Welcome Marcia! Thank you so much for venturing to other worlds with me today. Let’s begin with something a bit fun…tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
First, I have nine grandchildren. (You read that right—NINE!) Second, I’ve survived having my right lung collapse and my heart and breathing stop. Third, I’ve been para-sailing and would love to try skydiving and riding in a stunt plane.
And, since you’re also Christian author—though that’s no surprise to your readers—I’d love to hear about your journey to salvation.
If God had grandchildren, I would be at least His great-great-grandchild. I grew up in a Christian family, with Christian parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I attended a strong, evangelical church from the age of about 2 weeks old. I grew up knowing about God and knowing what was right, but in my late teens I began to rebel against a way of life I thought of as demanding and legalistic. Until one night in February, 1978.
Our church was having special services, and my mom bugged me until I went on my night off my second shift job. I don’t remember anything about that service, except the closing hymn, “O, to Be Like Thee.” God used that song to give me a clear image of His Son, and show me the difference between Jesus’ purity and my sin. I prayed, “Make me like Jesus. Do whatever it takes.” I have never gone back.
Nor should you ever. [big smile] Now let’s get to your book, Serpentine. Where did you get the idea, as well as continued inspiration, for your novel?
In 2009, I had open-heart surgery to repair my mitral valve. I went into the operating room, overwhelmingly curious about what the experience was like. When I woke up from the anesthesia, I was in such overwhelming pain, I didn’t want to know. But, you can’t “un-know.” I realized that it must have been something like that for Eve, who gave up everything to possess the knowledge of good and evil, and then discovered what a poor bargain she’d made.
I began my journey by exploring the idea in a short story for a class I was taking, and gradually, over the next four years, I realized that it would take a bigger format than a couple thousand words to tell her story, and I set out to make it happen.
What message do you hope your readers will take away after reading your novel?
I hope my readers go away thinking about how a “little” choice can make such a big impact, not just for themselves, that sin always has collateral damage. I want them to always have, somewhere in their minds, the realization that our sin wounds the father-heart of God, because He created us to be His children, and that sin rips His child from His arms.
What do you consider the most impactful: the beginning or end of your book? Why?
I feel like the end is most impactful, because I try to show the beginning of the horrific changes that Adam’s and Eve’s sin brought about all throughout the world.
Very interesting. Are you planning a sequel?
Not so much a sequel, as a series. I see several other people in the Bible, whose stories I’d love to explore.
As most people know, I’m a huge fan of love stories, so…yay for more stories. Before we close, please share your favorite Bible verse and the ways in which it impacts your writing.
One of my favorite verses I call my “writing-life verse.” I found it years ago, soon after I began to first sense a real calling to write, and was responding to the call by counting off to God a list of my “disqualifications.’
It’s in Judges, chapter 6, where God calls Gideon to drive out the Midianites and free Israel from their oppression. Gideon begins to fuss about how unimportant and unqualified he is, how God should look for someone else for the job. I love God’s response.
“Go in the strength you have…am I not sending you?”
In other words, it isn’t our qualification for the mission that brings about God’s calling—it’s God’s calling that brings about our qualification for the mission! If God calls me to write a story, He will equip me to write that story.
M.G. Woodard is an author and a freelance editor. Follow her on Twitter (@MarGunWoo) and on Facebook (Marcia Gunnett Woodard) where you can get updates on her novel, Serpentine.
What happens when perfect stops being enough?
Living in a perfect world and married to Aidaan, the perfect man, Eva has everything a woman could desire. Every a rea of her life is perfectly custom-made for her by Shaddai, her Creator. Then Sypher, the serpent, shows up and, with his light-spoken mockery, sows seeds of discontent. Unaware of Sypher’s manipulation, will Eva listen to his “solution” to her “problem” when he tells her the answer is to simply take what she wants?