Writer’s Desk with Audra Haney
Audra Haney is the host and producer of The 5 Minute Mom Podcast and Author of He Is There with Tyndale Kids. She lives with her husband Cory and three kids in Knoxville, TN where they enjoy full-time ministry, camping in the Great Smoky Mountains, and managing a mini farm.
More about He Is There:
So daily sing your songs of praise, and pray your daily prayers.
Keep looking with your HEART―you’ll see! God’s working everywhere.
He Is There is a creative, poetic, and interactive book that helps kids learn about the invisible but surprising presence of God. We can’t see God with our physical eyes, but He Is There uses poetry and flashlight fun to help kids look for the hand of God in creation and in their daily lives. This is also a fun way for parents and kids to calm down, connect, and have spiritual conversations before bedtime, story time, or anytime.
This book affirms the biblical truths of God’s sometimes seemingly hidden presence, his friendship, and his care in a creative and engaging way. The fun and novel storytelling format will bring many joyful and blessed hours to your family time.
Q&A with Audra Haney
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
AH: I could eat the same thing for breakfast for the rest of my life! Fried Eggs, Avocado Toast, and Chicken Sausage. Never gets old to me!
TG: Why did you write He Is There?
AH: I wrote He Is There for my niece when she was 3 years old. She was walking through an extremely difficult situation, and I wanted to remind her of God’s beautiful presence—no matter how hard our circumstances may seem. Just like many important yet intangible things in our lives (gravity, oxygen, sound, the wind), the evidence of God is all around us. We may not SEE God with our eyes, but we can EXPERIENCE AND KNOW God—through His Word, His people—and easily through the beauty, intricacy, and creativity of nature.
TG: Did you have any surprises or learning moments while writing this title?
AH: Even though I wrote He Is There very quickly, it would be another fifteen years before it was published. My niece is about to be a senior! God has taught me so many wonderful lessons about His perfect timing and waiting through this entire process. It was definitely worth the wait and more beautiful than I could have ever imagined!
TG: What do you hope readers take away from your book?
AH: Because children are so naturally drawn to the way God is working in the world around them, it’s a great way to help them remember God’s care and unfailing presence in their lives.
When we take time to remember and trust God’s presence, we are flexing an IMPORTANT faith muscle. Because even the youngest children can appreciate God’s wonderful world, it also serves as an important building block for future theological training.
As icing on the cake, the flashlight element of this book makes this a memorable and FUN lesson.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
AH: I don’t have any specific rituals, but when inspiration hits—I am laser-focused and all consumed until I get everything on paper. The world around me seems to fade away until I’m finished.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
AH: I think it’s so important to identify the best time of day to capture your thoughts! Pay attention to when you are most inspired and focused, and it will save you a lot of frustration.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
AH: I’m always snacking! But, a cup of coffee is a writer’s best friend!
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
AH: I think if you work with your mind, it’s vital to “rest with your hands”. If I’ve hit a roadblock, doing something physical like cleaning or working outside on my mini farm will almost always allow my mind to rest and release.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
AH: I never “self-edit” on my first draft. I let my thoughts flow freely without judgment! I have fun. I dive in. It’s a lot like jumping into a cold pool. You just suck it up, get in there, and start swimming. Before you know it, you’ll feel comfortable.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
AH: I think a lot of new writers feel the pressure to achieve a certain amount of success before they truly identify as a writer. You are a writer if you write- no matter the size of your audience. Own that and believe that. Enjoy the process of creating and brining your words into the world. Even if they touch one life (maybe even your own) the work to find your words will have been worth it.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
AH: Always have a journal, notebook, or note on your phone to capture your ideas immediately! You’ll most likely lose a brilliant idea if you don’t have a system for catching them.
TG: What book(s) are you currently reading?
AH: My eldest daughter and I are devouring a lot of inspirational biographies, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Anne of Green Gables. It’s so much fun to relive and rediscover so many of these stories through my children.
TG: What is your favorite place on earth?
AH: Loyston Point Campground. Our family always kicks off the first week of summer with a beautiful campsite. We book early to get a waterfront spot with a mountain view. It’s my happy place!
TG: Cats or dogs?
AH: Dogs and cats….and chickens and goats. Give me all the critters.
TG: What is one thing you can’t live without?
AH: Music! It can change my mood and energy level instantly. Music is such a gift from God.
TG: What is the best song to blast when you need to be pumped up?
AH: Anything from Charity Gale’s new worship album—Endless Praise!
TG: If you could time travel to any point in history when would it be, and who would you be hanging out with?
AH: My husband lost his father right before we started dating. I wish I could go back in time and get to know him.
TG: If you weren’t a writer, what job would you have?
AH: I would love to be a Professional Organizer. I get very excited about clear bins and a label maker—and it would be a dream to clean out clutter for a living.
TG: Who is your dream co-author?
AH: Both of my daughters are incredibly creative and artistic! I’d love to work with them on writing and illustrations as they get older.
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