Sunday, June 23, 2013

Introducing Christian Author Michelle Lynn Brown

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Michelle!

Question: Is there a story behind your book Miracles in Disguise
Years ago, my sister received a marriage proposal from a pastor who was also involved in local politics.  She turned down his proposal for her own personal reasons, but during our conversation, she made the comment that she could not see herself as a pastor’s or a politician’s wife.  That is when the idea of a woman who is so plagued by her past, hurt by everyone she ever trusted, ends up meeting a wonderful man, a man she feels she isn’t worthy of. 
From there, The Trampled Rose Series spawned.  It features women whose spirits are crushed.  Miracles in Disguise, is the first book in the series, and features Kristina, a woman who has spent her life trying to please the men in her life, only to be hurt terribly in return.  Kristina represents a rose trampled by circumstances.

Question: What started you on your writing journey?
I always remember writing; it is a way for me to process something I am going through.  However, in high school, I took a creative writing class.  We had to stand up and share one of our works with the class.  I had written a fictional piece.  Though cloaked in a story, the foundation of the story was very personal in nature.  As I stood up in front of the class, reading my story, I felt naked.  I was baring my deepest imagination to my peers. 
The process of sharing, no matter how frightening, opened up the relationship between reader and writer.  I took my classmates on a ride that day, and to this day, I think of my readers as I write.  And I love hearing how people were touched by my story.  I have readers tell me that they’ve never been through anything close to what Kristina has been through, yet they still found themselves in the story.  It is so humbling to know God is using me to help someone.

Question: What distracts you from writing the easiest? 
My family is my biggest (and best) distraction.  There are many excuses I could come up with to not write.  I would rather be flying around the house with my youngest, pretending we are Disney fairies, or playing a video game with my husband and son, or laying on my oldest daughter’s bed listening to her catalogue the traits of cats.  In the end, I write for my family.  Beside keeping me sane, I feel that writing is one way I am setting an example to my children that God uses us in a variety of ways.  My books are just one of the ways God has called me to live out my faith.

Question: Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Kristina was the character I related to most.  I spent three years in an abusive relationship, and Kristina was my way of helping others to see that we can find strength in God’s love, no matter what the circumstances.  As I began writing, I thought I had worked through all the emotional mess from my past.  But as I wrote through Kristina, God showed me where I still had trust issues, especially when it relates to Him.  My favorite line from the book is when Nathan tells Kristina, “We tend to be shaped by our outward circumstances…But God wants to come into our hearts and shape us from the inside out.”  No matter where I think I am in my spiritual walk, God is always reshaping my heart. 

Question: What is your strangest habit?
When I’m writing, I often act out something to make sure I described it correctly.  My husband will walk into the office and find me emulating one of my character’s gestures.  After a brief stare, he’ll back out of the office with a smirk on his face. 

Question: What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
If there is a church potluck, my two favorite things to bring are brisket and queso.  My dad is teaching my husband and I how to smoke the brisket.  Until we get this down, we still used Claude’s marinade and slow cook it in the oven.
The queso I also learned to make by watching my dad cook it over the years.  I don’t have a recipe, but if your handy in the kitchen, you’ll probably be able to figure it out.  I use a block of cheddar and a block of Monterrey jack (cubed), about a cup of milk with a tablespoon of flour, and salt and pepper to taste.  Once the cheese is melted and creamy, I add the tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, and sometimes jalapenos.  I saut√© the onions, garlic and jalapenos a little before adding them to the cheese mixture. 

Question: Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
Healing fiction is part of my tagline, because I hope my readers not only find themselves immersed in a great story, but I also hope they find some healing along the way.  The characters in my books go through quite a bit, but I hope my readers can see themselves, if not in the situation, the emotions my characters go through. 

Question: Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
In the morning, I sneak downstairs before the kids wake up.  I curl up on my couch, my cat comfortably ensconced on my lap, a cup of coffee in one hand, and the iPad in the other.  This is my quiet time routine, and I find that it is just as essential to functioning as my daily cup of coffee is.  Sometimes I go through a Bible reading plan, or work through a devotional.  Sometimes I just pick a book that I know I need to hear. 
When I am facing really troubling times, I always find comfort in the Psalms.  I usually incorporate them in my prayers, often declaring the scriptures to the empty room.  As crazy as my cat thinks I am for shouting, “This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.” (Psalm 91:2 New Living Translation), there is strength to be found in that practice.

Question: Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)  
My favorite Scripture passage is Psalm 40.  Verses two and three are not only a reflection of my life, but the reason I write.
2He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD. (Psalm 40:2-3 New Living Translation)

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Consider the Thorns is the next book in The Trampled Rose series, and will be released in July, 2013.  Barbara, who you meet in Miracles in Disguise, represents the choked and withered rose, threatened by the weeds she has allowed to grow around her, and the thorns she uses to protect fragile heart.

The final book in the series is tentatively scheduled for a December 2013 release.  I’ll Settle for Love, features Leann, a rose battered by storms.  When push comes to shove, Leann sits down.  But storms threaten to drown her marriage, and she is forced to make a choice. Leann discovers the difference between settling for the storm and striving for the rainbow that
comes after.

Purchase the book at:
Or ask your local library to order it in for you!

Michelle Lynn Brown is giving away a copy of Miracles in Disguise. 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 may enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post)


cjajsmommy said...

I enjoyed getting to know you a bit through this interview, Michelle. I would love to have your book. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

This sound like a wonderful story. Please enter me in the giveaway.

susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Library Lady said...

Thanks for entering me in the giveaway. I would love to win this book for my church library.
Janet E.

Veronica Sternberg said...

This sounds very interesting! shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

KayM said...

Excellent interview! The Trampled Rose series sounds like a very heart-touching series. I am looking forward to reading it.
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Patricia Bradley said...

Enjoyed getting to know Michelle and the Trampled Rose series sounds great. pat at ptbradley dot com

smiller said...

I would love to read THE TRAMPLED ROSE series,book 1.
I, too, love to make and eat brisket. It's delicious. I serve mine with mashed sweet potatoes (orange ones) with cream cheese mashed into it. Delicious! sharon, CA

squiresj said...

I hope I am not too late to get in on this. I was on vacation for a week after being in hospital.
I will read and review it if I win.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

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