Today, I'm drifting a little away from our regular Thursday Review format to introduce you to a friend of mine, Staci Stallings. She's a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. She has a special surprise for us.
I convinced Staci to answer a few questions for us, to give some insight into the life of an author.
Edie: Let’s jump right in. Is there something your readers might be surprised to find out about you?
Staci: How disorganized and scattered I am. Maybe it's just me and the fact that I have so much going on (a husband, three kids, a house, two schools, teaching Sunday School, directing VBS plays, serving on retreat teams, writing, publishing, marketing, my group Grace & Faith authors, doing all of the finances for my company, my husband's company, and our family, two large extended families, three blogs, etc. etc. etc.)... but I often feel like I get nothing done in a day.
Others think I'm some kind of Wonder Woman, but I look around and see how much still needs to be done! That's why I feel scattered and disorganized because part of me thinks if I could just get organized, then I wouldn't feel so behind all the time. However, it's probably not that I'm disorganized, just that I have too much to ever conceivably get done. :)
Edie: That makes me tired just thinking about it all. What is your favorite way to relax?
Staci: Movies or writing my stories. On that same four-day vacation from all of life, I spent the first 2 1/2 days watching movies—romantic comedies mostly. I don't mind watching the same ones over and over either. I think I watched "Prom" like five times that weekend. Then, all of sudden, the floodgates of my mind and heart opened. I spent the next day and a half writing on a new story—80 pages! Unfortunately life hasn't let me write another word on a story since.
Edie: Let’s talk about your story. In this book, what character do you most admire and why?
Staci: I love Deep in the Heart. It's one I could read over and over again. The two main characters are just so real. Maggie is trying so hard to make life work. Oh, she relies on God, no doubt, but it seems she can't ever catch a real break. I feel for her because I know what it's like to feel like life is conspiring against you, and just like her, I have to cling to my faith in God just to make it through some days. So I really relate to her and her struggles.
But I also love Keith. He is so much like I was growing up—looking like he had everything together on the outside but being so lost on the inside. It’s inspiring to me to watch as Maggie shares her faith with him and to watch him open his heart to God's love and to begin to understand that the temporary things of this world are nothing in comparison with the things that are eternal.
Edie: So tell me, how does God fit into your books?
Staci: If someone told me I had to take God out of my books, I wouldn't have a book left. A reviewer once complained that my characters prayed too much, that God had to work very hard in the book because the characters seemed not to be able to deal with life on their own. To which I said, "Duh! That's what being a Christian is about!" I was actually very proud of that 1-star review because it showed that although the reviewer may not like the message that Christians are to rely on God for every step, they certainly didn't miss the message in the book.
Edie: Tell me, who inspires you?
Staci: The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is just COOL. He is creativity and hope and love and joy all rolled into one. He lets me be who I am and helps me to become who I was meant to be. He whispers my stories to me and guides every step of every day. He makes sense out of things I could never comprehend and leads me to make connections I never saw coming. Life is way more exciting and fun because He's in it.
Thanks so much for having me, Edie. I hope you and your readers have a blessed day!