Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
I can still remember a poem I wrote when I was nine years old; and I won a writing contest when I was twelve, so I guess I’ve always been a writer, but I didn’t begin writing seriously until 1990 when I quit my job to become a freelance writer. By then my four daughters were grown and gone from home; my husband was about to retire; and I wanted to be home with him but continue to earn money working on a flexible basis. In other words, I wanted to do what I wanted to do, where I wanted to do it, when I wanted to do it. So, I devised a plan that would enable myself to become independent and did it. After many others wanted to know how they, too, could change their lifestyle I wrote a book, “Quit Your Job and Make Ends Meet.” It sold like hotcakes! That book has been out of print for some time now, and I plan to update it and do a reprint.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
I was only nine years old and I accepted Jesus Christ as my heavenly father at a Billy Graham rally.
Wow, a Billy Graham rally, that must have been amazing. I can’t wait to meet that man one day.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
I have had three books come out this year. I ghost wrote “Heaven is Near When a Child Dies” by Lori Hoflen that came out January 2012.
Then my own memoir, “Thrift Store Shoes” came out January 2012. Thrift Store Shoes is about growing up in poverty and how God worked in my life.
Just two weeks ago my latest book, “Eyes of Hope, Caring for Orphans and Widows in Africa” was released. Eyes of Hope is about how 4 people without experience or resources started an orphanage in Africa in 2004 and now care for over 700 orphans with the help of God.
In each of these books, as well as in my earlier memoir written for Deanna Germain, “Reaching Past the Wire; a Nurse at Abu Ghraib” I am glorifying God – His power and love and how he speaks to us. I want my readers to strengthen their faith through my books and through my speaking.
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
I don’t blog. My life is so filled with speaking engagements and writing that I have little enough time to give to my husband, my home, my friends, my daughters, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
What a difficult question! I read a lot. Some of my favorite authors are Anna Quindlen, Jane Hamilton, Beverly Lewis, Bleva Plain and Marilynne Robinson. I loved, “The Measure of a Man” by Sidney Portier and “Promise of Hope” by Edward Grinnan. I love anything by Nicholas Sparks. For children’s books, you can’t beat Kate De Camillo and Lois Walfrid Johnson. Lorna Landvik is great for comedy. I like to read memoir and must say that I was most inspired to write my own memoir after reading Frank McCourt’s books. I think I have read every Karen Kingsbury and Jan Karon book. If I’m in the mood for mystery it is Mary Higgins Clark. Wonderful Christian Historical fiction I’ve enjoyed is the Gilbert Morris series. So, I cannot pick one favorite book. I love them all.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
It is Satan who has attacked me with illness when I was planning a large speaking engagement to talk about “How God Speaks to Ordinary People.” That reminded me that Satan is real and he does not want us working for the Lord and he will attack when we are most vulnerable and keep us from glorifying God. I renounced the devil in the name of Jesus Christ and then I remembered that we have a healer in the house and it is Jesus. So I began praying for healing. In a few days I felt perfectly well to travel and I touched many hearts with my speech.
I’m so glad you were able to identify that attack and God could get the glory.
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
Yes. 1 Chronicles 29:12. “Both riches and power come of You, and you reign over all; and in Your hand is power and might; and in Your hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”
I speak at Stonecroft Ministry meetings and many other church and secular events, speaking on many different topics. I have had five books and 30 short stories published in books and magazines, including many stories in Guideposts and Angels on Earth magazines. I will give a copy of my latest book, “Eyes of Hope” as a book giveaway on this blog.
Connie, thank you so much for sharing, your heart shines through along with your love of the Lord.
Readers, you heard Connie. She is giving away copy of Eyes of Hope to one commentator. Leave a comment for Connie by October 9 at 5:00 PM to be entered in the drawing.