Bonnie, describe yourself for our visitors.
I take nothing for granted! I therefore give all Praise and Glory to God for the doors He has opened that provide opportunities to encourage, inspire and entertain others through stories filled with the redemptive message of God. I view this writing journey as ministry and rejoice in the fact that many are being blessed.
My favorite hobby is reading. I love to read and often war between whether to read or get busy writing!
My favorite music is old, traditional Gospel; However, I do like some of the contemporary songs that deliver a definite, reverent, Christian message.
Ministries – After writing, which is definitely a favorite ministry, I love encouraging/sharing with others – especially women (young and old) – about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. So many women are hurting, lost, lonely, and in need of transparent, honest women who willingly share life experiences, wisdom, and encouragement. Those times of fellowship and interaction are precious to me. That’s why I love book club discussions so much!
How do you find time to connect with God?
I start each day with God, and it’s me and Him for the remainder of the day. Whatever I am doing, the conversation (sometimes sub-consciously) continues because I know without Him I really can’t do anything. If I do inadvertently leave Him out of something, it never ends up productive or peaceful.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
This is a hard one! My favorites list continues to grow. So I’ll go with longevity: Michelle Andrea Bowen, Angela Benson, Victoria Christopher Murray, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Jacquelin Thomas, Stephanie Perry Moore, Marilynn Griffith, and Michelle McKinney Hammond. Others include: Rochelle Alers, Brenda Jackson, Connie Briscoe, Evelyn Palfrey, J. California Cooper, Francis Ray, Donna Hill, …and the list goes on…
My all time favorite books are ‘Joy’ (Victoria C. Murray), and ‘Church Folk’ (Michelle A. Bowen)
Tell us about your journey to publication.
When a door (or window) closes – or won’t open – trust me, God has something else in mind. I took an early retirement several years ago with the desire to do something different. But my plan never materialized as I had envisioned. (My entire testimony about this is on my website) Then something totally unexpected happened: A message was dropped into my spirit that told me I was supposed to write a book. Since I’d never had even the remotest desire to write a book, I resisted. But it persisted to bug me until I gave in. Thinking I was wasting my time because I didn’t believe I had a book in me, I hesitantly and nervously sat down at the computer to begin. As soon as my hands hit the keyboard, the story gushed forward…and kept coming so fast and furiously that I wondered, where it (the plots, scenes, characters – based in life experiences, and observations about relevant life issues), was coming from. I ended up editing out enough to start three additional stories.
It was (and remains) a constant battle of spiritual warfare because Satan is a master at orchestrating all kinds of crazy hindrances as well as filling me with doubts that a publisher would publish the book, and if it did get published, no one would want to read it. He lied. The first publisher I submitted to offered a contract on the first book, then another on a second book.
If that sounds too easy, believe me it hasn’t been a cake walk. The enemy never gives up his quest to discourage. However, the fact that I know it is the will of God that I continue to write stories with a redemptive message, coupled with the overwhelming joy I feel each time someone let’s me know how much ‘Seasons’ blessed them, provides the motivation to continue this writing journey.
Tell us about your current book?
‘Seasons’ effectively demonstrates the presence of God in seasons and circumstances as life comes full circle and the characters collide in an explosive turn of events. Past relationship failures have convinced Jaci Winters she is destined for a life of singleness. But had she been aware of the change of season storm blowing her way, perhaps she would have been better prepared to deal with the virulent battles about to take place for both her present and future seasons. Maxie Jackson arrogantly returns from the past, confident of his ability to recapture Jaci and the child he callously abandoned two decades ago. But is he prepared for the changes single parenting and survival struggles have developed in present day Jaci? Successful businessman, Jason Gilmore is accustomed to winning, and Jaci is now directly in his sights as his future wife. He is determined that no one – not Jaci, with her relationship issues, and certainly not Maxie Jackson with his ridiculous plans, or the vicious stalker and her devious sister, with their threatening actions – will interfere with what Jason believes is God’s plan.
‘Seasons’ offers a compelling, exciting and entertaining story, which encourages and inspires readers to never give up, but to trust God who controls all seasons, and always causes us to triumph through Christ Jesus.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
As I was reflecting on entries in my prayer journal, I noticed how my circumstances – good and bad – seemed to come in recurring seasons. Too often, I had to keep going through the same kind of season because I refused to learn the lesson God was trying to teach me. I was amazed at God’s diligence in charting the course of my life to prepare me and get me into the place He wanted me to be. That is when Ecclesiastes 3 popped into my spirit and assured me that God always has a time, a plan and a purpose for everything we go through. The story idea germinated and developed from these reflections, and eventually evolved into a story that included several diverse characters – all connected and inter-related in a turbulent season/situation. These characters demonstrate though their motives, actions and personalities, how the presence – or absence – of God in their lives ultimately influenced their final outcome.
List your most recent books.
(2) Now and Then, Again – Scheduled Pub. Date: pending
What’s next for you?
So many readers have requested a follow-up story to ‘Seasons’, and indeed, that was my plan. However, my publisher nixed it in favor of ‘Now and Then, Again’. But not to worry, readers! Remember the Character, Ron, (the devilish – but lovable – playboy) in ‘Seasons’? Well, he has a story that is shouting from my spirit to be told, and I am working on it because it deserves and needs to be told. Other stories are also in various stages of completion. Now… to get them written…
Where can visitors find you online?
Website: Bonniehopkins.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org