Give a warm welcome to Rebekah Morris, the author of the Triple Creek Ranch series, The Unexpected Request (review coming soon), Gift of the Storm, and many more!
When you were fifteen years old, did you ever think that you would eventually write a series of five (and counting!) books?
NO! When I was fifteen, I was involved in a children’s ministry in several cities, taught a few 5-Day Clubs, and was still doing school. I had no thought at all for writing. (Except to cry my way through any writing assignments.) I never dreamed I would one day be an author of a series of books, so this is no “dream come true” for me. :)
What is something that writing has taught you?
To depend on the Lord. To never say, “I’m not going to work on writing any book for a while.” :) To be willing to accept honest feedback and not try to justify my writing. (I’m still working on this one. :) ) To realize that, though every writer has their own way of doing things and many think or act like it’s the only way, I should do what works best for me.
Has writing brought you closer to the Lord? If so, how?
Yes! There are so many ways. It’s taught me a new dependence on Him when I’m completely stuck in a story or am writing a difficult scene, He is always ready to give me the words to write when I ask. I’ve learned that it’s okay to not write “what sells” if He says “no.” Several times I’ve been tempted to fret because my books weren’t the “popular” type that everyone wants to read, but each time a still small Voice whispers, “I wasn’t popular. Write the stories you won’t be ashamed to read with Me.” The entire “writer’s life” has given me a new perspective on relying on the Lord and an overwhelming sense of gratitude that Jesus Christ is not just the Author of my faith, but the Finisher as well. He will complete my story even if I can’t see the end. (Yes, we human authors don’t always finish the stories we start, but God does!)
How do you get through the ‘low points’ in writing?
Praying is a must! Sometimes I’ll go play the piano, or lie on my bed with my feet on the sloping ceiling (this won’t work if you don’t have a sloping ceiling), or get a bit of exercise in and then go back to writing. Sometimes I’ll go write a sentence in each story I have started. The last time I was stuck, I grabbed a calendar off the wall and flipped through the pictures. One caught my eye and I started writing a description of it. It sure got me unstuck, but not in the way I was expecting! Instead of being able to return to my original story, I kept writing about the snow and the girl named “Lissa.” In fact, I’m still writing that story. So be careful what tricks you use to get going. :)
What is one of your favorite writing-related memories?
Waking up in the middle of the night still half asleep and thinking, “Wow! That dream could be a part of the book I’m writing!” (Yes, it did end up in my second book with a little revision. :) )
Coffee or tea?
:) Can I say neither? :) I do NOT like coffee, and tea is only acceptable if I have to drink it. I’d rather have hot apple cider or hot chocolate. :)
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book, Set Free?
When I wrote this book, I wrote it in record time. This was great except . . . that I hadn’t had enough time to figure some things out as I went along and had to do some rearranging of scenes which I’ve almost never had to do before. It was a bit of a challenge.
What is your advice to aspiring authors?
Writing is an adventure not to be taken lightly. Even if your book is just going to be for your family, you, as the author, have a responsibility to make sure what you write is worth reading. Don’t write just for praise, money or fame because that’s not what makes a good book. Write from the heart, write for God’s glory and let Him be your guide.
And don’t expect the writer’s life to be all fun and pleasure. :) If you are serious about writing and are willing to work at it, then get ready for a life of constant learning, a never ending swirl of stories spinning in your brain, times of exhaustion after you’ve been writing almost non-stop for hours (because that story must be written!), finger tapping times when you have stories, words and sentences even, but nothing will come out, story ideas coming to you at the strangest times when you have no way to write them down, and generally, a bed of roses (ouch!) with the thorns. :)
Thank you so much, Rebekah!