Today we get write to the point with Dianne Butts. I have to tell you, I was so blessed by her interview. I hope you will take the time to read it. Also, she has a great giveaway that might be something for you or gift for someone who is hurting or confused right now.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
Hi! I’m Dianne E. Butts and I’ve been writing for more than twenty years. I was first published in 1991 and since then have around 300 print articles published, contributions to 19 books, and my fourth book will release by Thanksgiving.
I’ve been married to Hal for 31 years. We’ve lived all around the state of Colorado and right now have landed in southern Colorado. We’ve never had children, so it’s really ironic that I should be the one to write one book about unplanned pregnancy and now, my latest, about grandparenting. But the fact is, I just want to share powerful stories that help people know God and His love for them, so from that vantage point these books are right up my alley.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
We went to church “some” when I was a kid and once I was old enough I went to church camp for a week every summer where I heard about Jesus. I guess I’d say I got saved when I was 13. And when I was 14. And when I was 15… <kidding!> I’m just sayin’ I prayed the prayer, but then I’d go home to the same problems and nothing would ever be different. People kept saying Jesus would change my life, but nothing ever changed. So I got angry and walked away from God for a long time.
There was a lot of fighting, arguing, and anger in the house I grew up in. My parents filed for divorce when I was 13. My dad got cancer when I was 14. The judge I said I could live with my dad when I was 15. My dad died 2 months later. The rest of my high school years were pretty rocky, but I was determined to graduate and get my diploma, which I did. Finally I was free and could move out, be on my own, and make the quiet, happy, peaceful life I always wanted, right?
Well, I graduated in May and in June my brother, who was in the Marines, came home on leave just in time for my 18th birthday. We had a great time on my birthday, but the next day he was killed by a drunk driver.
That really pulled the rug out from under me. Again.
After that I decided that I really needed to know if God existed. I mean, if He does, then where is He when stuff like that happens? One little thing – any little detail – could have changed and my brother wouldn’t have been in that precise place on his Harley Davidson in that precise moment and he wouldn’t have been killed. If God is good, then why does He let things like that happen?
Well I started searching for answers and I have to say that God met me right there. I found Christians and started reading and studying the Bible and started understanding about Him, and I was married and in my mid-twenties when I accepted Him as my Savior, but I’ve been studying ever since. I’ve learned a ton about God and about the “whys” and now I just want to share with others who are right where I was – searching, wondering, trying to figure it out, hurting, needing to know what the truth is – what I’ve learned.
And that is why I write: to share with others what I’ve learned about God.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do you want your readers to take away after the last page?
My book Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy is a collection of 54 stories from women and men who have experienced an unplanned pregnancy – whether right now or in their past. There are stories of women who kept their babies, who gave for adoption, and who chose abortion. There are stories from men telling how this affects them. There are heartbreaking stories, but every single one ends in triumph because these people came through extremely difficult times and out the other side and they found love and life and healing, and it’s really beautiful.
I wanted to write this book because so many people struggle with this, or with decisions they’ve made in their past, and I wanted to 1.) give people in that situation right now information that would help them make good decisions, and 2.) give people who have this in their past and are still hurting and suffering from it encouragement and information to find healing. It is possible. You can find that, too.
There is power in true stories. These stories are powerful and they have healing in their words.
While writing this book and collecting these stories, the comment I heard most often was that many of these women (and men) who have lost a child to abortion thought they had committed the “unforgiveable sin.” No, abortion is not unforgivable. Ten stories in Deliver Me show how ten women (and more by men) discovered that.
What I want readers to take away from this book is: God loves you! He knows what you’ve done, whatever that is that you’ve done in your life, and He loves you! Stop running. Turn to Him. Stop, turn around, and you’ll find He’s been right there with you the whole time. There is only one unforgiveable sin, and that is to reject the Savior: Jesus Christ.
I’m also an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker and I wrote and produced my first short film last February. It’s a 10-minute film based on a story in Deliver Me that you can watch on YouTube here: http://bit.ly/TheChoiceFilm.
Deliver Me won Nonfiction Book of the Year (family/relationships category) from Christian Small Publishers Association (http://christianbookaward.com/2012/2012-winners-announced/ ) and was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year (http://www.cbanews.org/article.php?id=4746), so I am very proud of both of those.
The title for Deliver Me came from Psalm 116:8-9 (http://youtu.be/fbUjFbiiVQA):
“For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living” (NIV).
- Psalm 116:8 : S Ps 86:13
- Psalm 116:9 : S Ge 5:22; Ps 56:13; 89:15
- Psalm 116:9 : S Job 28:13; Ps 27:13; Isa 38:11; Jer 11:19
My most recent book just came out in August and it is also a collection of twenty stories of people overcoming hard times. It is called Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ (PNP, 2012). My next book (the first in a 3-book series) is releasing this month, just in time for Christmas, and is titled Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus. Finally I get to share some of what I’ve learned about Jesus!
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
I have two blogs. One was created to follow the making and publishing of the Deliver Me book. Now that the book is out, it has morphed into following me, my new books, and everything I’ve got going on. Find that one at www.DeliverMeBook.blogspot.com. I try to blog regularly there, but sometimes I’m traveling or get so busy I forget to blog and it sits for a while. Then there’s a flurry of activity again!
My other blog is for writers: www.ButtsAboutWriting.blogspot.com. For years I published a monthly e-magazine for writers and last summer that e-zine morphed into a blog. That way it’s accessible to more people. I still write the main article for it once a month, but I try to keep all the pages and sidebars with publishing opportunities and more updated.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
Oh so many. I can never read just one book at a time – I always have several going. (I know, my husband thinks I’m the weirdest reader, too. That’s also why it takes me so long to finish them.) Currently I’m reading:
I’m reading Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever. It’s not a Christian book, per se, but I’ve seen her books for forever and wanted to try one. I really like her writing.
I just picked up Hurricanes in Paradise by Denise Hildreth this past weekend and started reading it. I’m enjoying it, too.
I read When You Can’t Find God: How to Ignite the Power of His Presence by Linda Evans Shepherd and really, really enjoyed that one. I have another one of hers sitting here waiting for my attention: When You Don’t Know What to Pray: How to Talk to God About Anything.
I just received Designed for Devotion: a 365-day Journey from Genesis to Revelation by Dianne Neal Matthews and I can tell I’m going to love this book since it’s all about diving deep into God’s Word.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
I could think of several Genesis 5020 episodes in my life, but probably the biggest was my growing up years when so much was happening and I struggled through it all pretty much alone. The enemy of our souls, Satan, could have destroyed me at that time and I believe he tried. But God was there all along and He didn’t let that happen. The result is that I have figure out how much God loves me, how much He is willing to forgive, and now the good that has come from it is that I have such a passion to tell other people about this amazing good God who will go to extremes beyond what we can imagine to show us His love. That is my passion: to help people learn about this God who loves them so incredibly.
Another Genesis 5020 episode was six years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer and, I suppose, the enemy could have destroyed me then or my writing. However, at the time I was frustrated with not being able to get any publishers interested in my books and so I decided I wanted to do something different once I beat the cancer. The problem was thinking of something really crazy to do. I mean, what was I going to do?
A lot of people want to write a book. Well, um, been trying to do that and was totally frustrated. Tried that. Got the National Novel Writing Month t-shirt to prove it.
A lot of people want to do something crazy like buy a motorcycle and ride across the country. Welp, I’ve been riding since I was in high school and Hal and I have ridden over much of this country so…been there, done that one too, and got like 200 t-shirts to prove it.
So what was I going to do? I’m telling you the craziest thing I could think of (I refuse to go bunji jumping or jump out of a perfectly good airplane) was to write a screenplay that someone would want to produce. I had a crisis of imagination. The only thing I could come up with was another writing project. But since I beat cancer I’ve been in Hollywood taking screenwriting courses and I wrote and produced the short film “The Choice.” http://bit.ly/TheChoiceFilm. I just finished a script to enter in the Kairos Prize competition last week, so I’m chipping away at that goal.
Everything I write, my whole purpose for writing—whether screenplay or book or magazine article—is to make Christ known. So that is how God uses it for good.
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
Since I first came to know Christ it has been 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
That is so true of me.
Where can we find you on the web?
Find me on Facebook at Dianne E. Butts and Deliver Me Book Page, and on Twitter @DianneEButts Friend or follow me on Goodreads, too.
I’m also at http://GrandparentingThruObstacles.wordpress.com/ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Grandparenting-Through-Obstacles/318863268183816?fref=ts and Twitter @GParentObstacle
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
Just that after spending years trying to get publishing contracts for books, the floodgates have opened and I have several more books coming out with Pix-N-Pens Publishing:
Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus (November 2012)
Prophecies Fulfilled in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus (Spring 2013 for Easter)
Prophecies Fulfilled in the Life of Jesus (Summer 2013)
And my first fiction novel (!!!) which is the first in the three-book series “Springs Eternal” series:
Hope’s Diner (April 2013)
The Search for Hope (August 2013)
Finding Hope (November 2013)
All my books are or will be available by ordering through your favorite bookstore, whether a brick and mortar or online at Amazon.com, B&N.com, or other online outlets.
Thank you, Melissa, for having me today on 5020 Genesis blog. It’s been fun. I hope readers have found hope and help in my words today. May God bless you and your readers.
Thank you Dianne, I have been touched by your interview.
Readers, Dianne is giving away two paperback copies of her book. This could be for you, or maybe you know someone who needs this book. Leave a comment by November 13th at 5:00 pm. Due to the sensitive nature of the book if you would rather send me an email with your comment you may do that. I will forward your comment to Dianne so you can respond to you. You can email me at 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com.