Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m excited to introduce to you Rose Chandler Johnson. Rose is no stranger to Christian writing. She has a blog, Write Moments with God, and has had devotions, poems, and articles published in numerous publications.
She is giving away a paperback of her devotional journal, God Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments, so be sure to visit the Rafflecopter at the end of this interview to enter to win!
God Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments blurb:
In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. Whether purchased as a personal resource or given as a heartfelt gift, God, Me,and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.
Is there a story behind your book God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea?
I was reading some of my old journals recently and I came across an entry from 1979. It was a prayer in which I said to the Lord I wanted to write a book that was relevant and encouraging and that would point others to the heart of God. I believe that the Lord gave me that desire and that God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is the fulfillment of that desire.
Why did you write a devotional?
When I decided to make Jesus the Lord of my life, in 1977, I starting reading a devotional every morning. It was just what I needed to help me focus and structure my time. I’ve incorporated devotional reading in my quiet times with God for decades. I think most people could benefit from that format. The fact that I wrote a devotional comes back to my desire to be relevant and encouraging.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?
Yes. My devotional, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea evolved from my own personal devotional time. I wrote about my personal experiences as I read and studied God’s word. It occurred to me I could turn those journal entries into devotionals. The book is an overflow of my relationship and love for the Lord, and I wanted to share that with others in order that they might come to know Him.
Who do you want to reach with your devotional? Which audience?
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is uniquely appropriate for working mothers, but it’s also for anyone who wants to put their Christianity into practice in their everyday moments and go deeper into God’s word. Men and couples are enjoying it as well. As Tiffany Colter said, this devotional is simple enough for the newest believer, yet deep enough to make a life-long Christian feel challenged to go higher. There are 52 devotions followed by questions for journaling, suggested scriptures for further reading, a prayer, a sweet tea moment (thought for the day), and a prayer focus. Those extra helps allow the reader to use this as a personal or group study.
What started you on your writing journey? Did you always want to write?
I always wanted to be a writer. I received my first undergraduate degree in 1977 with a BA in English. In the late 70s and 80s I wrote and had poetry and articles published in periodicals, but motherhood, work, and life in general got in the way of that dream. I began writing again in 2008 when the desire to “write it all down” became too hard to resist. I’ve been writing ever since.
Why do you write now?
I am a journal keeper. Writing is a passion that fulfills a need for me. Devotion writing is a way to communicate what I know about God, as a living reality. It’s more or less an overflow of what I experience as a Christian. I want to share that with others. I also like to write fiction and essays, but those don’t seem as vital to me as my devotional writing.
What is the one piece of writing advice you wish you’d had at the beginning of your career?
The one piece of advice—write every day.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Keep a writing journal and jot down words, phrases, and ideas as they come to you. I’ve forgotten entire story ideas because I failed to write it down.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?
I simply start putting words on paper. It’s called “freewriting”, and I’ve found that if I just start writing that I will eventually come around to the words I needed.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?
I’ve just completed my first novel. I lived with those characters for a few years. I had my plot developed all the way down to chapter summaries, and I had pictures for each character, even for places, things, and pets. But, one of the most delightful things about writing the novel was that my characters and events surprised me. Things happened that I didn’t know were going to happen. Characters showed me things about themselves that I didn’t previously know.
Connect with Rose:
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea is available for sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart.com, and through your local independent book stores.
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