Q. You’ve written a best seller. What do you think launched Out of a Dream into that category?
A. The honest truth is that God has had His hand on Out of a Dream from the very beginning, so I really can’t take credit for its success. He walked me through the writing of this story as His way of redeeming the years the locusts had eaten away in my life. I think it resonates with readers because it is very real and suspenseful, and it has a powerful message of redemption and hope.
Q. How does this book tap into your salvation testimony?
A. Out of a Dream exposes the deception of New Age beliefs. I know this deception personally because I spent years steeped in that false religion. Reading my horoscope daily, participating in séances and Ouija board sessions, practicing New Age forms of meditation, and even reading tarot cards for others were all part of my life.
When I was 29, my father took his own life. It rocked my flimsy spiritual foundation and brought me to my knees. Through his death, I realized my New Age philosophies and practices were empty. A search for truth led me to Jesus, and a new path in life.
Q. Were you surprised at the response of readers with your revelation of New Age beliefs, the darkness of meditation outside of focusing on things the Bible tells us about, and the negative spiritual side of Yoga?
A. Many of my Christian readers are uneasy as they read the first part of the book, which shows how easily someone can be seduced by New Age beliefs and practices. But all of them have given me such positive feedback after they finish reading the story and my letter to readers at the end of the story. In that letter, I share my own painful journey to God and why the writing of this novel was such a gift from Him.
Q. Was it difficult to bring your fictional character “out of the miry clay” of false beliefs and set her feet on “the Rock, Christ Jesus and truth?”
A. One thing I discovered as I became immersed in the process of writing this book is that my character, Michelle, needed to tell her own story. I could not control her every thought and move. So I learned to watch her life unfold as if it were a movie playing out on a screen in my mind. As she struggled along her own path to truth, God showed up and guided the way.
Q. How long did it take to write the book?
A. Not to discourage any fledgling authors, but from the first time I sat down to write until the day it was published was seventeen years. You have to know that writing this was a God thing, not a dream or aspiration of my own. During those years, I was living the life I had planned and chosen — raising a family, getting a teaching credential and a Masters Degree in counseling, and launching a 20 year teaching career. So the writing was sporadic and relied on God’s inspiration and timing.
Q. Was it difficult to show instead of tell the reader what your character, Michelle, was going through?
A. Definitely. Since I had no formal training in writing fiction, I really had a lot to learn. Getting inside Michelle’s head and heart really helped. As she took on life, she breathed her own depth and drama into the story.
Q. Do you have a critique group or critique partners?
A. Currently I rely on a college English professor, who is my editor, and a host of well-read friends to critique and correct my writing. But I did belong to a critique group for several years and have attended numerous writing conferences. All of these people and events helped to shape Out of a Dream and the Sandy Cove Series, which has by God’s grace found its way into many hands and hearts.
Q. Some readers commented they liked the way you handled the romance. Did you plan to weave it in that way? Tell us how you did it.
A. The goal in all my books is realism, not sensationalism. I wanted to handle romance realistically and with sensitivity toward my audience. So I focused on the heart and feelings of my characters as I wrote the romantic scenes. Love relationships are part of life and that is how I wove them into the lives of my characters. I didn’t bend the personalities of my characters to fit the typical formula for romance.
I am not a fan of formula writing or of reading books written in that style (the basis for many romance novels). Life is not formulaic. These are stories about real life. From what my readers have told me, the realistic nature of my novels resonates with them at a deeper level, and they feel very connected to the characters.
Q. What is your next book in the series? Is it available, or when will it be?
A. There are three books in the Sandy Cove Series. All three are available in print and ebook formats. Although each can be read as a stand-alone novel, they also flow seamlessly as one continuous storyline beginning with Out of a Dream, followed by Through the Tears, and finally Into Magnolia.
Q. Are you thinking of your next series? What is the theme?
A. There may be another book in the Sandy Cove Series coming up. In addition, I am considering a Christmas novella and a possible memoir. One of the projects I’d love to see happen is a co-authored novel with my sister. So there are many possibilities on the horizon, depending on God’s direction and inspiration.
Q. How has your life changed since you became a born-again Christian?
A. The biggest changes are in the realms of fear and purpose.
Fear used to be the rudder that steered my ship in life. In fact, I wrestled with a pretty intense anxiety disorder for quite awhile. God has patiently pried my hands off that rudder as He teaches me to rest and trust Him with every circumstance and outcome. Lots of prayer, deep breaths, and scriptures are part of this ongoing process.
Before I became a Christian, I had many interests and goals, but not a prevailing sense of purpose. Now I look at life as an opportunity to seek God’s direction and plan for each stage of my life, leaning on Him to help me live it out.
Q. What is your greatest desire at this point in your life?
A. Other than a slew of grandkids? J To love God completely and live life fully to the very end.
Thanks, Rosemary, for being our guest and for sharing your story with the world.
Thank you, Ada. I’d like to offer a free copy of Out of a Dream to one of your readers. Anyone who shares this blog on social media like Facebook or Twitter during the next 5 days will be entered in the drawing.
Readers, if you are entering the drawing, please comment below and indicate your email address as well as where you shared this blog. The drawing will be held on Dec. 12 and the winner will be notified by email.