Hi, Shauna! How long have you been writing?
Shauna: From a very young age, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the written word and dreamt of becoming a novelist, inspired in part by my early infatuation with Anne of Green Gables. As a teen, I dabbled a little in the art of poetry and even attempted writing a novel but could never seem to make it past the first few pages. It wasn’t until I gave up my career and became a stay-home mom that I remembered my dream. Toward the end of 2013, I formulated the idea for my first novel and began jotting down the various characters and events, and it was probably nearer to the beginning of 2014 when I actually began typing the first lines. So . . . I guess I can say now that I’ve officially been writing for two years.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
Shauna: First, I almost instantaneously chose romance because it was the genre I’d been drawn to the most as a reader. I’ve always loved a good romance, whether Christian or secular; and throughout the years, I’ve enjoyed reading a good variety of the different types of romantic genres available (historical, western, suspense, inspirational, contemporary, etc.). Second, I chose contemporary because I wanted to portray characters, settings, and situations that were familiar and as close to everyday life as possible. Third, I chose inspirational because it was the genre I felt led to write. Because if I was going to spend my time writing, I wanted the hours spent to be used for the honor and glory of God. I wanted to write novels that would make a difference—that would depict the realities of life while portraying the character of God and the difference a heart surrendered to Christ can make. I desired to not only entertain readers but to inspire, edify, uplift, and encourage as well. I wanted to write in such a way that love, courage, faith, and hope were expressed as being tangible—actually attainable beyond the realm of the fictional world and our sin-cursed one. So . . . because of all that and the knowledge that only what is done for Christ will last, I made the decision to write inspirational contemporary romance.
What are some of the references you used while researching your book?
Shauna: I’m a little ashamed to admit this now, but I pretty much winged it. I felt led to write the stories the Lord had given me, and that’s exactly what I did. With Serene Courage, I applied the knowledge I’d attained after writing my first novel and continued using Google to figure out everything else. For some reason, it never occurred to me to study technique or form, not until more recently. So . . . because of my “winging it”, I’d like to encourage those of you who are afraid to put your work out for fear of not having perfectly mastered the art of writing. Please, don’t let your fear stand between you and your dream. Perfection is not everything if the Lord has given you a story to tell. Yes, there’ll always be a place for learning and growing as a writer, but don’t rely solely on your knowledge base when creating your works. Rely on God more than you rely on proper technique and form because the most eloquently written book executed through the most proper technique will fall short in the eyes of God if you are not writing for Him.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Shauna: I enjoyed the challenge of exposing the atrocities of domestic violence while maintaining a clear message of hope, courage, and redeeming love. I enjoyed being able to incorporate two of my favorite characters from the first novel, giving readers a more in-depth view of their lives. But most of all, I enjoyed the moments when I was able to re-read the portions that had been the most difficult to write. Those portions happened during the moments I sat at my computer feeling overwhelmed and clueless—filled with uncertainty—not knowing how to fully express what I knew needed to be portrayed. It was in those moments, I would pray, desperately seeking God, begging Him to give me the words to write; and to my amazement, each and every time, the words would begin to flow so beautifully. Then, when I finished those sections and would re-read them, I found myself humbled by what I read. So . . . again, I would like to encourage you to seek the Lord wholeheartedly as you write. You will be amazed by what He can do through you.
What do your plans for future projects include?
Shauna: My plans include: finishing the Surrendered Hearts series, continuing to write inspirational romance in the form of stand-alone novels, and eventually delving into the world of inspirational suspense. My motto for all my projects—past, present, and future—is: with GOD anything is possible!
Thanks for stopping in for a visit, Shauna!
Shauna Williams is an Alabama native, a stay-at-home mom, and a member of the ACFW. She is a born-again Christian, saved by the grace of God. She is married to the man she considers to be her best friend and soul mate, and together, they have two beautiful children and one spoiled-rotten calico cat. When she’s not attempting to snag little snippets of free-time to write, she can be found spending time with her family and reading. Even from a young age, she has always enjoyed getting lost in the midst of a good book, and in 2014, she finally found the courage to release her very own novel. Her goal as a writer has always been to inspire and encourage others to seek God and remain faithful to His calling in their own lives through the struggles, lessons, and triumphs her fictional characters experience. “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (II Peter 3:18).
Connecting with and Contacting the Author:
Emily Faith Johnson is no stranger to the dark recesses of loneliness, pain, sorrow, and despair. Her life is marked by unrelenting abuse, from the verbal onslaught of her bitter, alcoholic mother to the physical aggression perpetrated by godless men. She copes as best she knows how—existing in a fog while numbly going through the motions of life. Then, one day, four months before her twenty-first birthday, everything changes when she wakes up in the cab of a tractor trailer, faced with the fear of the unknown, the offer of a man she barely knows, and the promise of a complete stranger. Will she be able to find the courage necessary to attain a better life free from abuse? To trust a man who makes her question everything she knows to be true? To believe in a God whom she knows nothing about? To rise above her past to become the woman she was meant to be?