Let’s Chat — A Visit With Marianne Evans, Award-Winning Author
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her hope is to spread the faith-affirming message of God’s love through the stories He prompts her to create. Devotion, earned the Bookseller’s Best Award as well as the Heart of Excellence Award. Hearts Communion earned a win for Best Romance from the Christian Small Publisher’s Association. Finding Home won the Selah award for Best Novella. Marianne is a lifelong resident of Michigan and an active member of Romance Writers of America, most notably the Greater Detroit Chapter where she served two terms as President.
I met Marianne through the Great Lakes Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. I was blessed to get to know this kind, talented, and cheerful author as we shared a booksigning at the local Blue Frog Books store in Howell, Michigan. Welcome, Marianne! So glad to have you on my blog this week.
Marianne is very kindly giving away an ebook copy of Christmas at Tiffany’s. Please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.
TWEET THIS: Marianne Evan’s interview at my new website. Like romance? Enter the giveaway for Christmas at Tiffany’s!
Welcome, Marianne! Please tell us about your latest book, Christmas at Tiffany’s.
I’d be delighted! Christmas at Tiffany’s is my love-song to New York City at Christmas, and it tells the story of two people trying to find ‘home’ and their God-ordained place in the world. Here’s the blurb:
All she wants for Christmas is her master’s degree. All he wants is a one-way plane ticket back to Los Angeles.
Tiffany Zelling’s mission is to become a crisis therapy counselor using specially trained animals as comfort tools. She’s focused on reaching the end of her school career, and nothing will stand in her way—not even a fantasy-world attraction to colleague Mitch Alexander.
After a year as interim Director of East Coast Operations Mitch’s tenure has been a resounding success. Now, he’s set to return to California and lay claim to a well-deserved promotion. He can’t wait to leave behind the cold and snowy darkness of Manhattan, but when corporate bullying and a massive snowfall throws him together with Tiffany Zelling, Mitch wonders if heading west is his best future.
As two hearts build a pathway to love, goals shift and evolve. But as Christmas joy and hope move through the streets of New York, critical decisions must be made. Can their lives truly meld? Can Christmas at Tiffany’s be God’s answer…for them both?
What led you to write Christian romance?
I suppose it’s best to say I didn’t ‘find’ Christian romance, Christian romance found me! It’s always been a calling, but at first I didn’t heed that pull. I’d been published in the secular world for quite a while with Kensington and Wild Rose Press. Life and creative circumstance led to me step away from my writing for a time, but I had always wanted to write Christian-themed stories. Thing is, I fell into the trap of thinking I wasn’t worthy of writing in the genre. I got over that lie from Satan the day I heard about a writing contest sponsored by Pelican Book Group. I had to give it a try. With my daughter’s help brainstorming a plot, I entered…and won! The prize was publication of the submitted book, and from there I’ve never looked back. Pelican is a top rate publisher with a fantastic stable of authors. I’m humbled and grateful to be part of that family.
How do you schedule or find time for your writing in your busy schedule? What does your average day look like?
By day (9 to 5…or 6 in lots of cases…) I work as a Business Services Administrator for a commercial real estate company. Once the workday is done, I’m at my desk, fingers to keyboard, working away on my latest project while hubby cooks. After dinner, it’s family time – with maybe some editing and e-mail ‘business.’ Weekends are when I can dedicate the most time to writing and efforts at blogging and staying connected to my readers. It takes tremendous discipline, but this means too much to me to compromise, so even when the words don’t come, or on the days when I don’t feel particularly productive, I keep pushing on. Nora Roberts said it so well: “The only thing you can’t edit is a blank page.” Fingers. To. Keyboard. That’s my mantra.
As a Christian author, what do you feel is the best way to weave God’s truth into your story?
I look at my writing as a ministry. I always try to focus on discernment—on listening to God’s voice as He gives me the messages/characters/scenes/circumstances He wants me to share through the gift of writing. My favorite author, Karen Kingsbury, said it best: “God gives me the story to tell, but he has my reader’s faces and hearts in mind.” That’s the kind of touch I hope to share through my books. God’s love through the written word.
What a beautiful way to look at your writing, Marianne!
Are you an introvert or extrovert? And why do you think this?
I see myself as a blend, really. I enjoy interaction and hanging with my family and friends, but there are also times when I love nothing more than sitting back, watching, and absorbing the world around me with nothing but silence and my imagination. I think I’m wired that way because there are definitely two aspects to my personality – some folks are ‘right’ brain, some are ‘left’ brain – I think I’m a bit of both.
What is your favorite book of the Bible? Would you care to share why?
I rely on the Gospel. I seek wisdom from Proverbs and the Psalms – every book of the Bible is precious to me for a variety of reasons, but if I had to pick a sentimental favorite, I’d have to choose the Book of Ruth. To my mind, it’s the most beautiful romance ever written. It touches my soul and comes alive in new ways every time I read it.
Thanks for sharing that. Ruth is a beautiful account of not only Ruth and Boaz’s romance, but also of God’s love and providence for sure.
So glad you came to visit my blog this week, Marianne!
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