Mesu Andrews is an author of Biblical Fiction. Her three books: Love Amid the Ashes, Love's Sacred Song, and Love in a Broken Vessel, are all fantasic. I was recently able to interview her, and I am excited to be able to share a little about her.
Welcome, Mesu! Tell us about your journey to become a published author:
Why Biblical fiction?
"Well, I never intended to become a writer. I was an “off-the-charts” extrovert, and I had a passion for God’s Word, so I began teaching Bible studies and women’s groups at my home church and then branched out to retreats and conferences. One of my studies was on Song of Solomon, and women were asking for a published Bible study, so in 2001 I attended my first writers’ conference. Oh my, what a nightmare. After the critiques I received, I was firmly convinced I’d never write anything but my name EVER again! A year later, I experienced some severe health issues, and cut back on speaking. But the passion to teach God’s Word still burned within. I began writing devotionals but had a similar critique experience at a second writers’ conference in 2005. Finally, in 2008 my best friend nagged me until I turned my Bible study into a story, teaching the lessons I’d learned from Song of Solomon as a parable of sorts. For me, writing was never the ultimate goal. Getting people excited about God’s Word is my passion. Writing is simply the door the Lord opened that allows me to do that.
What a wonderful passion! The world would be a different place if we were all excited about God's Word!!
What would you say to someone who is struggling with reading the Bible/How would you encourage them to fall in love with His Word?
Read it like a love letter—or like a story—not like a manual. Biblical fiction is NEVER a substitute for reading God’s Word, but it can be a helpful companion to bridge understanding the context of a particular passage. Knowing who wrote the passage, why he wrote it, to whom, and under what circumstances, goes a long way in helping us understand the original message—and then apply it to our own lives. I believe it’s important to understand that the Bible is a single story, told with sixty-six books—Old Testament and New Testament. Every book has an important place in the story, but they’re not in order. To read a Bible arranged chronologically, try: NIV Chronological One Year Bible, or the Narrated Bible. Other ways to discover Scripture’s singular story are through novels like Walter Wangerin’s, The Book of God, or Max Lucado’s, The Story. Again, these are not Scripture, but they can be helpful to get a full view of God’s story before trying to examine it in pieces.
Great advice. I am currently studying Psalm 119, and I really want to love His Word like that!
Do you have a favorite scripture or life verse and why?
“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet
you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
I need a mighty God, One I can be absolutely certain is bigger than the things my over-active imagination conjures up. And the fact that God delights in me—that blows me away. I tend to be a sputter-er. A flibber-di-jibette. You know, someone that flits from one thing to another, finding it hard to finish anything. I need Yahweh’s quieting presence, His steadying hand on my life to give me peace, calm, perseverance. And here’s the real mind-blowing part—He actually enjoys me. Can you imagine the Lord enjoying YOU so much that He SINGS? I know angels sing…but God? Singing? Over me—and you? If that doesn’t boost our sagging self-esteem, I’m not sure what will!
I love the term "fliber-di-jibette!" But that truly is a beautiful truth to remember! Thank you!
How about some other favorites, just for fun:
What is your favorite:
Color: on a wall, red; in clothing, browns/neutrals; in the sky, purple; for my hair color, mixing 6R and 6N
Food: pizza and lobster (not together) ;)
Animal: dog (I love my Rotti-pitbull, Bouzer)
Disney movie: Jungle Book
Biblical character: Hephzibah (wife of most righteous king, mother of most evil king—Eeee-gad!)
Book you've written: Yikes, tough one! Love’s Sacred Song
Fiction book that you've read in the last year: Harvest of Rubies, by Tessa Afshar
Inspirational non-fiction (other than the Bible): (Do research books count?) All the Children of the Bible:Pictures of Child Life in the Bible
Favorite vacation: Cruising—anywhwere!
Favorite memory: Wedding Day! All of it—even if it wasn’t picture-perfect, it was blessed and the
beginning of forever!
Finally, could you tell us a little about your latest book--or about the upcoming Shadow of Jezebel:
How about both! This is a little snippet about Love in a Broken Vessel:
Deserted by those who love her and betrayed by the gods she once worshiped, Gomer lives a bitter existence…until one day her childhood friend reappears—Hosea. But is it too late for Gomer? Is her heart too broken to capture even a drop of love? While unfaithful Israel breaks God’s heart, Gomer’s broken spirit tests Hosea’s faith. Can the two find faith in Yahweh’s power to love?
(I'll be reviewing this one later in the week!)
Here’s a sneak peek of The Shadow of Jezebel that will release March 2014 (Revell):
Princess Jehosheba (Sheba) wants nothing more than to please her Baal-worshiping abba, Judah’s King, and his first wife Queen Atalyah, the daughter of notorious Queen Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the king’s household, Sheba realizes her dark skills as Baal’s priestess reach beyond the world of earthly governments.
When both light and darkness align, forcing her to marry Yahweh’s high priest, Sheba enters the unknown world of Yahweh’s Temple. Her husband shows her Yahweh’s truth and a love beyond hope, but can Sheba overcome Jezebel’s lingering torment? Can Yahweh use a fallen priestess to shine the unquenchable light of His love to faithless Judah? The Shadow of Jezebel—Meet the woman who saved a king, delivered a nation, and preserved the Light of the World.
And I can't wait for this one to come out, too!!
Mesu loves to stay connected with readers, and there are lots of ways to find her on the internet:
· Please stop by my website and order free bookmarks, or download group discussion or Bible study questions for all three of Mesu’s books: http://www.mesuandrews.com/
· Or visit me on Facebook: Mesu Andrews
· Twitter: MesuAndrews
· Pinterest: MesuAndrews
· Blog posts on Fridays (inside scoop on characters, plots, and new releases!): http://www.mesuandrews.com/blog/