Our interview today is with Ada Brownell. Thank you Ada for being here today and for agreeing to do this interview.
Question: What do you think prepared you or qualifies you to write in your chosen genre?
Answer: A deep hunger for the Word from a young age, the resulting study, and being in the House of God whenever it was open, prepared me to write for Christian publications and to write Christian non-fiction books. I earned a certificate of ministry from Berean School of the Bible (now Global University).
Long ago I completed two major courses, Dorothy C. Haskin’s “Writing for Christian Publications,” and “Fiction Writing,” from New York School of Writing; and have a B.S. Degree in mass communications.
Being a journalist on the medical beat for seven years picking physicians brains and writing about the latest research helped with Swallowed by Life, Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal. In that book I go into the physical evidence that shows we’re more than a body.
Teaching and working with church youth most of my life, plus my years as a newspaper reporter, gave me a background for Imagine the Future You. I interviewed Miss America and other beauty queens, wrote about fashion, medical articles, stories on young scholastic achievers, musicians; but also wrote about problems they face, such as addictions, gangs, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, delinquency and crime.
In my church teaching years, I usually always had a packed house whether as a youth leader or in a high school or college class, and to this day I hear from people who grew spiritually because of my influence. But that glory is the Lord’s.
In my free-lance articles, stories and books, I often use personal testimony, research, quotes from experts, true illustrations, scripture.
Question: Tell us a little about your “real” (Non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help, from people or circumstances?
Answer: Someone told me a long time ago if you don’t embrace life, you have nothing to write about. In high school I won best actress in a one-act play contest and judges took me aside afterward and told me I could go to Hollywood as a comedian. I have phases where I naturally turn to the hilarious, mostly stories on me. But life has a way of bringing in the serious. My husband and I have five children (one of them in heaven).
Yet, I have abundant life. My husband was a telegraph operator for the railroad when we married in the 1950s, and we had a great time moving all over the Colorado mountains. We lived in a railroad boxcar once, in a train depot, a log cabin on top of Tennessee Pass, and spent five years in the Utah desert. We moved so often we met dozens and dozens of wonderful people, especially in the churches we attended. God sent a beautiful Christian lady to help me in Utah in the town of 100 population, three bars and no church, and we started a Sunday school in the schoolhouse.
I was the youngest of an almost destitute family, refugees from the Kansas Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, but after my oldest sister accepted the Lord as Savior, everyone else followed and our house was full of joy and singing. I’ve spent my life playing the piano or organ in church, and singing in trios. My life has been blessed.
The Bible talks about “joy unspeakable and full of glory” and “rivers of living water” and I experienced that. We are joyful our children and grandchildren serve God.
Question: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction?
Answer: I love people and hearing their stories. I love to read, play games, and spent many years playing tennis and enjoying swimming. We love fixing up houses, decorating, touring model homes, and my husband built two beautiful houses.
Now as a senior citizen, we walk, enjoy family and other people, and love being in church and worshiping the Lord.
Question: Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
Answer: Book signings where you’re well known are great, but with the trend toward e-books, you don’t sell many on the spot, but you can raise awareness about your brand and your book. Using free days on Amazon is a good booster for ratings and getting the word out. Newsletters and News Releases work well in keeping people knowledgeable about your latest success. I think you have to use Social Media even if it doesn’t increase sales much. If nothing else, you need to get your name and book titles out there.
Question: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Answer: I met a man several years later who read a newspaper column I wrote about our daughter’s homegoing and he told me he’s never forgotten it. People accepted the Lord because of articles I’ve written. One editor used to put my pieces for the unsaved on the back of The Pentecostal Evangel. A writer doesn’t know how many are touched or encouraged. It’s different from having a captive audience where you can see and often receive response. It’s nice, though, some readers submit reviews.
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: Imagine the Future You is a motivational Bible study for youth.
Will you be the person you dream of being—or someone from your nightmares?
You don’t need a fortune teller to reveal your future. You are the person who determines who you will be, what your life will be like, and how your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.
Today is the time to IMAGINE and to create an action plan for your future.
- How harnessing your will can make you a champion
- How to make valuable deposits into your mind, detoxify harmful information in the brain, and avoid brain washing
- How to look and be your best
- How to connect with Someone who will make a difference in your life
- How who you marry changes everything
- How to avoid traps that jeopardize your future
- Where you want your name to appear
- Why you can believe God is there and interested in your tomorrows
- Examples of people who grabbed their future and held on
This book will show how to make the right connections, how to grow you talents, and how to begin believing in yourself and things greater than yourself—for a wonderful Future You!
Question: What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
Answer: My writing encourages others to accept Jesus as Savior, turn from sin, and live victorious through Christ. With Confessions of a Pentecostal, the message is God still does miracles and is with us no matter what. The theme of Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult is God answers prayer. For Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal I want readers to know if we accept Jesus as Savior we’ll live forever—and physical evidence from science and medicine testify we’re more than a body. The theme for Imagine the Future: God loves you and has a plan for your life here and for eternity that will bring “joy, peace, and abundant life.”
Question: Share something that makes you laugh, with just plain humor, or happiness, or because it’s so stupid.
Answer: When we lived in two-mile-high Leadville, Colo., in a mobile home, my husband worked out of town and I turned off the water in the bath tub he’d left running to keep the water from freezing. I awoke in the middle of the night to a loud sucking noise when my mother-in-law flushed the toilet. I forgot to turn the water back on. Without telling my mother in law, because she’d ask me forty times a day if the water was running, I threw a fake fur coat over my nightie, pulled on boots without socks, and sneaked out into the night with a fusee (a gadget like a small torch) and matches.
We had about two feet of snow. I made a tunnel to the pipes under the home with a broom, crawled through on my elbows, and discovered I got the matches wet. I backed out.
When I touched the doorknob to get inside, my bare hand stuck. Finally I got it loose and pulled, but the door wouldn’t open. Some of the deep snow on top of the mobile home melted, ran down the sides and froze the door shut. I tried and tried, prayed, but finally had to ring the doorbell. My mother-in-law pushed and I pulled (the door swung outward) until the ice cracked and I got inside.
Next time I put on socks, ski pants, sweaters, a hat, gloves, and I thawed the pipes. I left the door open a crack and got back inside, thankful to be warm and the plumbing wasn’t ruined.
The next morning I learned it had been 30-below zero F. outside that night.
Question: What’s your next project? Tell us so we can’t wait for it to come out!
Answer: The Lady Fugitive, an historical romance, is almost ready to go. I plan to go through it one more time and submit it.
Question: How many books do you have out?
Answer: Four. Imagine the Future You; Joe the Dreamer: The castle and the Catapult; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal; and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but now available as an e-book.
Question: What are your future projects?
Answer: Sequels to my novels and more books in my Dynamite Decisions for Youth series.
Thanks, Russell, for having me as your guest.
Contact Ada Brownell:
SWALLOWED BY LIFE
JOE THE DREAMER: THE CASTLE AND THE CATAPULT
SWALLOWED BY LIFE
CONFESSIONS OF A PENTECOSTAL
Blog/website: Stick-to-Your-Soul Encouragement
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