to Christ.

What is one important lesson that Jesus is teaching or has taught you that has changed your worldview, your outlook, and/or your relationships?

Jesus has taught me to control my anger. I have found a peace that I did not have before. I needed to be in control – of my life and everyone else’s. I felt compelled to fix, help and control everyone around me. If that didn’t happen, I became angry. Fear of everything ruled my life until I learned I had nothing to fear. Love casts out all fear. And I found the love of Christ. This new peace changed my relationship with my husband. Instead of trying to change him, I changed myself.

What is one deep desire that you would like God to fulfill for you? What Scripture could you find that could help you accomplish that goal?

I would like other Christians to join me to make reading the Bible a first priority. I would like to spread this as far as I can. God wants us to know Him. And to me that means we have to read, study and pray for revelation. I can see revival if we would turn to Him by reading and studying and obeying His Word.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:115).

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Prayer:

Lord my heart is towards You. I desire for You to be first and foremost in my days. I want to ask You for everything. I want to rely on You for everything. But I also want to work hard to spread Your Word to others so they can know the peace and love that only You can bring into their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

[Tweet “Lord my heart is towards You. I desire for You to be first and foremost in my days.”]

If want to learn more about Janis Cox’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”

Sally Meadows Author Headshot

Sally Meadows

Sally Meadows, Tell us about the season of life you are in.

After careers of scientific editor, children’s entertainer, teacher, science outreach educator, and technical editor, I left the corporate world three years ago to work full time on my writing and music ministry. I recently celebrated 20 years in music ministry. My husband and I have been empty nesters for about a year; we have two adult children, and a lovely daughter-in-law who is a singer too.

In what genre(s) do you write?

Although I believe there is great wisdom in finding and focusing on your “niche”, I like the challenge and variety of writing in a few different genres. I write:
* mainstream and faith-based children’s picture books
* mainstream and faith-based non-fiction short stories for adults
* faith-based songs
* faith-based articles

[Tweet “I like the challenge and variety of writing in a few different genres. – @SallyMeadows”]

Tell us briefly about your most recent publications.

In 2015, I released two children’s picture books for ages 5 to 9. The first one, The Two Trees, was written to help raise awareness about the challenges—and foster acceptance—of families that include a child on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. It is intended for a mainstream audience. The book is told from the perspective of the non-autistic sibling, giving a much-needed voice to those kids who need support too. I am proud to receive funding from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild to travel all around my province doing interactive presentations for grades K-4 school children, as well as various autism events. Over 1000 children have heard me talk about the importance of being a good friend to those who are “different.” This book is available as a fundraiser for autism services and other interested organizations.

My second children’s book, Beneath That Star, was released in advance of the 2015 holiday season, but it has a faith-based message that resonates no matter what time of the year it is. It is dedicated to family members, especially the younger generation, who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. This book is available as a fundraiser for churches, Christian schools, and other faith-based schools.

What do you believe is your strength as an author?

I believe my strength is my ability to write stories that are both simple and profound. My stories tend to be heart-tugging with a depth that might be missed on surface glance. While children’s and general audience stories may seem easy to write, my pieces have in fact been carefully thought out, and have undergone many, many edits (by me). I am pleased with my ability to write in different genres; diversification has really paid off for me!

What moves you?

Heartfelt stories. Thoughtful movies. Powerful songs. Watching dancing. The touch of the Holy Spirit. Children who are hurting.

What is your favourite Scripture?

Every year or so the Lord gives me a new Scripture. For 2016, my Scripture is Isaiah 61:1-3:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendour.” (NIV)

The last sentence in this Scripture ties in very strongly with my “word of the year”—GLORY— and the theme of my blog, “Butterfly’d: Unfurling Glory In An (Extra)Ordinary Life.”

This Scripture was also on my heart for 2016, Philippians 4:8-9:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (NIV)

What’s coming up for you in 2016?

In 2016 I plan to:

* continue to do school presentations to support my book The Two Trees (I have a number already booked)
* return to songwriting (I have a few songs I need to complete)
* finish up several children’s picture book manuscripts that are at various stages
* continue to write and submit short stories to publications
* continue to blog with the intention to publish a book, called Butterfly: Unfurling Glory In An (Extra)Ordinary Life
* develop and present one or more workshops
* Christmas concerts!
In addition, I plan to explore:
* writing articles for a mainstream market
* new income streams for my photography and paper crafts

What advice do you have for beginning authors?

Start small. Plan big. Pray continually. God will do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine when you keep your eyes focussed on Jesus.

[Tweet “Start small. Plan big. Pray continually. – @SallyMeadows”]

If want to learn more about Sally Meadows’ books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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DISCLOSURE: SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE PAGE ABOVE MAY BE “AFFILIATE LINKS.” THIS MEANS IF YOU CLICK ON THE LINK AND PURCHASE THE ITEM, WE WILL RECEIVE AN AFFILIATE COMMISSION. WE ARE DISCLOSING THIS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION’S 16 CFR, PART 255: “GUIDES CONCERNING THE USE OF ENDORSEMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS IN ADVERTISING.”