Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I don’t get a lot of people asking me questions about what it’s like to be a writer. I suspect some of that is because I don’t tend to tell a whole bunch of people that I am one. It’s not that I’m embarrassed; it just never seems to come up…probably because most of the time I’m surrounded by two adorable little boys who steal all my limelight. Regardless, I have lots of conversations with imaginary people in my head, and sometimes I’ll be at an imaginary book signing and a lovely imaginary person will come up and gush delightedly to me about how much she enjoyed my books and then ask the question that I’m told authors have learned to dread: where do you get your ideas?

For me, my ideas seem to come from life as it happens around me – most often conversations with friends, family, acquaintances, and…random imaginary people. In the case of my first book (Wisdom to Know), the plot idea came from the many women I worked with when I worked and volunteered at a Pregnancy Resource Center. Book 2, Courage to Change, came out of conversations I had with secondary characters while I was writing book 1. But then came book 3…deadline looming and plot ideas fizzling. So I took the night off and we went out to dinner with friends.

We have a good friend who’s thirty and single and would love to find a Godly wife…and he’s struggling. More than that, talking to him as he navigates the dating waters, it’s interesting to hear how quickly he realizes the “mate potential” of his dates – and how he’s trying to ensure that he doesn’t prolong a relationship that has no future. One of these conversations with him got me thinking. I remember growing up our high school youth pastor frequently quoted the idea that “every date is a potential mate.” And like most high schoolers (or at least those that I knew) I remember rolling my eyes. But as I got older, and the idea of finding a mate and settling down started to really root itself in my mind, I realized the essence of wisdom in the cliché. I’m grateful that God brought me together with my husband while we were still in college. But what happens when that doesn’t work out, like with our friend? The gears started to whirl and out of that came the basis for the plot of Serenity to Accept.

In Serenity to Accept (Book 3 of the Grant Us Grace series), we meet Dr. Jason Garcia. He’s a long-time believer who is determined to date only Christian women – but he finds himself attracted to Karin Reid, who starts out somewhat antagonistic to the idea of Christianity. Jason begins to struggle with the lines he’s drawn in his mind – is it okay to date Karin even though he knows he shouldn’t be willing to be unequally yoked? How much does attraction and chemistry factor into a relationship? Karin, on the other end of things, isn’t really sure how to be in a relationship that’s bound by Christian morals. She’s also struggling with understanding how anyone can look at the evil in the world and still believe in God. Both Jason and Karin have to figure out what God’s will is for them – and come to terms with the fact that the other may not be part of that plan.

Though there are a number of spiritual themes in Serenity to Accept, I hope the overarching takeaway—as with my other two novels—is one of grace. God’s grace gets us through the high and low points of our lives and helps us experience Him. 


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