Congratulations to the winner:
We are in the garden again today, in a normal suburban neighborhood, with Betty Collier, Christian inspiration author, to learn what makes her write so passionately. I encourage each of you to visit her website to learn even more about Betty and her inspiration.
Deanna: I’m so glad you’re visiting with us today, Betty. You are, indeed, an inspiration to so many. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Betty: Thank you for having me as a guest on you blog. I love to share with other readers. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, RN, author, and child of the King. I’ve been married to the absolute love of my life for 24 years, and we currently live in our dream home with our 2 sons, ages 16 and 11. My greatest accomplishment is that I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I am committed to doing the work that he has called me to do. My greatest joy and satisfaction comes from the life I share with my family. A luxury to me is to find time on a Saturday afternoon to watch a Lifetime movie. I believe if you use one of your Saturday afternoons to read this book, you will feel like you have watched a Lifetime movie.
Deanna: What made you want to become a writer?
Betty: I never considered myself a writer, and if you had asked me prior to January, 2009 if I would ever write a book, my answer would have immediately and adamantly been “absolutely not!” I never had a desire to write a book, and perhaps my honesty will make you wonder if the book is even worth reading. I can assure you…I AM A WRITER. I became one overnight, and in fact, I remember the exact night it happened. It was after midnight when January 9th turned into January 10th, the night I dreamed about this book. I am confident that if you allow me to share my journey with you, you will agree that I am indeed a writer.
Deanna: Has it helped you spiritually to put your thoughts to paper so others could read your experiences?
Betty: It has definitely helped me spiritually because I wrote the book based on faith, well aware that not everyone would share my faith, but I wrote it to share my faith with those who choose to believe. I wrote the book to share my testimony of faith, hope, humor, romance and love. Testimonies are meant to encourage and inspire others, and I have been just as encouraged by my readers. As one reader told me, “It’s like being on a roller coaster. I didn’t know what to expect next. I was laughing on one page and crying on the next… This book is a masterpiece!”
Deanna: Do you have any tips for others who might want to write about their own experiences?
Betty: All of us have something to share with others, and if we would simply take the time to begin the writing process and stay committed to it, we could all write something to share. I definitely encourage anyone who wants to write to simply sit down and begin writing.
Deanna: Do you read in the same genre that you write in?
Betty: Being a woman of faith, I definitely enjoy inspirational and encouraging books, but I don’t limit my reading to just that genre. There are many books out there to enjoy, and I would never want to be limited to just one type.
Deanna: Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.
Betty: Because I have so many other “job titles,” writing became a way of life after-hours. If I had waited until I actually had time to write, it never would have happened. So I made time each and every day, and squeezed in time whenever I could, ensuring that I wrote something daily. I believe I am probably one of the most sleep-deprived people you will ever meet, but when you are consumed and obsessed to write and share your story, you cannot sleep anyway. After I finished my “day job” as an RN, and my evening job as wife and mother (and ALL that entails) I would find myself in front of my laptop until 2:00AM every morning until the book was finished. It only took one month to write it, but that is because I was totally convinced that my new-found passion to share my journey of faith had to be put on paper immediately. Thoughts, words, paragraphs, and even whole chapters would come to me, and I had to get them down on paper before I lost them. My day would begin at 6:00AM being all the other things that I am, and end 20 hours later at 2:00AM being the one new thing that I discovered I had become.
Deanna: That is true determination and passion. I commend you for sticking to the keyboard until you finished! What’s next for you? Will there be another book for those who enjoyed this one?
Betty: My plans are simply to share my journey with others, and I will go wherever this book takes me in order to do that. This is only the beginning. Although I had no prior plans to write a book, after literally becoming an author overnight, I know that this is something that I will never give up now. I am passionate about my story, and it’s my desire to reach as many people as I can to inspire and encourage them. There is more to come, but I will have to wait on divine inspiration to figure out what that is.
Deanna: What does the title of your book mean?
Betty: The original title of the book was “We Never Would Have Made it Without YOU” and the “YOU” that I was referring to was the Lord. I had given a copy of the draft manuscript to my friend Kartriece who designed the cover page because she had been anxiously waiting to read the book she designed the cover for.
Unbeknownst to me, Kartriece’s mother asked her if she could take a “sneak peek” at the copy. Her mother sent me an email the very next day which really encouraged me, so I saved the email. It said, “I asked Triece this morning if I could take a look at your book with the intention of skimming through it because I knew I wouldn't be able to read it through just yet. After reading the first few chapters, I commented to Triece that I wondered if it was just because I knew you that it was so heartfelt. I have come to the conclusion that it is the anointing. I didn't get any work done this morning because I kept going back to your book. I have finished it from beginning to end and I was truly blessed by it. I commend you for actually doing what God has led you to do. My heart strings were tugged in more ways than one as I took a walk with you inside your testimony. God is awesome and I am so glad that I know him. Thank you for sharing.”
The original title was confusing, and it was from her words and what she got out of the book… taking a walk with me “inside my testimony” that made me change the title of the book to “Living Inside The Testimony.” That actually was the essence and heartbeat of the entire book anyway, and I had repeatedly used those same words throughout the book. She helped me to bring it to life.
Deanna: Am I the only one getting goose bumps here? Wow. Readers really do help us when they write to us. Betty, there are so many well known inspirational authors and books already available by very well known people. How can you compete with them?
Betty: Writing is not a competition; it’s my passion, and I am passionate to share my story, a journey of faith discovering God’s amazing love and abundant blessings. We all need to be inspired and encouraged, and I know there is an audience for my book that has not been reached my mainstream Christian and inspirational authors. If I didn’t have the faith to believe that the Lord would take my book wherever it needs to go, I never would have written it. This is a faith journey, and if you read the book, you will see that my journey has been inspired by faith, hope, humor, romance, and a lot of love, taken from the perspective of an everyday person whom readers can all relate to.
Deanna: What makes your story different?
Betty: My story is different because it comes from an everyday person who realized how God’s amazing love and abundant blessings have always surrounded my life. Because of that realization, I am sharing my life inside the testimony while helping others realize they too live inside testimonies meant to encourage and inspire others.
Deanna: What kind of response have you gotten from readers?
Betty: I wrote the book to encourage and inspire others, but I have been just as encouraged and inspired by their comments. It confirms my original belief that the Lord wanted me to share my journey of faith. As I share my journey, I get feedback from readers that they too have been living inside testimonies, and they are encouraged and inspired after realizing their journeys have been prepared uniquely for them by the ultimate MASTER PLANNER. Believers as well as non-believers enjoy the book because it offers hope in the future, and forces you to take a look at your past and realize that it really wasn’t you that was in control of it anyway.
Deanna: Faith and belief really does make things happen. What is your favorite quote from the book?
Betty: “I guess when you live inside the testimony, it’s hard for you to see it as a testimony, and you really don’t appreciate it for what it is.”
Deanna: That statement is so true. Many of us take too much for granted rather than appreciating what we have. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Betty: I’d like to give away a copy of my book to one lucky reader. The first person to go to my facebook page and click
and then leave a comment indicating they saw my interview on Deanna's blog spot will receive a complimentary copy of my book "Living Inside The Testimony" and a tote bag.
Please visit www.facebook.com/livinginsidethetestimony and click
Deanna: Betty it’s been a pleasure having you here today. Thank you so much for sharing with us. We all wish you the best with your book and getting the word out for others to enjoy your writing.