Martha Rogers’ stories and articles have appeared in a number of compilations and magazines. Her first novella was published in 2007, and her full-length fiction series debut came in 2010. Since that time she has written or contracted a dozen novels.
A graduate of Baylor University, she is a retired teacher at both the secondary and college levels. She is the director for the annual Texas Christian Writer’s Conference and is active in several other writer’s organizations.
Martha and her husband, Rex, reside in Houston. She is a mother, a grandmother, and a great-grandmother.
What sparked your interest in writing, and when did you first pursue publication?
I started “writing” stories as soon as I could hold a pencil. I drew “letters” and told my mother the story I was writing. I never even dreamed of publishing anything until I was much older and then I had no idea how to go about doing it. I joined a writer’s group in 1993 and started thinking more seriously about it and had my first article published in 1994.
How does your faith play into your work?
My writing is all about my faith. The theme that runs through all of my books is reconciliation. That can be reconciliation and reunion between characters in the book or reconciliation between God and man and sometimes both are present.
God often blesses us with detours, unexpected side paths in life. Can you tell us about a “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
In 1991 my contract to teach at a private Christian school was not renewed after being there for ten years. The board decided I wasn’t “spiritual” enough for the students. (The Head of School’s exact words.) I was devastated, and bitterness became my companion for a year. God gave me the opportunity to teach at the college level which freed up time for me to write and join the writer’s group and attend conferences. If that had not happened, I would have stayed at the school until retirement or as long as I could teach and never really pursued my writing. God ALWAYS knows what He’s doing. We just have to trust where He will lead.
The book is very loosely based on my great-grandparents love story. My father gave me some letters written to my great-grandmother Sallie by her suitor and her father. It gave me a glimpse of their love and their lives that intrigued me and sent me off on a genealogical search for more information. Originally I wrote a simple novella length story of what I had learned and gave it to my cousins. That really sparked their interest and we all began more research. This book is the result of all that research. The first book is based on what we learned, but books two and three are true fiction except for a few names. Book 2 centers around Sallie’s younger sister Hannah and Book 3 moves ahead to Sallie’s daughter, Molly.
Sometimes our character’s journeys teach us something. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
I learned the importance of leaving a legacy of faith for our grandchildren and those who come after we’re gone. Through those letters and other items we found, we learned of the great faith of Manfred and Sallie that got them through those harrowing days at the end of the war. That legacy was passed on to my grandfather who wrote about his experiences with Jesus in a journal that is now a book printed just for the cousins and our children. Reading it gives me such great pleasure as I see over and over again how much God influenced his life. I hope to leave such a legacy for my own grandchildren through my journals.
You’re a seasoned and sought after speaker. What’s your favorite speaking topic—and what inspired it?
In speaking about writing, I enjoy speaking about deep point of view. Once I learned that technique from Jill Nelson, my writing changed completely.
In speaking to other groups, I love to speak to senior adults about the importance of their legacy to their families. They have wonderful stories to tell about the faithfulness of their Lord in time of crisis and their children and grandchildren need to know those stories.
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?
Dark chocolate is my comfort food. No matter how sad or rejected I feel about something, dark chocolate helps me feel better. I guess that’s not really a food, so Mexican food of some type is my favorite because it just tastes sooo good.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I sing in the choir at church, but don’t ask me to sing a solo. : )
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A song of praise and worship such as I Know Whom I Have Believed
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 a little of all of those. I have a sanguine personality, so I’m laid back, disorganized, and love to have fun. But I also have a bit of choleric in me and like to be in the lead and take charge and save the day. I guess the only one that really doesn’t fit is the mysterious one because I’m like an open book.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
We had a beautiful Golden Retriever named Bingo. He was a wonderful, friendly dog who watched our back gate with a leery eye toward strangers. We had to put him down several years ago because of his extremely poor health. He was fourteen almost fifteen and that’s a long life for a dog. As a young girl, we had two blonde cocker spaniels named Tippy Lou and Honey Pot. I loved those little dogs and they lived to a ripe old age too.
Thank you, Martha! It’s great to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Martha, visit her website at http://www.marthawrogers.com/.
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