Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Creative Inspirations

My love for the written word began in early childhood and has morphed through the years about as much as I have. I was an imaginative child who enjoyed fairytales such as Snow-White and Rose-Red and Cinderella.... Seriously though, are there really any little girls out there whose imaginations haven’t been sparked by a good, old-fashioned fairytale? As I grew older, fairytales, for the most part, fell by the wayside and stories such as Little House on the Prairie, the Mandie series, and Anne of Green Gables quickly took their place. Then, low and behold, I become of age to delve into the world of fictional romance, and authors such as Janette Oke, Grace Livingston Hill, Brock and Brodie Thoene, Judith Pella, Michael Phillips, and Francine Rivers became some of my all-time favorites. For a while, I toyed with the idea of one day becoming an actual writer, even jotted down the beginnings of a few stories but was never quite able to fully transfer my thoughts to paper. Once I was college-bound, my initial interest in writing was left by the wayside and soon long forgotten. As a young adult, my love for the written word continued and I began to explore beyond the Christian literary world. I read many a good novel of varying genres written by both men and women. But no matter how good the read may have been, to me, there always seemed to be an element of depth missing from each piece.

Snow-White and Rose-Red by the Grimm Brothers

Essentially, that void was what inspired me toward my forgotten desire of writing. I suddenly longed to meld the elements I’d enjoyed from both the Christian and non-Christian novels into my own creations. I began envisioning various storylines that showcased human frailty made beautiful by God’s love. My first novel, Imperfectly Perfect Love, grew from those desires and became the first book in the Surrendered Hearts series.


With Imperfectly Perfect Love, I wanted to showcase the realities of marriage and the not-so-perfect bliss of motherhood. To me, the most important message any love story can convey isn’t expressed within its romantic scenes or the oh-so perfect ending but is, instead, brought forth through God using the imperfectness of earthly relationships to draw a character toward His perfect love which in turn ultimately draws them toward others. And that’s pretty much the sum of Maggie Grace’s story. 
The picture that was my inspiration for Granny Grace's house.
A picture I found that reminded me a little of my great, great aunt's house.
Obviously, more like the state Peter found it in before making repairs. 


With Serene Courage, I purposefully made the scenes slightly intense. Let’s face it, a dysfunctional family is intense, and domestic abuse is always intense. I wanted you to be immediately thrust into Emily Faith’s world so you could understand the depth of her struggle on a realistic level. I think, because of its intensity, you appreciate the ending even more. My prayer is that Emily's story will be an inspiration to anyone, saved and unsaved alike, who has dealt or is dealing with domestic abuse.
The W. B. Davis Hosiery Mill in Fort Payne, Alabama, was my
inspirational idea for Abigail's Haven of Hope. Obviously, in the
story, it was a remodeled version and not in the middle of the 
downtown area of Sunnyville.
This picture was the inspiration for Emily's wedding dress.
With Amazing Faith, you will come to know all there is to know about the passionate, adventuresome coffee shop owner from Oklahoma. Pieces of Kennah Joy’s past will slowly be revealed, allowing you to fully appreciate the woman you’ve already met. Her deep devotion to God has been grounded since childhood, but it doesn’t mean her faith never wavers or that she doesn’t long for her heart’s seemingly unreachable desire. It also doesn’t mean that she won’t ever ask, “Why?” Even though this story deals with the realities faced by many a single woman, it is a light-hearted, eye-opening read. And for all you single ladies out there who are still waiting for Mr. Right, you might just find that this particular story will speak directly to your heart. Don’t settle for less than God’s best because whoever He has on the other side will definitely be worth the wait! And who knows what fun adventures you’ll inevitably embark upon along the way.

This is somewhat how I envision Kennah Joy
but with longer, straighter, and darker hair.

With Resilient Hope, I’ve been purposely saving a subject that is close to my heart for last. This story will explore the journey of Gloryanna Hope as she traverses the difficult realities of miscarriage, infertility, and all the emotional and physical ramifications that follow. No matter how dark and dismal a situation may seem hope will always spring eternal because He is our hope.


Once the four-part Surrendered Hearts series is finished, I plan to continue writing as the Lord leads. My heart’s desire has been and continues to be, for the most part, to minister to Christian women. That’s why the Christian-worldview is far from subtle in my novels. My goal is to create stories which deal with real topics faced by real Christian women today. I know there are many of you out there who are hurting, who feel alone in your struggles, who need hope in the midst of your pain. I feel a distinct calling to begin tastefully broaching subjects that are far too often rarely discussed within Christian circles but are realities in many homes today. I pray God will give me unique, entertaining stories to tell that will bring hope and light to those who need it most.

Shauna Williams