Thursday, May 7, 2015

Author Interview: Elaine Mingus

Hi Elaine! Welcome to Dancing In His Reign. I'm so glad to have you on my blog! Tell us a little about yourself and your recently published novel, Without REGRET.
I'm honored to be interviewed and sharing your space in the blogosphere.

I was a heroine addict that miraculously got saved one night by demanding a Bible from two elderly women who I must have scared half to death. I immediately started telling people that I'd met the "REAL Jesus" not just the one that was far away, but the one that wanted a personal relationship with me.

I quickly learned that people weren't as impressed as I wanted them to be with my Good News so I turned to writing fiction books as a way to get the message out.

I have been married for 12 years and we have six children (11, 7, 5, 4, 2, and 11 months). I blog regularly at SuperRadChristianWriterChick.com.

What gave you the inspiration to write Without REGRET?
Honestly, it was inspired by frustration. After having our fourth child, I wanted to have more children right away, but my husband wasn't on board.

After soul searching, I finally became satisfied with waiting. I lost all the baby weight, bought my first real bathing suit in 10 years and started performing and writing more. I was enjoying the freedom that my writing outlet (and non-pregnant body) gave me. But all of a sudden, I started feeling nauseous. I was pregnant again. I was a little frustrated to say the least.

I began thinking about writing a story out of that frustration. So many women have God-given dreams that are at odds with their God-given realtity struggling to find satisfaction between their God-given dreams and their God-given reality. I wanted to show how that struggle plays out in story form.

Why did you decide to be an author?
I'm one of those people who always knew they wanted to be a writer. I've been writing poems and short stories since I was in second grade. I typed them out on our monotone Apple computer and would illustrate poetry chapbooks.

How has your faith played into your writing?
Actually, it's the other way around. My writing played a major part into my faith. It was the deciding factor in my conversion story. I had been writing a book that had a lot of apocalyptic terminology.

Like I said before, I demanded a Bible from some elderly ladies. I wanted to do research for my story, but when I went into the church the heavy chapel doors compelled me to go inside and pray. When I saw the crucifix of Jesus, it hit me. Something was missing from my life and there it was -- hanging from a tree! At the same time that I saw the depth of my sin, I saw the depth of HIS grace!

How do you manage being an author while homeschooling six kids?
It's hard, but I believe that motherhood burns off the 'dross' of our lives, meaning that only the things that are worthy of our time actually remain. I don't get to do most of the ideas in my head which is frustrating, but writing is the cream that rises to the top whenever I find free time. Also, I believe it is important to prioritize -- doing the most necessary things first and keeping the lesser priorities until later.

Actually, you'd be surprised at how much free time I have. My children play well together and are entertained by each other. I think having two or three kids is harder than having six.

What is the hardest part for you about writing a book?
Editing and promoting. Often people forget that writing the book is the fun part. It takes discipline, but at least it's enjoyable. Editing takes discipline and it's painful. Not a good combination. Promotion is hard because social media is a fickle beast and the market is saturated with books. It's hard to break through on your marketing efforts.

What is the funnest part?
Having the hard copy in my hand, of course! It's thrilling to feel all my hard work finally has produced fruit.

Which of your characters do you most identify with?
Cora. She's a mother of three with the dream of singing that intersects her desire to be a good mother and wife. That's me in a nut shell.

What is your favorite book and why?
For fiction, I love Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Francine Rivers does a great job of integrating the message of the gospel into her stories without being cheesy.

For non-fiction, I'm a sucker for missionary stories. My favorite is Heavenly Man by Brother Yun.

Do you have any future plans for your writing career?
Yes, I'm working on a couple ideas, but the one I'm most excited about is a line of Junie B. Jones style books with a Christian twist. They are inspired by my second oldest daughter who loves to read. The Christian market doesn't really have a good option for her age so usually moms are forced into the secular market that might not uphold the values we ascribe to.

What is your advice for aspiring authors?
Just keep swimming.


Thanks so much for being on my blog! Any concluding thoughts about authorship, motherhood, life in general or anything completely off topic? ;)
If you want to be the best at anything, surround yourself with people who are swimming in the same direction as you. I cannot express enough the importance of community -- whether it be a group of Godly moms or writers. We were meant for fellowship. Don't be an island. You cannot do this life by yourself.

Thanks for having me. It's fun to flesh out my own thoughts with you! Sometimes we don't realize what we think until someone asks us a poignant question. All these questions were fabulous and thought-provoking!

You can buy my ebook on Amazon.com for $3.99 by clicking here!


Before you leave this interview:
1. Be sure to check out my previous post, which asks the deeply important question, "Are you living a life without REGRET?"

2. As always please COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT your thoughts on living a life without regret or on any of the topics either I or Elaine have brought up in this interview! 

3. Be looking for my upcoming review of Without REGRET!