Welcome Alexis. Please tell us about your favorite book as a child and your favorite book as an adult. Can you see a connection between those books? My favorite book as a child was any of the stories about The Berenstain Bears!
My favorite book as an adult is The Holy Bible because it’s God’s Word that helps me in every aspect of my life. Now if you want to know my favorite fiction book as an adult, I cannot say just one because I have too many to count. Some of my favorite Christian authors are Becky Wade, Melissa Tagg, Betsy St. Amant and Stacy Hawkins Adams. I love the way they tell stories, it’s beautiful.
The only connection I can see between The Berenstain Bears and The Holy Bible is the theme of hope and love. The Berenstain Bears are a fictional family of five bears who found hope in every situation and loved each other. When it comes to the Bible which teaches God is love and He loves all humankind, it’s better than The Berenstain Bears because it’s real-life! God promises that if we believe in Him and His Son Jesus Christ, we will be “not perish” but “have eternal life” (John 3:16). Now I believe that promise is the ultimate HOPE!
Alexis, I agree with you about too many fiction books and authors to chose one favorite. I have that same problem. Also I enjoyed your take on the Berenstain Bears. For many years, when our oldest daughter had a bad day, our youngest daughter would read BB stories to her, and they would both feel better! So I see what you mean about hope in them! What is your favorite Scripture? Do you also have a favorite Scripture that encourages you in your writing? Jeremiah 29:11 is my favorite Scripture! It reads, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” My Mom made me aware of that verse after a traumatic experience as a teenager that led to a turning point in my life and I’ve held on to that verse for hope ever since.
Philippians 1:6 encourages me in my writing with this promise, “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” This Scripture gives me hope because I can infer that just like God created my faith in Him as a mustard seed and is growing it to move mountains (Matthew 17:20), He (God) promises to be the author and finisher of my faith as it says in Hebrews 12:2. I believe that God will do the same with my writing and publication journey. I trust that He knows what He’s doing and He’ll help me use my gift as a writer to reach the world for Him. Proverbs 18:16 says, the gifts God gives us will “make room” for us and bring us before “great” people. I am excited to see how God uses my gift of writing! He’s already given me wonderful experiences related to my skills as a writer and He’s allowed me to meet some pretty great people but that’s another story for another blog post.
Jeremiah 29:11 was also a verse I shared with our daughters. If you could go to any place in the world to research/write a book, what setting would you choose? Johannesburg (South Africa), Barbados, California, Denmark, Dubai, Fiji, Switzerland, and London. There’s more but those are my top favorites! I’d love to spend time in each of those places with good company, exploring the culture and history through food and sightseeing! I’m sure it would inspire me to write a book with a setting from each of those places.
Sounds like you have the traveling bug like I do. If we ever meet in person, I can share my albums and pictures of Barbados where I went on a mission trip in 1997 and London and Switzerland and six other countries when my girls and I traveled to Europe in 1995 when my oldest graduated from college. I often wonder if I would write if I had to do it the old-fashioned way without computers and spell-checks and email. Is there anything about technology that you don’t like? Or anything about it that you feel enhances your writing? The only thing about technology that I do not like is when it does not work! Otherwise it is wonderful! I believe that there are so many avenues through technology to enhance my writing such as access to reading and exploring great blogs, like yours! I love connecting with other creative people through social media. Love it!
As a writer how have you had to grow and stretch out of your comfort zone? I joined a critique group and they are helping me by pointing out what I need to work on to improve my craft and skills as a writer. The biggest stretch for me is trying to write a novel instead of a novella. As a trained print journalist, it’s challenging for me to write a story that’s not precise and concise. My stories are paced like a television show, I’ve been told before and it’s written in a way that it could be turned into a movie. One of my critique group friends said that she thinks one day I’ll write for the Hallmark Channel. I said, “God-willing, YES!” I’d love to work as a screenwriter; it’s the most natural form of creative writing for me. I love writing books too and would like to continue doing that but again, my specialty are novellas. Maybe one day I’ll be able to write a really good novel.
What advice would you give to a beginning writer that you wish someone had given you? Keep writing. Don’t listen to discouraging words. If you need better paying work then search for it but don’t give up on your writing, especially if you know and believe that this is what God called you to do. Always make time to improve your craft and grow your skills as a writer and trust God to as the Bible says, “make room” for your talent (Proverbs 18:16). God gave you the gift of writing for a reason, be determined to find that reason then live it out with God’s help.
Do you want to add anything about your book such as how to order it?My book, Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, is being rebranded because my publisher Crossbooks closed in April 2015. The good news is, WestBow Press (a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan), is the company that’s rebranding my book and they’re just as good as Crossbooks if not better. It’s a major move for me and I’m excited to see what God has in store.
After the rebranding process is complete, my book will belong to WestBow Press and will be available to purchase again. I’m told the rebranding process will take about 60 days. Meanwhile, you can learn more about my book and me as a creative writer through my official website, www.alexisagoring.com .
Thanks for inviting me to be interviewed today, Rose! It was fun!
It was great to learn more about you and your books, Alexis, and I hope you will visit again and write about all the “great” people you have met on this journey! And I hope everyone will join us tomorrow for a look at Alexis’ new book!