Scripture Motto

"Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Interview with Angela D. Meyer, author of "Where Hope Starts"


Today, it is my privilege to interview good friend, fellow Wordsower, and co-contributer to “The Benefits Package,” Angela D. Meyer about the release of “Where Hope Starts” on September 14;  a story full of dreams derailed by heartache, and hope restored through redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

A little background: Angela D. Meyer lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 22 years. They have two children whom they homeschool – recently graduating their son. She has taught Bible class for over 35 years and is on the leadership team of her local Christian writers group. She loves God, her family, the ocean, good stories, connecting with friends, taking pictures, quiet evenings and a good laugh. Someday she wants to ride in a hot air balloon and vacation by the sea.
 
The back cover blurb: “In a city full of dreams… Karen Marino’s life is a nightmare. The New York City restaurant manager is a professional success, but her marriage is in shambles. When her husband, Barry shows up drunk at her restaurant, she loses both. She flees The Big Apple and returns to her Midwestern home to sort through her options. But instead of answers, she finds an old boyfriend ready to rekindle romance, a family full of secrets and an angry brother bent on revenge.

Still in New York, Barry fights his own demons. He knows he messed up, but is powerless to stop his rage and addictions. A fistfight on the streets of the city lands him in jail and forces him to face the possibility of a future behind bars.

Karen knows holding onto her bitterness won’t repair her marriage. But how do you forgive someone when you don’t feel like it? As she searches for the answer, she uncovers the family secret that threatens to tear them all apart. Can she find her way back to the place Where Hope Starts?                                                                                                  [Published by CrossRiver Media]

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Let’s get to the Interview: Angela, thanks for letting me get a sneak peak of “Where Hope Starts.” I loved it! I’m excited to post my review later this week. But today, I have questions so that my readers can get to know you a little better and to hear about your debut book. 

Merrie, I’m so glad I could visit with you and your readers today. Thanks for hosting me on my blog tour. 

M - How long have you been writing? 
 A - I began writing as a young teenager. Of course, back then, my journals were filled mostly with poetry. After college, I began writing inspirational essays, adding children’s stories and devotionals along the way. About five years ago, I finely added novel writing to my repertoire.  

M - What books have influenced your life the most? 
A - Wow. I’ve got a whole shelf. But if I had to name just a few (other than the Bible, of course), it would have to be Bridal Intercession by Gary Wiens, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity by Charles Swindoll, and the Mark of the Lion series (the first 2; I actually haven’t read the third one yet) by Francine Rivers. 

M - What does your family think of your writing? 
A - They’re proud of me and very supportive. However, my 12-year-old daughter wishes I wasn’t at the computer so much. But she’s a good sport about it. 

M - What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? 
A - I would love a routine! But life just doesn’t want to cooperate with that idea. Especially since we homeschool and my office is in the middle of the living room. I’ve always been the type of person that likes to start a project and work it through to completion, but I’ve had to adapt and learn to write in between all the busy moments of life and I do a lot of late night writing as well. 

M - I was extremely impressed not only with the storyline, but with how you captured the emotions of all of your characters. How did you do that?!! 
A - I remember writing the first draft. There were places I would be typing away, so inside my character’s head, I would be crying in that moment, through both the bad times and the good, experiencing it with them.

Addictions and the havoc it wrecks on a marriage are painful. But the hope that comes when someone trusts God with the process of restoration is also a very strong emotion. I hope those emotional connections help draw people to the God who restores. 

M - What was your favorite chapter or part to write and why? And what was the hardest? 
A - It was more like favorite sections – one for Barry and one for Karen. Without giving much away, it’s that place in each of their lives where they reached the crossroads and had to decide which way their lives were headed. That moment of climax. I think because it carried the greatest instance of emotional connection with each of them.

The hardest parts were the places where things needed to happen, be revealed. But they weren’t as energized with emotion. To keep things engaging but more paced is a greater challenge for me. 

M - What motivated you to write on this topic? Why do you feel you had to tell this story? Where do you get your information or ideas for your book?

A - Addiction destroys lives. Addiction steals our freedom that Christ bought with his blood. And yet many people stay silent in their pain, unwilling to talk about it and get help because they are afraid of rejection, shame and condemnation from the very people who should be the hands and feet and mouths of Christ to bring freedom to their lives. It is time we brought out into the light the lies that keep us bound. It is time we opened the conversation so people can find a safe place to heal.

People will often hear something through a story that they would otherwise be closed to. I pray that God will use Karen and Barry’s story to reach these people and open doors for His ministry in their lives.

For ideas and information, I observe and notice what happens to people around me caught in addictions. What had happened in their families. I’ve read articles and heard sermons. It’s been a slow collection of thoughts over time. The Resource page on my website has a collection of resources and links. I’m building it, so the list will be growing. 

M - I’m sure ideas for a 2nd and probably 3rd book are stirring in your head…or maybe already in the works. Do you care to share what we might expect in the future? 
A - Indeed. The second book is written. I need to make a few changes then send it on to my publisher. The third book I am working out in my head and plan to start writing at the beginning of next year. 

In these books, you can expect to continue reading about Karen and her siblings and their journeys of faith. After that, I already have another series playing out in my head. But you’ll have to wait to hear about that one. 

M - Do you have any advice for other writers? What do you consider must-haves, must-dos for writers? What are the most important elements of good writing? 
A - If you are serious about writing, you need to:

  • write, write, write.
  • Read. About life. About writing. And just for fun.
  • Build a library of writing resources. Books on the craft that will help you continue to grow.
  • Be part of a critique group. Make connections with other writers with more experience than you.
  • Dream!
  • What I see as some of the most important elements of good writing are actually more “behind the scenes” than what you find on paper. They are about whom you are as a writer—then that will show in your writing.
  • Be teachable. That’s how we learn the craft and learn the rules (before you break them). Breaking a rule on purpose sounds a whole lot different than not knowing what you’re doing.
  • Know your voice. This may take some time to figure out, but once you do, be confident and don’t try and be someone else—either in method or in message.
M - If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
A - I’m going to cheat on this one. There’s no one person I would choose, but I think it would be cool if I could sit down with some of my ancestors and learn about their lives and what it was to live back in those times. Especially during the time of the pioneers. I have always been fascinated with that time period.

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Thanks, Angela, for giving my readers a chance to learn more about you the person and you the writer/author. It has been a blessing and a treat to have you stop by.

To my readers, feel free to ask Angela questions or leave remarks in the comment section below….and be sure to stop by her website to enter “Where Hope Starts” giveaways during her blog tour. 


Don't forget to order your copy of "Where Hope Starts” at www.crossrivermedia.com

Connect with Angela D. Meyer at


Watch the youtube trailer:






Together at Wordsowers 2013 Writers' Conference
Selling The Benefit Package at craft fair (2012)