Today, I’m excited to introduce an author who’s had an impact on my writing. Anne Carol and I met in an online group for Christian writers and were drawn together by the fact that we both write rock star fiction. (The fourth and final book in her Faithfully Yours series releases December 8th, meanwhile the first in my series will release summer, 2021.) Anne’s recommendations have helped me in my research, and she’s also been such an encouragement that it’s a joy to introduce you to her here!
Welcome, Anne! How did you get started writing fiction?
I grew up being an avid reader, and I remember making picture books as a child. When I reached my preteen years, a celebrity crush inspired me to write a romance novel, which was an early version of my first published book, Never Let Go!
The writing bug took a pause during my high school years, but then I wrote during one summer I was home from college. Then another long pause occurred between the end of college and when my boys were school-age. That’s when I could no longer ignore the story in my head, and I re-wrote and published that first romance novel in 2014. I’ve been writing ever since!
Why do you write?
I write for many reasons: to release emotions, express creativity, avoid housework (seriously), live vicariously through my characters, work out my own issues, and to inspire hope in my readers. And, of course, to entertain myself and others!
Which novel by someone else has influenced you the most? What about it had such an impact?
Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers. It was one of the first novels I read during a period of soul-searching, just before I decided to switch over to writing Christian fiction. Even though the character’s story is very different from mine, I could identify with the theme of the story, which was how God pursued Aubra, even though she looked to everything else for fulfillment and happiness. It wasn’t until she surrendered to God that she could truly begin her life, feeling whole and loved. I felt God speak to me through this story, and it stirred something in my heart. It inspired me to change my outlook on writing.
How has your writing impacted your faith?
For me, the writing journey has been a roller coaster, to be honest. I’ve been forced to rely on my faith to carry me through the hard stuff. There’ve been times when I thought God had forgotten me; that He was telling me to quit writing. But then I realized that was the voice of the enemy hurling negative emotions my way, trying to defeat me. Staying the course and being obedient to the call of writing is firming up my faith. I’m in constant prayer over my writing. I think being in a place I didn’t belong (at the beginning of my writing career) has made me appreciate where I’m at right now. I never want to write without God’s presence again. So, I can say at this point, my writing and faith going hand-in-hand.
What advice do you have for a writer who’s just starting out?
Study the craft, attend conferences, seek out the writing community for support and advice, learn to persevere, don’t neglect devotion/Bible time, and try to write everyday, if not several times a week. If it’s important, fit it into your schedule. There’ll never be a “perfect time” to write and publish. Stay in your lane, do not compare your journey to others’.
What has God taught you through your writing journey?
He has taught me (and is still teaching me) to trust His timing and plan; that He knows best what my writing journey should look like. I’m learning that He made me with a unique personality and set of interests that will make my writing different from other authors’ brands. This is a lesson that has taken years to learn, and I’m finally getting it, four books in!
What is your favorite part of writing? What’s the hardest part?
Weirdly, I love creating a music playlist before I really dig into writing. Music helps me plot and get into the feel/setting of the story. Once I’ve listened to the playlist, I enjoy writing that first draft. That’s probably my favorite part, though editing is fun, too! The hardest part is focusing for long periods of time, especially when other things are pulling at my attention: kids’ needs, friends, parents, housework, day job, social media. I need to take frequent breaks, but then it’s frustrating because it takes longer to get any writing done!
What themes do you explore in your latest release?
In Never Give Up, which is the 4th and final book of my rock star romance series, Faithfully Yours, I explore identity, self-doubt (which I’m at expert on), perseverance as an individual and in marriage, overcoming addiction, life transitions, surrendering to God, and remaining faithful in marriage when things get tough. I know this sounds like a lot, but they tie in together, I believe. My characters really grow up in this book!
What do you hope readers will come away from your book with?
My hope is that readers will understand that our identity is in Christ, and that what we do (career-wise) doesn’t define us. God has a purpose for us and even when it looks different from what we want, His plan is best, and fighting it (and doing things our own way) will only result in disappointment and frustration. Also, I hope when they read about my characters persevering, it’ll inspire them to go for their dreams, even if it means going back to college later in life. A few other takeaways: being open to new career paths, if one doesn’t work out, and to not abandon a loved one when they need help – not give up on a damaged marriage (except for in cases of abuse, of course, which this situation isn’t).
Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Anne!
“The writing journey has been a roller coaster, to be honest. I’ve been forced to rely on my faith to carry me through the hard stuff.” – @AnneCarolAuthor on #writing, #reading, and her #newrelease w/@emilyrconrad
“I felt God speak to me through this story, and it stirred something in my heart. It inspired me to change my outlook on #writing.” – Find out which book @AnneCarolAuthor is talking about in this interview with @emilyrconrad
“Staying the course and being obedient to the call of writing is firming up my faith.” @AnneCarolAuthor with @emilyrconrad on #writing
Anne Carol grew up in the 1980’s, reading, writing, and listening to English rock bands. She continues to have one foot in the past, listening to classic alternative rock and watching old sitcoms. Anne writes about swoony musicians and, while she keeps a thread of hope in her emotion-packed stories, she doesn’t shy away from tough subject matter. When she’s not writing, Anne enjoys reading, traveling, hanging out with friends, wine tasting, and spending time with her husband and two teenage sons. She resides in Northern California, where most evenings you can find her curled up in front of a Hallmark movie with red wine and dark chocolate.
Love Never Fails
The final book of the Faithfully Yours series begins as English guitarist David Somers and his California-bred wife Beth celebrate ten years together. Their anniversary comes on the heels of a big move from England to California. Leaving his years of band life behind, David—now a father of two—decides to pursue a solo music career in Los Angeles.
Beth is thrilled to return to her home state and immediately enrolls at a local university, determined to finish her writing degree. Meanwhile, David struggles to adjust to life in his adopted country, and when his music career is hampered by unexpected health issues, he gradually descends into a dark place where even Beth cannot seem to reach him. As married life spirals out of control, this young family becomes desperate for a miracle.
Just when things seem hopeless, a friend steps in with a powerful message that could rescue the Somers from a crushing downfall. Will evil win out and succeed in destroying their family, or will David and Beth renew their commitment, never giving up hope for restoration?
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