Marja Meijers joins us today to share about her writing journey and latest book, My Neighbor's House. This talented writer has five books to her credit with sales in the U.S. and overseas. Please join me in welcoming her today. :)
Welcome Marja! Congratulations on My Neighbor's House. What do you hope that readers will take away from this book?
First of all, thank you Karen, for inviting me here today. As most of us know all too well, there is a constant battle going on for our attention and devotion. The world tries to pull us away from God’s desire, God’s plan, for our lives. In this book I offer practical tools that will help the reader to pursue Godly goals instead of worldly goals. I hope readers will be inspired and encouraged in their walk with God while living on this earth.
It sounds like a helpful and inspiring book. I'm looking forward to reading it. Now that you have written five books, is there anything you wish you'd known when you started?
It may sound strange or even funny now, but I am actually glad I was so innocent and inexperienced when I started writing. That childlike enthusiasm and zeal kept me going and still keeps me going, even now that I have learned how difficult it is to remain standing in the publishing world. I seriously think it is to a writer’s advantage not to know too much when starting on this journey, otherwise we would never do it!
I don't think that's strange at all. You make a good point, and I do nderstand. :) I love the cover of My Neighbor's House. How involved are you in the cover selection process of your books?
For this series I have requested covers with colorful flowers, so the publisher lets me pick a cover from several examples. As far as the European translations of my books, I design the covers myself. This is a new area of artistic work I am taking my first steps in.
You made good choices. All of your covers are vivid and eye catching. I saw where your book Grace of Giving was published in Italian. Congratulations! You have books out in other languages as well, don't you? What is involved in having a book produced in another language?
Yes, I have German translations as well and a Spanish one is being worked on as we speak. Normally you would need to find a foreign publisher first and then sign a contract. In my case, several translators offered to translate the books. That is when I started to look for publishers, which in some cases was successful (just recently I have had a meeting with a Portuguese publisher who is going to publish one of my books in 2015) and in some other cases I decided to self-publish the foreign books. The latter involves a lot of work such as editing, design, printing and distribution.
Self publishing is a lot of work, that's for sure. I admire your initiative. Congrats on the Portuguese contract too. That's exciting. What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write as much as you can and ask for feedback. Learn to take criticism. Practice as many forms of writing as possible: poetry, fiction and non-fiction, short stories, drama, scripts, etc. Work on your skills and refuse to be discouraged.
That is wonderful advice. You are an inspiration! What's next on the horizon? Do you have more books planned?
I have been working on a Dutch translation of Respectfully Yours which will be published later this year in Holland. I am in contact with several people about translations in other European languages. As far as the original series in the USA is concerned, I should be working on a sixth book, but I have been procrastinating. Yeah, I admit it. I find it hard to keep focus with so many different things going on. But I will definitely start working on the next one in this series.
If it makes you feel any better, I've been procrastinating lately too. Thank you for joining us today. May the Lord bless your work in the future!
Thank you, Karen. :)
Here is the blurb for Marja's latest book:
The message of God's last commandment is both bold and obvious: don’t be envious of others. But that is not always the easiest thing to do, especially with an American media that bombards us with images of size zero celebrities, lavish mansions, and Louis Vuitton. In Marja Meijers’s fifth book in the Ten Commandments series, you’ll learn how to desire meaningful things and apply God's word to everyday life. Join Marja as she discovers the spiritual principles behind the Tenth Commandment.
Click here for info on My Neighbor's House.
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Do you have any questions for Marja? What are you reading this week?
Happy reading and writing,