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Welcome, Sara Davison! We’re eager to know, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I have two early memories, or “light bulb moments”, in my childhood that helped me to see that this is what I wanted to do with my life. As a kid, I pretty much lived in the library, which was in a big old house with creaky wooden floors in our little town. I have a vivid memory of walking up and down the aisles of that library one day when I was nine or ten, running my hands along the spines of the books and thinking, All these people wrote a book. It can be done. I can do this. Another light bulb moment for me came after a grade four field trip. When we came back to the school, we had to do a write-up about our day away. Mine was chosen for the school newsletter, and I can still remember that feeling of seeing my words in print and knowing people were reading them, the thrill that gave me. So the desire to write and have my work published was sparked in me at a very young age.

Why do you write?

The easy answer is that I write because I have to. There are times when I am gripped so strongly by a story or scene idea that it feels like I will explode if I don’t get it down on paper. What drives me more than that, though, is the absolute certainty that this is what God has called me to do. He has given me a gift that I have to use for His glory in order to find any joy or fulfillment in life. And equally strong as this urge to write, is the desire to have my words read. I found a quote recently that shed light on this desire for me. The quote was by Max McLean, founder of the Fellowship for the Performing Arts, who said: “… I am amazed at the communicators who have never quite understood that a story is not a story until it has been received.” That revelation struck me like an apple falling from a tree and bouncing off my head: The stories I write are incomplete until someone reads them. It is in the reading that the connection is made, the process is completed, the circle is closed. So I write out of obedience to the calling God has given me, and pray that, as I write and others read, God will use my words to have an impact on the hearts and lives of others.

[Tweet “The stories I write are incomplete until someone reads them. – @sarajdavison”]

When do you find time to write?

Now that my kids are getting older, it’s becoming a bit easier to find time to write. When they were young, I did pretty much all of my writing between nine at night and one or two in the morning. Thankfully, I am a night owl, so that worked okay for me. Even now, with two of my three kids doing online education from home, it can be tricky to find extended periods of quiet, uninterrupted time to work. I tend to take advantage of shorter time periods, such as the half hour I am waiting for my son to come out of his guitar lesson. And of course, I do still work late into the night, which is always my most productive time. Something I have found to be of tremendous value is going away once or twice a year on a week-long writing retreat. I go with a couple of friends and we spend our time writing, enjoying great meals, going for walks, more writing, then reading our work to each other in the evenings for feedback. I can’t tell you how relaxing, refreshing, and productive those times are, and highly recommend that every writer considers gifting themselves with those times away from the demands of everyday life.

Where did the idea for The Seven Trilogy come from?

The trilogy is set about forty years in the future, in Canada, and has a bit of an end times feel to it. The funny thing about that is I would have considered myself the least likely person to write on this topic. Movies such as The Mark of the Beast and other graphic apocalyptic films were very popular when I was in my teens, and I saw several of them at my church. Like they did for a lot of people, the movies terrified me, and for years, I didn’t want to read or watch or talk about anything to do with the end times. Then a few years ago our pastor led a study on the book of Revelation. Through that study, I began to see the beauty and the power in the book, and the hope it offers for the future of every believer. That planted the seeds for this series.

Fascinating, what is the theme of this book? Of the series?

When I first began writing The Seven Trilogy, some of the things that happen seemed a little far-fetched. By the time I was done the first book, The End Begins, however, those same events felt like they had been torn from the headlines of the daily news. There is no question that Christians in North America are at the very beginning of experiencing the treatment that Christians in other parts of the world have been undergoing for years. So far we cannot claim to have encountered true persecution, but there is an increasing hostility toward believers, spurred on by media bias and misrepresentation, that will inevitably lead to harsher and harsher treatment. According to the Bible, while this is inevitable, it is also a good thing. The church in North America is untethering itself from society. The gap between believers and the world is widening, and before long there will be no middle ground. Everyone will have to choose whether they will take a stand for or against Jesus Christ. While these times may be scary, they are also incredibly exciting. As the apostle Paul put it in Romans 5:3-5, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” As the times become more difficult, Paul promises that not only will believers grow in perseverance, character, and hope, but we will experience to a greater degree than ever before, the sustaining love and presence of God. And that is the main theme of The Seven Trilogy.

What do you hope your reader will take away after reading this book?

While there is uncertainty ahead, and it is easy to be afraid when we watch the news and see everything that is happening in the world today, the truth is that God does not want us to live in fear. Over and over again in the Bible, He tells us not to be afraid. We can rest secure in his promise that He will never leave us or forsake us, and in Jesus’ assertion in John 16:33 that, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Instead of facing what is to come with fear, we can face it with hope. As one of my characters, Jesse, says in Book 3, The Morning Star Rises: “I used to be sure of so many things in life … Now I only know two things to be absolutely true. God is still on his throne. And he has not abandoned us.” So I pray that after reading this trilogy, what the reader will take away with him or her is hope, that whatever happens in the future, God will carry us through. And that those who persevere to the end will enjoy His presence for all eternity.

[Tweet “Whatever happens in the future, God will carry us through. – @sarajdavison”]

What is the best feedback you have received?

Author Nancy Rue did an endorsement for The End Begins. She called the book, “important” which meant a lot to me. Other readers have commented that after reading The End Begins they were inspired to read and study their Bibles more, in case, like the characters in the book, their Bibles are ever taken away from them. Many have said that they were motivated to contemplate the future, and ask themselves if they are ready for what is to come. That kind of feedback, evidence that God is using the books to prepare believers for the future, is incredibly thrilling and humbling to me.

What are your future writing plans?

Book 2 of the trilogy, The Dragon Roars, releases in April. I am currently working on revising and polishing the manuscript of Book 3, The Morning Star Rises, which comes out in October. After that, I hope to continue to put out books through my amazing publisher, Ashberry Lane. I have a two-book romantic suspense series that I want to go back and revise and edit and then submit for possible publication in 2017. Other than that, I will wait to see what God’s plans are for my work. I don’t come up with the ideas for the stories myself, they come from Him, so as long as He continues to give me the stories, I will continue to be obedient to the call and to produce work that is as excellent as I can make it, for His glory. As I say in the dedication section of all my books, It is all from Him and for Him.

Thank you so much for joining us Sara! If you want to learn more about Sara Davison’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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Welcome, Lisa J. Flickinger! Tell us, What is your favourite genre to write?

I love writing and researching historical fiction. My house looks like a late eighteen hundreds farmhouse, complete with a ladder and a broom collection, although I find any bygone era fascinating.

What does your office look like?

Along one wall sits an antique lawyer’s bookcase from my grandmother’s home filled with resource materials for writing. A stunning print of the Tonquin Valley done by photographer Paul Smith hangs above the desk and provides the dreamscape for my imagination.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Read, of course! Otherwise, I wrangle anybody I can to have a latte and chat at the local coffee shop.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided at birth to become a writer, but for several years lack of comprehension hampered my career. It wasn’t until my kids left home I seriously pursued writing (and finishing) projects.

[Tweet “I decided at birth to become a #writer – Lisa J. Flickinger”]

How do you connect with God best?

I love listening to the Lord speak into my heart during worship.

Which Christian author has influenced you the most?

I have been a fan of Allison Pittman’s work for years. Even more amazing, The Christian Communicator assigned my novel All That Glitters to her for editing. Her encouragement and insight helped me to develop as a writer and to take the leap toward publication.

Are your books only for Christians or would other people also enjoy them?

My books definitely embrace a Christian worldview; however, the settings and characters are memorable enough for anyone who enjoys a good read.

What do you consider the best piece of advice you can give to novice authors?

As you journey toward publication, be open to learning from authors who have gone before you.

[Tweet “Be open to learning from #authors who have gone before you. – Lisa J. Flickinger”]

Thank you for sharing with us Lisa! If you want to learn more about Lisa J. Flickinger’s book or purchase it, you can find it below:

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Sandra Orchard is the author of ‘A Fool & His Monet‘.

Welcome Sandra Orchard,  Tell us what inspired you to write a series about art crime, do you have a personal passion for art?

The inspiration for the series began with a newspaper article about Alain Lacoursière, a Montreal police detective who founded one of the top art-theft units in the world. The FBI estimates that the international black market in art is worth about $6-billion a year and it is now believed to be the second biggest source of income for at least one terrorist group. Sounded like great fodder for a story! I scoured the Internet for more articles. I read countless books on art crime, including the biography of an art thief and the biography of the founder of FBI’s Art Crime Team. And more recently, I’ve registered for an online course on antiquities trafficking—the topic of the third book in the series—with the University of Glasgow.

I wouldn’t say I have a passion for art per se. But I’ve found the research into art crimes fascinating and have developed a much deeper appreciation for art’s value to society.

The second book of the series, Another Day, Another Dali, comes out next year. Can you give your readers any insight?

Another Day, Another Dali delves into the world of art forgery. Fakes can be more easily detected than ever thanks to modern technology, yet many paintings on museum walls or sold at auctions, let alone those sold by smaller dealers, are likely forgeries. It was fascinating to learn some tricks of the trade during my research for this book and great fun to incorporate them into the story. On the character front, this story shares more insight into what drives Serena’s determination to find her grandfather’s killer, and ramps up the growing romantic tension between Serena and the two very different men in her life.

Does this series need to be read in order?

No, each book is a standalone mystery that will be completely tied up by the end of the story. There are of course many continuing characters that readers will get to know better as the series progresses and whose interrelationships will change over the course of the series. I’m even inviting readers to vote for which man they’d like to see Serena eventually end up with.

You have received many awards throughout your writing career, which one are you most proud of?

The 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Critical Condition for two reasons. The award is not one authors enter so my novel was up against all other 47 Love Inspired Suspense published that year. Secondly, the novel is very close to my heart, because it is a tribute to a dear writing friend who inspired the story, and died while I was writing it, and to her husband who’d stood by her side through the two decades they battled the disease.

Are your books only for Christian readers?

No. My heroes and heroines are believers, so their perspectives on and reactions to what happens in the stories, of course, reflect that, but the stories are not message-driven. Many of my readers simply appreciate them as fast-paced, entertaining, “clean” reads, free of course language, graphic violence and sensuality.

It took an unfortunate circumstance (blowing a disc in your back) to bring you down the professional writing path. What advice would you give to those who are putting off their desire to write?

Get started. Exploit opportunities to write and to learn. You’d be surprised how much you could have written by the end of the week, simply by snatching moments here and there—while waiting in the doctor’s office, while the children are napping or at music lessons, for a few minutes before bed, or on your lunch break. And read books on writing craft. Understanding the basics about how to show not tell and stay in one point of view and how to write actively, not passively, and about story structure, will save a lot of rewriting later. Join a writers’ group. Attend workshops. Read the kind of books you’d like to write, but don’t be in a rush to be published. Enjoy the journey.

Your husband was the one to suggest that you start writing novels. What is he saying now?

He is incredibly supportive. He actually made the suggestion in the misguided hope that I would bring less books into the house, as they were piling up. Now…we have more around than ever, but it’s fun to see my name on them.

What do you do in your spare time? (Because authors have so much of that!)

I play with my young grandchildren. I also enjoy hikes with my hubby and renovating. Before I started writing, I used to sew and knit and cross-stitch and paint in my spare time, but now I do too much sitting. I need to move.

Thank you so much Sandra, If you would like to know more about Sandra Orchard’s books or purchase them, you can find them below:

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