This week’s author interview is with Glenna Marshall. She is the author of The Promise is His Presence: Why God is Always Enough which is releasing 1 week from today — August 1st. Read a sample chapter of her book HERE.
- Question #1—Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Tennessee and lived there until my husband was called to pastoral ministry at a church in Missouri. We’ve now lived in our small farming community for fourteen years doing local church ministry and raising our boys. In between writing, parenting, and church duties, I also teach piano lessons, lead a women’s Bible study, and disciple a young teen from church. I spend any spare time playing the piano, reading fiction, running, or biking.
- Question #2—When did you first want to write a book?
One of my earliest memories is from grade school when I wrote a story on notebook paper and stapled it together on the sides to form a book. I created a cover for it and wrote my name across the front with a great flourish. It was a terrible story about a princess and her pet monkey and was likely derivative of every fairy tale I’d ever read, but I was proud of it at the time. I majored in creative writing in college after a high school English teacher encouraged me to use the gifts she saw in me. I suppose I’ve always wanted to write books, but I probably better stick to the non-fiction side of book writing!
- Question #3—Do you have a specific spot where you enjoy writing most?
Except for the days I wrote at my local coffee shop, I wrote most of my manuscript at my dining room table. I don’t have an office, so every day I set up my laptop, books, Bible, and notes on the table and write for a few hours. Then I clean it all up so we can eat dinner at the table. I would love to have a dedicated writing space, but in the end, the discipline of writing daily matters more than the location.
- Question #4—Other than the Bible, do you have a favorite book?
A book I return to over and over is Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot. This book is a collection of Jim Elliot’s journals and letters from early college until his death in 1956. His personal writings are relatable and convicting and always leave me loving and longing for Jesus more. Another book I reread regularly is John Calvin’s A Little Book on the Christian Life. This is a very accessible, practical book on the intersection of theology and everyday life. It’s beautifully written and greatly encouraging.
- Question #5—What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Write every day and treat it like your job, even if it’s not your job. Set aside hours where you “clock in” and do nothing but write. That means turning off your phone, not answering the door, ignoring household chores, and using your writing time only for writing. That writing muscle will grow as you exercise it regularly. Even if your writing isn’t ready for public consumption just yet, keep writing privately as often as possible. Additionally, read widely. And not just theological books, but fiction. Reading stories will train you to show rather than tell, and you’ll add a lot of descriptive words to your vocabulary which will make your writing richer and more enjoyable for the reader.
- Question #6—Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
I cannot listen to music when I write! I need either absolute silence or white noise. If I write at a coffee shop, I plug in my headphones and listen to a white noise and rain playlist. I find music, even instrumental, to be incredibly distracting.
- Question #7—Favorite flavor of ice cream?
- Question #8—Tea or coffee?
Always coffee, and the stronger the better! I drink Starbucks Sumatra blend as often as possible.
- Question #9—What famous person (living or dead) would you like to meet and why?
I would love to meet Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. Both of their writings shaped my faith in high school and college and continue to have a lasting effect on the way I view suffering and what it means to follow Christ faithfully.
- Question #10—If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?
It’s tough to choose, but aside from the Psalms, 1 Peter has ministered to me and shaped my views of suffering more than just about anything else in my life. I love knowing that Peter was an uneducated fisherman but because he spent so much time with Jesus, he was able to pen such beautifully encouraging words that point us to the radiance of Christ.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?