Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fabulous Friday Feature-Nancy Mehl

Today I welcome author: 
Nancy Mehl

To win a copy
Gathering Shadows

Scroll to the end of the post 
to see how to get your copy.

I met Nancy at the conference this year. I mean the in-person, Nancy. I've enjoyed her posts on FB and getting to know the online Nancy, but the live, breathing, dressed up in her gala-gorgeous-blue-dress Nancy was so sweet and wonderful to meet!  I asked her to share with us how God has led her on her writing journey. This is what she said:

Doing It for the One

Usually writers start out with a clear direction. We know what we want to write, and we know what kind of readers we want to reach. Unfortunately, once we sell a book, things can change. Suddenly we’re faced with editors who have their own ideas and reviewers whose words can sometimes shake our confidence. Many authors wind up confused, no longer knowing why they’re writing or who they’re writing for.

My advice is two-fold. First of all, put each book in God’s hands and dedicate it to Him. I’ve found that if you do this, and mean it, you’ll get ideas and inspiration that can only come from Him.

Secondly, make your audience small. I mean, really small. Reduce it down to one person.

I once had a friend who ran a mission for homeless men. So many of his clients seemed doomed to failure, and there didn’t appear to be many success stories that resulted from his endeavors. One day, during a conversation, I asked him, “Out of one hundred men, how many have you actually helped? How many lives have actually changed for the better?”

He thought seriously for a moment. Then he answered, “Maybe one.”

I was flabbergasted. “How do you do this every day? What keeps you from giving up?”

He smiled and said, “I do it for the one.”

Writing is a gift. For many Christian writers, it becomes something more. It becomes a ministry. But how do we effectively reach out through our books and touch people for Him? We know that if we try to stuff our stories with too many spiritual insights, we can actually end up diluting the message we want to convey. Readers will call our work “too preachy.”

After remembering my friend’s inspirational statement, I made a change. Now, I “do it for the one.” In other words, before I start a novel, I ask God to show me the person he wants to reach. Is it someone who didn’t have a father growing up and has a hard time trusting Father God? Or is it someone being abused, who needs to know there is a way out? Who is the person God wants to touch through this book? Doing this helps me to keep my focus and makes my main theme much clearer.

For me, “doing it for the one,” is the way I can use my writing to really “do it for the One.”

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. Her favorite past-time is babysitting her 21 month old grandson, Aidan. She’s authored twenty books and just finished a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Finding Sanctuary series, “Gathering Shadows” was released on May 6th.  The second book, “Deadly Echoes” will come out in February of 2015.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

You can connect with her on: 
Facebook: Nancy Mehl

Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

Other books by Nancy Mehl:

New Release - This coming January, 2015!

After years of upheaval, Sarah Miller's life is finally settled with all echoes of the past stilled and silent at last. She spends her time teaching the children of Sanctuary, a town she is happy to call home. 

When the sister Sarah hasn't seen in years reappears, it stirs up hard memories of the past and their parents' murder. Even so, Sarah's joy at being reunited with Hannah and meeting the niece she didn't know she had is too soon interrupted when Deputy Sheriff Paul Gleason informs Sarah her sister has been killed. 

As Sarah learns more about Hannah's death, the circumstances seem eerily similar to her parents' death. She enlists Paul's help in digging deeper into these murders the police are dismissing as burglaries gone wrong. Paul's concern encourages Sarah's growing feelings for him, but as their investigation peels back the layers of lies almost twenty years old, they get close to uncovering the truth one man will do anything to hide--even if he must do away with the last remaining members of the Miller family.
To enter the contest for  
Nancy Mehl's book: "Gathering Shadows"
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Winner announced on my facebook page.

Thank you, Nancy, for Joining us This Weekend!

Don't forget to comment!

Reader, Wow! Nancy left us with such good words. I think often we do our job for the many. Has this helped you today? I hope so.

If you don't have an answer, that's okay, just say howdy-do in the comment section. I love chatting with you.

Thanks so much for joining our chat today.


Caryl Kane said...

Thank you Mary for this wonderful interview with Nancy Mehl! Nancy is spot on with the audience of one focus. We should live our lives with that same focus. I would love to read "Gathering Shadows".

I follow via email at psalm103and138"AT"gmail"DOT"com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Caryl!
Thanks for following via email.
I thought Nancy's words were especially inspirational, too. God leaves these great messages for us through the experiences of others. That is one reason why I really love having weekend guests like Nancy.
I sure enjoyed chatting with you today. Looking forward to your next visit.

Unknown said...

Great interview. I loved the part about writing for an audience of one. You never know who that one is and how much of an impact that will be made
Dana Michael

Nancy Mehl said...

Thanks for stopping by, Caryl and Dana. Although I know we're called to minister to everyone God puts in our lives, writing for "the one" really helps me to focus on the story I'm working on. I pray over each book that it will be a "word in due season" to everyone who reads it. Thanks for visiting!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great thoughts, Dana. Even when working with children their sharp eyes pick up so much. We are God's example to everywhere we go.

Thanks so much for joining Nancy and me today!

Beth said...

Great interview!! "Gathering Shadows" sounds like an amazing book, and I can't wait to read it! Thank you so much Mrs. Mehl for sharing your faith in your books; I love reading Christian suspense books.
I follow this page via facebook.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Beth!
I love Christian suspense books, too. Are they exciting. And when a chapter ends, I can't wait to turn the page to read, too? There something thrilling about reading a suspense book. Thanks so much for joining Nancy and me today, Beth.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the interview. I feel I know you better. I would love to win a copy of "Gathering Shadows." Christian suspense books are my favorite.

Nancy Mehl said...

Thank you for your comments, Beth. I do try to share my faith in my books. If I couldn't do that, I don't think I'd want to write. God bless you.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Good words, Nancy. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Thank you so much for joining us. If you would like to email me privately your email information to be in the drawing you can. Also, signing up for the email subscription of my posts is a private way to fulfill the requirement to enter the drawing. My email address is
Thanks so much for joining Nancy and me today.

Anonymous said...

Great interview with Nancy. I think we should do for the many and always be Jesus hands and feet and salt and light. If we give food, one will be blessed, if we give a shoebox for children, they will be blessed, if we teach Gods words the seeds are planted and people will be blessed. We can never be weary in what God has entrusted to us. I would love to read Nancy's book Sounds exciting and a real page turner!
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sunnymeadows said...

Enjoyed this interview. I love christian fiction and I have really enjoyed your books Nancy. Your books always grab my interest and are impossible to put down. I love the way you always include God in your books and they always encourage my faith. I'd love to win Gathering Shadows.

Nancy Mehl said...

Thank you so much, Cindy. That means a lot to me. :)

Jackie Tessnair said...

Great interview.I love Nancy's books.These sounds very interesting.Looking forward to reading them.Thanks for sharing this post,loved it.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I can only say Amen to your well spoken comment. :)
Thanks so much for joining Nancy and me today.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Such an encouraging comment for Nancy. You have heaped a great blessing:)
Thanks so very much for stopping by today. :)

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Jackie!
Thanks so much for becoming a follower. Sure is nice to meet you. And what a great way to meet over the fabulous works of Nancy Mehl. I'm so glad you stopped by today!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

Thanks Mary and Nancy for offering me both the challenge and the motivation to dedicate myself to helping one person and perhaps changing one life as opposed to reaching the masses. Both of you, through your books, have the possibility of reaching countless people and that is such a gift. My voice may not reach but one person but I CAN try.
Thank you and may God bless you both!

Mary Vee Writer said...

That is all God asks. I read a biography of a missionary who went to India. For ten years absolutely no one responded to the Gospel message, yet he stayed. And that is what he was there for. God never says there will be a response, He only asks us to do. And He asks us to do because He so loves the world that He consistently gives everyone as many chances as they need.

I'm so glad you do what you do for Christ.

Love yah,

Nancy Mehl said...

Thank you for your touching post, Connie. Reaching out to one person means that they will reach out to someone else, and on and on it goes. Eventually, one life that is impacted can change families forever. I believe that someday, when we stand in heaven with Him, we will meet people we didn't know on earth who were touched by our lives in ways we knew nothing about. A small seed can bring a huge crop! God bless you!

Unknown said...

Wonderful interview Mary. Love your books as usual Nancy. Keep up the wonderful writing!
CherylB1987 AT Hotmail DOT com

Mary Vee Writer said...

Hi Cheryl! Thanks for becoming a follower. We sure enjoyed chatting with you and look forward to seeing you again. Which one of Nancy's books was your favorite?