Thursday, January 2, 2014

Be The Blessing by Paula Mowery: Interview


How did you start your writing career?

Writing and reading have always been important in my life. My mother worked in a Christian bookstore and kept me in books to read and journals to write in. I taught middle school English before quitting to homeschool my daughter. During those twelve years, I started writing more fiction and took some courses online as well as joined American Christian Fiction Writers. I had about fifteen manuscripts in a file under my desk, when I decided to pursue publication. I felt led to send in a novella, The Blessing Seer. I remember pausing to pray as my finger hovered above the send button for that submission email. I asked that if this was the right publisher, someone would be touched by the story. When I received an email back from the editor, the first line read: “This story really touched me.” 

Tell us about your current release.

On September 13th, the sequel to The Blessing Seer was released. It is entitled Be The Blessing. Honestly, I didn’t consider a sequel until my editor asked if there would be one. My mind started to whirl, and the next chapter in the main character’s life was born.

The main character is a pastor’s wife named Addy Townsend. In Be The Blessing she encounters some trials but is still encouraged to be a blessing to others despite feeling she deserves others to bless her instead.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?

The names used in The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing were specifically chosen as to their meanings. I utilized a name book that gave the meanings of the names as well as their origins and spiritual significance.  

The main character, Addy’s, name means My witness or chosen. Another character, Conrad’s, name means bold counselor and discerner of excellence.

 Each of the names’ meanings says something about what that character is all about and their contribution to the story.

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

 A story usually starts with some kind of idea spark. I have gotten ideas for stories from dreams, newspaper stories, and even sermons. Once I have an idea, I will usually scribble down some notes which might include a couple of main events and a brief character description. From there I will write a crude outline. I call it crude because it is far from formal outline. It is more like a list of events I plan for the story. I will include a list of characters and brief descriptions of how I picture them. This includes prominent physical features and personality traits. With that, I set out to write a first draft. And, yes, I hand write my first draft in a spiral notebook. Not much of a formula for developing a story, but it works for me.

Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers?

Read, write, repeat. One of the best classrooms for a writer is to read. I am always reading a Christian fiction.

If you want to be a writer then you have to write. Sounds silly. But, the more you write, the better you become. 

Take advantage of online writers associations, blogs, and classes. There’s always more to learn. 

If you dream of publication, start small. Submit an article to a magazine to build your resume. Start a blog. 

Put in the time and don’t give up.

Tell us about your next release.

In November I released a story in the anthology, Brave New Century, called Forgiven. That was my first romance, and it is based on a true occurrence involving my paternal grandfather. 

My next release is a romance called Legacy and Love which contains two stories. It is set to release March 19th. These two stories both involve a heroine who is deeply influenced through the godly heritage of a grandmother. 

Entice us. What future projects are you considering?

As crazy as it sounds, I actually have two works in progress. One is called A Lamp Unto Her Feet. This story centers on a young woman trying to determine what her purpose is in life. She begins to read her grandmother’s Bible and finds the marked passages seem to mirror her life. The other story is tentatively called Four Sisters Inn. This is about four sisters who appear to have achieved their career dreams only to realize they may not have followed the right dreams. Now they have to decide whether to pursue a different life and love.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

Honestly, the hardest part for me is having the time I want to have to write. When I really get into writing a particular scene or section of a manuscript, I just want to stay in my writing hole indefinitely. But, as we all know, that can’t happen often. I am a pastor’s wife, a mother, an editor, and a part time teacher assistant. I snatch time for writing in every way I can.

What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?

I am sure there would be people who know me who would say that I’m not sane to begin with. A writer-friend of mine once said she was so amazed at how my mind and imagination worked she wanted to end up in the nursing home with me. She figures when my sanity starts to slip, it ought to be a hoot to hear what comes out of my mouth. She’s probably right. 

But, seriously, the most important attribute I would say in remaining a sane writer is to never lose the joy of writing. When a writer becomes published there are so many expectations to promote and write as well or better on the next book. With the business side of writing always looming a writer can lose that thrill of just creating that new story or character.

Addy Townsend hadn’t strolled with Conrad or had a vision in five years. Now Conrad has returned to challenge her to be a blessing to those around her. The Holy Spirit begins to nudge her into service in new ways and she follows.

But when she is blindsided with personal problems, can Addy learn to be a willing vessel even in times of struggle and suffering?


Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. Her first solo romance, Legacy and Love, releases in March of 2014. Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living. 
As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page. 
Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team. 
Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a first year college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school. 

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