One of the great things about being an author has been getting to know other authors. I connected with Christian author, Maria T. Henriksen, on Facebook awhile back, and we’ve been involved in each other’s groups. Since I like to feature authors from time to time, I offered a spotlight to those authors who had been included in my last author party/takeover on Facebook. Below is an interview I did with Maria, recently.
MY INTERVIEW WITH MARIA:
What prompted you to pursue publication?
I pursued publication to accomplish something meaningful and worthwhile. I wanted to leave a legacy for my family, something my family could be proud of, something that left a mark of my existence here on earth. My novel, Not Again, turned out to be even more than ever imagined. It turned into a ministry to help others deal with traumatic events in their lives, to draw closer to God, and manage everyday stress. Not Again has also been recommended to others who are grieving the loss of loved ones and I truly believe that Not Again will lead someone to Christ someday. Yes, my book is that powerful, but I can’t take the credit as I prayed through it every step of the way. All the glory goes to God.
What inspired you to write Not Again?
I had no idea what I was going write until my fingers hit the keyboard. I didn’t plan anything nor did I keep notes of the various characters or plot. God inspired me to write every keystroke of Not Again. In fact, I never experienced writer’s block. The words flowed right out of me. It was an incredible writing experience. One that that I wish I could experience again.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing your novel? The most rewarding?
Writing Not Again was easy as I even enjoyed the editing aspects of it, especially the rewrites. Publishing was the hard part. In fact, I’m dreading the publishing part of Not Again’s sequel, Not Again, The Fallout, so much that I think it’s partly why it’s not yet ready for publication. The most rewarding part of writing my novel has been the overwhelming positive response to my novel in how it has inspired so many people, and that I created a unique combination of genres that my readers are hoping will start a trend.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
My hope is that readers will draw closer to the Lord at the very least. The use of scripture is woven into the story line to foster a relationship with Christ. There are also practical ways of dealing with everyday stress that can be implemented in one’s life. My objective is that readers rely on the Lord for strength and utilize the techniques in my book to reduce their daily stress as well as Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). My greatest desire is that readers will come to Christ as a result of the seeds planted from reading Not Again. God revealed that someone will be led to Christ from reading Not Again and my hope is that I will live to hear about it.
Which authors or books have inspired you the most, as a writer?
Several authors have inspired my writing but for different reasons. Frank Peretti was the first Christian author I read and his book left an impact on my life as I was able to glean that there is a spiritual world going on around us. Secular writers like John Green and Jodi Piccult have had an even impact on my writing in that their works don’t necessarily have happy endings. Their approach is to show the harsh realities of life. However, I take that a step further to show that through faith in Jesus, we can get through even the most difficult situations. This type of hope and faith in Jesus is seen in Janette Oke’s sweet historical novels. For whatever reason I can’t seem to write with the same sweetness, so Not Again is considered edgy as it describes the good, the bad, and the ugly in a raw and sometimes fierce manner. As a young adult novel, I feel this grittiness appeals to the younger generation who is desensitized to life’s iniquities as they are bombarded with sex and violence and come to expect it and would otherwise not be captivated by sweetness alone.
What piece of advice would you offer aspiring authors?
I suggest that aspiring authors get their writing on the pages and seek professional editing before they do anything else. They also need to promote their book at least a year before it’s published.
What do you enjoy doing when not writing?
I have a regular job during the school year, so it’s not like I have a ton of spare time. You may find me running trails, in the street or on the track when I’m not injured. These days it’s been a series of injuries and flare ups that have prevented me from doing what I love, running and competing in races. I’m somewhat hopeful that I will be able to compete again and run in a half marathon. My dream used to be to run a marathon but given my extensive injuries and medical condition that dream is too lofty.
What 5-10 adjectives would you use to describe yourself?
Friendly, Creative, Vivacious, Intuitive, Encouraging, Empathetic, Inspiring, Faithful, Motivated, Kind-hearted
What’s your favorite color and why?
Purple! I am passionate about purple. It’s the color of royalty and I identify myself as being part of God’s kingdom. I wear a lot of purple and accessorize with it through jewelry, make up, shoes, nail polish… Strangers have even been known to compliment me for my overall sense of style which usually involves purple.
Thank you, Maria for interviewing with me. Blessings on your current and future author endeavors.