Today on Writer Wednesday we welcome Mesu Andrews, author of Of Fire and Lions.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Of Fire and Lions! Winner announced right here next week. Congratulations to, Heidi Robbins, the winner of Kristy Cambron’s Castle on the Rise! Please e-mail my assistant Christen with your mailing address! Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Books Authors Read
What was your favorite book as a child?
Honestly, the only book I remember from childhood was when my third-grade teacher’s assistant read Charlotte’s Web to our class. I LOVED the way she read in the animal characters’ voices. But I wasn’t much of a reader as a kid. More of a drawer. And I loved to copy whole pages of the dictionary when I was learning to write cursive—notebooks full of dictionary definitions. Weird, right? Okay, now here’s a REAL confession. Don’t hate me…pleeeeeease. I never read an entire novel until I was thirty-seven. I got through high school and college literature classes by reading the first few chapters and the last few chapters and sort of…figuring out the middle to write my reports. I must have done okay because I always got “A’s” in English/Lit! I actually reconnected with my high school English teacher after my first book was published—and apologized profusely for being such a brat.
What book did you read that first made you want to be an author?
Here’s another confession. Eeeeee-gad! Tricia will never let me write for her blog again, Y’all! My plan was to speak at conferences and retreats. I never really wanted to be an author. I went to my first writer’s conference in 2001 to get a Bible study published on the Song of Solomon—with a little bit of fiction thrown in—to sell at the back of the room during speaking events. Just that one book. That’s all. No more. So I presented my book proposal to a very wise (and not very tactful) editor who said, “You should stick with speaking because you’ll never be a writer.” Eeeeeek! I wanted to crawl under the table. He also gave me the best advice: “Read biblical fiction so you know how to write it.” I couldn’t find any current biblical fiction in my local Christian bookstore, but I found “biblical” fiction in a Barnes & Noble and read that. I was APPALLED at how the general market twisted God’s Truth. The more non-Christian biblical fiction I read, the more I wanted to become a biblical fiction author. It’s my hope and passion that there will always be well-researched, biblical novels available from authors who recognize the Truths of Scripture as unalterable. Researching the historical facts may sometimes be confusing, but that’s when I find creative fiction is best able to smooth out the wrinkles and make a biblical novel come alive.
What was the last book you read, just for fun?
The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by Jim Rubart. Hubby and I listened to it on Audible while traveling to and from Indiana from our North Carolina home. Jim always writes a great story.
What books are currently on your nightstand?
I’ve gone to mostly Audible books since life has become so busy with my own writing projects. I’m using my Kindle text-to-speech to listen to a pre-release debut novel from my friend and retired seminary dean, Donald L. Brake. It’s called They Called Him Yeshuah, and tells the story of Joseph and Mary’s early married years and Jesus’ life before He began ministry. I’ve just begun listening to Jerusalem’s Queen by Angela Hunt—only on chapter one, but I’m excited to delve deeper. I love Angie’s thorough research.
What upcoming release are you most looking forward to?
I read almost exclusively biblical fiction in order to help promote my favorite genre on social media. It also helps other authors—new and established—so the genre remains relevant and meets the market needs. I’m really excited that the CBA has seven biblical fiction titles (that I know of) releasing in 2019. I love Jill Eileen Smith’s stuff, and The Heart of a King: the Loves of King Solomon comes out in April. Connilynn Cossette is one of my absolute favorites. Book #3 in her City of Refuge series, Until the Mountains Fall, hits shelves in July. I’m also looking forward to a new-to-me author, Barbara Britton, whose book, Lioness, releases in October.
Thanks so much, Tricia, for inviting me to share about my book passions—as wacky as they may be. Isn’t it fun that our God calls so many different kinds of folks with so many different tastes to spread His message? I know Tricia’s ministry branches in lots of directions from teen moms to Amish fiction. Lord, bless those uniquely impassioned folks, who have just read this post, to find their niche in ministry and feel Your pleasure.
Mesu Andrews is the Christy Award-winning author of Isaiah’s Daughter and has received numerous accolades for her other novels including Love Amid the Ashes, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, and Miriam. Her deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers.
Many of her faithful readers are members of her launch team—Mesu’s Biblical Fiction Fans (BFFs)—and offer their time and service to promote God’s word through story. Andrews lives in North Carolina with her husband Roy and enjoys spending time with her growing tribe of grandchildren.
More about Of Fire and Lions
Survival. A Hebrew girl first tasted the need of it when she escaped death nearly seventy years ago as the Babylonian army ransacked Jerusalem and took their finest as captives. She honed her skill while living among the Medes, bowing her knee to both gods and men.
Now, as Daniel’s wife and matriarch of her family, Belili thinks she’s safe and can live out her days in Babylon without fear—until the night Daniel is escorted to King Belshazzar’s palace to interpret mysterious handwriting on a wall. On that very night, the Medo-Persian Army invades, and Belili’s tightly-wound secrets begin to unravel.
As Yahweh’s sovereign hand guides Jerusalem’s exiles to the end of captivity, can the frightened Hebrew girl break the chains of survival and dare to live in truth? And how will the conqueror, King Darius, respond to Babylon’s longest-living wise man, a man who prays to Yahweh alone? Experience, with Daniel and Belili, the majesty and splendor of Yahweh, the God of fire and lions.