Friday, February 22, 2013

Please Welcome Lorilyn Roberts

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft,  Lorilyn. We are glad you were able to join us today.

The first question our readers want to know is the story behind Seventh Dimension – The Door. What can you tell us about that?

One of the most significant aspects of Seventh Dimension – The Door is the part that takes place in first century Israel. I met Jesus Christ through the Book of Matthew and later had the opportunity to study in Israel as part of my undergraduate degree. I put those two things together and weaved the fantasy part of the story around the Gospel, creating a unique worldview that takes place in the seventh dimension. The concept adds meaning to the phrase Jesus used when speaking to Peter, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.” We fight an enemy not of flesh and blood but of unseen demonic forces at work all around us. 

I had always wanted to share my testimony but couldn’t do it in the traditional way. I decided to earn my Master of Arts in Creative Writing so I could tell some of my story using an unusual technique  – through fantasy. 

As I began writing, however, God showed me other spiritual truths I needed to share, so the story became more than a personal testimony. Seventh Dimension – The Door is a story of passion, hope, healing, and redemption. Shale Snyder represents many young girls who are insecure and misunderstood, who have been hurt and abused, oftentimes through bullying. 

They have never known unconditional love. Conditional love is their normal—they are the victims of sins by others. Many young girls (or guys) don’t know they have been deceived into thinking they are flawed by the great deceiver. The problem is not their fault. They don’t know there is a better way to live. They don’t know they are a daughter or son of the King with an inheritance that supersedes all the hurtful relationships from their past. They don’t know what they don’t know. 

However, there is faith—God heals; there is hope—God never disappoints; and there is love—God loves unconditionally, and we know the greatest of all these things is love. Once young people meet the King and experience His unconditional love, their lives are remarkably changed. We have an awesome God that can do the impossible. What God has done in my life is nothing short of a miracle.

What started you on your writing journey?
I have always loved to write. I was writing short stories in third grade and poetry in fourth. I wrote two books by longhand before I finished high school. Then my writing took a backseat to “making a living,” but it’s wonderful now to be back writing in my spare time. Maybe someday I can do it full-time.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?

Worry – if I don’t have anything to worry about, I will invent something. I have found the best way not to worry is to spend time with God, exercise, get sufficient sleep, and eat right. I know when I start to worry, that at least one of those things is affecting me. I will go down the list of what’s lacking and try to get my life in balance again. Most of all, I realize I am totally dependent on God for my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. I don’t know how people live in this fallen world without a relationship with Jesus Christ.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading almost anything really – but I don’t read love stories unless it’s as a subplot. Too painful. I suppose I still haven’t healed from my horrible divorce many years ago. Probably never will, but that’s okay. Jesus is my husband, my father, my all in all.

What is a quirky thing about you? 

I love burnt marshmallows.

Hey, that's not quirky! Doesn't everyone?

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?

We have four cats, and there is nothing that makes me laugh harder than some of their strange, entertaining antics. I believe God made cats almost human!  We also have two faithful dogs. I am an animal lover to a fault—all of our animals were rescued from the humane society or found on the streets.  One of the cats we got as a kitten after his mother was hit by a car. He wouldn’t leave her as he lay beside her dead body on the road.

What is your favorite season of the year?  

Spring. I am bird watcher and love to see the mother birds preparing their nests and feeding the babies. Twice we had Carolina wrens make a nest in our garage among the cleaning supplies above the washing machine before we added a laundry room. On day when we returned home, the mother bird was trying to get the babies out of the garage. We sat in the car and watched her coax her babies out the door. Spring reminds me of God—the renewal of life and starting over fresh. I love to plant flowers and watch them sprout, and then watch hummingbirds and butterflies be attracted to them. Once I planted catnip, but the cats wouldn’t stay off the plant. It was quite entertaining.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?

I love Florida. I was born here and even though I did not grow up in Florida, once I returned, I realized I was home and never wanted to leave. Once you get thin blood and sand in your shoes, you know you are a Floridian for life. I also love the ocean, love the springs, and love to swim. I would find it hard to live anywhere else.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them? 

Yes. Taxes, taxes, and taxes.

Yeah, me too. Lets talk about something more pleasant! Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

I love the beach, so any place where there is warm sand and a misty ocean, I am happy. I also am a scuba diver and have dove all over the world, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. When I became a single parent, my traveling lifestyle changed, but hopefully someday I will get back to it—even if it’s just for short junkets.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?

Definitely the greatest influence on my writing as far as travel has been my trip to Israel. I spent two weeks studying at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem. It was at the start of the 1993 Gulf War and I had the scary experience of learning what it was like to be in fear of imminent attack. After being shown how to use a gas mask and administer a nerve gas antidote in my thigh, I decided to leave the country—along with thousands of others. 

I made an all-night escape from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, taking the last commercial plane out of the country. I traveled to Switzerland (there were no more flights back to the U.S.) and spent a few days in Engleberg skiing before returning home. It was all very stressful, but God revealed His presence throughout—an adventure that has impacted my writing in many ways. Part of the setting in Seventh Dimension – The Door takes place in Israel.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?   

When I was young, I read all the time and was attracted to stories that contained spiritual symbolism and allegory. I loved looking for hidden meanings, as if I could see into the author’s mind and ponder what he really meant to say. With fiction, I always include a lot of symbolism and then wonder how many readers with catch the hidden meanings. If you read Seventh Dimension  - The Door, here are some things to look for: The meaning of Shale’s gift, the broken egg, the symbolic meaning of the animals, the golden nuggets, the garden, the rock, and the seventh dimension itself. Many objects have double meanings, pregnant with spiritual truths. There is even a hint early on about who the betrayer will be. So far no one has pointed out the symbolism for that, but I am sure an astute reader with heightened spiritual passion at some point will find it.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?

Most of my writing is done at Starbucks and Panera Bread. My daughter Joy trains in gymnastics 45 minutes away from home, so while she’s at practice, I try to do a lot of my writing at one of those two places.

Do you have another book in the works?

I do have another book in the works—actually two. The one I will be working on in between the second book in the Seventh Dimension Series is for new writers – How to Write a Book That Sells. 
All the profits will go towards a very special project. The John 3:16 Marketing Network will be setting up the first Christian library in Kathmandu, Nepal. My oldest daughter, Manisha, was adopted from Nepal when she was three. The pastor, Silas, who found her has continued his work with orphans there for the past twenty years. Child Hope currently has thirteen homes with 122 children being raised by Christian adoptive parents. 

When Silas and I met quite unexpectedly last August, he mentioned he wished the kids had books to read, that all they had was a Bible. I became excited when I started thinking of the possibilities with the network. The whole meeting was quite miraculous – he lives in California and I live in Florida. We just happened to be in Colorado Springs at the same time. Neither knew the other was there until my younger daughter uploaded a picture on Facebook of us eating dinner and announced we were in Colorado Springs. He saw the post and sent me a message on Facebook. We got together for lunch and that’s when he shared with me his desire for the kids to have Christian books in addition to the Bible. He did not know I lead a network of 250 plus authors. It was truly a God-thing.  All the money made from the book will go towards this project – to pay for shipping over the books and building a permanent library on the church’s property. 

Tentatively, I am planning to travel to Nepal in August. I will be taking Joy with me, who will be almost fifteen. She has accepted Christ into her heart and I feel like the whole experience will grow her faith. She was an orphan also before I adopted her from Vietnam, and I am excited about what God might teach her.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

I am also writing the second book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The King.
Readers of The Door are asking me what will happen next. I usually write the whole story in my head before I write any words on paper—a strange kind of outlining. I hope to have the book completed by the fall. Now that I found a wonderful book cover designer, I can’t wait to finish the series.

Thank you so much Lorilyn, for joining us today. I have enjoyed learning more about you and your writing and I am sure our guests have too!

You can purchase the book at:
Print copy Barnes & Noble
Print copy Amazon: 
Amazon Kindle: 
Or ask your local library to order it in for you!

Lorilyn Roberts is giving away a copy of the Seventh Dimension The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—but once on each spotlight post.


Charity U said...

I'd like to read this one, please sign me up! :)

Library Lady said...

I would love to add the book, "Seventh Dimension" to our church library collection.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to do so.
Janet E.

Teela said...

I see by Janet's comment that I'm not the only one trying to build up her church library. I too, REALLY want to win this book to read & review. Thanks for giving this away, Lorilyn.

Boos Mum said...

This looks like a great fantasy book. I really like the cover.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

Lorilyn Roberts said...

Thank you for your comments. I would love to get my book into a library in each of the 50 states. I will send on to you and also give another one away. What state are you in?

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