M. Ann Ricks is a Christian Fiction novelist, living for Christ ON PURPOSE as a literary vessel. She is a graduate of Rider University. Using Jesus Christ as her example as He shared many parables, M. Ann creates stories with fictional characters who contend with real life issues and inserts the Word of God providing literature that will not only entertain but encourage, enlighten, emancipate and restore. M. Ann is the author of THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME and her most recent release, THE SHIFT.
BPM: What drove you to sit down and actually start writing this book?
So many are believing the lies of the enemy and truth be told, although stating that they are Christians, many are still in bondage. They have yet to be delivered from fear, shame, guilt and even rebellion. Jesus is waiting. He hasn’t forgotten about us regardless of how far we’ve strayed and His love is unending. He is an EVER present in the times of our greatest challenge. Hearts have been broken and even hardened as a result of the enemy’s lies. It’s time for the eyes and hearts of the hurt and confused to be opened so that they can truly experience the freedom and power that being a true and unapologetic follower of Christ affords.
BPM: Does your upbringing or life experiences inspire your writing?
My upbringing had a great deal to do with my writing style. I was always strongly encouraged to read which resulted in my writing. Everyone in my family enjoyed reading. We also love the Lord as He is and has always been an integral part of our lives. It would only make sense that I would write about Jesus because I love to read about Him. I also loved reading historical novels, harlequin romances, etc. Words have the power to influence and even transport and that has always intrigued me, even as a child. As a result, being very descriptive while telling the story is a large part of my style. I want the reader to find themselves immersed into each scene. I want them to be in the midst, actively observing, whatever is transpiring in the novel. My lifelong love of words, adjectives especially, have a wonderful way of granting the reader deeper access into the story. It’s a blessing.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven?
Honestly, as I began to write THE SHIFT, the ideas just started flowing. The plot was Holy Spirit driven.
I’ve always wanted to incorporate the truth of the supernatural into my writing. I want people to see past what they can physically visualize in the “natural”. Knowing that there is an underlying spiritual aspect to everything that one may encounter is essential. Believe it or not, I had a totally different premise… But GOD! He knows what He’s doing and I’m learning to be obedient. J There’s nothing like the HOLY SPIRIT! Each idea for THE SHIFT was a divine whisper.
BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book?
My recent release is named, THE SHIFT and it is a Christian Fiction novel but I call it, “Godspirational” as it inspires and reveals as only God can.
I’ll let the synopsis peak your interest… “There is a sense of urgency in the atmosphere as God is transitioning what the world has deemed impossible and unbelievable into the possible and the believable. Pastor Douglass and his family have been chosen for such a supernatural transition but because of the dense fog of deception that seems to surround them, some in the Douglass family have created their own beliefs, fabricating their own sense of self; negating the truth, God’s truth, even when truth is staring them in the face. They, like many, are living lives devoid of the knowledge of who they really are and robbing themselves and those they love of their true identity and freedom. Deeply embedded lies from enemy have blinded eyes, impaired hearing and hardened hearts and Angels from the army of God have been deployed.
BPM: Give us an insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
The main characters are Zeborah, (grandmother, mother,) Xion, (granddaughter),Veronica, ( daughter) Pastor Douglass, ( grandfather, stepdad) and Bo(?, I’ll let the reader decide). Each character has their own destiny which makes them singularly intricate and important to the story but because they are each dealing with issues specific to their own path, they are interdependent upon one another to bring it to fruition and crazily enough, that links each character. I would love the reader arrive at their own reason as to why each character might be deemed special.
BPM: What would you like for readers to take away from your writing? How do you go about reaching new readers?
It is my hope that people will realize while reading THE SHIFT that God is not just an ideal or unapproachable entity. God, the Creator of everything is REAL and most importantly Jesus is waiting. His love is unending. We have the awesome opportunity to be everything God says we are because of Jesus’ unstoppable and unshakable affection towards us. He can suddenly change (hence, THE SHIFT) our lives into ones of true purpose. Lives that will give Him glory! All He desires is a YES!
BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Success for me is people receiving Jesus the Christ as their personal Lord and Savior as a result of reading what God has given me to share in my novels. I am a literary vessel. Only what I do for God will last and I know because the novel is infused with His word, that it will get to the intents of the heart of the people who read it and lives will be changes as a result. I am seeking FIRST the Kingdom as everything else, financial security, realized dreams, movies, etc. will come as a result of my obedience to God!
BPM: Were there any challenges in bringing this story to life?
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive about some of the seemingly sensitive subject matter in the novel and I wanted to shy away from it but I realized that I had to be obedient to God as He knew who this novel would help. Once I resolved to simply obey God and write, I found that there wasn’t anything holding me back. I just had to trust God!
BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like to accomplish now that it has been released?
I wholeheartedly expect lives to change as a result of reading THE SHIFT and that people will begin to actually recognize God! I desire that people not simply “know of” Jesus but hunger to actually KNOW Jesus! I really want this novel to take the world by storm and supernaturally bless anyone who reads it! My greatest dream is that THE SHIFT become a major motion picture.
BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate or inspire? Entertain? Illuminate a particular subject?
I definitely desire to inspire using the word of God and illuminate Jesus the Christ so that all will see Him and that He might draw men to Him as He is lifted up in my writing.
BPM: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing?
The main advantage of self-publishing is calling your own shots, so-to-speak. The self-publishing author makes all of the decisions. The author can be a creative as he or she wishes because there isn’t a cookie cutter guideline that she/he has to follow or adhere to. A disadvantage that many self-publishing authors confront is the marketing and promotions aspect. Because there isn’t a large publishing house representing them, it is sometimes difficult to get their project to the masses in a global and more cost-effective way.
BPM: Where do you see publishing going in the future? In your opinion, will eBooks continue to reign?
Not really, I still hear many avid readers saying that they need to feel the pages and enjoy the feel of the book in their hands. E-books are a great alternative but the hardcover and paperback book is not going anywhere. Not just yet.
BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included? How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I so appreciate the readers taking the time to read this interview! I feel incredibly BLESSED!! I consider it an honor to write for Jesus the Christ as each kind word, e-mail and communication describing how lives have been changed is confirmation that He had them on His mind when He breathed the words of each novel into my spirit! Continue to pray for me as I pray for you!
Interested readers may find my novels on all online literary websites. (i.e.: http://www.amazon.com / http://www.bn.com). Additionally, feel free to visit my website, http://www.mannricks.net to purchase any of my novels. For speaking engagements, Literary Dialogues and book club gatherings, please feel free to contact me directly using: Godsauthor@mannricks.net. I have an Author’s Page on Facebook, go here and Twitter: @Hisblessings4me
BPM: Finish this sentence – “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers & authors… ”
“My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and authors because only what one does for Christ will last. Heaven and Earth shall pass away but the word of God will last forever. Because my novels incorporate the word of God, I am promised legacy that will truly last forever.” – M. Ann Ricks, Christian Fiction Novelist.