Thank you, Martin, for interviewing with VineWords. We are delighted to learn about your writing passion.
Q: Why do you write? What drives you?
A: What drives me is the possibility of going insane if I don’t write. I write what I do because I want others to experience God’s love through true stories with biblical application—much as Jesus did. Like the prophet Jeremiah, stories burn in my body, and they must come out. My hope is to encourage others, regardless of what they are experiencing on their life journey.
Q: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
A: Since I am a teacher and have a day job that often extends into the evenings and weekends (grading papers)—and since I am editor as well, my preferred time to write is at 4:45 a.m. This is when my mind is the sharpest. If I don’t write then, other things that come up during the day—life—get in the way.
Q: What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?
A: For me, the marketing. All publishers expect authors to do this now. It can be time-consuming—and expensive if paying someone else to do it for you. I also try to promote other authors on my website and with social media platforms.
Q: What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?
A: I love telling my stories, applying a spiritual aspect, and knowing they’ll be read all over the world. I love helping other authors. After all, we are all in this writing journey together, not lone rangers. I also enjoy meeting and getting to know other authors through conferences and by online correspondence.
Q: What genre do you focus on and why?
A: The genre I’m drawn to is religion and specifically devotions. While I do write articles for various publications, nonfiction seems to be my niche.
Q: Tell us about your newest book.
A: My latest book, A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Noisy World, combines my love for the outdoors and my passion for devotions. Since the “silence” of nature seems to be the place where God speaks the loudest to many people, I decided to filter through the many devotions I’ve written and select those that dealt with my hiking, backpacking, and camping experiences—especially those that had spiritual implications.
Q: How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?
A: A Whisper in the Woods: Quiet Escapades in a Noisy World will take you away from the noise of the world into quiet places where you can hear God’s Spirit tell you things you might not hear otherwise. It is not only for those who love the outdoors, but has the potential to speak to everyone.
Q: What’s one thing your readers should know about you? Or, what’s one unusual fact about you?
A: I did not start writing in earnest until I was almost 50—in 2009 to be exact, the year my father died. I’m not sure the connection between those two events, but for some reason I felt compelled to begin writing devotions and articles. My father was not a writer, except for his sermons, so I don’t think it was his example that compelled me.
Q: How have you changed or grown as a writer?
A: When I look back at some of the original things I wrote ten years ago, I wonder how I got anything published. One way I’ve grown is in my ability to use writing styles more effectively—varying sentence structure. I’ve also learned to be more vulnerable in my writing, sharing stories that hopefully others can identify with. Attending conferences and being open to the editing suggestions of other editors has also improved my writing ability. Editing for a website and a publishing company keeps me on my toes and helps me continue growing as a writer.
Q: What is your favorite pastime?
A: Reading, walking, and hiking are my favorite pastimes. Because of my schedule, I don’t often find as much time as I would like to do the first and third, but I do make time five days each week to walk. This clears my head, gives me writing ideas, and relieves the stress of the day.
Q: Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
A: I have written five other books, some of which are unfortunately now out of print: Morning Serenity; Morning Meditations; Grace Greater than Sin; Grits, Grace & God; and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: Currently, I am preparing for the release of my latest book and thinking of marketing strategies. At the same time, I continue to write weekly in preparation for any future book contracts that might come along.
Thank you, Martin. We are pleased to feature your devotions. Thank you for sharing your writing talents with VineWords.
Martin Wiles Bio:
Martin Wiles is an author, English teacher, and freelance editor who resides in Greenwood, South Carolina. He is the founder and editor of Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com). Wiles is the Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, the Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and a Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He has also served as Web Content Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina. Wiles has authored A Whisper in the Wood: Quiet Escapes in a Noisy World (Ambassador International), Grits & Grace & God and Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning, Morning Serenity, and Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books) and is a contributing author in Penned from the Heart (Son-Rise Publications), and Rise (Chaplain Publishing). He has served as Regional Correspondent and Sunday school lesson writer for the Baptist Courier and has also written for Lifeway’s Bible Studies for Life curriculum. He has also been published in Christian Living in the Mature Years, Mature Living, Open Windows, Proclaim, The Secret Place, The Word in Season, Upper Room, Light from the Word, Reach Out Columbia, Mustard Seed Ministries, Journey Christian Newspaper, Common Ground Herald, The Quiet Hour, Power for Living, Halo Magazine, Joyful Living Magazine, Christian Broadcasting Network, Sharing, Today’s Christian Living, These Days, Plum Tree Tavern, Eskimo Pie, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Creation Illustrated, LIVE, Purpose Magazine, Stand Firm, The Banner, Relevant, and Lutheran Digest. He is a regular contributor to Christian Devotions, PCC Daily Devotions, Theology Mix, Inspire a Fire, The Write Conversation, and Vine Words and is a regular writer for the Dorchester County Eagle Record, the Orangeburg County Times and Democrat, and the Greenwood County Index Journal. Wiles’ next book, Don’t Just Live…Really Live is under contract with Ambassador International.
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