How did you start out your writing career?
Well, after final relenting and obeying God, (initially I was not fully convinced that I was supposed to write novels), I realized that my writing would be a wonderful way to bring the word of God to the masses. Once receiving confirmation from God (after asking Him about 50 times to make it plain,), the premise for my first novel, Awesome Wonder: The Gift of Remembrance came to me and the story was created with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
What did you learn while writing THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME? While writing THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME, I learned what is really what it really was to dig deep. I had to essentially allow God to excavate! The heroine of THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME , Honey Lamb, had so many issues that were not easily remedied by simply creating a “surface” resolve but I too had to be led to meet her where she was. Writing that way was the result of me really let God infuse me with what needed to be said and actually minster to hearts that felt the same way she was feeling. We, (the Holy Spirit and I) had to get to the root of her issues, her low esteem, her mistakes and reasons for shunning love. So many are living in a state of condemnation not realizing that their story is not over. The only way many can resolve their issues is to allow Jesus entrance in their lives to dig up the rotten root so that life can begin again!
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I want people to understand God’s love. The message that I would love for all to receive from THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME is that regardless of who you are, what your family lineage looks like, whatever you’ve done, whatever has been done to you, the blood of Jesus can make you a new creature because of its power. God loves us so much, He sacrificed His only son Jesus. Jesus became the sacrifice for us and all sins past, present and future. We have been absolved and even justified. We can walk in freedom and liberty because of what Jesus did. A new life is available. Just believe!
What came first with this story, the characters or the plot? Why?
For me, the premise always comes first, then the main character and then after which, the story unfolds… This is the way it simply occurs. I realize that because I’m being used as a vessel that the story is not solely mine. The Holy Spirit is downloading the information, the sentiment and exactly how He wants the story to be written each time I sit down and allow Him to lead. Only then will lives be redeemed, restored and reconciled to Him! He knows the hearts of men and I just want Him to have His way !
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
I can’t say that anything really surprised me.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I love the creation process… actually sitting down and writing…. hearing the words in my heart and mind as I type. LOVE IT!!! I don’t really hate anything about the process really. Editing , however is the most tedious aspect … I can honestly say that I don’t enjoy it,J but it is necessary!
How do you conquer writers block? As a Christian writer, should I experience, writer’s block, I immediately remedy it by getting in HIS presence. I pray and even speak in my prayer language. (tongues). The Holy Spirit begins to clear my mind as He provided direction. God is always speaking, I just need to still myself and listen. Because I write to exalt the Savior and not myself , as the goal is to touch others with all that Jesus is, the block is removed.
What books are on your to read list?
I have just recently finished Crossroads by William P. Young and have just started My Soul to Take by Tananarive Due.
Has having a writing career always been your dream?
I have always enjoyed and had an interest in the art of writing. It was a “hidden love” for many years. I love the way words transport you from the confines of your bedroom or living room to a place that is seen in only in your mind’s eye. Admittedly, not until I resolved to reconnect with Christ did the thought of becoming an author become a dream that I thought that I could actually realize. I now understand that that in order for my true love/ purpose to be unearthed, I had to acknowledge who placed it in me, finally comprehending that it would be accomplished to give Him glory! As I sought to draw nigh to Him, the desire to write became stronger and strangely, to my surprise, a need. Writing for me, is a way to reach people while impacting the reader and leaving a lasting impression. Inserting the word of God in the stories that I write can in many cases transport you into the presence of God and that’s what my goal when I write! My hidden love, (dream) because of Christ, has been realized.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Firstly, DO believe in your gift and talent. Understand that what God has started, He is obligated to finish. DON’T allow delays or rejection to keep you from realizing your goal. Rejection is part of the process but persistence is the key! As a Christian author, your assignment is to write, God will send people for your life. The other aspects; promotion, marketing, notoriety and money will come… Seek ye first the Kingdom, (seek to do God’s will) and everything else will be added!
What is your writing process? How do you feed your writing muse?
I haven’t a process or a set routine. I do however set aside time to sit and hear from God. After all, it is His book. I am simply the vessel He is using to share! I sit, listen and allow Him to download His message into my heart and mind, using the gift of writing that He has given me.
Within the next five years what stage do you expect to be in your career?
Within the next five years, I see myself sitting on the movie set as I believe one of my novels will be on the silver screen! I will more stable in my career confident that each novel I write will exude Jesus and not me!
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? I love to read (of course, J). Step Aerobics, Kickboxing and spending time with my boys and husband!
What do you do to interact with your readers?
In an effort to stay connected with and to interact with my readers, I distribute electronically, (on-line), a monthly newsletter, M. Ann’s Literary Communiqué and prayerfully it will continue to increase in circulation as my readership increases!
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
There is something that happens when the people of God seek Him with reckless abandon! We, as the saints of God can move mountains and cause the changes in the atmosphere when we are on one accord. Our seemingly insurmountable circumstances when faced with the blood stained banner must relent because we can have the POWER to cause CHANGE! With the God in us, and with the collective voice of triumph we can cause THE SHIFT!
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I so appreciate the readers taking the time to read this interview! I feel incredibly BLESSED! Thanks to you all! I invite the readers to visit my website and www.mannricks.net to simply read more about me! If interested they may find my novels on all online literary establishments. (i.e.: www.amazon.com / www.bn.com). For speaking engagement, Literary Dialogues and book club gatherings, please feel free to contact me directly using: Godsauthor@mannricks.net. I have an Author’s Page on Facebook: M. Ricks Literary Creations.