Inspirational author Vanessa Davis Griggs is with us today. Her 13th novel, FOREVER SOUL TIES, releases on December 27, 2011. Before you run over to pre-order her new title, let’s see what else she’s been up to.
Welcome, Vanessa! Tell us about your most recent work.
My latest release is REDEEMING WATERS. It’s a contemporary novel based on the story of Bathsheba and David with Brianna Waters and mega gospel recording artist King d.Avid. December 27, 2011, my novel FOREVER SOUL TIES releases. It’s about a woman caught in the act of adultery. FOREVER SOUL TIES is a powerful novel that will definitely challenge readers where and no matter who they are.
What message do you want readers to take away from the story?
In FOREVER SOUL TIES, as with all of my novels, I want people to see the humanness we all possess. To know that there well may be times when we miss it, mess up, or others mess up with us. That we might not always get it right…be or do things perfect. But God loves us, He’ll forgive us, and He truly wants the best for us and from us.
There are a lot of names going around for the type of fiction you write—Christian fiction, inspirational fiction, gospel fiction, you name it. How do you characterize your writing and why?
Generally I just say I write fiction. I am a Christian who writes what I know, and what I know is that Jesus is the Christ and Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. I know that Christ can help you through whatever you might be going through. I always say that what’s in you is what will come out. Christ is in my heart and that’s what comes out in my writing. So I don’t mind people labeling my work Christian fiction. I often say that you can’t even spell Christian without Christ. So for me, Christian fiction highlights Christ.
I’ve loved to read since I was a little girl. When I was in the sixth grade, I read several books (one being THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MISS JANE PITTMAN), that caused me to say I would love to write books that make people feel the way I felt reading those books. When I began to write on a serious note, I wanted to write stories that reflected the world I knew: one with black men who absolutely loved God, their families, their wives, and did what they could to take care of their family. I also wanted to see a story with a minister who loved God and not only wanted to, but uncompromisingly, did God’s will.
What does writing as ministry mean to you?
It means serving those who will read/hear the book I’ve penned in a way that inspires and encourages them to keep going. It means not always doing what’s popular or expedient in garnering the most money, but being obedient to what God is telling me to write, the way He’s telling me to write it. Before I ever write a word, I pray for God to lead me and direct me which way I should go. By definition: to minister (which should be part of any ministry) means to serve. And I am serving God and serving people with hope, faith, and love (along with entertainment and some drama) in what I am called to do.
What has been the greatest reward of your writing career?
My greatest reward is hearing from people who tell me how much what I wrote changed their lives and in some cases, some having said my writing saved their lives. Knowing that in what I do, my labor is not in vain, and that I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life. That’s the greatest reward I’ve received.
What has been the greatest challenge of your writing career?
The greatest challenge has and is even now getting the word out on a large scale that a book is available. I often say: If a book is written and no one knows, does it make any difference? Yes, many people know about my books (the reach has become worldwide), but the challenge is getting more people to know these books exist. And that requires figuring out ways to get the word to the people wherever they are.
I know you do a lot of speaking engagements. Can you tell us the kinds of groups you speak to and your topics? How would readers get you to speak to their groups and do you have a standard fee?
I speak to all types of groups as I fashion my presentations toward the group I’m speaking. I do lots of workshops for writing and relationships. I speak at churches for seminars and main speaker bringing the Word. I’ve spoken at schools, colleges and universities as well as businesses on topics such as success and dreams. As for my fee: it has a lot to do with what I’m having to do, with what group, and the amount of time required/requested. But I’m great with working with folks.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Give us some last words.
Thank you so much for this Angela! I would like to encourage people to dream a dream bigger than yourself, then follow that dream until it has manifested. In the Bible, Joseph the Dreamer dreamed a dream. Just know that not everyone is going to support you or be happy for you (including family sometimes). You may go through something on your way to what God has promised you. But if you’ll keep the right attitude and continue on, what God promised, WILL come to pass! The race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong; but to that person who endures until the end. Never give up; stay in faith!
Thanks for spending time with us, Vanessa. Now we’re going to head over and pre-order our copies of FOREVER SOUL TIES.