Deborah Malone’s first novel Death in Dahlonega, finaled in the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Category Five writing contest! Deborah was nominated for 2012 and 2013 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Novel category. She is a member of the Georgia Writer’s Association, Advanced Writers and Speaker’s Association, and the American Christian Fiction Writers.
Welcome to my blog, Debbie. You usually write cozy mysteries, but this one is completely different from those. Please tell us about this book, Blooming in Broken Places.
Thank you for having me again, Linda. I enjoy being a guest on your blog. I have six Cozy Christian Fiction books published, but Blooming in Broken Places is my first non-fiction book. This is the story of my life woven through women in the Bible that God used even during the darkest times of their lives. There are 12 chapters and 12 women.
I love reading about strong women from days gone by. This book sounds intriguing. Will you please tell us about one of the women from the Bible that impressed you?
I think my favorite is the Samaritan woman at the well. She came to the well at the hottest time of the day to avoid other women and the gossip she would have to endure. She never expected to meet Jesus. They talked and Jesus taught her about his grace. She said she knew the Messiah was coming and then he told her, “I Am the Messiah.” She was so excited she dropped her water jug and ran to town and told the people about Jesus. Now this was a woman that avoided being around people. Her confidence and self-esteem just jumped 100%. Because of this woman and her belief in Jesus many people were saved the next several days. God didn’t wait to use her until she was perfect – he used her right where she was in her walk. He can use us, too, right where we are!
I love that story, too. I recently watched a short video (5 minutes long) about her experience with Jesus. It is very touching. For those interested, click here. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?
Linda, over the years people had asked me to write my story. At that time, I didn’t have any desire to write it – I didn’t want to be negative and I didn’t want to bring up all the feelings I’d hidden in the recesses of my mind.
In the past couple of years, I’ve given a few talks on this subject and once again I was encouraged to write my story, to encourage other women. Early in the year I was working on the third book in my second cozy mystery series when I was led to write “Blooming in Broken Places.” I was at a point in my life I felt I was ready. I came up with the idea of adding the women from the bible to show how God used broken women all the time for his glory. How encouraging is that?
I love the idea of using Bible stories to help you through the struggles in your own life. What kind of research did you do?
This is an interesting question, Linda. I had heard the story of some of these women, but others I hadn’t. The most surprising thing is that we aren’t always told the whole story. To discover that these women were so much like we are today was amazing. For instance, we talk a lot about Ruth, but seem to forget how strong Naomi was. She left to return to her hometown and told her two daughters-in-law to return to their families. She was willing to travel alone if it meant they could remain in their homelands. She was so downtrodden and discouraged that she asked her people to change her name and call her Mara. But – that isn’t the end of the story. I’m not going to tell you, because I want you to read the book and find out how she goes from broken to blooming.
Oh, back to the research. I used the New Living Translation of the Bible. There are two books I used most for my research, they are: “All the Women of the Bible,” by Edith Dean and “Women of the Bible for Dummies.” Either of these books would be great for anyone interested in learning more about the women of the Bible and how they lived a life filled with challenges, just like we do today.
Where is your website and blog so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?
Thank you, Deborah. I have learned a lot from you in this interview. I hope my readers will check out your book.