Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
Tragedy ushered me into writing. After the tragic death of my teenage son, I used the pen to express the many emotions that haunted me. My writing began as short emails sent on Wednesdays to co-workers and friends. They were called hump-day devotions. The response and feedback I received helped me realize my gift for writing. My first book about the passing of my son, When Flowers Fade, was chosen for review by the publisher Brentwood Christian Press in GA. Now I have written my sixth book and they all have one thing in common: heralding the message that no matter how hard life becomes or how far we tend to fall into the pit of depression and despair, Jesus Christ will never abandon us.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I write at different times and use different methods, but I write mostly in the mornings when the house is quiet. Sometimes ideas and inspirations come to mind during the day and I have to stop, grab a pen and paper, and jot down my thoughts before the inspiration leaves. I transfer the information onto the computer when I get home.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I tend to use paper for my initial thoughts as I re-write and re-arrange the words and sentences into complete thoughts and paragraphs. Afterwards, I type it all into my laptop word processing program. My favorite place to write is the living room recliner. In the still of the morning, I drink a cup of coffee, pray for wisdom and insight, and start writing.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part about writing is getting the positive feedback from readers. It’s refreshing to hear how my experiences or thoughts have comforted or encouraged someone else. My least favorite part of writing is getting mental blocks. There are times when I desire to write but the inspiration and words seem to escape my mind. I noticed the blocks tend to happen when I’m under stress or become engaged in too many projects.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
|Get the Book at Amazon|
Soar above the Pain came from the words of someone else as we were looking at an old house my mother lived in during the 1940s. The person said, “Charlie, it’s amazing that someone with your challenging background could one day run for U.S. Congress.” I thought about her words and began to examine my entire life. I came to the conclusion that my story was worth telling. Now, close to a year of writing has culminated into a fascinating tale about the life of a person who wasn’t supposed to born, much less succeed.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I market and promote my books in several ways including through online venues such as social media, websites, and email. My platform as a minister and speaker also allows me to promote books through various church programs and Christian outlets. My books are carried through Amazon.com and are available to a worldwide audience.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
Now that I’ve finished my latest book, I want to re-write a couple of my previous books, namely Forgiveness: Walk Me Through It and The God of My Midnights. I want to improve the story lines and make the books appeal to a wider audience.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
My back burner project is to have all of my books translated into other languages so I can effectively minister to people around the world. For example, I want to edit my book, Forgiveness: Walk Me Through It, to include a chapter on forgiving persecution, and have it translated into many languages for people in foreign Countries who live under heavy religious persecution.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
My advice for a beginning writer would be two things: First, your story or idea can help someone. There is someone somewhere waiting on you to bring out the gifts stored deep within. Secondly, dream big and think beyond the traditional borders of where you live and what you’ve seen. Technology and social media has brought the world to your doorstep. So write to appeal to the world, not just to the people you know.
A Question for Me:
My question to a seasoned writer would be, “How do you develop the ability to know where and how to place words so that they are the most effective to the reader?”
Wow. What a great question! This may or may not surprise you but I'm all about finding your voice and sharing your ideas in the way only you can share them. Placement of words comes naturally as the writer delves into their heart for what they truly wish to say. It isn't about copying someone else's way of writing - rather, it's more of a, "let's find out who I am so that I can then share what is inside me." Practice, of course, is key in any indeavor, but searching your heart comes first.
C.L. Holley - Speaker | Author | Minister
Comfort & Encouragement Ministry