I would love to sit down with the apostles and talk to them about everything they experienced when Jesus was with them. Iâ€™d love to hear their stories about our Saviour, what their lives were like back then, who was the biggest prankster (if there was one). What it was like to see, touch and just BE in the presence of the Saviour.
2. Whatâ€™s your favorite comfort food?
Anything crunchy â€“ I love triscuits and sugar snap peas with ranch dip. Yum!
3. What would be your dream vacation?
I would love to take about a month to visit Rome, Athens and Jerusalem to visit all the historical places in the Bible relating to the early church.
4. Is there anyone who has influenced / encouraged you to write other than God who ultimately gives us any talents including creativity? Who and how / why?
I have a very dear friend, (her name is Carol) without whom â€˜Come to Meâ€™, probably would never have been published. No one encourages me more in my writing than her. She is my sounding board, my editor and my greatest critic.
5. What first gave you the idea for Come to Me?
I used to have a singing ministry for over 25 years. About 7 or 8 years ago, a planned surgery ended up ruining my vocal chords. For about seven months, I felt like a fish out of water. Singing was my identity and suddenly I seemed to have no ministry â€“ no purpose. I didnâ€™t know what God wanted me to do and after wallowing in self-pity for about 7 months, I finally asked God what He wanted me to do. Immediately, an idea for a story about the life of Christ through the eyes of His mother came to mind. I have a hard time obeying God when I think Heâ€™s asking me to do something Iâ€™m not capable of and at first; I refused to write the story. But, the urge to write was overwhelming and one day I went to my computer, put my hands on the keys and said, â€œOkay, Lord not my will but Yours be done. If You want me to write, then I am Yours to use.â€ Well, the words did not stop coming for about three months! At first, I thought God wanted me to write a short story â€“ I was very surprised it was a novel. From there it took another 3 years of editing and rewrites. The amazing thing about the whole experience was that as I wrote the book, which was largely about individuals who had to learn to surrender their freewill to God, the same thing was happening to me in real life. It wasnâ€™t until I surrendered my will to God that He could even begin to use me to write â€˜Come to Meâ€™.
What an amazing testimony to the book and your faith. I sometimes wish I could just let go and surrender it all to God but although I think there has been growth and still is that is something I struggle with alot and on a recurring basis.
6. What else have you written / are you currently writing (including unpublished works)?
I am currently working on a sequel to â€˜Come to Meâ€™, about the trials of the early church. I am also working on a Christmas romance novella and a teenage murder/mystery.
7. Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first book?
Every little detail seemed to come from above on this one. I couldnâ€™t decide on a title and over the course of several days, I would hear the same scripture from different sources (Come to me all ye that are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you restâ€¦). The words Come to Me seemed to jump out, then out of nowhere I received a Christian cd sampler in the mail, with one song on it. The name of the song? â€¦ Come to Me! So I knew what the title was, but what about the cover? I had in my mind what I wanted it to look like. Since the story is about the life of Christ, the cover needed to represent his birth and the reason why he came. I searched for photographers on the internet and met a wonderful Christian gentleman by the name of Gino Santa Maria, who liked my idea (of a manger with a crown of thorns in it) and he took several beautiful pictures that brought me to tears. My daughter who is a freelance illustrator did the cover design and I went with Lulu as my publisher.
8. What else would you like to share with readers about yourself or Come to Me?
I am available for speaking engagements at womenâ€™s conferences or ladies ministries.
9. Share with us one of the craziest things you’ve done or that’s happened to you?
LOL! I once broke into a church! Not on purpose! I was delivering flyers for a Precept Ministry conference to several churches in my hometown. I walked through the back door of one particular church and it was eerily quiet. As I searched for someone to give my flyers to the security alarm went off! I realized after about 3 minutes that no one was in the building but me! So I ran outside and just as I was stepping out the door a police car came barreling into the parking lot. I thought, â€œOh boy, theyâ€™re going to think I broke into the church!â€ I waited at my car to see what the officer would do. However, he just sat in his car and didnâ€™t move. By this point, Iâ€™m thinking, â€œIs he waiting for backup?â€ So I decided to make the first move and walked slowly towards his carâ€¦still nothing. I made sure he could see my hands because at this point I didnâ€™t know what to think. As I approached his car, I was surprised to find the officer eating a sandwich! So I said, â€œThe door was unlocked, I thought someone was here.â€ He said, â€œWhat are you talking about?â€ â€œThe alarm went off in the church, but I didnâ€™t break into it!â€ I assured him. He sighed heavily and put his sandwich down. â€œAre you telling me that the alarm is on in this church?â€ I said, â€œYes. Isnâ€™t that why youâ€™re here?â€ He said, â€œNoâ€¦Iâ€™m here to eat my lunch!â€ After I explained who I was and why I was there, we both went back into the church together. He told me to stay behind him and then he drew his gun! He believed that someone else was in the church. After a thorough search of the premises, he let me go, but first he took my flyers and put them on the Pastorâ€™s desk!
10. What five books would you take with you to a desert island?
The Bible, A survival guide for living on a deserted island, a journal, a photo album of my family and friends and a novel by Liz Curtis Higgs.
11. What concept or scripture is God revealing more deeply to you in this season of your life? And how is that revelation influencing your life?
Itâ€™s all about surrender to God for me. Itâ€™s a scary thing to â€œlet go and let Godâ€, but it is also the single most rewarding experience of my life. Iâ€™m amazed every day at what God can and will do in my life, if I just stop insisting on going it alone.
12. Why did you start writing and when?
See question five.
13. How do you choose names and get to know your characters?
Come to Me was very simple, as it involved real people, so the names were never an issue. As for getting to know my characters, I simply tried to put myself in their shoes. For instance, what would your reaction be if an angel appeared to you? How would you feel if you saw your son dying on a cross? I try to imagine myself as that person.
14. Whatâ€™s your favorite character / scene from Come to Me so far?
Itâ€™s hard to choose a favorite character because these are real people. I learned quite a bit from Mary; however, I fell in love with my Saviour all over again, so itâ€™s hard to decide. As for my favorite scene â€“ I loved it when Mary tricked Luke into baking bread.
15. Do you have any teasers you can share for your next project?
I can share that the title of my next project is, Upon This Rock. Mary and the apostles will be back. The timeline picks up immediately after Jesusâ€™ ascension into heaven. I have tried to focus on their personal lives as believers, their difficulties in establishing the early church and their persecutions from various sources including Neroâ€™s Circus. While I will remain true to scripture, I have included a love story between Peter and his wife. I have also included a very prominent scene from Come to Me, that I hope readers will enjoy.
16. Are there any closing remarks youâ€™d like to share?
Thank you for inviting me here today to share a little about my book and myself. I hope that all who read it will be blessed and encouraged.
Thank you Laura for taking the time to share with my readers.
Readers check back on Thurs for my review of Laura’s book and in the meantime visit other tour posts using the buttons below. The days indicate when their posts should be up. Don’t forget to visit Laura’s website – her photo is the link and see the daily introductions of members with featured posts on the main blog by clicking the banner below this post’s title. Use the bookcover link to find out more about Come to Me or purchase your own copy.