Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Sylvia Stewart

Good morning! I hope cooler temps have come your way and you’re able to snuggle up with your favorite blanket to enjoy a warm cuppa. If not, never fear. If your region skips fall, winter is on the way. 🙂

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Women of Faith and Fiction. This morning I have the pleasure of introducing you to author Sylvia Stewart.

Personal

Sylvia please tell us a little about yourself.

Gail Johnson interviews Sylvia Stewart for Women of Faith and FictionSylvia Stewart grew up in the (then) Belgian Congo. Later, she spent 21 years as an Assemblies of God missionary in Malawi, East Africa, with her husband, Duane. While there, she taught some writing workshops, which are now bearing fruit. She started writing Kondi’s Quest to weave a story for the children of Malawi.

In 1992 Sylvia and Duane were asked to go to Ethiopia to found a Bible College. They spent 11 years there, doing mostly Bible College ministry. Sylvia taught college-level English to students who had never taken a grammar class before.

Since retiring from their mission assignment in 2001, Sylvia has published five books. The Mysteries in Malawi series–Kondi’s Quest, Kondi’s Joy, and Kondi’s Secret tells the story of a Malawian girl who struggles both physically and spiritually.

 She has also written two novellas in her Sweet Romances series:  Seattle Rayne and Montana Skye, which is published in a boxed set of seven Christmas novellas called Wonderland Wishes. Montana Skye will be published separately later in 2018.

Wow! You’ve had an exciting life, Sylvia. Let’s talk about your writing journey. Where did you get the idea for your latest WIP or your current release? And what inspired you to choose the setting of your story?

Professional

Since I lived in Malawi for 21 years, it was an easy choice to write a story set in such a beautiful country that tags itself as “The Warm Heart of Africa.” Kondi’s Quest began as a solo novel for pre-teens, and it took me 24 years to complete it and get it into publishable form. Kondi seemed to want more of her story told, so Kondi’s Joy and Kondi’s Secret followed. Kondi is a fictional character, but she is based on Malawian girls that I knew. Her country and culture is as accurately described as possible to the Malawi that I knew and loved.

Seattle Rayne was also an easy choice. I lived in the Seattle area. Also, the female protagonist was a missionary’s daughter who now lived in the USA trying to make her own way in life—an experience that I had gone through, too.  Montana Skye followed as a sequel.

I can see that you loved your work and time in Malawi. Tell me, what is your favorite thing to do when not writing?

I used to do a lot of handwork – crocheting, needlepoint, knitting, cross-stitch and embroidery. I’ve always enjoyed reading a quality novel or a biography. I enjoy a clean movie, but nowadays they are so difficult to find, so recently I most often pick up a book.

I enjoy crocheting and reading too. Please share a writing quirk—a ‘must have’ or a ‘must do’ to get words down on paper.

I usually keep plodding on through a writing stint, even when things are not to my satisfaction, since I figure I can fix what’s lacking in the re-write. However, once in a while I get completely stuck. Then I find that writing by hand for 20 to 30 minutes will start the story flowing again. I often have a cup of coffee at hand, too.

I agree with writing by hand. My first draft is written by hand. Last question. This year’s theme is First Things First. Setting our priorities is a must if we’re to be about our Father’s business. What advice would you offer someone struggling to spend time with Him? And, how has spending time with Him changed your life?

Inspirational

Spending time with the Lord is essential for a Christian writer. I find that I need to do that first thing in the morning, or other items intrude and I slide through another day without contact with the Lord. I have a Bible reading plan, and enjoy reading through the Bible each year. However, that was a long time in coming to fulfillment. When I was a young mother, it seemed there was no time for anything other than my husband, the children, and housework. I’ve learned to waken early each day in order to spend time with the Lord.

It’s also wonderful to have other Christian authors to consult with. I belong to Northwest Christian Writers Association which meets once a month. I’m also part of a critique group. If we are unable to meet once a month, we can always contact each other through e-mails for advice. It really helps, on non-productive days, to know that others have experienced the same thing and that you have friends who care about your writing and are praying for you.

This year, I plan to set up a prayer team to cover my writing.

Thank you, Gail, for contacting me and inviting me to be with you. God bless you and anoint you as you write for Him.

Sylvia, thank you so much for joining me today. I enjoyed talking with you, my friend.

Click to Tweet: “Spending time with the Lord is essential for a Christian writer.” Sylvia Stewart on Women of Faith and Fiction @GailJohnson87 @SylviaStewart3 #interview


Sylvia’s Book Links

The Mysteries in Malawi Series

Kondi’s Quest
Kondi’s Joy
Kondi’s Secret

Sweet Romances

Seattle Rayne
Montana Skye


About the Author

Sylvia Stewart grew up in the (then) Belgian Congo. Later, she spent 21 years as an Assemblies of God missionary in Malawi, East Africa, with her husband, Duane. While there, she taught some writing workshops, which are now bearing fruit. She started writing Kondi’s Quest to weave a story for the children of Malawi.

In 1992 Sylvia and Duane were asked to go to Ethiopia to found a Bible College. They spent 11 years there, doing mostly Bible College ministry. Sylvia taught college-level English to students who had never taken a grammar class before.

You can contact Sylvia at these social media sites:

Facebook
Facebook author
Twitter
Website

8 thoughts on “Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Sylvia Stewart

  1. Great interview, ladies! Sylvia has lived an exciting life. I have a feeling she has a lot more planned, too! I agree, clean movies are few and far between. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I went to the movie theater. Thanks for the introduction, Gail!

  2. I love that Sylvia said “Spending time with the Lord is essential for a Christian writer.” It’s really essential for all of us, too! Great interview!

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