See the interview with Page Turner Champion Debbie Roome here.

Annette Marie Griffin (www.annettemariegriffin.comhas been writing for most of her life, and is beginning to see publishing success. And now, her allegorical novel, The Crevice, has been named the Fiction runner-up in FaithWriters’ 2018 Page Turner Contest. Read on to learn more about Annette’s novel, her writing and reading joys, and more!

JOANNE SHER: First of all, congratulations on being the fiction runner up in the Page Turner contest! Can you tell us a bit about how you found out? What was your reaction?

ANNETTE GRIFFIN: Thank you so much! I’m honored and thrilled. I wish I could say that I’ve reached that quiet, confident place in my writing career where I nonchalantly entered this contestthen forgot about my submission until the unexpected notification of my win. But … um no. December 1st was blazoned in red on my desk calendar and embellished with stars, many of which were doodled every time I flipped the page to count the remaining days. Yes—among other lessons, God is busy teaching me the virtue of patience. And my writing pursuits seem to make the perfect training ground.

My fourteen-year-old daughter had an early basketball tournament the morning of December 1st. So while we scrambled about the house in an attempt to get her and ourselves ready, I dealt with the nag of anticipation. I wanted to know the resultsyet dreaded knowing. After we all loaded into the car I opened the FaithWriters page on my phone and saw the list of winners. With a high-pitched squeal I shared the great news with my family, and we all celebrated the win by stopping for a fancy coffee drink.

JOANNE: I wish I had been a fly on the ceiling of that car 😀 When do you first remember developing a passion/love for writing? Is writing a hobby or potential career for you? Or something else?

ANNETTE: I’ve had a knack for spinning creative yarns since I was old enough to string a few words together. That—combined with my general love of words led to a real enjoyment of writing. Knowing that God gives all good gifts, I’m trusting Him to open the doors He wants me to walk through to use this passion for His glory.

JOANNE: That is a fantastic attitude, I must say. Share a bit about The Crevice. Where did you get the idea for it? What is the story about? How far along in it are you?

ANNETTE: I started writing The Crevice ten years ago. It began as a short story designed as a teaching tool to illustrate the importance of unity within in the Body of Christ. I presented the story in narrative form at a churchwide ladies retreat. The idea was a novel one, but the execution was a flop—or so I thought. I was devastated after that retreat and vowed never to write again. But then—in the weeks following the retreat, every sermon from our church pulpit mirrored the message of my story. With the pastor having no prior knowledge about the topic or content of my story, that fact seemed incredible to me. Also, in the weeks following, lady after lady who had attended the retreat approached me and told me how God was using the truths contained in my story to change their hearts. They also began requesting copies of the story.

A few years later, the characters from that original short story became restless and began running allegorically wild through my imagination. As God continued to craft the story of my own life, He seemed to be giving these fictional characters a life of their own that paralleled the deep scriptural truths He was teaching me. I had to get the characters out of my head and onto a page or I would explode. So, I began writing—very poorly, but very diligently until one scene was exhausted and another emerged. This repeated seasonally for eight years.

Two years ago my husband purchased the registration to a small writers conference for me as a Christmas gift. God used that conference as a springboard for the next phase of my writing. He is so good! Within a year of that first conference, God provided an agent, connected me with key people, opportunities, and resources to help me improve and hone my writing skills, and gave me an ending for the novel. I am now learning to hold that finished novel (my baby) loosely in outstretched hands. May He use it for His glory.

Here’s a brief glimpse of the plot for The Crevice: Rose Kinsman is a small-town girl who will stop at nothing to hold her family together. But when tragedy strikes and rips her loved ones apart, survival becomes her only goal. Just when Rose believes all hope is lost, a mysterious stranger appears. He offers her a chance to leave behind her crumbling world and begin again in a foreign land.  

When Rose learns she is the adopted daughter of the King of Owlam and betrothed to his only son Chathan, she can scarcely believe the shocking news is true. But after spending time with Chathan through trials and triumphs, she discovers that although royal life is not what she expected, it’s far better than anything she could ever hope for or imagine.

The Crevice takes the reader on an allegorical, rags-to-riches journey through each stage of Christian living, using a divine romance as the vehicle.

JOANNE: What a story of perseverance your writing journey has been, and what a compelling plot! How did you find FaithWriters, and what has made you stick around?

ANNETTE: My agent suggested that I enter writing contests as a means to build my writing credentials. An online search led me to the 2018 FaithWriters Page Turner contest. After I submitted my entry I stuck around to take advantage of the amazing resources the site has to offer. Not only did I discover great instruction and guidance here but also became an instant fan of many other Christian writers—as I have participated in the weekly writing challenges.

JOANNE: So glad you are enjoying this place – and the Writing Challenge is SO special. What kinds of books or genres do you prefer to read and/or write?

ANNETTE: I prefer to read a variety of Christian genres. A few of my all-time favorite authors are CS Lewis, Francine Rivers, and Nancy Demoss Walgemuth. A few NEW favorites are Eva Marie Everson, Kim Vogel Sawyer, and Michelle Medlock Adams.

I am still trying to narrow down my writing genre. I have written several children’s books. One of them, titled What Is A Family?, has been contracted by Familius Publishing and will be released next year. I also wrote a middle grade fiction novel that is currently looking for a home, and The Crevice is being reviewed by several publishers.

JOANNE: Exciting about your book coming out – and praying blessings and favor on those being reviewed by publishers. Tell us about your family.

ANNETTE: My beloved husband and I have been married for 29 years. We have three amazing adult children, two precious grandbabies, and two incredible adopted fourteen-year-old kiddos still at home.

JOANNE: What are your other passions besides writing?

ANNETTE: I love listening to worshipful music, reading good books, spending time with my family, helping others grow in Christ, and creating and organizing fun and purposeful events.

JOANNE: It sounds like God has blessed you greatly, both in your writing and “regular” life. Thanks again for sharing with us, and congratulations once again. Have a fabulous Christmas season!

Watch for an interview with the non-fiction runner up, Lori Othouse, on the blog soon!

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