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RB: First let's tell the readers a bit about your story...what is your book about?
TP: It’s the story of Deborah from Judges 4 & 5. A judge in Israel at a time when such a thing was unheard of, Deborah has to use not just her skills as a true discerner of the truth in many strange cases. She must also learn to become a “woman of light” in a dark and desperate time in her nation’s history. And she has to learn to overcome her own struggles with loss and frustration to become all that God intends her to be. It’s a story of a beautiful love that endures the trials and separations that threaten to destroy it.
RB: Biblical Fiction isn't something I write but I like to read it. Why? Because I love the retelling of it in the full scope of a book with the depth of characters and setting. It literally brings the Bible alive for me. But I've always wondered...how do you know what to write about and how do you do research for something like that?
TP: I don’t think I decide. I think God does. I don’t sit down and plot out stories for days. He gives me my stories pretty much whole cloth. If it’s a biblical story like this one, I’m drawn to that story like a magnet, and I run to the commentaries to find out what they have to say. When the commentaries ignore or dismiss something as of little or no value, that’s a red flag to me. I don’t believe there is such a thing in the Bible as a story of no value. I think the problem is we don’t understand its value! Of course, my biblical novels have the basic plot already laid out for me. All I have to do with them is research, research, and more research. With Tokens of Promise, I studied Hebrew for an entire year just to be able to understand that one story. Because of the Internet, this one was much easier to research. I admit though, that I had much less to work with on this one, so there’s much more “novel” to it. Nevertheless, it taught me a lot! It’s all about the power of praise to get us through the toughest situations.
RB: Wow! You studied Hebrew for a year? I'd say you have quite the challenge on your hands at times...I'm glad this book didn't require that big of task! When you sit down and actually start writing, what's easiest about the process?
TP: Nothing! I’ve always said I was a writer who hates to write! I do blog once a week now, but I had never journaled, written notes, or done anything like that before. With me, it can’t be anything but a spiritual gift. Stories come to me, and I can’t rest until I get them written down. I couldn’t stop them any more than an extremely pregnant woman can avoid giving birth.
RB: Oh, Teresa! I'm sorry, I don't mean to laugh, but that's hilarious. You sound like me when I tell people I enjoy the editing process. People look at me like I'm crazy. I always tell my new crit partners not to sweat it if their crits look like someone took a meat grinder to them...that's what editing is for. (I have a tendency to mark the up quite a bit.) By the way, do you have any advice for a new writer out there?
TP: If this is truly what God has called you to do, give it everything you’ve got. You can’t do it for money, fame, glory, or any other thing but to honor Him, and to make His Name known. He is your audience of One. Write to please Him, and leave the results in His hands. He cares for you, and He will take care of you. Just be faithful and persevere.
TP: Since 1979. First novel published in 2013. As you can plainly see, I waited a long time. He is faithful to give us the desires of our hearts, but He does it in His own timing. And He’s always right on time!
RB: See what I mean? You put many years to your work before publication. Praise the Lord! He has delivered! And oh, how He has! Woman of Light looks to be an amazing book and I can't wait to read it. What do you think, folks? See, they agree! If you had one favorite part of this book, what would it be?
TP: My favorite part of Woman of Light is when Barak goes into Ehud’s house, and he’s so overwhelmed by the goodness of God that he bursts out into a song. This scene was a complete surprise to me. Writing it felt like I was writing an operetta. I almost didn’t do it because I wondered if people would think it was too cheesy. But it had to be that way. Praise became the major theme of the novel. I know now it’s the main reason God gave me this novel. It was a lesson I had learned in my own sorrows, and I was meant to share the power of praise to triumph over evil.
RB: Oh, that's so cool, and we all need a reminder that the Lord inhabits the praises of His people. We know you're a Christian. And we know you're an author. I never want to think of you as anything but a Christian, but what do you think you would be if you weren't a writer?
TP: I’m an old lady. I’ve done lots of things in my life, from cleaning toilets to speaking to a few thousand people at a state Baptist convention. I was a TV production assistant for a local NBC station, helped manage retail stores, worked in the Hollins College library, did Children’s ministry at my church for three years, taught Sunday School for 40+ years, and have just started teaching an ESL class. I’ve also been on five mission trips, and shared my testimony and the gospel wherever I’ve been. I will go wherever God sends me, and do whatever He calls me to do.
RB: You've had an amazing life so far, Teresa and you will continue to do so. I have no doubt about it. With the Lord as your Shepherd, how can you go wrong? Because if you do, He'll always find you and bring you home. I know just by your testimony and writing that you love the Bible, but I have one last question for you. What's your favorite book and where do you like to the read the most? (I guess that's two questions...oops!)
TP: I’m a voracious reader. I always have been. Other than the Bible, picking a favorite would be like asking me to choose one of my children. I like to read in bed, but it’s certainly not limited to there. Once I rode to Pennsylvania on the back of Wade’s motorcycle, and I had a book in my hand the whole way. Apparently people were turning their heads and pointing like that was the funniest thing they ever saw. I’d just wave at them and go back to my book.
RB: You know, I can't read in our car. I've tried and I get the worst headache ever! I may just have to try it on a motorcycle. Think I can talk my husband into it? Thanks for joining us on the Coffee Corner, Teresa. It's been a pleasure getting to know you better. I can't wait to read Woman of Light for next month's Faithful Review!
Teresa's Special Giveaway
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About the Book, Woman of Light:
Ehud, Israel’s great judge, is dead. He must have been out of his mind with sickness to prophesy that his granddaughter Deborah would judge Israel. Just who does she think she is? Doesn’t she know Sisera’s iron chariots threaten to annihilate the fledgling nation? And Barak? A poor man who can barely feed his own family. What kind of a God would choose two such improbable people to lead His people to battle?
About the Author, Teresa Pollard:
Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years. She is the co-author of Not Guilty and Not Ashamed, and the author of Tokens of Promise and Woman of Light. Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia.
She blogs every Tuesday at http://teresatalkstaboo.wordpress.com. Follow her on Facebook at TeresaPollard, Author.
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