Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Meet Author Vanessa Miller and Giveaway

Today, I'm excited to introduce you to a new writing friend. Vanessa and I participated on a conference call for a writer's conference last August. I was so impressed with how her love for God shown in her voice and what she said. This month she has a new book releasing, one of four this year!
Vanessa, tell us a bit about your writing journey. How did you know God had called you to write?

I was about nine years old when I realized I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t have the first clue as to how I would accomplish this goal, but I knew that I loved the written word. As a teenager, I wrote poems and short stories. However, in my early twenties I attempted my first novel. I got halfway through and couldn’t finish it. The same thing occurred with the next three novels I attempted. The first novel I completed was Former Rain and it took seven years from the start of that book until it was published.
I was so excited about finally completing a novel that I didn’t want to wait on a publisher to agree to publish my novel. So I self-published it in 2003. By 2006 I signed a contract with a mainstream publisher. That deal provided me with better distribution. Now, in 2010, I have 4 new books releasing by three different publishers. I knew that God had called me to write after I gave my life to Him. I no longer desired to write anything, but that which brings Him glory.

You have a new release, Yesterday's Promise, releasing this month. Where did you get the idea for the story? Tell us a bit about the book.

Yesterday’s Promise is a Christian romance about Melinda Johnson and Steven Marks. Melinda feels called to the ministry, but Steven doesn’t believe that women should preach. This disagreement between the two causes Steven to break off their engagement. But now, after ten years, Steven is back in Melinda’s life as the new bishop over her fellowship and he wants a second chance with Melinda.

However, Melinda can never marry a man who doesn’t respect the call of God on her life. To love one another, the two must knock down the walls that separate them. But can the bishop finally do that for his lady or will Melinda be forced to leave Omega Christian Church?

I came up with the idea for writing Yesterday’s Promise while doing a book signing at the Indiana Black Expo. The lady next to my table was signing copies of her book that talked about the struggle for women to preach. Since the bishop of my church is a woman and we have women preach at my church all the time, I had never thought anything about any struggle that women faced when it came to preaching. But then a man walked into the room where we were signing our books. He took one look at Pastor Notoshia Howard’s book and started screaming at her. He told her that she had no business trying to preach to men and that women were not allowed to preach. That’s when the idea of Yesterday’s Promise was dropped in my spirit. I wanted to write a book that details the struggles women who have been called by God have to deal with in order to preach the gospel.

I've learned that God usually has something for me to learn as I wrestle along with the characters through their problems. What did God show you as you wrote this book? What do you hope readers will see or understand better after reading the book?

Yesterday’s Promise taught me to hold onto to the dreams that God placed in my heart. And I want readers to close this book believing in themselves and in love again. Sometimes the world beats us up so much that we put aside the things we know we should be doing, in order to do the things that make the most sense – but if God called you to it, He will bring you through it.

Amen! You have four books releasing this year. How do you juggle multiple books, plots, sets of characters, with a busy life as a mother and your other activities?

Since I write full-time, I treat my writing just like I treated my corporate job. I sit down at my desk everyday and work… no excuses. I write between five-ten pages a day. At that rate I’m able to complete three to four books a year.

I try to outline each of my books, so I don’t get confused from book to book as far as the plot goes, but I must admit I do mix up the names of my characters from time to time. However, the thing that helps me the most is that I try to only work on one book at a time.

With your deadlines, I bet that's a challenge! What's coming next for you?

I’m just concentrating on publicity and promotions for my 2010 releases. I hope that readers with have a chance to check them all out. Here is the list:
  • Yesterday’s Promise, April 2010
  • Forgiven, June 2010
  • A Love for Tomorrow, September 2010
  • Long Time Coming, November 2010
I thought I was busy. Yikes! Now a fun question :-) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and who would you take?

In my dream vacation, I plan to tour Europe. I am making plans for this trip now, but it will be several years before I’m able to afford such a thing. I want to spend a month going from France, Italy, Africa, Egypt, Israel, and so on. I would like to take my mother because I know she would enjoy the adventure just as much as I will.

Oh, that sounds like a trip I would love! How can readers find you and your books on the web?

My books can be purchased at Christian bookstores, Barnes & Nobles, Borders, Books-A-Million, and other online bookstores. Readers can also go to my website to read an excerpt or purchase an autographed copy:

Be sure to click the link above to read the first chapter of Yesterday's Promise. And leave a comment if you would like to be considered for the copy I was given by the publisher for a giveaway.
Vanessa Miller is a best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. She started writing as a child, spending countless hours either reading or writing poetry, short stories, stage plays and novels. Vanessa’s creative endeavors took on new meaning in1994 when she became a Christian. Since then, her writing has been centered on themes of redemption, often focusing on characters facing multi-dimensional struggles.

Vanessa’s novels have received rave reviews, with several appearing on Essence Magazine’s Bestseller’s List. Miller’s work has receiving numerous awards, including “Best Christian Fiction Mahogany Award” and the “Red Rose Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction.” Miller graduated from Capital University with a degree in Organizational Communication. She is an ordained “exhorter” in her church, explaining, “God has called me to exhort readers and to help them rediscover their place with the Lord.”


Timothy Fish said...

He took one look at Pastor Notoshia Howard’s book and started screaming at her. He told her that she had no business trying to preach to men and that women were not allowed to preach.

So maybe he shouldn't have screamed at her, but how sad it is when those who take a stand for what the Word of God says are portrayed as the villains.

Carole said...

I have a daughter who serves in the ministry and would love to read Vanessa's book. Thank you for the giveaway, Cara.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Anonymous said...

a wonderful posting/interview...thanks for the chance to read this wonderful book

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

paula said...

There always seems to be controversy when people impose their thoughts on who, when, and where God uses someone.

We forget that Priscilla had a church in her home [and indication she was the preacher] or that Deborah was a Judge in Israel or the first to see Jesus arise was Mary - women who were given authority [and there are many more examples in the old as well as the new testament].

I would love to read a storyline with a strong woman as leader especially imbued with the Lord's message and I enjoy suspense and overcoming.

Paula Shene, author Mandy The Alpha Dog

barbjan10 said...

Brave lady Vanessa Miller to take on such a controversial subject in some denominations. Very enticing title for good reading. Thanks for the opportunity to comment for a win.
Blessed Be in Christ,
Barb Shelton


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