This week’s author interview is with Abby Hutto. She is author of God for Us: Discovering the Heart of the Father through the Life of the Son, which is launching TOMORROW! She is the director of spiritual formation at Story Presbyterian Church in Westerville, Ohio and also works as a group leader and trainer for Parakaleo, a nonprofit that comes alongside women in ministry.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I spent my youth in South Carolina and Mississippi. My husband and I moved to Ohio almost 12 years ago, which is the longest I’ve lived in one place, so this feels very much like home now. Ken and I have been married for almost 16 years. We have two children: Hannah (14) and Harry (13), two dogs and an ancient cat. I am on staff at Story Presbyterian in Westerville, Ohio as the Director of Spiritual Formation. I am an extreme extrovert, a 7 on the Enneagram, so I love having fun and being with people. Right now, I spend most of my time taking kids to various sporting events. I love reading, but because I’m in the car so much these days, I’m hooked on Audible. I enjoy cooking and eating delicious food. I also love running and biking (so I can keep eating delicious food).
- Which writers inspire you?
I love Paul Miller because of his transparency. I want to share honestly about my doubts and struggles and the ways God has met me in these places. I hope to encourage others as much as Paul Miller has encouraged me.
- Do you have a specific spot where you enjoy writing most?
I love to write at my desk in my home office. It is in front of a large window that looks out into my front yard. There is a beautiful maple tree that changes colors with the seasons. When I’m under a deadline and don’t get out much, I can wave at my neighbors as they walk by and that helps me feel less like a shut in.
- What book(s) are you reading now?
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton and The Incomparable Christ by John Stott.
- Do you have a favorite author? Who is it and why?
I love P. D. James. She primarily wrote crime/mystery novels, but her Anglican background gave her a deep understanding of the beauty and brokenness of human beings. Her characters are so intriguing. My favorite non-fiction author is D.M. Lloyd-Jones. I could read his sermons all day. He had such a tender heart behind his great mind.
- Do you have an interesting writing quirk?
I am a verbal processor, so I often need to hear myself talk things out as I’m writing. I have two writing companions, Grace (a golden lab/shepherd mix) and Peanut (a cocker spaniel) who now know a lot about the Gospel of John.
- At what time of day do you write most?
I usually write while my children are in school and I try not to write at all when they are home (unless I’m behind for a deadline). I like to be present when my kids are home, and I’m terrible at multitasking!
- How do you deal with writer’s block?
I usually go for a run but sometimes I call my friend. I’m a verbal processor and she understands my need to talk things out. She’s a good listener.
- Favorite sport to watch? Favorite sport’s team?
I love SEC football, and my MSU Bulldogs especially.
- Favorite animal? Why?
Polar Bears. I want to cuddle with them and run away from them at the same time.
- The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia? Why?
I read Lord of the Rings first, so it has a special place in my heart. It was the first time I really paid attention to the spiritual realities behind a fictional story. I read the The Two Towers on a road trip with my family. I was so caught up in the end of the book that I refused to stop reading, even when it became apparent that I was becoming car sick. I threw up outside a restaurant as a result, but still didn’t regret it. However, I so adore Aslan (who doesn’t?!?) that I feel a little like I have just betrayed him.
- If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?
The Gospel of John, because Jesus used it to draw my wayward heart home.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
- Website: www.godforusministries.com
- Blog: O Wide-Embracing, Wondrous Love
- Facebook Page: Abby Ross Hutto (Author) and God For Us Ministries
- Instagram: @godforusministries
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