If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
Today, it’s my pleasure to host Susan A. Perkins as she posts about her book series, Promises. Her blog site is at the end of her post, so follow me over there and read my blog. Meanwhile, I’m running a three-day sale on my inspirational, Heaven Sent. Click here to buy it for Kindle for $.99 today, tomorrow or Thursday—a saving of $5.00 from the regular price.
Hello and greetings, everyone! I am absolutely delighted to be invited to guest blog for David today, and it is a privilege to know he’s entertaining my readers as well. When this opportunity came about, I was asked to compose a blog post answering a series of questions pertaining to writing, publishing and my story.
The writing process and development of my series of books Promises is unique, just as every writing process or story is unique. Read on and let me know what you think! What was your writing process like? How did your story come about? What’s holding you back?
1. Why did you write the book/what inspired you to write the book? What was the writing process like?
Since Seminary I have been writing Biblical monologues about women in the Bible – I perform these monologues for different churches in my community. One specific monologue, “Onnua, Zaccheus’ Wife,” was my husband Robert’s favorite. He often commented that he was not satisfied I was telling the whole story. For Robert’s 52nd birthday I wrote Promises, which is the novel adaptation of the monologue.
The book took only about a month to write; once I began to add flesh to the original monologue the words just jumped out of me. It was exciting to see a phrase from the original story such as, "Whose husband forbade her to speak to me," become the characters of Eunice and her mean-spirited husband Amos.
Robert was a little curious about what was going on in the computer room. And to answer his question, "What are you doing?" I always answered, "Just writing."
When he finished reading the book in two sittings he said, "I have goose pimples. This is great. What happens next?" See, he’s never quite satisfied.
That was six books ago.
As books two through five were being written, Robert and I began investigating standard publishing. After much prayer and soul searching, we decided the books were worthy enough to spend the money on self-publishing. We have been very happy with the results.
One thing I have thoroughly enjoyed about self-publishing is being able to have control over the cover and the editing. I have a local friend, a freelance artist, who I trust with my thoughts. I give him the text of the section I want on the cover and how I see it and he gets inside my head and paints it.
Holding the first finished book in my hand made me cry. It was the culmination of years of story writing, play writing, and dreaming.
2. How did your faith grow or change throughout the course of writing? Is there a scripture that was especially important to you during the writing process?
I want to begin with the second question. The book is obviously the retelling of Luke 19:1-10. During the course of writing, a story arc occurred to me that would help us to see Zaccheus’ character better. It also explains why Jesus knew the man in the sycamore tree. In Promises, Zaccheus becomes the man who was robbed in the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-35.
The other scripture that is an important part of the story is from Luke 2:22-35. The story teller in the book, Bernice, tells the story of her father Simeon seeing the baby Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem.
Now back to the first question. These three story lines from the Bible are some of my favorites. I love Simeon because his faithfulness elicits a promise from God. And I envy him that. I feel when I read his story that I want my faith to grow. I want people to see in me that kind of devotion. I love the Zaccheus story because Jesus goes home to lunch with him. In retrospect, when I go back and read my books; I am stunned by the gift God gave to me by letting me write these books.
3. What is your favorite part of your story and why?
I love the whole book, but especially the Good Samaritan section. After writing the book I wrote a new monologue. I took Bernice’s stories of her father Simeon and turned them into a monologue. This monologue has become one of my favorites to perform. Why? Because for a few moments I am this devoted daughter and I am able to share his story as if it were mine.
4. What advice would you give to those who are considering writing and publishing a book?
I work in a music studio and mothers of five-year-olds call and say, "My child bangs on everything. Is he too young for drum lessons?" The truth about percussion is that children are born with it. I think this holds true as well for actors, musicians, artists, and writers. When God has gifted us we must do. So, if you already have ink running out of your fingers you are probably already a writer. If you have piles of short stories, poems, and plays scattered about your home you have already started. The best advice is write what you know and get started immediately.
As for advice on publishing, the internet and POD has made it so much easier for us to see our work and dreams become a reality. Go for it.
Now, head on over to my site, http://susanaperkins.wordpress.com, and read David’s blog over there.
Susan Perkins is a mother, teacher, actress, writer quilter and devoted friend. She is the author of the Promises series, a series of book that delved deeper into the lives of minor Biblical characters, exploring their society and culture. When asked about herself, Susan would answer with, “I’m sure my mother thought I was nuts. After Sunday School, I would line up my dollies and stuffed animals and preach to them about the day’s lesson. Later, I wrote plays and short stories and acted them out. I always played the “different” character rolls. Seriously, witches have better lines than princesses. From an early age I knew I was supposed to be a minister, an actress, and a writer. None of them have made me rich and famous (yet) but I sure have enjoyed the adventure.