Guest Post for the John 3:16 Book Launch Blog Tour
Stop Five on the Tour
Getting to know Lorilyn Roberts
Author of Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension
What are your current projects?
Since Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension is published I’m on to my next project, writing my second and third books in the Seventh Dimension Series. I had to split The King into two books when I realized it was going to be 130,00 words. That’s too long for a YA novel unless you are A.K. Rowlings. The King is Book 2 and The Castle is Book 3.
The King should be published in the summer of 2014.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension is a companion book to the Christian YA Fantasy Series Seventh Dimension. The first book, The Door, in the Seventh Dimension Series is the story of a young girl who is bullied and misunderstood. She travels back 2,000 years ago and meets a king who changes her life. While there, she falls in love with a young man who has also traveled back in time. The King and The Castle, Books 2 and 3, is Daniel’s story. Am I Okay, God? is a stand-alone book. Those who read the Seventh Dimension Fantasy Series will enjoy these 27 devotionals.
The series is a fantasy because I have made the spiritual world a reality and called it the seventh dimension. Anything can happen there—including meeting talking animals, twins of people you know from your past, and unusual spiritual creatures. The displaced characters have special abilities. The Seventh Dimension Series has a strong spiritual theme and the books are aimed at the YA, although older people have also enjoyed journeying to the seventh dimension.
If you like stories like Alice in Wonderland, The Narnia Series, Pilgrim’s Progress, Ben Hur, and It’s a Wonderful Life, you would enjoy my books.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
The hardest part of writing is finding the time. I have a full-time job, and I adopted and have raised two daughters who are now 23 and 15 as a single mother. When I’m working on a book, I get very obsessed with writing and research, to the exclusion of other important things—like cooking, getting groceries, and just every-day ordinary living. It’s good and bad. I get stuff written, but I let stuff go that I shouldn’t.
Writing in my spare time is not easy. Right now, I’m typing this at 5:05 a.m. in the morning. I haven’t gone to bed yet. And this is typical—and insane.
Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
Before starting the first draft of The King, I read several books and watched many YouTube videos and documentaries on the history channel. I wanted a solid understanding of Jewish history and why the Jews for the most part have rejected Yeshua as their Messiah. The protagonist in The King is an Israeli, and I needed to know my character before I could write his story.
I am amazed at the quality of the information available on the web. Every question I had was answered. I have written 50,000 words with about 15,000 more to go—the last part of The King involves the world of chariot racing. I still need to do more research, but I love that aspect of writing. I learn a lot and that keeps me motivated to write exciting scenes. I hope that comes across to my readers.
Probably the most challenging part of The King was coming up with the cover. I wanted a chariot on the front with an amphitheater (I have visited the Roman Coliseum in Italy), and I wanted it to look authentic, like a real chariot race from two thousand years ago. I have the best cover designer in the world, Lisa Hainline (see Lisa Hainline’s website) who pulled it off for me. I’m as excited about this cover as I was The Door and Am I Okay, God? Both were done by Lisa.
Did you have to travel much concerning your Seventh Dimension Series?
I could not have written the Seventh Dimension Series had I not been to Israel. I was a student in Jerusalem studying at the Institute of Holy Land Studies at the start of the Gulf War in 1991. I hope I never have to wear a gas mask or worry about shooting myself with nerve gas again. The worst part was I didn’t understand the instructions they gave on how or when to use the nerve gas antidote, and then I was terrified I’d need to shoot myself. I decided to leave and took the last plane out of Tel Aviv and flew to Engelberg, Switzerland. There were no more flights back to the U.S. My family and friends thought I was insane, but you can do those things when you don’t have children. God has given me many life experiences that find their way into my books.
How much of The Seventh Dimension Series is realistic?
I have tried to make the fantasy part realistic and the realistic part fantasy—what I mean is that the seventh dimension is real and forever. Our reality here will one day end. So what’s real takes on a very different meaning when you think about it in spiritual terms.
Is anything in The Seventh Dimension Series based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The beginning of The King is based on my personal experience from being in Israel before and during the 1991 Gulf War. At the beginning of the novel, there is an earthquake that hits Mount Zion and the Dome of the Rock is destroyed. That sets off a series of events that will eventually lead to war in the Middle East. When the protagonist goes into the seventh dimension, the fantasy part becomes real. Many historical facts are woven into the story. Probably the best way to categorize the Seventh Dimension Series is to call it “visionary.”
Who designed the cover?
Lisa Hainline. Her website is Lions Gate Book Design
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published or self-publishing your first book?
At 58, no publisher is going to invest any money in me. I’m too old. Besides that, I love the whole process of creating to writing to publishing to marketing. I lead a network of Christian authors called the John 3:16 Marketing Network and we help each other, both traditional and indie authors, in the marketing process.
I’ve met many authors who have become my friends and I can’t imagine them not being a part of my life. To be honest, my close friends and family don’t really care that much about my writing. Those friends knew me long before I became an author and our relationships were not built on that. My daughters have never read any of my books. So author relationships are very dear to me—perhaps why I’m always helping new authors. If I were traditionally published, I probably would not have started the network because when I started it, traditional authors “shunned” me. That was three years ago.
A lot has happened in the publishing world in the last three years. I have always welcomed both traditional and indie authors into the network and feel like we’ve paved the way for others, or maybe God showed me the possibilities to start the network because He knew the future. While it’s still nearly impossible for indie authors to get their books into bookstores, the e-book world with Kindle and other e-book formats has revolutionized indie publishing. For those who are independent-minded with an entrepreneurial spirit—and perhaps maybe a little too impatient to submit and be rejected a hundred times by traditional publishers, it works.
I wouldn’t trade my experience as an indie author for any contract from any publisher. Some things are more valuable than money. What I’ve learned will help me with all the books I have yet to write. I’m not dependent on anyone to open doors for me. If readers like my books, they will buy them. And that’s what ‘s important, that I publish the best books for my readers and keep them coming back for more.
Tell us about the book you have published now, Am I Okay, God? Devotionals from the Seventh Dimension
Am I Okay God? is a devotional book that complements The Door. I wanted readers who had questions to be able to learn more about why I wrote The Door and the spiritual concepts that come up in the novel. I wanted the Seventh Dimension Series to be a good fantasy read and the devotional companion books to be an enjoyable study on how to live out the Christian faith. Am I Okay, God covers hot topics like bullying, dating, love, forgiveness, self-esteem, eschatology, salvation, and life goals. I will do a devotional companion book to The King after that novel is published also. Many spiritual elements come up in Daniel’s journey through the seventh dimension that are different from Shale, the protagonist in The Door.
Let me add on a personal note, the more I learn about God, the more mystery I find in the Bible; and the more I realize I don’t know. My relationship with God has deepened as I’ve gotten older. I hope my books reflect that exploration of what it means to be a Christian and what truly lies on the other side in the seventh dimension.
Lorilyn Roberts is an award-winning Christian author who lives in Gainesville, Florida.
You can learn more about her books at her website.
Don’t Miss Out on the Next Stop!
John 3:16 Book Launch Blog Tour Schedule is as Follows:
Monday May 5
Featuring Author Randy Kirk
Tuesday May 6
Featuring Author Lorilyn Roberts
Wednesday May 7
Featuring Author Laura J. Davis
Thursday May 8
Featuring Author Emma Right
Friday May 9
Featuring Author Lorilyn Roberts
Monday May 12
Featuring Author Randy Kirk
Tuesday May 13
Featuring Laura Davis
Wednesday May 14
Featuring Author Emma Right
Thursday May 15
Featuring Our Landing Page
Make sure you check out the John 3:16 Books Being Launched May 1 through May 17 – win a $50 Amazon gift card, the four books being launched, and much more.
You can also check out the Rafflecopter drawing on Facebook!