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Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Jamaica, West Indies.
What was your childhood dream, in terms of area of work?
Like many children, I went through several phases in an attempt to make that decision. At first, I was set on becoming a spy… LOL! Later, I wanted to be an archeologist or an astronaut. Today, I work in the field of information technology.
What gives you joy?
Seeing people grow and develop into who God has called them to be and living life to the fullest.
What inspires you?
My inspiration to write comes from God, my family, friends, readers and fellow authors. As a Christian fiction author, I write to educate, inspire and empower others. I desire to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places.
There are so many different genres to choose from, what inspired you to write faith-based romance?
I believe that genre beckoned to me. I am a Christian and I enjoy reading romantic stories so it was a natural fit.
Here are some of the reasons I write Christian Fiction romance:
1. Everyone loves a good love story.
2. To reiterate that love is a decision.
3. To encourage readers to apply Godly principles to their
4. To show the striking difference between walking in the Spirit and
walking in the flesh with regards to relationships
5. To testify of God’s goodness and faithfulness through relatable
6. To spread God’s Word and promote Christian values.
7. To show the nature of God.
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Why did you decide to write your first novel?
I wrote this novel to inspire and empower my readers, especially those who are waiting on God for a most significant gift – a husband. I wanted to testify about the faithfulness of God who understands and meets all our needs.
Of course writing a book was nowhere on my list of things to do.
So, how did I start writing a book?
Great question! Glad you asked.
After I got married, several of my friends and relatives (some living miles away) wanted to know how I met my husband. So, I had to share my love story, over and over again. Of course, no one wanted to hear the short version of the story.
Six months later, I was stretched out on the sofa at home on a Sunday afternoon, still recounting my love story. After hanging up from my call, it hit me …Write a book!
A long deafening pause ensued.
A book! A book!
Every reason not to write this book came to mind. Yes, every reason. But, I knew that I had a story to tell. I also knew that if God called me to write this book, He would equip me and surround me with wonderful Godly helpers.
So, like any well-thinking Christian woman, I took the matter to the Lord and felt the peace to proceed with this mission. This led to the publishing of my first book, “Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along.”
What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
I like to write in the morning… early morning, when it is quiet. I do not write every day. I write whenever I have the time.
How long did Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along take you to complete?
About two years, planning, writing and editing. I must admit that I did not write consistently, excepting for the last few months of the two years.
What’s your favorite snack to eat while writing?
I don’t like to eat while I’m writing because I’m usually in the groove and the story is flowing. However, when necessary, I’ll take a break and eat fruits.
What are your goals as a writer?
Firstly, whatever I write must bring honor to God. Secondly, my writing projects must educate, inspire and empower others. Thirdly, I desire to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places.
How did you come up with the title, Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along?
My courtship and wedding were unforgettable so I knew that I had to use ‘Unforgettable’ in the title. I did not want it to appear as if I was just sitting down and waiting for my husband to turn up at my door. I was living my life to the fullest. Hence, the rest of the title, ‘My Love Has Come Along.’ My husband joined me on my path to fulfill my life’s journey.
What message would you like your readers to take away from Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along novel?
1. God is faithful
2. Love is a decision
3. Apply Godly principles to your relationships
4. A love connection brings joy and creates unforgettable seasons
5. Delay is not denial; find love at any age and any time in unusual settings
Above all, I would encourage readers, not to put God in a box. God will come through in due season. Sometimes, God takes us out of our comfort zone to stretch us and show us that we can accomplish far more than we think. He blesses us to reach and empower others.
Is the Encounters of the Heart series based on a theme?
I am a member of the Tallahassee Authors Network (TAN) Christian Sub-group and we decided to write an anthology about the consequences of sin. As I wrote my short story for the anthology, the story took on legs of its own, and became the first book in the Encounters of the Heart series. The series is based on Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) –“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Book 1 - Shades of the Heart is a novel about the courage to love in the midst of broken promises, and ultimately about the healing power of forgiveness.
Book 2 - Mirrored Hearts: Sealed by Fire details the story of Larry and Rozene Kanate. This stirring and deeply satisfying new addition in the series tells of the struggles of two broken hearts, mended by enduring love and sealed by fire
Although the books are in a series, they are also stand-alone novels.
What message do you hope readers will get after reading the series?
I hope that readers will understand that all our actions and choices are driven by the desires of our hearts. In light of that, we need to stay connected to God through prayer, meditating on His Word and then applying His Word in our daily living.
Love is a beautiful emotion and it’s okay to love passionately, very passionately. However, loving someone is never as easy as we would like it to be. Keep in mind that, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)
Remember that God is all powerful and there is nothing that will happen in our lives that will surprise Him. We will be victorious in all our situations if we continue to rely on God and seek help to overcome difficult situations.
Of the characters you have created, which is your favourite?
I love each of my books for different reasons. However, I am a bit attached to “Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along” because it is loosely based on my own love story. My courtship and wedding were unforgettable so I knew that I had to use ‘Unforgettable’ in the title. I did not want it to appear as if I was just sitting around and waiting for my husband to turn up at my door. Hence, the rest of the title, ‘My Love Has Come Along.’ My husband joined me on my path to fulfill my life’s journey.
I admire Blake Montgomery, Gabrielle’s husband in Shades of the Heart. Blake is a man of God, yet he was not afraid to be transparent with his feeling. He was deeply in love with his wife and when she told him about her moment of weakness, he did not take it well. The path to forgiving himself and his wife was gruelling but he was determined to succeed.
Did you learn anything while writing Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along and what was it?
I can do anything that God has called me to do, even if it is not on my list of things to do. Further, I discovered, how much I like to write.
What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned while writing Unforgettable, My Love has Come Along?
How fiercely I guard my privacy.
Is any of your books based on real-life experiences?
Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Alone was based on real-life experiences as I embarked on my amazing journey from singleness to my wedding day. I drew on some of my experiences, encounters, feelings, insights and interactions to give this fictional story life.
So what is on the horizon? What are your new projects? When is your next new release?
I am excited about my writing journey, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share with others. I believe in working together, the exchanging of ideas and sharing of resources, so I hope that my writing adventures take me all over the world to share at conferences, seminars and workshops.
Currently, I am writing the 3rd book in my “Encounters of the Heart” series. This novel will detail the story of Chandler Peynard. It will be released in early 2017.
Victorious By Design
Can you tell us a little bit more about your company, Victorious By Design (VBD)?
Victorious By Design embodies all that I enjoy doing. We deliver top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations. We are dedicated to providing innovative and comprehensive educational products and services to inspire, foster and promote continuous development and growth in individuals and organizations.
How do you manage to juggle running your business with your writing?
Thanks for asking this very important question. Truthfully, there is no easy answer to this question. For sure, we make time for the things we want to do and the things we love to do.
The short answer is that I have a great, small team that helps and a very supportive family. I schedule all my activities as best as I can. This includes my writing time. At this time, I am scheduled to write one book per year and there is a timeline for that. I must have my next book ready for the first round of editing by early fall if I am to make my release day which is usually sometime in February/March.
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
One of my favorites is Psalm 84:11, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
I like this scripture because God is my light in a world that at times appears dark. He is also my defender and protector from all things that are evil. This scripture reminds me that God’s grace, His unmerited favor, is on my life. Grace is God’s gift to me, I cannot earn it. Further, I am assured that if I walk uprightly before God, he will only give me His best. Therefore, as I go about my daily living, I am confident and less fearful because I trust that God will honor His Word.