Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Lisa T. Bergren is Sharon Miller! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address!
This week we are featuring Emily Freeman! To win a copy of her new book, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live (Revell, 2013) leave a comment on this post.
My newest book is called A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live.
It isn’t about painting or singing, although I believe painters and singers will relate with this book. Instead, uncovering your art is about being fully human in the presence of God and others.
The first thing we know about God is that he created. And the first thing he says about us is we were made in his image. This book, then, is simply a companion for anyone who wants to explore what they uniquely have to offer the world.
We might not see ourselves as artists, but we are — in so many unexpected ways. In what we create, whether poetry or pie, calligraphy or conversation. It’s about uncovering the shape of your soul, turning down the voice of the inner critic, and moving into the world with the courage to be who you most deeply are.
How can readers find you and your books?
I write daily-ish on my blog — Chatting at the Sky — so you can always find me there. The books are available at Barnes and Noble, DaySpring, Amazon, LifeWay, really anywhere. If your local bookstore doesn’t carry it, you can always request it.
Why do you write?
But if you don’t want to watch that, here is my most basic answer:
Writing has always been my way of processing life. Writing helps me both to see and to listen.
Where we are right now is not all we’ll ever be. We live, notice, hope, remember and trip over the middle. We love in the middle. And the middle is where we write. I write to make the world better than it is: to see the gifts, to find the beauty, to hide the ugliness, and also to face it.
Right this moment, what does your office look like?
Right this moment, my office is a hotel room desk in Greenville, South Carolina. I have 2 candy wrappers beside my laptop on one side and a roll of duct tape on the other side (I brought it here with me to get the lint off my black pants. It works well, incase you were wondering).
Since writing has become a bigger part of my ministry and career, I’ve had to learn to stop waiting for ideal circumstances to write and learn to sit down and get the words out even when it doesn’t seem like a good time. This is one of those times for me – writing from a hotel room during a conference where I’ll be speaking later.
I create space for souls to breathe.
If you could write any book—on any topic—and be guaranteed a publishing contract, what topic would it be?
Some kind of fictional book – with a little bit of magic and whimsy. Oh wait, did I just say that out loud? Oops. I admire writers of fiction. I think they are genius.
Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?
Sure, I’ve had reviews that were discouraging. I talked to Ann Voskamp about them and she said Never let the good reviews go to your head or the bad ones go to your heart. I thought that was pretty good advice.
What’s one thing you learned about the publishing industry in last five years? Last year? Last six months?
Five years ago I didn’t know anything about publishing. I had never published anything besides my own blog posts. I attended my first writing conference during the summer of 2008 and since then have had three books published. I feel a little bit crazy, if you want to know the truth, and look forward to this next year to take a bit of a book-writing break.
Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In between?
I’m an extroverted introvert. I get energy from being alone, but deeply enjoy people. I tend to gravitate toward smaller groups, quiet corners, and deep conversation. Big groups don’t scare me, I just prefer to watch when things start to get loud.
Do you enjoy public speaking as an author? Why or why not?
One of the reasons I was terrified to write books at the beginning was because I assumed I had to become A Very Polished Professional Speaker and that just isn’t me. I thought maybe my publisher would require me to speak a certain number of times a year or something. They do not.
It’s true, speaking is a great way to get your message out, to meet people, and to sell books. But it isn’t the only way. I am learning to enjoy speaking more and more as opportunities come up, but I feel released from the pressure to do it a certain way. I am learning to offer myself fully as myself, even when I’m holding a microphone. I’m finding my courage in this area and it feels right.
But I’m always going to be a homebody and prefer to stay home if given the choice. I have a lot to learn, but I’m learning at my own pace and giving myself the freedom to try things and learn as I go.