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Welcome, Laura J. Davis! For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a former singer/songwriter who had a singing ministry for a little over 30 years. Around 14 years ago a tumour was discovered in my abdomen and when the doctors took it out they accidentally ruptured my bladder without knowing it, sewed me up and sent me back to recovery. When I didn’t recover as expected, I was sent back in for emergency surgery. Somewhere in that time frame, my vocal chords were damaged due to being intubated. Although I was assured that my voice would come back, it never did and to make a long story short the Lord began a “new work in me” that ended with my first novel – Come to Me.

So you had a singing career and then a writing career – just like that?

Not really. Over a period of several months, while I was recovering from my surgery, I struggled desperately to get my voice back. I went through a time of depression because I couldn’t understand why the Lord would allow my voice to be taken away. During that time, a story was beginning to form in my mind about the life of Christ through the eyes of his mother. I had the distinct impression from God that I was supposed to write about it, but I was so angry at losing my voice I ignored it because I wanted my voice back. Besides, I couldn’t see the end of the story, only the beginning. But, over time, the desire to write became so strong that I could not ignore it. Then one day I went to my computer, placed my hands on the keyboard and said, “Okay, Lord. I surrender. Use my hands as you used my voice.” The next thing I knew the floodgates were opened and I didn’t stop typing until the story was complete.

[Tweet “Over time, the desire to write became so strong that I could not ignore it. – @LauraJeanDavis”]

But the Lord still had some more changes to come, didn’t He?

That’s for sure. About a year, maybe less, after my surgery, a fall down a flight of stairs left me partially disabled. In time, other problems set in, including arthritis. Then I was diagnosed with a disease called lipo-lymphedema, which affects my lymphatic system and causes my legs to swell which requires me to keep them elevated all the time. I have to spend two hours every day in something called a lympha-press that massages my legs to get the lymphatic fluid moving. It has pretty much zapped my ability to move about on my own. However, the good part of this is that it forces me to stay at my computer writing every day!

So how long have you been writing?

Not including my songwriting days, it would be about 14 years.

How many books have you written?

I have written a few but only three have been published – Come to Me, a Bible study to go with my other book, called Learning from the Master, Living a Surrendered Life and He Who Has an Ear, Who the Seven Churches of Revelation are Today. Sometime in the spring of 2016, my next Bible study, Unlocking the Truth of Daniel, will be released.

Tell us about your latest book.

He Who Has an Ear started as an inductive Bible Study for me. I was wondering about the churches the Apostle John sent letters to (in the book of Revelation) and asked myself if they still existed today. Out of the seven churches, only two received commendation from the Lord. The rest were letters of warning. So I was shocked when I realized these warnings are very relevant to the church today. It broke my heart at times to realize how similar the modern 21st century church is to those churches that existed over 2000 years ago. So the warnings Jesus gave to them also apply to us.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

Yes. It is very important that Christians study their Bibles inductively, precept by precept. We have to get back to the Word and study it earnestly. The Bible says Jesus is the Word and Jesus said to abide in Him, if we are only having a short devotion each day, or not opening our Bibles until Sunday morning, we really aren’t allowing Him to abide in us as He should. Studying the Word of God keeps the Believer discerning. If we are a church that studies the Bible, we will not compromise our beliefs, nor will we be led astray by false doctrines. Unfortunately, the church has let in false doctrines because its people do not know the Word of God. This is exactly what happened to the churches in Revelation. Get back into the Word. It is so important.

[Tweet “Get back into the Word. It is so important. – @LauraJeanDavis”]

Tell us about your next book Unlocking the Truth of Daniel.

It will be the first book in a new series called Digging Deeper. The second book in the series will be on Revelation. The goal of this series is to encourage people to “dig deeper” into their Bibles so that they can discover for themselves all the incredible mysteries it holds. The new series concentrates on keeping scripture in context, so I focus on that by also investigating where things stand in history. The book of Daniel clearly speaks of Jesus’ life, but not in the way most people think. It also speaks of the Kings of the North and South, but again, not in the way most people have come to accept. So I believe this will be an interesting study for any Christian who wants to take their Bible study times to the next level.

Thank you for joining us, Laura! If you would like to learn more about Laura J. Davis’ books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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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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