Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of Christian romance and fiction. Her 2011 novel, Hearts Communion, earned a Book of the Year award in the Romance category from the Christian Small Publisher’s Association. She is also a two-time finalist for The Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence.
A lifelong resident of Michigan, Marianne is active in the Greater Detroit Chapter of Romance Writers of America, having served two terms as President. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Michigan Literary Network.
What sparked your writing journey?
The most honest answer is really quite simple—I’ve always loved mixing words and emotions, and crafting stories. I remember writing short stories, long hand, in middle school and sharing them with friends who kept coming back for more. I believe that kind of sealed my fate!
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
Very much so. Years ago, I sold my first three books to Kensington Publishing. These were contemporary, secular romances. After a hiatus from writing so I could help provide for my family, I tried to break back in but kept holding back, because I had an incredible call on my heart to write Christian/inspirational fiction. I didn’t feel worthy, though, or like I had good enough ideas.
One day at church, the dam burst as I sat quietly in my pew and watched people come forward to receive communion. Throughout the processional, I kept thinking about the fact that each and every one of these people had stories to tell—stories of joy, heartbreak, fear, and triumph. After a three year “dry-spell” I’ve been writing ever since, praise God. : )
How does your faith play into your writing?
My faith directly influences the way I create my plots, characters, and resolve whatever issues are raised in my books. The power of God at work is paramount to every story I write.
Let’s talk about your new book, Devotion (Harbourlight Books, October 2012). Please tell us about it.
I’d love to! Here’s a blurb that captures the essence of the story perfectly:
From This Day Forward. Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.
Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that’s what she thinks.
For Better or Worse. But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?
‘Til Death Do Us Part. When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.
God often uses our stories to teach us when we’re writing them. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
Oh, yes, I agree! God used the journey of Kellen and Juliet to show me a message to be delivered not just to readers, but to my own faith walk. I learned that, despite the influence of modern culture, despite disposable commitments and lifestyles, marriage is a covenant. It’s a forever statement before God that needs to be explored and rebuilt when broken.
One of the characters in Devotion was introduced in another one of your books, Hearts Key from your Woodland Series. Can you tell us a little bit about that.
Yes, Kellen Rossiter, the hero of Devotion, is introduced in Hearts Key. Hearts Key wraps my Woodland Series and Kellen debuts as the Christian entertainment agent who helps the hero of that story, Tyler Brock, bring his musical message to a wider audience and expand the reach of Tyler’s ministry as a music artist. Kellen is drawn to Tyler’s deep-seeded faith and commitment to living a life attuned to Christ. Tyler is a wonderful character and his story of a renewed love with his high school sweetheart just might be appealing to your blog readers as well! : )
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Popcorn. Always, always popcorn. : ) Stovetop, please, with extra butter. YUMM. I can smell it popping now!!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I love music with a passion! I always have my iPhone blasting with music while I write (Casting Crowns, Heather Williams, Francesca Battistelli, and Kutless are favs!) I’ve written Hearts Key about music, and my upcoming Sal’s Place Series features the story of a church music director taking a talented little girl under her wings. I wish I could play an instrument—especially the piano. I love to sing and harmonize, though!
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A romantic, heart-stirring ballad full of lilts and sweet harmonies.
You often write about “musical characters.” What was the catalyst for that?
I have to say, until you look back on your portfolio of work, you don’t recognize ‘themes.’ I guess I’m sincere when I speak of a passion and delight in music!! : )
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’m the girl next door. Definitely. I’m easy and approachable; I love my relationships and building on them. I’m always looking out for those around me as well, like a girl next door would do, I suppose.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I’m a dog lover, too! I have three tabby cats. Two long-hairs that have a touch of Maine Coon to them, and one black cat. They absolutely rule the house. My husband and I simply pay the mortgage and go to work to keep them in the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.
Thanks, Marianne! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
My pleasure, and it’s awesome to be here! Thank you for having me!!
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For more information about Marianne, visit her website at http://www.marianneevans.com or her blog at www.marianneevans.blogspot.com. Click here to view the Devotion video trailer.
To purchase Devotion logon to:
Kathy, I thoroughly enjoyed our time together, and I’m so honored you let me pay a visit and talk about Devotion. This book is so close to my heart – thank you for helping me share the journey!!! Blessings!
this is a wonderful story about REAL love, the kind that admits to mistakes and is willing to work at fixing it. What a great story!
P.S. I loved the interview!!!
Marianne, it’s great to have you here!