|Carol Grace Stratton|
My guest today is author Carol Stratton. We became acquainted through our publisher, Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. I enjoyed reading her insightful devotional, Changing Zip Codes, and now I'm reading her highly entertaining debut novel, Lake Surrender.
Would you like a chance to win a copy of Lake Surrender for yourself or a friend? All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below concerning this interview, along with your email address, by Saturday, October 11th. I will announce the winner on Monday, October 13th. Participated is limited to U.S. residents. I hope you'll participate. It's easy. Now, enjoy the interview.
Thank you, Carol, for being my guest today. Please tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Northern California but spent most of my married life moving around in the Midwest. I am married to a great guy and we have four grown kids and five grandchildren. I’ve worked as a recreation supervisor, retail and a teacher’s aide in an autistic classroom. Currently I am working fulltime as a reporter for a local newspaper.
I got the bug to write in 6th grade when I was published in our town newspaper, but I put writing away for years. Finally when my youngest was in middle school, I started going to writing conferences. Little by little I published articles while I worked on a children’s novel. That particular novel is still unpublished and has racked up 31 rejections!
A few years ago I meet my publisher, Eddie Jones, who was looking for devotionals in a niche market. I suggested one called Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Wherever You’re Transplanted. That devotional was published in 2012. A year later I submitted my second manuscript, Lake Surrender, which just came out.
For you is writing a passion, a calling, or both?
I believe you can be a great writer with a lot of passion but a calling is necessary to fulfill one’s destiny. I was insecure when I started out about even admitting I was a writer, so God graciously spoke to me after my first Christian writing conference, saying, “Pursue joy and comfort people.” That’s all he said but I knew he wanted me to write.
What’s the best thing about writing a book?
Feeling like you have connected with people in a unique manner and encouraged some readers. I had a reader say my devotional saved her life when she moved and that made my day.
What inspired you on your writing journey?
Maybe who might be a better question. Two writers have really stuck with me. I read all of Catherine Marshall’s books while a baby Christian and knew I wanted to be a communicator for Jesus. The second writer, Jan Karon has inspired me because she started late in life (age 49) and gave up all to pursue her dream. I was the same age when I read her bio and that encouraged me that it wasn’t too late.
What was your journey to publication like?
Long and sometimes discouraging. My first book took 12 years to be published. I’m not sure why I didn’t quit. My husband kept asking me why not do something with less rejection.
One piece of writing advice you wish you’d had from the beginning
Do the writing for yourself, not for fame or approval. Don’t worry if people don’t “get” you.
Share with us the most meaningful truth you hope your readers glean from your writing.
I hope people see how intimately involved our God is with every detail of our lives even when we don’t realize it.
Could you tell us a little about the book you will be giving away to one of our readers?
My debut novel is about a hot shot editor who has lost her career, home, and marriage. She takes her two children, one an autistic son, and moves from the San Francisco Bay Area to Michigan. The only job she finds is a cook in a Christian camp. The problem is she can’t cook and doesn’t like religious people. But through the experience she finds a God who hasn’t forgotten her as her journey ends where the lake begins.
I’d like to share one of my favorite Scripture verses in closing. Sometimes promoting a book can be overwhelming, as can life in general, but the Lord only asks us to stand where we are supposed to stand and face our trials and enemies. He is the one who will fight them.
You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17
Thanks Carol for sharing with us about your writing and your life.
Readers, I appreciate your visiting Write Moments with God. I hope you will leave a comment below—which is great encouragement for me and Carol—and you will be included in the random drawing for her new novel. Become a follower of the blog for an additional entry.
Connect with Carol Stratton online at the following locations:
Website and blog: http://www.changingzipcodes.com/
Pinterest: Carol Stratton