NOTE: Commentary is made as a private citizen and not as Regional Coordinator for Silent No More or Leader of Rachel's Hope, unless otherwise stated.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Welcome Andrea Merrell to "An Author Speaks"!

Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor and has led workshops at various writers’ conferences.  Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, The Gift, and Praying for the Prodigal. To learn more, visit or   

What five words describe you?

Patti, thanks so much for having me on your blog. My five words? Short. Detailed. Writer. Editor. Dark-chocolate-lover.

 What is your latest book? What is it about?

My newest book, Praying for the Prodigal, is the story of my five-year journey dealing with two prodigals. My son and daughter both took the wrong path at the same time, and my husband and I experienced our own personal hell. Because I’ve been there—and survived—I want to share some of the lessons I learned, offer some practical advice, and encourage parents to learn to pray the Word of God over their children daily. It’s also important for them not to get caught in the blame game or be weighed down with guilt and condemnation. My husband and I never thought this could happen to us, but we learned that even good kids rebel, and even good parents can end up with a prodigal.

What else are you working on?

As a writer and editor, my plate stays pretty full. I write devotions for and for my personal blog Along with fellow editor, Alycia Morales, I write blog posts for This is a place for writers to get advice from a variety of professionals. We have a special guest once a month and do lots of book giveaways. I’m also a fiction writer and have two novels in progress.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

That’s a tough one because I have so many favorites. Certainly J. R.R. Tolkien, who masterfully wrote Lord of the Rings, or Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables—both classics.
What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest part for me is finding a balance between writing and editing. When I’m editing for a client—especially with a tight deadline—that has to be my first priority. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to my own writing.

 Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

This is something I haven’t dealt with very much. If it does happen, it works best for me to take a break. Sometimes that might mean fifteen minutes and a cup of coffee, or it might mean a week or two. Finding a new and interesting spot to write also stirs those creative juices.

 Where would your dream location be for writing?

Several years ago my husband and I visited Maine. It was beautiful, peaceful, and seemed the perfect spot for inspiration. I could picture myself sitting on one of those huge rocks by the water, lighthouse in the distance, pen and pad in hand.

When creating characters, are they based on people in your life?

Many times, yes. I think that’s true for all writers. We tend to write mostly from what we know and have experienced. Sometimes I find my own quirks finding their way into a character. Not sure whether that’s good or bad, but it’s hard to avoid.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Something all writers should realize is that there will always be someone who does not like or agree with what they read. And that’s okay. As long as we’re following God’s plan for our life, writing the words He places in our heart, and have good feedback from a critique group, editor, or publisher, we can rest in the fact that we’re doing what we are called to do. We can let a negative review derail us, or choose to focus on the ones that give us the encouragement we need to keep moving forward.

If you couldn't be a writer, what would you be?

I can’t imagine being anything else (except a wife, mother, and grandmother of five beautiful little girls). Thankfully, I get to do them all.

What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in your writing career?

o get started earlier. I wasted a lot of years NOT chasing my dream.

Where can we buy your books?

Murder of a Manuscript, The Gift, and Praying for the Prodigal are all available on Amazon.

How can we keep up with you? Blog, Facebook, etc.

I would love for folks to visit and and connect with us by subscribing to the posts. You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Goodreads.

Amazon link for Murder of a Manuscript
Amazon link for Praying for the Prodigal
Amazon like for The Gift
Twitter – Facebook –
Linkedin –
Goodreads –

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