Lorilyn Roberts grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, and currently lives in Gainesville, Florida, with her two daughters, her dogs Sirius and Molly, and four cats. Lorilyn is a media professional and provides broadcast captioning for television. She makes time to pursue her passion for writing and will earn her Masters in Creative Writing from Perelandra College next year.
Lorilyn has homeschooled her daughters for the past fifteen years. She has published two books, The Donkey and the King and Children of Dreams; is president of the Gainesville, Florida, Word Weavers Chapter; and the founder of the John 3:16 Marketing Network. Lorilyn's personal website can be found at http://lorilynroberts.com and her blog is at http://lorilynroberts.blogspot.com. You can check out her Facebook fan page where she shares writing tips at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Lorilyn-Roberts-Fan-Page/144049365650301 Also be sure to follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/llwroberts. To learn more about the John 316 Marketing Network, visit http://www.john316mn.blogspot.com
Question: Please introduce yourself and tell us how you got started writing.
Lorilyn: I have been writing ever since I was a young child—around eight years old. My childhood was difficult and I could escape from a world where there was a lot of pain to a world I created that made me happy.
Question: What have you published and what is your current project?
Lorilyn: I have published two books, The Donkey and the King and Children of Dreams. Currently I am working on a sequel to the inspirational fantasy The Donkey and the King. The story has taken off in a new direction and will be a fantasy book for Young Adults. A third book will follow making it a trilogy.
Fantasy continues to be an escape for me. As I have gotten older, raised one child and am approaching the teenage years with my second, I have become more reflective on my early years and wondered if I could heal in a deeper way through writing. I have studied some of the best Christian authors in my Masters writing classes and discovered many grew up in deprived circumstances or even abusive families. Later, those memories found their way in the magnificent stories they wrote.
Hopefully we can age gracefully and see that God was with us when we were young, even before we had an inkling of who He was. Today, as a Christian, I understand the sin that entangles and the chaos that ensues, yet through it all, God makes His presence known in miraculous ways. With fiction we have freedom and freedom inspires creativity. God uses the hard things to reveal Himself when we least expect it, and I look forward to sharing some of that story from a very unusual point of view.
Question: As a writer of faith, what is your philosophy on marketing?
Lorilyn: I started the John 3:16 Marketing Network to help new and low-profile authors launch their books in the oftentimes brutal world of publishing. We have about 150 members now and the Network has helped several authors to achieve best seller status on Amazon.
I find great satisfaction knowing I played a small part in making another Christian author’s dream come true. We are filling a felt-need and purpose. Ultimately my goal is to get as many Christian books in the top rankings as possible to glorify God and present a Christian worldview. From the beginning I felt God leading me to form the John 3:16 Marketing Network and believe we have a great opportunity to influence the direction of Christian book marketing in the years to come.
Question: Tell us about a "God incident-related your writing."
Lorilyn: Children of Dreams tells the story of how God made me a mother to two beautiful daughters from Nepal and Vietnam. My faith has grown through their adoptions as God has taught me so much more about His adoption of us than I ever would have understood otherwise. Jesus paid the ultimate price to redeem us so we could be His children and spend eternity with Him.
Question: What are your hopes/dreams for the future?
Lorilyn: As my children have gotten older, even as a single parent, it has allowed me some freedom to pursue my passion for writing. Last year I enrolled in Perelandra College (a fully accredited on-line college) to pursue my Masters in Creative Writing. I still have another year to finish, but the main reason I wanted it is I have a dream to teach creative writing in China.
While I don't need a Masters to teach there with my background in journalism/court reporting/broadcast captioning, I will need it when I return. I will have been out of the closed-captioning world for a year and may have difficulty finding work. Plus I would like to teach creative writing here in the U.S., write more books, and help other authors. With a Masters in Creative Writing and the experience I gain from teaching in China, I feel like I will be able to pursue that dream.
Question: What advice would you give to someone just beginning to write and wanting to publish?
Lorilyn: The first thing I would say is pursue your dream. Don't let somebody talk you out of it. There will always be naysayers, so if your desire is to write, write with all your heart. While you may need a day job along the way to pay a few bills, you can still pursue your dream if it's your passion. God gives us our passions and creative gifts and longs for us to use them—just like we long for our children to become everything God has created them to be. Develop the attitude of becoming a life-long learner towards writing.
There are also practical things you can do: Join a writer’s critique group like Word Weavers, read all the books on writing you can find, attend writers’ conferences in your area, and listen to webinars and podcasts on the Internet. There is a lot of free information available on the web so writers have access to good information—more than ever before.
Form meaningful relationships with writers on Facebook and Twitter. If you are interested in the John 3:16 Marketing Network, you can get in touch with me on my website at http://lorilynroberts.com. Leave your email (it will be private), website/blog, and Facebook name. I will get back in touch with you.
We've been averaging about three membership drives per year, and I will keep you posted on the next one when you can join.
Any last words?
Lorilyn: Please visit my fan page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter (links at the top) so I can let you know when my YA fantasy book will be available. If you like time travel to other dimensions with a Christian worldview, (or you know someone who does) The Seventh Dimension will take you to a surprising land that lies counter-point to the real world—with unusual animals, special gifts, and supernatural beings. I can’t wait to finish and share it with my friends, fans, and readers.
Others participating in the blog tour -