cheryl-rickerWelcome! Here’s your chance to win a copy of Rush or Heaven or Josiah’s Fire! Leave a comment on today’s blog to enter the giveaway. Today we have the privilege of visiting with my dear author friend, Cheryl Ricker, who writes narrative non-fiction. Welcome, Cheryl!

Cheryl: Thanks! It’s a joy

Joanne: I love your books. Can you tell us what you like most about writing people’s miracle stories?

Cheryl: Well, I’ve always loved hearing people’s testimonies. They encourage and challenge me. They also point back to God; so they’re ultimately God-stories.

Books like Rush of Heaven and Josiah’s Fire are faith-builders; and it thrills me to preserve their truth so others can grow by them too.

I love using the power of page-turner stories to entertain people, while at the same time constantly highlighting the bigness and goodness of God.

rush-of-heavenJoanne: Can you share a challenge in writing someone’s story?

Cheryl: Hmm, let’s see. Ok, here’s a little challenge: Keeping my gazillions of notes organized. I conduct tons of interviews, so it’s important for me to know where all my files and folders are. Perhaps that’s one of my biggest miracles: how God constantly helps keep this messy girl straight. LOL!

Joanne: How did you find people to write for?

Cheryl: Good question, and the answer is, “totally God”.

For Rush of Heaven, God spoke to Ema McKinley’s heart and told her to “pick Cheryl Ricker.” I’d been praying He’d do exactly that.

For Josiah’s Fire, the Lord nudged me to go to an out-of-town Christian Women in Media conference. The closer my friend and I drove to the conference, the more I felt God’s excitement inside. I just knew He had something extjosiahs-firera special waiting for me there. Sure enough, that’s where I met Tahni Cullen, my coauthor of Josiah’s Fire: Autism stole his words. God gave him a voice.

Joanne: What kind of advice would you give somebody who is just beginning his/her writing journey and wants to get published?

Cheryl: Stick with it. If God has called you to this, He will someday bring it to pass. Practice writing every day, and don’t stop reading the kind of books you’d like to write. Take special notes of the things you like about the author’s writing. For me, I like metaphors, so I study it from the works of bestselling novelists; then I find it pours out of me in my non-fiction quite naturally.

Attend writers’ conferences like the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. You can sign up for workshops in the specific areas where you need to grow. Oh, and as an added bonus, you can make appointments with editors and agents who could help you or lead you in the right direction. I received my first book contract after having an appointment with an editor from Zondervan; so yes, the face-to-face contact really helps.

Most importantly, stay close to Jesus. No matter what you end up doing in life, make sure you respond to God’s lead. There’s no other road to true lasting peace than taking Christ’s high way. Seek His smile of approval, and you’ll have all the approval you ever need.

Joanne: Well, Cheryl, I fee His smile of approval on you. Thanks for visiting with us today.

Cheryl: My pleasure. God bless you, Joanne!

And dear readers, I pray God’s favor rests on you. Open the right doors, Lord. Bring their dreams to pass as they rest their hope in you. May they keep you first in all they do.

You can read the first five chapters of Josiah’s fire for FREE by texting “Josiah” TO 54900.

Cheryl Ricker is an author, blogger, speaker, and poet who enjoys all things artsy. She writes supernatural true-life stories that ignite people’s passion to pursue God. Her first book of this genre, Rush of Heaven: One Woman’s Miraculous Encounter with Jesus, reveals that with God, all things are possible. And now, in Josiah’s Fire, readers are lifted to new heights when a little boy pulls back heaven’s veil.

Cheryl studied creative writing at York University in Toronto, Ontario, and theology at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas. When Cheryl is not writing books, painting with watercolors, or sharing her faith, she loves having heart-to-heart conversations with her husband and two sons at their home in southeast Minnesota.