It's a pleasure to have Paula Mowery as my guest today on Books & Writing. Welcome Paula.
Paula is a pastor's wife and former homeschool Mom. She has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction. She began writing first in the nonfiction genre, creating three Bible studies, which were self-published. However, she crafted fiction stories which she shared with friends and family.
When one of her readers encouraged her to pursue publication, she joined American Christian Fiction Writers, where she learned more about the world of fiction. Her debut work The Blessing Seer is a novella published by Harbourlight, a division of Pelican Book Group. Paula is also an acquiring editor for Prism Book Group.
It's nearly August - summer is winding down. Can you tell us what your favorite summer memory is?
I believe we made a summer memory this May when we traveled to Pensacola, Florida to see my daughter graduate with her homeschool class. We always said if we survived 12 years of school together, we would have to be involved in the graduation ceremonies. She graduated from ABeka Academy with 372 others from 48 of the states and 5 other countries. Her father and I joked that she would have to deal with the fact that her parents were on her Senior trip since we stayed at the beach that next week after the graduation. I will never forget the young woman I saw march across that stage. I was a proud mama.
Beautiful memory, indeed.
Paula, can you sum up your homeschooling experience in one sentence? And would you do it again?
I will forever be grateful that God allowed me to stay home to educate my child and raise her in His ways. Though it wasn't always easy, I would do it all again, seeing the person God has formed her to become.
You've written a number of articles, Bible studies and two novellas. Can you share a little about how you started your writing journey?
Before homeschooling my own daughter, I taught English in public school. I tried to set a good example by reading and writing in front of my students. I've always been an avid reader of Christian fiction since my mother began to bring home books from her job at a Christian bookstore. Mom also brought home journals which I would fill with stories and poems. God inspired me to write Bible studies and teach them at churches where my husband served as pastor. I always had that "secret" notebook where I was writing fiction.
One day I ventured to share a novel with a friend who encouraged me to look into publishing. I joined ACFW and learned what writing for God and publishing was all about. Several authors suggested starting small, so I wrote some magazine articles, having two accepted by a national magazine. A couple of years ago, I laid out my fleece, asking God to give me a sign as to whether publishing was on the horizon for me. He answered and led me to Pelican Book Group and the publication of The Blessing Seer.
My writing journey has been a process of listening to God's direction and learning all I can about how to write.
You're not only a writer but an acquisitions editor as well. What is it like to wear both hats?
Yep, God really dropped the editor position right in my lap! One thing I've learned as an editor, I can see how to polish another manuscript, but with my own work I seem blinded. I joke that God has given me the editor position to feed that English teacher in me. But, don't worry, I don't "bleed" on the manuscripts. It is so exciting to help an aspiring writer achieve their dream of publication.
My only struggle is to balance my time between writing and editing. But the timing works out well. I no longer will be educating my daughter. She's moving on to college. I shouldn't be surprised how it all fell into place - God's timing is perfect.
Even after all my years of walking with God, I continue to be amazed at His timing.
You have a sequel to your first novella, The Blessing Seer. The new book is called Be the Blessing.
What a beautiful cover. Can you tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for this series of books?
The Blessing Seer came from a sermon illustration. As I went to bed one night, I was mulling over a story about a man who goes to heaven and sees a warehouse filled with unopened gifts. An angel tells him that those are all of the blessings God wants to give to people, but they haven't asked for.
I thought about how we receive blessings - some just given from God and others we receive only after obeying a directive. Then, I thought about how many blessings I must miss out on because I either don't ask or don't obey.
I had no sooner lay down and turned out the lamp, than God downloaded the complete outline for The Blessing Seer into my mind. I jumped back up and wrote it down as fast as my hands could write. After it was contracted and the edits had begun, my editor asked if I thought there would be a sequel. Well . . . my mind started cranking and the sequel was born. God let me know that the main character's story wasn't over. he still had plenty to say and teach me. Be the Blessing will be released soon.
I look forward to hearing more about Be the Blessing.
What's next? Are you working on a new project?
I wrote a story to be included in an anthology with three other authors. Brave New Century will be published through Prism Book Group. It is a collection of four historical romance stories. My story, Forgiven, is based on my paternal grandparents.
Also, I am in the midst of revising a story called The Prayer Shawl, which will be paired with another story called A Lamp Unto My Feet. These are both contemporary romance in which a grandmother had a godly influence.
I am also revising another romance called Inheritance per request of my editor.
You are staying busy. I'll be watching for upcoming books.
How can people contact you on the web?
Please connect with me on my blog (you can subscribe through your email) - www.paulamowery.blogspot.com and on my new author Facebook page found under pages and my name, Paula Mowery - please "Like" me there.
You can also find me on the Prism submissions page - www.prismbookgroup.com.
You can read my columns at www.christianonlinemagazine.com.