Welcome back Ann.
If you missed part one of Ann's interview just scroll down the page and you'll find it. Today Ann talks about her writing and how faith plays such an important role in her ministry. See if you see any similarities between Ann's story and your own...
As a child or teenager, did you ever dream of being an author?
I always say I became a writer the year I discovered Sister Sheila had hair. I was in fifth grade at St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami, knee deep in nouns and verbs, when Sister Sheila walked through the door in a new habit that showed two inches of mouse brown hair threaded with silver. Thanks to Sister’s encouragement, I went on to earn a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University. And living on a sailboat, an aquaculture for mold and dysfunction, shoved me—in lieu of therapy—into writing.
Does your faith affect your writing? How?
I have a prayer team of eighty people, who for reasons known only to them, said yes when I asked them to pray for my writing. I was inspired to do this by author Robin Lee Hatcher who saw no reason to wait until publishing to recruit prayer support.
Also, I pray through every aspect of my books. Often, my prayer for the manuscript file is half the size of the book. This makes me feel like I’m working on a team with God. I pray first thing in the morning about the work ahead and go back to pray through any sticky situations I encounter. I think God delights to answer my writing-related prayers. He seems to wait for me to ask. I see miracles everyday.
What is your number one spiritual gift?
I’m an encourager.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Sometimes the ideas come out the things I am praying for on a long-term basis. These deep hurts in my friends’ lives worm their way into my heart. Or it’s my own pain. Other times some small detail of life sticks in my brain.
One day I was driving and listening to Misty Edwards worship music and thought how deeply her voice ministered to me. This led to a character who fell in love with a girl’s voice before he ever met her.
Do you put yourself into your main character, or do you find yourself borrowing from family or friends as your characters develop?
Writers are vultures. We scavenge from our own lives and those around us.
Is there any scene in your book that came from a real-life happening?
Not a scene, but I transplanted Our Lady Of The Hills Camp which I attended growing up from Hendersonville, North Carolina, to New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
What is your favorite genre to read now?
Romance and coming of age, which is also what I write.
What is your Writing schedule like? Do you write only when inspired?
Since I started my writing career in my forties, I feel fairly obsessed to accomplish what God created me to do. Think about how the hero in Sweet Home Alabama jammed lightning rods into the sand to make his beautiful glass. He did his work before the lightning struck. I jam a lot of words onto the page before lightning strikes and makes it beautiful.
Do you have a favorite scripture? If so, why is it your favorite?
I love Psalm 91. It’s all about living under God’s shelter and safety. It’s kind of goofy, but when I read Psalm 91, I picture myself in a little shack on top of a really tall Dr. Seuss hill—safe in God’s shadow.
I love that word picture Ann. We all need a safe place from the world at times. Thank you so much for being with us this week. We wish you all the best with KICKING ETERNITY and for all those books yet to be written.
Don't forget while you're here... Anyone who leaves a comment with an e-mail address (JaneReader[at]msn[dot]com) will receive a FREE e-book copy of Kicking Eternity. Those who don’t want to leave an e-mail may contact Ann for their free book at Ann Lee Miller.
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