Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Harriet E. Michael

Good morning, dear reader! I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Harriet E. Michael. Harriet is a wife, mother, grandmother and writer. You can find out more about Harriet and her books on Facebook, Amazon Author Page, and her Blog.

Good morning, Harriet. Welcome! Please, tell us a little about yourself.

Harriet MichaelI was born in the jungles of Africa, the daughter of missionaries. I really was. My parents were missionaries to Nigeria, West Africa and I was born in the Niger River Delta in a little jungle village called Joinkrama. The place of my birth, at that time, had elephants roaming around, monkeys in the trees, crocodiles in the river, and cannibals nearby.

We moved to the city of Ogbomoso when I was three. It was in a part of the country that was not in the tropical rain forest, not in the jungle. I loved Ogbomoso, and all of my childhood memories are from there. I lived through a few years of war—the Biafran War that started in 1967 and lasted until 1970. My family left Nigeria in the summer of ’68 when our term ended, and we did not return. I missed my home so badly! My 5th grade year in the states was one of the unhappiest of my life. I just kept wanting to go home.

A couple of years later, we moved to WV where my dad started a medical practice. I adjusted and grew to love WV & the US. My senior year of high school I was a cheerleader, and my school’s football team won the AAA state championship—still one of the highlight moments of my life.

In ’79 I married John R. Michael to whom I am still married. We have shared many experiences, all of which are fodder for writing. One of the experiences we shared was a time when he served on the board of Trustees of Southern Seminary from 1984-1994. It was a very interesting time, and he had a significant role in some changes that occurred at the seminary then. And like I said, its fodder for writing and is, in fact, the subject of a book we have co-written and are currently seeking a publisher.

But I’m jumping the gun …

I began writing in 2009 and have found my passion in life. I think I have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I write mostly nonfiction (both books and small pieces—articles, devotions, etc.) I do have one novel released last March. It is a fiction based on fact, based on the lives and love of my parents.

Today, I have a growing list of published credits (over 150 articles, devotions, stories in anthologies, etc.) and have authored or co-authored six books, three are published, and three are in the process. I am also contracted to co-writing another that will hopefully be released sometime next year.

Prayer It's not about youI am signed under the nonfiction arm of Write Integrity Press, called Pix-N-pens. They published my first book, Prayer: It’s Not About You, my co-writer’s first book, Study Guide of Prayer a companion to my book, and are in the process of publishing two more in our prayer series.

Shirley Crowder, my co-writer, is a childhood friend who used to live across the dirt road from me in Ogbomoso. We played together nearly every day. She teased once and said, “The pickings were slim as far as playmates went on that African mission compound back then.” That may have been true, but God used it to make us friends for life. 😊

Way to go, Harriet! As you know, this month’s theme is self-control. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatian 5:22-23. It is also often spoken of in passages describing leadership. Certainly, it is a desirable practice to learn.

Well said! On to the next questions. Life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to have self-control? How did you overcome?

One of my struggles with self-control happens when I encounter opinions that differ from mine, especially strong opinions. I see this often on Facebook. I have friends on both sides of issues, whether political, social, or whatever. I too have my own strong opinions, but I have worked at controlling my urge to proclaim them loudly across Facebook, especially when it means blasting against someone else’s opinion. It seems to me that this usually only results in arguments.

I have a couple of friends in particular who come to my mind. I am sometimes saddened to see their often rude-sounding, ugly, criticism of political figures or positions they disagree with.  I think there is a difference between standing one’s ground (which I willingly do, but usually in person) and stirring up people to anger.

When I see these, I’ll admit that many rebuttals come into my mind, but I hold back and tell myself to “walk away.” Consequently, I have maintained my friendships with people whom I could easily have had many heated arguments. Some feel that the arguments are simply good debates, I hold to Romans 12:18, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Those are definitely words to live by. Let’s talk writing. In what genre do you write and how does your faith influence your writing?

I am a nonfiction writer at heart, and almost all of my writing has been nonfiction, especially Biblical nonfiction. This is one reason, my childhood friend Shirley and I became co-writers in so many books, she too loves to write Biblical nonfiction—books and articles that focus on Bible passages or concepts.

Harriet Michael bookBut I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed writing my novel, The Whisper of the Palms. It has had a good reception, sold well, and I have readers asking for a sequel, so who knows? Maybe some future day, I will write another fiction.

I love nonfiction and fiction also! Harriet, thank you for taking the time to visit with us.

If you’re looking for a fiction or nonfiction book, be sure to add Harriet’s to your TBR list!

 

 

 

 

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Faithful Is Our God

Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet who warned Judah of the coming captivity due to their unfaithfulness to God. He was rejected by his king, the priests, prophets, and his own people. He was placed in a miry pit and carried to Egypt. Yet here is a man that declared, “Great is thy faithfulness.”

How could he declare God’s faithfulness when everything around him screamed the opposite?

Because Jeremiah’s eyes did not rest upon his surroundings.

It takes faith to look beyond the veil of circumstance, whether it is heartache or loss, to say, “Great is thy faithfulness.”

faith

How is your faith this September morn? What are you thankful for in your current circumstances?

Me? I’m thankful for electricity this morn. I’m glad I have running water. I’m grateful that even though we have minor damages, most can be fixed. We are safe. Irma is gone. And I’m praying for all those who are still dealing with the aftermath of this storm, Harvey, and the fires.

I pray because, like Jeremiah, I believe God is faithful. And while we face the trials and tests in this life, He promises He’ll see us through until the end. And that, dear reader, is what Jeremiah understood.

Have faith, dear friend. Peek over the veil and see. In the end, all will be well because of His faithfulness!

 

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Women of Faith and Fiction~Dawn Kinzer

Good morning, friends!

Today we welcome author and editor, Dawn Kinzer! Dawn is a contributor to one of my favorite blogs, Seriously Write. Please show her some love by sharing and/or leaving a comment.

Dawn, please tell us a little about yourself.

Dawn Kinzer Headshot - Size 460Sure! I’m a wife and a mother of two grown daughters. I also have a grown stepdaughter. I absolutely adore my three grandchildren, ages 3 ½, 19 months, and 8 months.

Born in the Midwest, I grew up in a rural Wisconsin town (population of 500), then lived in the Minneapolis area for some years before moving to the Seattle area twenty-three years ago. I love the Pacific Northwest! Sandwiched between the ocean and the mountains, we’re surrounded by nature’s beauty.

I’d never thought of myself as being entrepreneurial, but discovered after working for non-profit organizations—and corporations where the dollar was the bottom line—the right path for me was to venture out on my own. In 2010, I launched Faithfully Write Editing, and I’ve been serving writers as a freelance editor since.

Although I enjoy helping others, I’m able to fulfill my creative needs through my own writing. I’ve been making up stories since I was a young child, and I can’t imagine a world without books. An added bonus of having grandchildren—I’m revisiting some of my favorite children’s stories, and I’m discovering many new ones!

I’m so glad you launched out on your own, Dawn. I love your books! And I’m sure you enjoy seeing those grandchildren. O what sweet goodness! Of course, you know this month’s theme is goodness. Please share your thoughts with our readers.

Goodness comes from God. When a person does something out of the goodness of her heart, she does it simply out of love and kindness. It embodies unselfishness. The motive is pure—there is no agenda. There is no expectation of getting something in return.

“It embodies unselfishness.” Love that answer! Now, life is a continual journey of learning, applying, and transforming. Have you ever experienced a season when you found it difficult to do good for others? How did you overcome? 

I’ve actually experienced several seasons when it was difficult to do good for others. The first—while I was going through a divorce. My only concern then was for my two daughters and their well-being. I didn’t have enough emotional energy to focus on anyone else for a while.

The second—when my nineteen-year-old stepdaughter died in a car accident. The shock initially numbed us. Then we started working through the stages of grief. She was a beautiful girl with so much potential, and even though we knew her faith was strong and that gave us comfort, her death was still devastating.When you’re grieving, there’s nothing left to give others. It becomes a season when you need others pouring into you. Fortunately, I have a great support system of friends and family. Along with that, trusting that God is still in control and has a plan has always helped me overcome difficult times.

Hope's Design ~ Dawn KinzerI came out of those seasons with new perspectives and stronger empathy for what other people experience, whether it’s similar or other hurtful situations, and I’ve been able to offer support when they’ve needed a little “goodness” in their lives.

Oh, Dawn, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It’s true when we have seasons of heartache we gain “perspectives and stronger empathy” for others. You are an awesome friend and encourager! Your actions prove that! Now, in what genre do you write, and how does your faith influence your writing?

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I’ve had devotions and articles published in books and magazines, and I’ve written numerous blog posts. But, I’ll confess . . . I’m passionate about fiction. I currently have two novels published in my historical romance series, The Daughters of Riverton, and I’m working on the third book in that series.

My faith is the foundation of my writing. I believe the written word can bring laughter and tears. It can comfort, challenge, teach, and inspire. I truly believe that story can change lives, and I use it to share God’s unconditional love with readers.

I agree with you. Stories can change lives! Dawn, thank you so much for sharing you heart with us. I’m looking forward to the third installment of the Daughters of Riverton. Happy writing, my friend!

To learn more about Dawn Kinzer and her books please visit:

Website

Facebook

Google+

Amazon author page

 

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