T. I. Lowe is an ordinary country girl who loves to tell extraordinary stories. Her debut novel, Lulu’s Café, was a number one bestseller.
Now the author of almost twenty published novels, T. I. lives with her husband and family in coastal South Carolina.
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What sparked your writing journey and how does your faith play into your work?
I’ve always had a desire to write, but it took my mother being diagnosed with stage four cancer to give me the right perspective on pursuing dreams. We don’t have the promise of tomorrow, so I now choose to live this life to the fullest. Jesus said he came so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. God has given me this gift of story and I want to honor Him with it, so each writing project begins in prayer for His guidance.
Has God ever sent an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be the better path?
For sure. I have had a lot of “hurry up and waits” in this publishing journey. Of course I wanted things to happen on my time, but through the waiting, I now know God had a much bigger plan. Hello, I’m with the best publishing company ever! I’m honored to be a part of the Tyndale House publishing family and know we are all on the same page with our goals, and that’s to honor God through our words.
Let’s talk about your new book, Under the Magnolias (May 2021, Tyndale). Please tell us about it!
Oh, my goodness, where to begin? Under the Magnolias is a story of me wanting to walk a mile or a hundred in the shoes of someone dealing with mental illness. More specifically, Austin Foster trying to support her father battling bipolar disorder. And how that illness not only affects her father but those closest to him. The story focuses on the labels and “walls” we hide behind in order to self-protect, but how that oftentimes will lead to our destruction.
But there is beauty in a close community of confidants, and Under the Magnolias highlights this with a ragtag group who rally around Austin and the Foster family when they need it the most.
God often uses our stories to teach us something. What did you learn (about life, faith, or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?
I learned that we should give ourselves more grace and then extend that to those around us. Not one of us is perfect. We are all going through something. It takes faith and trust to reach out for help. Both are hard things, but I say be brave and do it anyway.
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?
Honey, you’re talking my love language, aka food. Can we make that one of those love languages? I’m such an emotional eater. I know, I know. That is not a good thing, but I sure do find me some comfort in chocolate! Anything chocolate, but chocolate mousse cake is at the top of the list. Now I really want that cake . . .
In the story that is your life, are you the strong female lead, the girl next door, the mysterious woman behind dark glasses, the superheroine, or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Definitely the little girl trying to walk in high heels. I’m a bit awkward and the fit of this world is pinching and itchy. I’m not really sure of my place. At age forty-five, I should probably put some effort into figuring that out. Time’s a tickin’.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
We have this in common! I’m a dog lover too. My family has a one-year-old Maltipoo, who looks like an old man with gray hair. His name is Oliver and although he weighs in at a hefty five pounds, he thinks he’s the king of the Lowe jungle. Truly, Oliver is the most adorable little stinker ever.
Thanks, T. I.! It’s great to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
Thank you for the invite! I enjoyed it!
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