Author Interview: Sara Willoughby

A new friend from the Young Writers Workshop is releasing a new book! She’s written what sounds like a great book about chronic illness. She also let me ask her some questions for an author interview.

About the Book

Are you a teenager trying to navigate faith through chronic illness? I’m here to tell you, you are not alone.

When sickness takes over your life, it’s a never-ending battle to make it through each day. How do you cope? How do you keep fighting? Most of all though, how do you find God in the midst of the suffering?

Through my own journey of sickness, I’ve struggled with the same questions—questions we all think but are afraid to ask. My name is Sara, and I’ve been sick with Lyme disease and more since I was fourteen.

Those questions you’re afraid to ask? I’ve asked them too—as have many others. Continue reading

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Opinion Poll

Coming Soon

I would like your opinion and input. As I figure out what I want to do on my blog in 2015, I would like to know what my readers think. Of the posts I have written, what have you liked the most? Here is a list of a sampling of the types posts I did in 2014 and some I’m mulling around in my brain: Continue reading

Sale Update, new reviews, and a true story

Sale Update

My recent sale went very well in my opinion. I might not have sold thousands, but I definitely sold much more than I thought I would and outsold the money I spent on promotions. The sale ran 7 days for both of my books, but I only promoted Be Thou My Vision. Naturally, I sold more of those than of  A Mighty Fortress, but I was expecting that.

To me, the most exciting part of this promo was when both of my books were in the top 50 in Christian Westerns. Be Thou My Vision made it to the #6 in Christian Westerns and in Westerns for a day. On December 2nd, I had a promotion on the eReader News Today website and email. The ad cost me $25, but it was well worth it. I sold 113 total books that day, 20 for AMF and 93 for BTMV for a total of over $70.00! I’ve even gotten a few post-sale sales which has been wonderful! Continue reading

“Jed’s Father” by Abigail L.

Stories by Students

This is an exciting and sad day. Today we have our last story from the students at the school my friend teaches at. Today the story is about Jed’s father and is written by Abigail L. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did.

Jed’s Father

By Abigail L.

I loved my wife. I thought I could protect her from anythin’,but I was wrong. She was stolen from me by my own child, if I could even call ‘em that. She was fine for most of the pregnancy, but, towards the end, she got real sick. I did everything I could do, I called the doctor in every week, sometimes every other day, but he couldn’t do anything for her. The doctor said that she probably wouldn’t make it, and neither would the baby, but I didn’t believe ‘em. She would get through this, she had some problems with my other children, but she pulled through, she was so strong. I remember her telling me about what she wanted me to do when she was gone, she never spoke like that before. She said no matter what, she still loved her unborn child. I didn’t believe her, how could she? She couldn’t love this “thing” that could possibly kill her. I know that if she knew she would have died, she wouldn’t have love that boy of mine.

I remember her in pain, every day. I wanted so badly to take the pain from her, but I just knew that I couldn’t. She kept saying she knew where she was going, and that I wouldn’t be able to take the pain from her, she said only one person could, Jesus. How could she tell me this?! Who is this Man that is going to take her pain away? If anyone was goin’ to take her pain away, it was me. What I never got was why she didn’t find this guy and have Him take her pain. Most of the time, I could read my wife, she was so easy to read, but this time, I couldn’t.

She kept getting worse, after a while, she couldn’t even get up from bed. My daughters were making food by this time, but no one, not even my daughter, could make as good of food as my beautiful wife. She was thankful to everyone for everything, not a single act went by that she didn’t give thanks for, and that included being sick. Each day she grew more content with the fact that she wouldn’t make it. I don’t know how she knew she wouldn’t make it. Did she just give up on hope? No, she couldn’t have, she was… happy. With each passing day, she grew more beautiful, even though she was sick.

Then the day came. The moment of truth. Will she make it? We wouldn’t be able to tell until it was all over. She was always strong, she could overcome anything. But this time, she wouldn’t. She gave birth to my son. She held him, even though she could barely lift her arms. I told her she should rest, and that when she would wake up, she could hold him. But no, she was going to hold him. She said she had to. She took him in her arms and smiled. She was so happy with him. She just kept smiling until her face hurt, and then she started to cry. She said she was never going to see him grow up, she was never going to see any of her children get married. Suddenly, she stopped crying. She said that this boy was going to be perfect. She said he was her Beloved. I felt envious of this boy that was taking my wife’s last moments, her last words were going to this boy. I said she needed to sleep, so I roughly grabbed the boy out of her arms. She didn’t have enough energy to resist.

She whispered an inaudible word to me. I crouched down next to her and asked her what she said. She said, “Jed, the Lord’s Beloved.” And with those few word’s she died. She said nothing to me. She only spoke of the child. The child that was just fine, but she was dead. The child was alive and well, nothing was wrong with him! Why couldn’t it be him not her, why couldn’t he be dead, and she be alive! I half handed, half threw the baby boy to my daughter and stormed out of the house.

 ***

I didn’t say any more than ten words to Jed until he was two. I hated him. There was nothing and no one who could change my mind. He killed my wife. I will never forgive him for it. When he came to me one day to try to impress me yet again, I hit him. I couldn’t stop myself, blow after blow, hit after hit. I kept hitting him until my arms and legs tired. He was on the ground, crying and screaming. I walked away. I didn’t want to even look at the mistake that was lying on the ground. I didn’t even feel sorry for him.

“The Unnamed Cherokees” by Nikki S.

Stories by Students

Kind of sad, but this is the second to last story from the students. Nikki S. took a very creative perspective. She wrote a story about the Cherokee Indians I never named or developed. In case today is the first time you’ve seen this series of posts, my friend is reading A Mighty Fortress to her students for their Christian Literature class and challenged them to write back stories of one of the characters in my first book. It was a lot of fun reading them all.  Enjoy the story and watch for the last story tomorrow! Note: The stories will all be unedited and posted as each high school student wrote them.

The Unnamed Cherokees

By Nikki S.

The sun beat down on my dark skin as I lay in the middle of an open prairie. My eyes were closed and I could feel the sun rays seeping through my eyelids. The tranquility in the rushing wind captivated me.I breathed in deeply and various smells met my nose. I tried to determine the origin of each scent. Using the skills my father had taught me, I found five. First I smelt the scent of two different types of flowers, daisies and Lavender. Next was the smell of the grass waving all around me and brushing against my face. The air around me had the distinctive smell of summer.The last smell that met my nose was that of a horse. I suddenly felt a gust of air blow onto my face. I opened my eyes to see the nose of my horse above me.

“HelloMoondance!” I say pushing her nose away from my face then briskly standing to my feet. My beautiful grey horse pranced sideways, swishing her silver tail, as if to tell me she wanted to run. I lay my hand on her smooth muzzle and her blue eyes glistened as if she knew what I was thinking. In one quick motion I swing my body onto her sleek back. “Let’s run” I whisper into her ear. Moondance heaves herself forward with such force and power I felt as though I would be left behind. Her legs moved rhythmically with my heart beat, and our bodies moved as one. My silken black hair whipped back and forth around my face as we ran into the strong wind. I let go of Moondance’s mane and spread my arms out and tilted my head back. As I looked at the sky I saw an eagle soaring high above us. Moments like these freed my mind to imagine impossible things. Continue reading

“Esther” by Alejandrina R.

Stories by Students

Three stories left counting this one and another one about Esther, Joshua and Ruth’s older sister! Today’s special guest is Alejandrina R. In case today is the first time you’ve seen this series of posts, my friend is reading A Mighty Fortress to her students for their Christian Literature class and challenged them to write back stories of one of the characters in my first book. It was a lot of fun reading them all.  If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s on sale right now for 99 cents. Enjoy the story and watch for the next story on Monday! Note: The stories will all be unedited and posted as each high school student wrote them.

Esther

by Alejandrina R.

It was fine spring day on April 11th the year 1843. The wind was blowing ever so gently, sun shining bright on God’s creation, all was calm and quiet. However, there was one house in Illinois that was anything but calm. Something big and exciting was about to happen. A baby was to be born this very day.

It was the mother and father’s very first child and you can imagine how excited and nervous they would be. The mother had been in labor for quite some time and the child was to be born any moment now. The midwife was preparing for the delivery, the mother was in great pain, and the father was anxiously waiting with his wife. This went on for a few short minutes until finally; “whhaaa” the first cry was heard.

“I am a little girl, what is my name?” the midwife announced pretending to talk for the baby. Immediately the proud Mother shouted Esther May Hopewell! The father and mother were both holding their little bundle of joy with great smiles of pride and happiness on their faces. They kept praising God for the blessing little Esther was to them. They prayed for the wisdom to guide Esther throughout her life. Continue reading

“Tom” by Caroline L.

Stories by Students

Today’s special guest is Caroline L. Her story is about the outlaw leader, Tom. In case today is the first time you’ve seen this series of posts, my friend is reading A Mighty Fortress to her students for their Christian Literature class and challenged them to write back stories of one of the characters in my first book. It was a lot of fun reading them all.  If you haven’t read the book yet, it’s on sale right now for 99 cents. Enjoy the story and watch for the next story on Monday! Note: The stories will all be unedited and posted as each high school student wrote them.

Tom’s Story

by Caroline L.

At the moment Tom is an outlaw. But he didn’t start that way. Tom grew up just outside of town. He was very rich and lived in a big mansion. His father was a business man and owned a lot of oil. He had a brother and a sister, Eli and May. May was 16, Tom was 12, and Eli was 1. He had a lot of friends in school and had okay grades.

On a Thursday afternoon Tom went to his friend Adam’s house to hang out. Suddenly his sister came running to him crying her eyes out. It took about an hour to get the words out. Then she told him that there house burnt to the ground and Mom, Dad, and Eli were trapped inside and had no way of getting out. May was the only one spared. From that moment on everything changed. Tom wanted to be rebellious. Continue reading