****Abby Breuklander you are the winner of our Celebrating over coffee with Melissa Wardwell! Congratulations! Please email celebratelit(at)gmail(dot)com with your information!
This lovely Friday morning, I have my coffee in hand and am excited to be sitting with Author Melissa Wardwell to get to know more about her. Let me pour you a cup as you join us for our chat!
What inspires you to write?
I am a people watcher and there have been a few time that I have witnessed something that is simply inspiring. A person, an event, even a lesson – all have the potential to become a story. For my first novel, it was something I learned while going through a rough spot in my marriage. For my second novel, it was all the girlfriends I have that are single mothers. The book I am finishing up now was inspired by the simple act of two trips a week to take my kids to dance classes. There is potential for a story in everything, a writer sees it and brings it to light.
How has writing changed you? Has it effected your spiritual journey?
Wow! Where do I begin?
I am very insecure. Let me tell you, that is the wrong struggle to have if you are putting something so near and dear to your heart out for the public to see and read. I have had to learn to distinguish criticism from constructive advice as well as which to apply to my work. When I God revealed to me that this was a path that I needed to take, I told Him that there wasn’t a word that I wanted put on the paper that wasn’t ordained by Him. That I wanted His light to shine through. That I didn’t want credit, I just wanted to minister to the broken – Christian and non-Christian. So the first time I received a negative review or sales were low, God reminded me about what my heart’s desire was and that if I would just be obedient and do the work, He will get the stories into the hands of those who need to read it. So I have had to learn to put my full trust in Him. I had to learn to make Him my source, not my abilities.
I am not one who likes to be the center of attention. I am perfectly content in my little corner of the world. I have had to learn to be out in the world without being so stand-offish. I have to be open with people but not give too much of myself away.
I have had to learn to balance my family life with writing…..I don’t think I have it yet. I am a stay at home mother of three and I home school them. This school year has proved to be rather difficult to find balance and it was a struggle to find time to sit and write. Eventually the family banded together and gave me the space I needed to finish my next novel. I have never been a planner, you just tell me where I need to be and I will do my best to get there. There have been times that I have had to say no to get togethers with my parents because I had the story playing in my head and I needed to get it on to paper (computer screen rather) or my head would explode and I would forget it.
Can you tell us a bit about your current project?
My current project is called “Dance and Be Glad”. It is the second book in the Promises from Above Series. It is about a widowed dance instructor and mother who has become so content with going to work and coming home to her little ram shackled house and her nine-year-old daughter. She has suffered too much pain in her life to be willing to put herself out there and let people into her life. It is also about a very handsome doctor (think Paul Walker) whose life is turned upside down after the death of his beloved brother and sister-in-law. He must change everything he has known to adapt to his new life.
You will see more of the characters from the first book in the series “What God Brings Together” and many moments that will make you smile laugh and even cry.
When you are not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
I read the books I want to read, not the books needed to be read for reviews. I then blog my full reviews of these books. I just finished a book I won in a FB author party. I think I just fell in love with a pirate- lol.
I also make up for the time I take to write and go on short trips around the state with the family. It is our time to reconnect. Having two teen boys and a tween daughter, we need connection time desperately. The boys and I will play Mario Cart 8 at least three times a week and my daughter and I go shopping whenever we can. If finances allow it, the hubby and I go on a date. If we can’t’ afford a night out, we’ll sit by the campfire or take the dog for a walk. Whatever it takes to show my family that they are still important. (You’ll find some of my moments with my children in my books.)J
I am an ancestry hound as well, so I am always looking for new information in mine or my husband’s family lines. I have found some very interesting characters in the trees.
If you could live in any time period, which would it be and why?
There is no perfect time to live in, all have their ups and downs. I would have no problem living around the 1930’s and 1940’s though. I know our world was in a war, but there still seemed to be a sense of patriotism. I also love the clothes, movies and music. My mother raised me on the old black and whites as well as the big band music. It was a time that even though money was tight you still curled your hair a bit, put on a dress, and your heels and go to the store. Women were classy and men were gentlemen.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Have you ever longed to go somewhere and experience their culture so deeply that you have an emotional response to music from that area or see images of the land? That is how I get with my top to destinations…..Scotland and Israel.
I long to go to Scotland because it is the land of many of my ancestors (explains my short temper and round figure – lol). I want to see the lands of my clans and eat the food. Sit in a pub and listen to their stories. I want to stand at the foot of Castle MacKay in Tounge (yes, that is the name) and take in the scenery. I hear bagpipes and bawl like a little baby.
Israel has always been another destination I have longed to see, but for more of a spiritual journey than not. (Though I am beginning to wonder as I do more ancestral research if I have some Jewish blood running through my veins.) To walk where Jesus walked and to see the sights that were so crucial in his ministry would just be amazing. I was offered to opportunity to go in 2018 and I am praying God would see fit to make that happen. It isn’t cheap.
To celebrate our coffee time this morning, Melissa is giving away a choice of one of her book. To enter, comment below on where you would love to travel to and why.
This giveaway will end on Monday June 20th at 11:59 pm PST.
Melissa Wardwell is an independently published author of Christian romance.
I wear many hats from one day to the next. I am a devoted wife, basketball and dance mother, teacher, taxi service, friend, caregiver, daughter, sister, and now, published author. Seeing all that is enough to make my head spin. But more importantly, I am the Daughter of the Most High King.
I was raised in and still reside in a little farm town in Mid- Michigan called Corunna. It’s quiet and simple, just the way I like it. If I can’t live out in the country among the corn fields and trees then living in this small town works for me. My husband and I have been together since high school and have 3 children, all of whom we homeschool. It has been quite the journey, but I couldn’t ask for a better life.
I decided to give writing a try because I needed something to occupy my down time, but after reading my first draft of my first book, What God Brings Together, I then understood that God had a much bigger plan. God does not give His children a desire just so that it can go to waste. I never anticipated the journey God would put me on through writing, but I am excited to see what He has in mind for the future.
I have always felt a call to reach out to women and mothers, to encourage them in their lives. So naturally, all my stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of her own.
My greatest hope is that each story touches your heart, gives you hope, or just gives you a moment away from the chaos of life. Lord, knows we have earned it.