Hey all! Today I got the chance to interview Mesu Andrews, author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love's Sacred Song, and Love in a Broken Vessel! :-D
Welcome, Mesu, to Writings of Rosie! Tell us about yourself, for those who don’t know.
I’ve always called myself a “spiritual mutt” because of my variegated theological background. My mom is Charismatic; Dad was Quaker; grandparents Pilgrim Holiness turned Nazarene and then Wesleyan. Whew! Heated dinner debates all my life! I turned my back on that confusing God and was an alcoholic by age nineteen, when an old high school friend introduced me to a personal relationship with Jesus. I married that friend, and we’ve raised two daughters, who are now married and have given us four adorable grandchildren. As a teenager, all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mom. My teachers were appalled that their 4.0 valedictorian would “settle” for such a mundane dream, but I’ve worked part-time jobs—mostly as an optometric or ophthalmic technician—while our girls were growing up. My passion became studying God’s Word and teaching Bible studies and women’s groups. When my health limited my travel, I began writing. That seems to be where the Lord has opened doors, so I’m walking through them! It’s a joy and privilege—and a new adventure with each new book I research and write. My hubby is a college professor, and we’re entering those “old fart” years, when we get to sit in front of a fire together with our Rottweiler-pitbull, Bouzer, and enjoy quiet evenings—when I’m not on deadline, that is.
Wow, what a testimony! It's amazing what God has done and is doing in your life. How were you inspired to write Hosea and Gomer’s story?
Francine Rivers’ book, Redeeming Love, was the first Christian fiction I ever read, and it’s still my favorite. For those of your readers not familiar with her novel, it’s the story of Hosea and Gomer, but it’s set in the 1850’s Gold Rush. I wanted to tell the story of Hosea and Gomer in the true biblical setting. So much fascinated me about the circumstances surrounding their relationship. Neither Gomer, nor her father Diblaim, is mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, so why did God choose her for Hosea? The prophets have always confused me. I read some of those Old Testament prophecies and scratch my head, thinking…huh? I can’t stand it! I NEED to understand God’s Word! It’s a compulsion. So, I dig in and find out which other prophets were alive at the same time. What nations were warring with Israel? What was trade like, and what other challenges nudged Israel toward idolatry? The people in Scripture were flesh and blood like you and me. They made choices based on fear, jealousy, joy, pride, etc. When I discover the context of the folks that wrote the Scripture, that lived in that time period, I find the Bible much more relevant in my own life. When I did the research on Hosea and Gomer, I was inspired to write their story because I AM A BROKEN VESSEL.
Well let me just say, I really appreciate your books. You bring the Bible to life and bring up questions in me that I eagerly study in the Word. :-) Is there anything unique or quirky that you do while you write?
I drink a whole lot of coffee with creamer! Is that quirky? Actually, I don’t know if this is quirky, but it’s a technique I learned from expert, Jeff Gerke, at a writers’ conference. I try to give all my main characters a personality type, a primary love language, an annoying habit, etc. before I begin writing the manuscript. I search for a picture (gettyimages.com or google images) that closely resembles how my character looks in my imagination, and then I refer to that photo/character qualities throughout the book as I write their descriptions and dialogue. It helps keep the characters sharp, distinct, and unique.
I do that for my own stories, it really is helpful! Where is your favorite place to write?
Don’t tell my chiropractor, but I love to write in my “pac-man” chair. My son-in-love gave the chair that name because the pattern of the upholstery looks like the path of the pac-man video game. I know I’m supposed to sit in an ergonomically correct office chair with my shoulders back and feet flat on the floor—but seriously… I sometimes write 12-18 hours a day. I want to sit in front of my nice, warm fireplace with my dog beside me. I want to sit in my recliner, laptop in one hand, coffee in the other, listening to the rain pitter-patter on the sliding glass door. Doesn’t that sound like a little slice of heaven? Ahhhhhh… It is for me.
It does! Oh, and don't worry, your secret's safe with me! Lastly, where can readers find you on the web?
Please stop by my website and order free bookmarks, or download group discussion or Bible study questions for all three of my books: http://www.mesuandrews.com/
Or visit me on Facebook: Mesu Andrews
Blog posts on Fridays (inside scoop on characters, plots, and new releases!): http://www.mesuandrews.com/blog/
Thanks again for stopping by! :-)