Free to Use Christian Articles

Interview with award-winning bestselling author Dan Walsh

Dan Walsh is the award-winning and bestselling author of eight novels, published by Revell and Guideposts, including The Unfinished Gift, Remembering Christmas and The Reunion. Reviewers often compare Dan’s books to Nicholas Sparks. His latest project is a 4-book fiction series with Gary Smalley. The first book, The Dance, just released in April. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Dan now writes fulltime in Port Orange, FL. He and his wife Cindi have been married 36 years. You can email him or follow him on Facebook or Twitter. There are buttons to connect to these on his website at

I (interviewer, Lynda Schab) had the pleasure of meeting Dan and his wife at a writer’s conference a few years ago, when his first book (The Unfinished Gift) was just coming out. It’s been fun to watch his career take off, and I’ve enjoyed every one of his books so far. Now, he answers a few questions about his own writing journey, and offers a bit of encouragement for not-yet-published authors.

LYNDA SCHAB: You recently retired from twenty-five years as an ordained pastor of one church. While many pastors seem to write non-fiction books, we don’t hear of many who go on to write novels. Have you always wanted to write fiction or was this something that God suddenly dropped into your heart? Continue Reading…

1 Comment

An Interview with YA Author Nicole O’Dell

Nicole O’Dell is an author, speaker, wife and mother of six — including a set of triplets! I (interviewer Lynda Schab) met Nicole a few years ago through an online critique group. She had just signed a contract with Barbour Publishing for her first book series, Scenarios for Girls, an interactive fiction series for tweens about the tough choices they face every day. Since then, Nicole has gone on to publish several more fictional books (including her most recent series, Diamond Estates), as well as non-fiction and devotionals for young girls and teens. She is also a sought-after speaker and founder of the successful CHOOSENOW Ministries, which includes an annual mother-daughter conference in Chicago. If you have teens, or know someone who does, I encourage you to visit her website ( It contains loads of excellent information for parents and teens.

In the meantime, Nicole has graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her journey to publication, the writing life, and how she does it all!

nicoleodellLYNDA SCHAB: As the author of several YA books focused on the choices that tween and teen girls are faced with every day, it’s obvious that you have a heart for girls of this age. Was there one particular event that sparked your passion or did it evolve gradually?

NICOLE O’DELL: I do have a heart for teen and pre-teen girls. I think it’s because I suffered through those years and want to help girls avoid the same mistakes I made and not have to face the angst that resulted.

Continue Reading…


An Interview with Award-Winning Fiction Author DiAnn Mills

Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn’s first book was published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books published.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

AND, she has graciously offered to answer some questions for the folks at FaithWriters. So, read on to hear more about her writing process, advice for new writers, and more!

JOANNE SHER: How/where do you get ideas for your books?

DiANN MILLS: My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere: media stories, conversations, genealogy twists, sermons, and my wild imagination. The Chase came from a solved cold case from Houston’s FBI.

JOANNE: Ideas really can be found anywhere, can’t they? How did you first get published?

DiANN: Persistence and determination. I sold my first book, and I have yet to figure out how it all happened. 🙂 I had a friend who offered to pitch it to an editor, and I agreed. The story of how I got started writing is more amusing. One day my husband said, “Stop telling me that someday you’re going to write a book. Just do it. Quit your job and write. If you can get anything published in a year, then you don’t have to go back to work.” I’m pretty stubborn so I accepted his challenge. Two years later, my first novel was released.

Continue Reading…


An Interview with Multi-Published Author Loree Lough

Author Loree Lough has nearly 4,000,000 (yes, that’s FOUR MILLION) copies of her books in circulation. She has had 88 books published, three novels optioned for movies, more books slated for release between now and 2013, 68 short stories, over 2,500 articles in print, and 9,000 letters from fans. How’s that for a resume’!

Needless to say, Loree Lough knows a little something about this writing thing. Join interviewer and FaithWriters member, Lynda Lee Schab, as she chats with Loree about her writing, the world of publishing, and what it takes to be successful in this business.

LYNDA: Loree, I have gotten to know you over the past few years as we worked together on a novella project, and then I had the honor of you writing an endorsement for my debut novel. I have to say I have been totally blown away by your professionalism, your insight, and your encouragement. And I’m thrilled at this chance to find out even more about you and pick your brain a bit.

So let me start by asking, have you always wanted to be an author or did your love for writing come on gradually?

LOREE: First, I want to thank you for this invitation! I’m looking forward to meeting new people and getting better acquainted with folks who follow your blog!

As for the whole “When I knew I wanted to be an author” thing, well, once upon a time, I dreamed of being a ballerina. Alas, I quickly discovered that I was too short. Maybe a stewardess? Nope, too nearsighted. FBI agent, then…. Too short and too nearsighted. <sigh> Aren’t we blessed to live in a world, today, where a girl can be just about anything she wants to be…if she’s willing to work for it!

So the answer to the question is that I didn’t realize I wanted to write until I accepted a temporary position as a neighborhood correspondent. All it took to change my “temporary” to “until infinity and beyond” were editorial compliments that went hand in hand with assignments to write feature stories. One article led to another, and soon, editors at other publications were calling with “Can you write about [this] by Tuesday?” inquiries. And thus began my love of writing.

By the time the Fiction Addiction bug bit me a couple of years later, I was too far gone to say no!

Continue Reading…


An Interview With Award-Winning Author Philip Yancey

We at FaithWriters are immensely privileged and blessed to get some first-hand insight from multi-published, bestselling Christian author Philip Yancey.

Read on to learn about Mr. Yancey’s writing process, his advice for new writers, and more.

JOANNE SHER: Where do you get ideas for your books and articles?

PHILIP YANCEY: Most start with a question that I have, one to which I don’t know the answer. If I knew the answer, of course, I’d be bored within a few weeks. As a result, many of my books have titles that pose a question (What Good Is God?, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?). And often I’ll hear from readers who point out something I’d never thought of or suggest another line of inquiry—that comment will spark my interest and soon I’ll be off on another project. Reading also enters in. I’ll find myself reading in a certain field and then thinking, “I should write about that…”

JOANNE: How did you get your first book published?

YANCEY: I had the advantage of working for a magazine, Campus Life, and as a result I knew some of the people involved in book publishing. I had written hundreds of articles, yet the idea of writing a whole book was intimidating. My very first book, long out of print, was called After the Wedding and told the stories of twelve couples and the problems they faced in the first five years of marriage. I approached it as a collection of articles, unable to carry around the burden of anything longer than an article. The next book, Where Is God When It Hurts, came out of my interviews with people who felt confused by fellow Christians’ mixed advice on the issue of suffering. Getting that first book published is a huge hurdle; surmount that and you’re on your way.

JOANNE: How do you improve your writing?

YANCEY: Two ways: 1) I read voraciously, and try to read writers who have something to teach me about style as well as content. 2) I have a few, very few, trusted friends who will edit me with a scowl. Most people want you to feel good so they give you compliments about your writing, and these don’t help at all (except emotionally). Really, you need some grouches to edit your work.

Continue Reading…


Interview with Non-fiction Author, Teena M. Stewart

TEENA M. STEWART has served in ministry leadership for years, most recently at Northgate Christian Fellowship in Benicia, California and at Java Journey Coffee Shop Ministry in Hickory, North Carolina ( where she and her husband, Jeff, an ordained minister, currently serve in market place ministry. Teena’s published articles have appeared in Leadership, Discipleship Journal, Ministry Magazine and many other publications. Book credits include Successful Small Groups from Concept to Practice (Beacon Hill), co-authoring The World’s Easiest Pocket Guide to Money and Marriage with Jeff Stewart and Larry Burkett and contributions to several anthologies, most recently Follow Your Dreams (Thomas Nelson).

Teena is also an artist and jewelry designer. Visit her art website at In addition, she uses her administrative and creative skills to oversee Safe Harbor Rescue Mission’s Resource Warehouse and Gallery

For more info on Teena’s writing visit

Tina’s latest book is Benevolence: Ministry to the Poor and Needy (Beacon Hill, 2011). Here’s a brief synopsis:

A sign of Christian maturity is our willingness to look beyond our own needs to care for the needs of others. Scripture references more than 2,000 passages regarding the poor and needy. Giving back is clearly important to God.

Many want to care for the poor and disadvantaged but don’t know how to connect with needs. Others may already be giving back, but need guidance to prevent them from doing a disservice to themselves or those they assist. Still others struggle with how to launch and/or manage benevolence ministries. Ministry leader and author Teena Stewart responds to these challenges in her book Benevolence: Ministry to the Poor and Needy which encourages and equips Christians for effective benevolence ministry.

The book’s unique accompaniments includes interviews with individuals involved in  benevolence ministries across the nation as well as how-to advice for developing benevolence teams and boards. The wealth of information covers sample mission statements, guidelines, policies and procedures, resources, outreach ideas, promotional ideas, an appendix of benevolence resources, and chapter questions to help readers reflect on best benevolence practices related to benevolence ministry.

The book targets benevolence-minded individuals seeking to improve how they minister to the needy, plus pastors and church leaders wishing to motivate and equip congregational members in the realm of benevolence.

Learn more from Teena and her book as she answers a few questions in the interview below:

Continue Reading…

Comments Off on Interview with Non-fiction Author, Teena M. Stewart

Marketing for Christian Authors

Marketing your books can be scary, and difficult, for writers – perhaps especially Christian ones. Well, Sarah Bolme knows all about it. In fact, she wrote an award-winning book on the subject – a book that she is offering to FaithWriters’ members for a discount (click here for details).

Read on to learn about Sarah’s journey, her award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace (with a foreward by Sally Stuart), and marketing tips you can use now!

JOANNE SHER: Hi Sarah, and thanks for talking with us. Tell me about your experience with publishing and marketing Christian books.

SARAH BOLME: I remember from the time I was in high school, that one of the goals for my life was to be a published author. I’m not sure why I had that goal, since I never really was into writing—but very into reading. I had my first article published in a professional journal after college. Later, I had some colleagues encourage me to get a curriculum I had developed on anger management published.SarahPic

Thus, I began the process of attempting to get a book published. Not knowing much about what I was doing, I mailed my manuscript to numerous publishers, received many rejection letters, and one acceptance letter. One acceptance letter is all it takes. My first two books were published by a traditional publishing house that paid royalties.

After my first child was born, I was frustrated because I could not find board books for babies that talked about Jesus. Most were on Old Testament stories. My husband and I came up with a set of four board books on Jesus for infants and toddlers and attempted to find a publisher. When we were unable to secure a publishing contract, my husband suggested that we self-publish the books. From there, CREST Publications was born, and Baby Bible Board Books: Stories of Jesus was published in 2003.

Continue Reading…

Comments Off on Marketing for Christian Authors

Big Goals and Interview Tips

Big Goals and Interview Tips

By Lizzy Ainsworth

I’ve been hearing a lot lately how we need to set ourselves some crazy goals, to go further than what we thought we could and think outside our little box or blog.

So I set a goal, and maybe I’ve set the timeline too close, but by Mother’s Day next year, I want to interview a specific best-selling author and a very popular blogger.  I’m not mentioning names, because it’s just a pipe dream at the moment.

I decided to start interviewing people to work towards this goal .I figured I would start with a few self-published authors and work toward something bigger, but then this opportunity popped up to interview Candy Chand, who co-authored ‘No Greater Love’ with Levi Benkert, published by Tyndale House.

I loved the book, and started thinking about the woman who co-authored it, who had poured in her heart and soul to this book, but whose story was not told, and thought, ‘I want to know more.’

So I googled her name, but I could not find an interview that answered the questions I wanted to ask her, but I did find her e-mail address. So I gathered up my courage and wrote a little e-mail about how I was a young author, with a little, little blog but that I would love to interview her.  After all she could only say no, right?  Thing is, she said yes, and actually she said it within 5 minutes of my sending her the e-mail.

Continue Reading…

Comments Off on Big Goals and Interview Tips

An Interview with Terri Blackstock!

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.tblackstock

Her latest series is the acclaimed, award-winning Intervention Series (Intervention, Vicious Cycle, Downfall). Other reader favorites include her books Predator and Double Minds, as well as the Restoration Series, the Newpointe 911 Series, the Cape Refuge Series, and the SunCoast Chronicles series. And be sure to watch for her newest title, Truth Stained Lies, coming in March, 2013.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.

We are honored to have Terri as our guest on the blog today, as she answers a few questions about the writing life.

Continue Reading…


Interview with FaithWriters member, Lisa Mikitarian

If you’re a FaithWriters member, chances are you’ve heard of Lisa Mikitarian, regular Challenge placer and runner-up in the 2009 Page Turner contest. Besides being a busy wife and mom, Lisa maintains a popular blog, started a cool organization, and has published her first book! Sit back and enjoy getting to know Lisa a little better.

LYNDA: What has your writing journey been like so far? When did you realize your love for writing and how has it progressed through the years? 

LISA:  Hi Lynda!  I was hoping not to bring “weird” into the interview, but if I’m going to answer your question honestly, there’s no escaping it. 

I loved writing stories until I was fourteen and found someone reading my journal and analyzing me through my words. That shut the creative part of me down for fifteen years.  Eventually though, I started a home-school newsletter and began writing for our local paper—sports stringing, advertorials, restaurant reviews.  If you ever need to sell a steak, I’m your girl. 

But fiction had been my real love, and I finally found my way back to it, maybe five years ago.  At about the time I found Faithwriters, I was also blessed to find a professor at our community college who knows fiction inside and out.  He propelled me at warp speed, helping me make up for some lost time.

LYNDA: You’ve entered dozens of entries in the FaithWriters Writing Challenge. Has the Challenge helped you grow as a writer?

LISA: Absolutely, yes.  Faithwriters allowed me to experiment with various genres, voices, topics, etc.  I learned from writers who were much more skilled than I was.  It was a nurturing and safe place to continue the process of becoming a writer, not to mention the best place in the whole world to make friends—that doesn’t feel like hyperbole to me.  I love my Faithwriter friends.

LYNDA: Your first book is coming out in August. Tell us about it.

LISA: Her Safari is a collection of short stories about women of various ages—ranging from five to eighty-four—and backgrounds.  These women are creative in problem solving and navigating conflict. No cookie-cutter answers here.  My characters are all flawed (as am I)—yet most are genuinely doing the best they’re able to in a fallen world.  The stories run the gamut from the humorous to the tragic, some having both.  Because that’s how life is sometimes.

LYNDA: What has the publishing experience been like for you? Share your story of how this book went from concept to published.

Continue Reading…

   Rss Feeds