· Today I Welcome to the Spotlight Author M. Ann Ricks' Christian Fiction novelist
- · Tell us about yourself :
Hi Paulette! Simply stated, M. Ann Ricks is a woman and servant of the Most High God. I am redeemed and emancipated by the life-changing blood of Jesus Christ and will boldly say so! I am a wife, mother, published novelist and “Godspirational” speaker/teacher residing in Bear, Delaware endeavoring to live for Christ ON PURPOSE as I provide Christian literature and impart knowledge via the Holy Spirit that will not only entertain but encourage and enlighten.
· Tell our readers about your journey to writing.
Good question sis… and “journey” is the right word. I really believe God instructed and even confirmed that I would write for Him in the midst of my leaving the corporate environment. I was concerned about my next career move but my heart heard, (you notice I didn’t say my head or my ears because God had to speak to my inner witness to confirm His word first.), Yes, it has been quite a journey as I was BIG time denial… (head= intellect and rationale), did I say BIG time Paulette? I learned that I had to be obedient to my call and destiny. Once I did that the premise for my first novel was then revealed to me and I have been writing (and speaking) for Him ever since. Christian writing is so important especially in the fictional genre. When one reads about the Savior, and inserts the word of God into your story, lives will be impacted…. “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, … it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 I want to impact and augment the Kingdom of God through the stories that I share. My goal is to change lives and we can only really accomplish that through true revelation of the word of God.
· What was your path towards publication like?
In one word… Unreal! Upon completion of my first novel, Awesome Wonder, I still hadn’t found a part time job after leaving my fulltime gig and I said, “God, if you want this to be published, you’ve got to send me a publisher. You know I haven’t any money so it’s on You.” I was receiving positive responses from publishers but no one seemed to want to sign me. I was in my car listening to a minister teaching and simply began to praise God for my victory and a week after I received an offer to publish my first book from small publishing house. God has consistently placed people in my life! There have been bumps and hiccups but I will believe: “For the Lord God will help me; therefore I will not be disgraced. I have set my face like a flint and I know that know that I will not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7
· How do you balance your life as an author with your duties as a business person, employee, parent and/or spouse?
Paulette, it’s funny you should ask that…. I don’t know exactly how I balance it all but I’ve noticed recently that I’m better than as I used to be. J I try to prioritize my tasks each day and command the day in Jesus’ name at the onset. I used to laugh at my husband as he is very detailed and organized but I find that I’m incorporating a lot of his practices in my own life,
( i.e.:, strict adherence to scheduling, time management), in an effort to keep my life in order. (thanks babe!)
· What is your best advice for getting past writer's block?
If one is a Christian writer, my only advice for those who are experience writers block is to get in HIS presence. Pray and even speak in your prayer language.(tongues) Your inner witness will get directions and the Holy Spirit will begin to open your mind. God is always speaking and if one is writing to exalt the Savior and the goal is to touch others with all that Jesus is, you will tap in and get the “download”!
· What was the best writing-related advice you ever received?
The best advice I received was…“Just EXHALE what God has breathed into you…. if God has called you to do it then He will see you through it! Stand on His promises as He is obligated to finish what He has started in you!” He will send you people, readers, patrons for your life! I also heard... “If I be lifted… I will draw! People will have a desire to hear about Me through what I give you to write”, says the Lord.
· Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book?
Because of a checkered past, a destructive familial history or bad choices, many have decided to live a life of regret and fear; resolving that their fate is irreversible. Regardless of who you are, whatever you’ve done or whatever your family has done to you, the blood of Jesus can make you a new creature because of its power. Set in present day, THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME chronicles a woman’s desire for redemption. This novel will enlighten and encourage as we journey with the heroine, Honey Lamb. Because the story of her life is one of demoralizing circumstances, she questions why she is and who she is. Although making a life altering mistake because of her past, she finds that it does not have to dictate her destiny. The blood that was shed on Calvary by Jesus Christ was the most definitive demonstration of unconditional love. It washed away every bad decision, every sin, and every generational curse, granting us an everlasting pardon.
· How did you come up with the idea for your book?
I am an avid reader and audio book listener and it dawned on me that there isn’t a Christian Fiction novel in the marketplace presently that specifically discusses the healing and delivering power of the blood of Jesus. Oddly enough, the body of Christ today doesn’t seem to dialogue about its significance. Many are writing about generational curses, the importance of forgiveness and the wonderful love of Jesus but no author has fictionally penned a novel that clearly identifies what Jesus did when he died for us. THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME shares a story but it provides the liberating truth scripturally. Someone need to know that they don’t have to wear invisible signage that labels them as a “recovering” alcoholic, drug addict or even an inevitable beneficiary of the many generational tendencies and sicknesses that may be passed on from one generation to another. Their name has been changed to Righteous because of the blood of Jesus!
· What was the most difficult aspect of writing this book?
I have to say that writing this novel was not really that difficult. When I decided to receive the download from the Holy Spirit as I wrote, everything began to pour out of my heart. Admittedly, I did ask the Lord on different occasions, “ Are You sure you want me to say that?” He constantly reminded me that many need to read Honey’s story as well as the stories of the other characters in the novel. So of course, I acquiesced and let Him lead. When we let Him lead everything becomes easier.
· Did you have to do any special research for your book?
At the onset, (when receiving the premise from the Holy Spirit), Honey and her plight was almost foreign to me so yes there was some research that had to be done., ( in a way )
With my other novels, I was very familiar with the characters… with THE BLOOD, I did more digging and listening than I ever had. I had to listen and be sensitive to what God wanted me to share and how he wanted me to share it. I had to do some real soul searching to reach Honey and meet her where she was, allowing myself to be used by God to gain insight, true painful insight about Honey and the people in her life. The good, the bad and the ugly had to be unearthed. Her growth and transformation was important to the story and I had to allow God to show me how make it evident and more importantly, relatable to the reader.
· What’s ahead for your writing?
It is my hope to assist other Christian writers as with my literary workshop for aspiring Christian writers called, “Conversations…. Writing to Reconcile”. I had the wonderful opportunity to share it regionally but would love to be afforded a venue that could allow me to do so nationally. As believers in Christ it is our mandate to reconcile others to God. Using our literary gifts is certainly one way we can accomplish that awesome task. Additionally, for all who are interested, I distribute electronically, (on-line), a monthly newsletter, M. Ann’s Literary Communiqué and prayerfully it will continue to increase in circulation. Lastly, while touring with THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME, I am beginning my 4th novel, The SHIFT!
· What opportunities have opened up because of your writing?
Because of my writing, I now enjoy speaking and inspiring others with the uncompromising word of God as a “Godspirational” speaker and teacher. What a blessing it is to be able to impact others as they are introduced to who they are in Christ!
· How can people connect with you?
Please feel free to contact me via email: Godsauthor@mannricks.net. Additionally, should interested parties wish to contact me for literary dialogues, speaking engagements or interviews, contact me via my e-mail provided or reach out to Ms. Shani Henderson @ May House Press and Publications for bookings @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 903.617.7308
· Where can readers purchase copies of your books?
My novels may be purchased via my website, www.mannricks.net, www.Amazon as well as all other literary establishments online or otherwise.