Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstance? A clear call? A chosen career?
I was always writing, even scribbling on blank paper before I knew how to read. I was the girl on the bus sharing daily chapters of what would best be described as a YA romance, but not a very good one. That fact, that I wasn’t the best, and teachers told me so, kept me from taking that path for decades. I worked in publicity related things and would have been happy doing that forever.
It was in 2006 I felt the “stirring of the pen.” I was a Christian by then and He had done an amazing work in my life. I used to be paralyzed by fear of what people thought of me. Once I felt free from that, I knew I had to write for Him. I started a blog and sharing short stories on FaithWriters. It wasn’t even a year and one of my stories was placed in an anthology. When I received an invitation to the book launch, I couldn’t believe it. I was invited as one of the authors.
I kept with the anthologies but in 2010 I took an idea I’d had years before and made it my NaNoWriMo project. That story, through a lot of twists and turns, is now Entrusted: Surrendering the Past.
Wow, that was a nice surprise, Julie! What is the message(s) in the book you’re promoting today? Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write? Can you give us a very brief scene (paragraph) as an example?
My Surrendering Time Series tackles the past, present and future and how surrender can play a part in each season. Entangled is about surrendering the past. The heroine, Carla Rowling, is a single mom who has been given the resources to make her dream career come true. The gift is so overwhelming to her that she struggles with feeling unworthy. She still punishes herself for the way she became a teen mom, and her choices bring consequences to everyone around her.
I like having a definite theme. All my writing will have a surrender theme. I believe freedom comes through surrender, but it has to be through Christ. That’s crucial for me to write.
This scene from Entangled is one example of the aftermath Carla causes when she refuses to receive Christ’s forgiveness for her past:
Our voices seem to break together, but it’s the only unity we have between us. Since Noah’s accident at school, I’ve never felt more fear. Not even when Wayne left. “Can you forgive me?”
He unlocks his truck and opens the door for me, something that only triggers more of my tears. “I need some space Carla.”
Okay. At least he’s speaking to me.
“Right. Did you want to meet up after the shower?”
He starts the vehicle. “I don’t think so.”
I nearly double over from the pain I feel. “You wanted to talk. Is it too late?”
It’s another long pause before I barely hear his reply. “Please give me some space. It’s the very least you could do.”
Surrender to God is so important. What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it? J I love Entangled because it keeps characters from Entrusted, yet adds new friends from Carla’s cosmetology school. It explores real struggles we can all relate to in a setting I want all readers to fall in love with, the Adirondack Mountains.
You’ve convinced me! Give us three items about yourself: hobbies, loves, fun or weird habits, food/snack kicks you like, what would you be if not a writer–that sort of thing.
- I am originally from Upstate NY, so that’s where a lot of my work is based.
- My tagline is “Encouraging you to surrender the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate. So, my snack kicks always involve chocolate! Milk chocolate is my favorite, with almonds.
- I love mentoring. I’ve encouraged young women of all ages for decades. Teenagers are an important part of Entangled, and I loved including them in my writing. I’m more comfortable around young people than people my own age.
Isn’t that funny how sometimes we relate to certain age groups? Lastly, share an incident when you’ve been very happy/excited or very disappointed/depressed during and because of your writing career? How were you able to get past the bad and move on to the good? It was actually during writing/revising Entangled. In the question about loving the book, that is only recent. Writing Entangled was very difficult. The words would not come. The revising was so hard that I scrapped thousands of words and started over. It was so arduous that at one point I quietly decided I’d finish and pray it was okay, but throw everything into Engaged. In my mind if Entangled was so hard to write, no one would like it, so I’d redeem it all with Engaged.
I now understand the message for Entangled was so strong and life-changing, if readers receive that message, that the true defeated one didn’t want Entangled written. I prayed so hard while I was working to release it. I had a team of women praying for me, as they do over all my writing. I believe it was those prayers that helped me see the truth. Now that Entangled is out, I’m receiving feedback that it is as good as or better than Entrusted. That readers didn’t even know they needed healing until God showed them while reading. I am blown away by what God has already done.
How marvelous God’s handiwork in your writing! So glad you kept after it!
“You need to leave me alone. It’s the least you can do.”
Carla Rowling has been given her dream of attending cosmetology school. The gift is so generous she feels unworthy because of choices she made as a teen. The pressure mounts as Carla juggles school, is a single mom, helps her best friend Jenna plan her wedding, spends time with boyfriend Will Marshall, and deals with the fact that her son’s father is back in their lives.
Will Marshall is the one Speculator Falls resident everyone can count on. His truck deliveries are reliable. He’s the first to help friends like Ben Regan with boat work or be a card partner with Bart Davis. Will’s ready to settle down with Carla, loving her is natural. He’s bonded with her son, Noah. But when Carla starts cosmetology school, she puts emotional distance between her and Will.
Can Carla release her past and create a future full of highlights, or, will she burn her options worse than a bad perm?
Entangled: Surrenddering the Past, Book #2 (can be read as a stand alone) Amazon Print and Kindle
Entrusted: Surrendering the Present, Book #1: Amazon Print and Kindle
ABOUT JULIE: Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and —maybe one day—the chocolate. She’s the author of the re-release, ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as the sequel, ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. She also shared her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities at JULIE ARDUINI: SURRENDER ISSUES AND CHOCOLATE and the weekly e mail. SUNDAY’S SURRENDER AND CHOCOLATE.
Monthly Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/dCFG
Weekly Sunday’s Surrender and Chocolate: http://eepurl.com/bJ5yHP
Surrendered Scribe Media Promotions: (Book release info sent as needed) http://eepurl.com/bXAW0L
Readers, thrilled that Julie joined us today. Do comment if you’d like and let Julie know you’d love a chance to read her book too!
Thanks for joining me today, Julie!