Melissa Bennett is visiting the blog today. She recently released Veiled Blessings, a Christian Romance. I’m happy to introduce you to this lovely author who loves the Lord and shares openly about Him in her stories.
I’ll be sharing my review of this book at the end of this month so be sure to keep watching for it.
Are you writing for a particular/ideal reader? Who is it and why?
I write for people who want a clean read, with touches of realism. I’ve intentionally written so that a reader could recommend it to their high school daughter, niece, mom or grandma. Though my characters are of an age that’s considered “seasoned” in the writing world (30+), my hope is that their age doesn’t necessarily define them, and they are relatable across generations.
Please describe your writing style.
Let me start by saying that I’m still growing as a writer and I feel that my writing style is growing with me. That being said, I love older novels with rich descriptions of colors, smells, textures, and emotions. I long for the reader to experience the moments as the character experiences them. Though it’s all abstraction after your own experience isn’t it?
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Personally, my biggest challenge is distraction, then time management. So often, like I’ve heard with many other writers, keeping my backside in the chair is a daily battle. No matter what time I’ve scheduled there’s always something calling for my attention. It could be my paid job, laundry, family… oh, and especially my pups. Seems like I just as I get going, one or both of them has to go as well! LOL
Time management is a challenge only in the sense that when I do get in the zone, I don’t want to quit! When I was writing my first book, there were days I would spend the better part of twelve hours (or more) trying to keep up with what was unfolding in my head. I’ve since taken on a part-time job at my church which requires me to be more disciplined in scheduling writing time.
This made me smile! I have similar problems at my job! I either get too distracted or too wrapped up. 🙂
Will you tell us about the main characters?
On October 29, I launched Veiled Blessings, book 2 in the Impossible Grace series. Since Katie first appeared on the page while writing Hidden Thorns, I’ve known exactly who she was – her backstory anyways. Katie has experienced more grief in her life than anyone has a right to. Everyone that she’s loved deeply has passed. Often “too soon”, specifically her husband, Peter. It changed her in ways she doesn’t even understand.
Now it’s her time to shine and I’m very excited to tell you about a new chapter Katie’s life. Jackson Sinclair is a new doctor at All Saints Children’s Hospital. He’s charming, incredibly handsome, and a believer. When Katie meets Jackson, it seems as if her world is tipped upside down.
But the Lord shows her how in His economy, upside down is often not what it appears.
What kind of challenges did you face in writing this story?
Though I knew Katie’s troublesome past, when I started Veiled Blessings, when I began writing her story, I knew right away that Katie would be a challenge. For a long time, Katie only told me why she was so broken. She laid out every detail of her pain on the page. It was excruciating. And then she went silent. (The vast majority of this never made it to the book.) Then suddenly, I knew that the walls that she’d so carefully constructed around her heart needed to be blasted away. A continual barrage would be required to breach that fortress! And Jackson was the man to do it.
What are you working on now?
I’m continuing to work on book 3 in the series, Intrepid Grace. This is the story of Charlie Paxton, a man we know little about so far in the series. He’s the assistant baker at Annie’s and boy does he have a whopper of a story! I’m anxious to bring it to life.
I’m also still plugging away at Turning Creek – a separate project outside of the Impossible Grace Series.
What was your dream job when you were a child?
Honestly, the only thing I ever wanted to be as a child was a mama. I’ve done that four times over now thanks to God’s mighty hand. (Someday, I may write that experience into one of my novels.) Though, I think if I had known then what I know now, I may have been a little more specific on timeline when I prayed for that dream. LOL! We had all four children within four years – no twins! Ours was a loud, chaotic, whirlwind of a home for many years. It was a beautifully exhausting time. Now they’re all grown up and living on their own and I’m looking forward to being promoted to “Gigi” status. But that may be a few years. Our daughter (the second born and first to be married) was recently wed to an amazing man. We are truly blessed.
How precious! I think loud and chaotic are synonymous with “filled with love”!
What is your favorite Bible verse?
Oh, that’s a difficult question. Different verses are dear to me for various reasons. Ephesians 3:14-19 is one of them.
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
What do you hope to gain from writing?
Writing is a great responsibility. The written word can last longer than my short time on this earth. After my grandchildren, people will forget about my life, but there is a chance that my books might live on. I do not take that lightly. So, at the risk of sounding cheesy, as in life, my goal is to please my Savior first and then to entertain the reader. If, in a small way, I can convey the love of Christ and point to the eternal love story of the Bible I will have considered my purpose fulfilled.
This blesses me! I love your heart for the Lord and pray that many hearts will be touched through your writing.
Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Melissa!