How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?
One evening I was mulling over a story I’ve heard used as a sermon illustration. The anecdote is about a man who goes to Heaven. He is being shown around by an angel when he notices a large warehouse filled with unopened gifts. He asks the angel what all of the presents are. The angel answers: “Those are all of the blessings God wants to give but haven’t been asked for or haven’t been granted due to lack of obedience.” As I went to bed still thinking about this story, God “downloaded” the outline for THE BLESSING SEER into my mind. I had to jump up and write it down. The next morning I began to read scriptures about blessings and study Bible commentaries.
For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?
When God sends Addy a special messenger who challenges her to step from her comfort zone, she isn’t sure she’s up to the job. She feels inadequate to take on the task of encouraging others, and when she starts seeing visions, she worries she’s losing her mind.
Yet, Addy wants only to be used by God, even if that means seeing visions and risking relationship with family and friends. By stepping out on a limb, can Addy really accomplish something significant for God? What affect will her surrender to His will have on those around her? And, what affect will it have on her own life?
Are there any fun tid-bits about this story you can share with us?
Because I am a pastor’s wife, many have asked if the main character, Addy, is really me. I can say that some of the happenings are based on experiences I’ve had, but anyone who knows me will quickly say that I am not Addy. She is more shy and doesn’t like to talk to others. Me? I never meet a stranger, and I have the gift of gab.
How did you decide on the setting?
Greeneville, Tennessee is a place I have lived and we have served in ministry. The small town just fit Addy Townsend.
When will it be released?
THE BLESSING SEER released July 6th. You can buy it here
Where were you born?
I was born in Powell, Tennessee.
What hidden talent do you possess outside of writing... something you do for fun, but are good at?
I am an interpreter for the deaf and sign my husband’s sermons each week for our deaf members. I so enjoy signing and am glad that God gave me another opportunity to utilize this skill in ministry after several years off. It’s something you continue to hone. I like the challenge.
What’s your favourite colour?
I love the color green. In fact, my bathroom walls are now a lovely shade of green which my husband surprised me with when I returned home from a mission trip to Haiti.
What music groups/artists blast from your CD player while you write?
I don’t normally listen to music while I write. But, being a singer, I do listen to a lot of contemporary Christian music like Casting Crowns, Mercy Me, and Selah.
What got you interested in writing?
I am a former middle school English teacher. When I taught in Texas while my husband attended seminary, I was encouraged to hone my writing so as to pass that along to my students. I had a wonderful mentor in my assistant principal who encouraged me.
Why did you begin writing? How long have you been writing?
My mother worked for Lifeway Christian Stores (even before they were called that) for over 30 years. She would bring me books to read and also supply me with journals. I just really took an interest in writing stories because I loved reading them.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
To a new writer I would say don’t go it alone. Join a group like ACFW. Take courses like Freelancewritingcourses.com (Janice Hanna Thompson). Meet other writers who can share with you and you with them. If you want to publish, write for a magazine first to get yourself established, even if you must do it for free. These are all things I did to learn more and be ready to move into publishing a book. Another tip: don’t stop learning. Writers never arrive – there’s always more to learn.
When you write do you start with a plot outline, a character sketch, how do you begin? How do you stay on course?
My stories usually start out with some kind of scene that sparks my imagination. I normally let me mind wonder and wander for a bit about how I could turn the idea into a story. When I have an idea of how the story might go, I write down, often in list form, scenes in order. I then will take that and make a list of characters – names and descriptions. The next step I have done in different ways. Sometimes I will simply start to write the story out. Other times, I will make an expanded list of scenes in order that I go back and write out later.
Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?
I’m working on a project with a small group of authors in which our stories are related by a time in history. I am especially excited about my story because it is based on an actual happening in my family history.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Janice Hanna Thompson has been great through her online courses and her personal mentoring. All of the authors and courses at ACFW have been a great influence. As to a book, I have used FIRE IN FICTION by Donald Maass to revise numerous times.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, you’ll probably catch me reading. I love to read Christian fiction of all sorts. Now I often read other authors’ new releases and review them.
Do you hate how you look in pictures?
I think this is a given for most people. Now I look at myself and think: “Who is the lady with the gray hair?”
Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?
Most people are surprised to know that I am old school when it comes to writing first drafts. I write them out in spiral notebooks with a pencil. When the story is transferred to the computer, I print out the pages and place them in a three-ring notebook where I use my pencil again to revise.
When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
I need to get a hair cut and highlights.
What’s a saying you use a lot?
I always sign everything – Your Sis in Christ. I’ve had people comment about it. I usually say that I’m just warning you if you’re a Christian then we’re related and you’ll have to put up with me in Heaven.
What is your heritage?
Praise God I grew up with Christian parents who had Christian parents. My heritage is a Godly one.
Have you ever cried during a movie?
Giggle, giggle. Honey, I cry during movies. I cry while reading books. I’ve even been known to cry during a commercial.
Do you sleep with the light on?
We do have a light on in the hallway in case a trip to the bathroom is in order in the middle of the night. I’m a forty-something female – it happens.
Are you a morning person or a night person?
Much to the annoyance of my family, I am a morning person. I sing. Nuff said.
Paula Mowery is a pastor’s wife and a homeschool mom. She has always been an avid reader of Christian fiction. She began writing in the area of nonfiction creating three Bible studies which were self-published. However, she crafted fiction stories which she shared with friends and family. When one of her readers encouraged her to pursue publication, she joined American Christian Fiction Writers, learning more about the world of fiction. Her debut work of fiction is a novella published by Harbourlight, a division of Pelican Book Group – THE BLESSING SEER.
Learn more about Paula at her blog – paulamowery.blogspot.com
Read more of her writing in her monthly columns on ChristianMagazine.org.