Monday, May 20, 2013
Looking Out the Window: Read about the Inspirational Writing of Regina Andrews. She Shares Her Thoughts on Writing and Faith.
Regina will give away a $10.00 Amazon gift card and a PDF copy of EITHER Light of the Heart OR Angels of the Heart. See below for Regina's question to answer to enter to win. Then leave your comment with an email address.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Gail. I am thrilled to visit and happy to share my thoughts on writing with you and your readers.
It’s wonderful to have you. Tell us about your latest book. I am very excited about my newest release. It is a reissue from Writer’s Exchange Publishing titled Angels of the Heart. This is book two in my Sterling Lakes series.
What inspired you to write this particular book? That’s an interesting question because usually I rely on my imagination for inspiration. This plot, however, has one particular element that actually happened to me. In the book, developers come into town and their plans for a strip mall require the destruction of the Townsend Barn, a beloved local landmark. In real life, I lived in a rural area where a developer swooped in and wanted to build a complex that would destroy much of the open space in our town. Almost overnight, we became activists. I am happy to report that we were successful and the open space is still preserved to this day.
Congratulations! And thank you for sharing your inspiration for it with us. What themes do you write about in general?
Mostly all about the different forms of love. Since my books are Inspirational romances, there is a sizzling romance between a man and a woman. Then there is a relationship with God. The romance and the love of God are intertwined in most of my plots. Other themes are faith, courage and the past and the present. The road is never easy, but the ending is always happy.
I love happy endings. Your faith must affect your writing. Tell us how.
It is my belief that everything comes from God. We are here because of Him, to open our hearts to Him and really trust him. Not just by praying “Let me get this” or “Give this to me”. We have to turn the table. Prayers such as “What do you want from me?” or “I trust you to carry me through this” are prayers that demonstrate a respect and awe for His power. His will is the ultimate truth; not how or what we want, but what He wants from us. So yes, absolutely, this faith, this outlook of mine colors everything I do, including my writing. I am constantly writing about good people who hit really hard times and have to find their way out. Always the answer comes from God. Not a lightening bolt, though. It could be a song they hear or something another character says to them. This is the Holy Spirit inspiring them – egging them on – to perceive God’s message. That moment of realizing His presence and His word is the beginning along the path of healing and rebirth. It is not instant joy, with rainbows and bluebirds. It takes effort and courage. But the end result is always joyful.
What a beautiful force to have behind your writing. Your words make me think of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God…”
Do you put yourself in your books?
No. There’s a lot of my sister, however, in Patty O’Malley in the Sterling Lakes series.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Yes, I would say don’t ever, ever give up. Believe in yourself and your talent and express your message the best way you possibly can. Keep working. Keep reading. Ask everyone to read your work. Listen to feedback. Keep an open mind. Most of all, toss your ego into the local landfill!
LOL. Good advice. Thanks so much.
Thanks for having me, Gail.
About Angels of the Heart
The life of a television journalist has been good to Maryanne Lynch. That is, until she learns of developer Travis Collimore's plans to destroy the Townsend Barn, a cherished Sterling Lakes landmark, and build a strip mall in its place. Will Maryanne's efforts to stop him be successful? Or will Travis' plans for the future prevail over her attachment to the past?
Brief excerpt from Angels of the Heart
"Thank you for visiting the show today."
His brown eyes traveled up and down her frame. "No problem." "Everyone is all worked up about the renovations to St. Luke's Church and the new face of Sterling Lakes. It's a hot topic."
"It's good the town folks are interested."
"They are more than interested, they are reborn. This is the new lease on life that Sterling Lakes has been praying for so very long. You can't imagine what it means to us."
"Heartwarming. Now, if you'll excuse me?"
Maryanne had done enough interviews to know his tone of voice probably meant he was not really interested. She took one step closer to him. "There's just another thing to clear up. If you develop St. Luke's the way you explained on my show, it means you'll have to raze the Townsend Barn."
"There is a structure--"
He nodded. "There is a structure, Townsend Barn, thank you, which currently stands right in the middle of the land that will house the rectory and youth center. To build the extension, the barn has to go."
"That can't happen."
"The architect has designed for it to happen that way."
"The people of Sterling Lakes love the barn. It has an angel weather vane. That's very rare, you know."
"I don't know what to tell you. The plans have been drawn up and approved."
Maryanne arched one eyebrow. "Really? We all know plans are made to be broken."
About Light of the Heart, the first book in Regina's Sterling Lake Series
Stained-glass artist Cascade Preston has overcome a dark childhood, deeply shadowed by domestic violence, in the town of Sterling Lakes. When she is approached to design new windows for a refurbished church in Sterling Lakes, she ignores the request. But when the no-nonsense Project Manager Dan McQuay appears looking for the window plans, the project takes on a whole new light.
Will Cascade be able to keep the dark, protective cocoon she has built around herself intact, or will McQuay break through and shine new light into her heart? Is it possible that God's plan for Cascade will lead her to forgive the town that ignored the situation with her family?
Brief excerpt from Light of the Heart
Cascade watched the sun, dappled from the leafy trees nearby, play across the firm planes of his face. "Being back here, I don't feel like anything has changed."
"Does that surprise you?" he asked.
"The way things are going lately, everything is coming as a surprise. I'm just trying to process it all."
"Want to go into the church?"
"Sounds like a great idea." She looked over at him but could not read his expression. They walked past the dirt piles toward the front of the church. A songbird trilled in one of the rhododendron shrubs as they moved by. Sunbeams glinted off the colorful stained glass windows. At the top of the wooden staircase, Cascade held the brass handle to open the ornately carved door.
"Go on." Dan reached beyond her and held the door open for her.
She entered the vestibule, blinking her eyes as they adjusted to the darkness. Images of the past flooded her mind. Some of them good, some of them not so good. She turned to Dan. "Come with me."
"You got it. "
They walked together down the main aisle. Cascade inhaled the familiar scents of wood, candle, and incense. She stopped midway and turned to face the back of the church. "These windows are beautiful," she whispered, looking up at the large round West window. "This is where I was inspired to do what I do and to be who I am today."
Regina also has an inspirational romance, In Good Faith, available from Awe-struck Publishing at http://www.awe-struck.net/books/in_good_faith.html
Read more about Regina and her books at the following links:
I belong to a wonderful group of writers called the Jewels of the Quill. Check us out here:
Regina's Contest: Leave me a comment and tell me what you thought of this post. What theme do you find the most compelling as a reader? A winner will be drawn at random and will receive a $10 Amazon Gift card and a PDF copy of either Light of the Heart or Angels of the Heart. Good luck to everyone. Thank you and blessings, Gail.