Welcome to the five hundred and eighty-fourth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with Christian non-fiction author Shirley Brosius. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Shirley. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Shirley: I was a former teacher and a director of Christian education who lives in rural Central Pennsylvania. When I needed to make a job change in my fifties, I had a yen to write. My husband suggested I try it for a year and see what happened. I enrolled in graduate journalism courses, took a job as a newspaper correspondent and was hooked. My fingers have danced across the keyboard to the tune of hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles plus two books.
Morgen: I like your husband already. You write non-fiction, how do you decide what to write about?
Shirley: For newspaper stories I just keep my eyes and ears open for people who do something of interest to their communities (or stories are assigned). My first book grew out of a seminary class I taught on women in ministry. As I researched, I was amazed at how women had impacted the church. So I decided to write a book in which I would tell the story of an inspirational woman on each page. My second book was written with two gals with whom I share a speaking ministry called Friends of the Heart. At church events we find women burdened, sometimes paralyzed, by guilt over things that happened in their pasts. And we carry our own share too. So we wrote a book sharing personal stories of how we handle guilt—both real and imagined—in a godly manner.
Morgen: Bad memories, and worry, are very hard to shake off. My mother worries, often about little things, and it’s easy enough to say “don’t worry” but it’s harder to stop. What have you had published to-date?
Shirley: I have published two books: Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories About Women Who Made a Difference and Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. The latter was written with co-authors Janine Boyer and Kim Messinger.
Morgen: You’ve self-published, what led to you going your own way?
Shirley: My first book was with a traditional publisher, but as I sought a publisher for my second book, they said they were not doing women’s devotionals at that time. After spending a year or two seeking a publisher or an agent and finding neither, I decided to self publish.