A Christmas Title with Some Angst by Shawna Williams

I’m thrilled to Shawna Williams doing a holiday interview as her new book In All Things has just been released. I’ve gotten to know Shawna in the last year and I absolutely can attest that she’s on of those Christian ladies who is lovely inside and out. Now on to the interview.

Nike: You know  In All Things is the perfect Christmas themed novel for this blog, even though it’s not a crime fiction novel. A lot of people are in a bad place as the holidays approach, while others get uplifted by the season only to plunge back into their usual depression in mid-January. Angst and self-doubt are some emotions your main characters are all too familiar with. What made you write this book?

Shawna: This book had originally started with a dream I had. It’s prequel, No Other, was inspired from that same dream. I wanted to write a story about God’s Grace and His sovereignty in all things. I don’t know anyone who has led a perfect life, made all the right choices and never had anything bad happen. Life isn’t easy, but God is always in control, working wonders and creating beauty from devastation. It’s usually not instantaneous, but it is assured. I wanted to write a story that portrayed this.

Nike: Your heroine, Meri, a successful actress in the novel, is disappointed when she comes home for Christmas to her abusive parents and finds nothing has changed. Isn’t it true that many of us who walk with the Lord have made huge changes in our lives, whereas some dysfunctional  family members and friends may have made the choice to remain as they were. How does this realization impact Meri and the direction the novel takes?

Shawna: It drudges up a lot of old pain that she’s buried for a number of years. For ten years, she’d told herself that what they thought of her didn’t matter. Jakob’s love was enough. Only it wasn’t. Jakob’s love was good, but he, like anyone, is only human. The love he offers is genuine, but it’s not enough to satisfy the soul. That kind of love only comes from God. Meri doesn’t learn this right away. She’s hurt, and the pain goes through a number of stages; rebellion, vengeance, self-blame and self-destructive behavior. Meri has to accept that some things are beyond her control, and allow God to help her work through her grief so she can understand what she’s been craving all those years was Him.

Nike: Jakob is such a complex character. He’s helped to make his wife Meri a Hollywood star, sacrificing a lot of his own life…only to find out being a celebrity may not have been what she wanted. In addition he has his own family issues. How does he reconcile all this?

Shawna: He is a complex character. Jakob’s biggest issue has always been his pride. His pride isn’t the snooty kind, it’s the protective kind. When he’s unable to protect or be all the things that he believes he needs to be he gets defensive. In the first book, No Other, Jakob had to face down a lot of this because of the internment that happened to his family. In In All Things there is one more thing he has to turn loose and trust to God, and that’s Meri. Pride had a lot to do with him pushing for Meri’s success because Jakob wanted to be good enough for her. He also wanted to cover the disgrace he’d brought to her by getting her pregnant before they were married. He believes that by being successful these other things will be forgotten. Instead of Meri learning to trust God and turn to Him for her needs, she’s always relied on Jakob. Jakob has to accept that he can’t be all that Meri needs, and when he tries to be he gets in the way. It’s hard for him to admit this. He’s afraid of failing her, and terrified of losing her. Entrusting her fate to God is a real struggle.

Nike: What would you like your readers get out of reading In All Things?

Shawna: Pretty much the same things Jakob and Meri learn. But also, there are side stories involving Jakob’s family and Roger, and I want the reader to ponder on the good things that come from the bad – not just in the story, but in life

Nike: Let’s talk about you. What’s your favorite part of the holidays?

Shawna: Everything. My kinds call me Christmas crazy, and I just adore every second. The time spent and memoires made with family are the best!

In All Things can be purchased at the Desert Breeze website.  http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-118/Shawna-Williams-In-All/Detail.bok

It can also be gotten at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/In-All-Things-ebook/dp/B004A14PPQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291432352&sr=1-1

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About NikeChillemi

Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She writes literature that reads like pulp fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad, and her good guys smarter and better. She is the founder and chair of the Grace Awards, a member of ACFW. She has judged numerous literary awards including the Grace Awards, Carol Awards, Inspy Awards, and the Eric Hoffer Awards. View all posts by NikeChillemi

9 responses to “A Christmas Title with Some Angst by Shawna Williams

  • Tracy Krauss

    Always good to hear Shawna's comments and insight in the story

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  • Shawna Williams

    Hi, Tracy! Nike, thank you for hosting me! You asked some great questions.

    Like

  • Julia M. Reffner

    Great interview, Nike and Shawna! These are some different questions and quite applicable to the majority of us who do not have functional extended families (does such a concept exist?). As Christians we are making a new norm and beginning.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Julia, I've been praying about the biblical concept of "family." Wow, that you should bring this up. I think even within the church, we've gotten away from the original intent of family in many ways. I don't see soccer moms in the Bible. And I don't mean to put it all on moms, it just sprang to mind…being a mom. I've been researching the early 1st C church in Jerusalem and Antioch, not for a book, but for how I should live. I think we're missing the point on a few things in the church today regarding family. They had the same problems we have now and they dealt with them.

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  • rbooth43

    Nike, I agree with you about the biblical concept of "family." I agree that we're missing the point on a few things in the church today regarding family. What is your opinion of the original intent of family in the Bible? A question for everyone.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    I'm glad we got into this discussion on the biblical concept of the family. It was the first institution set up by God, way before the church.It is the foundational institution for society. As early as Gen 1 God makes man in His image, male and female. God blesses them (marriage) and tells them to be fruitful and multipy. And so the family is ordained at the outset.Ephisians 6:4 admonishes fathers not to provoke their children to anger, but to bring them up in the admonition of the Lord. This shows that fathers are to greatly participate in the upbringing of their children in fair and loving ways, not just through discipline that might evoke only anger on the part of the child. The father's job is much more than the rod.I have been thinking a lot this Christmas of the New Testament model for the family — the human family God gave to his Son Jesus. Mary and Joseph are the prime example of husband and wife, mother and father. I think we sometimes overlook Mary and Joseph.For some months I've been pondering (Mary pondered a lot) why so many churches seem to have so much effort and money going toward getting new sound systems, new pews, etc.I'm not putting down youth groups, but I don't see any mention of youth groups in the Bible. It was always the family. The father instructed his children in most things and the mother cared for the children and instructed them in other things.

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  • Shawna Williams

    Nike, this is an interesting discussion. Hubby and I have been pondering a lot lately, too. Hubby has been reading a book about home based churches and the New Testament. It's made us think a lot about how church has evolved over the centuries. We've been a part of a family group that meets in homes for awhile and the fellowship and focus has been far more personal.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    Shawna, I've been thinking a lot about home based worship. I'm not in any way trying to replace the traditional church. I think the church is a dynamic force on the earth and we have centuries of Christian tradition in the established church.However, I also believe more home based worship is the biblical model, starting with family worship.

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  • Nike Chillemi

    This is not to put the modern evangelical church down, as I am fully part of that church.However many modern evangelicals see the church today in terms of marketability.

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