Tuesday, June 24, 2008
FEATURED AUTHOR: MaRita Teague
MaRita Teague has a Master’s in English and teaches at Northern Virginia Community College. She has publications in A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mother, All My Good Habits I Learned From Grandma, and Living the Serenity Prayer.
MaRita writes in the Christian fiction genre because she is compelled to draw others to God through realistic and entertaining stories. Most importantly, however, she has said the stories she writes are characters faced with heart-wrenching losses and revelations who ultimately find solutions to their problems with Biblical principals. She has often said writing Christian fiction is her heartfelt passion and ministry.
She currently teaches English Composition at Northern Virginia Community College and lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Zedric, and her three sons. The Taste of Good Fruit is her first novel.
THE TASTE OF GOOD FRUIT
Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people?
Sydney Ellington, her sister, Sherese Hightower, and their closest friend, Chanel Dubois, each ask this question as they encounter seemingly insurmountable challenges in The Taste of Good Fruit.
Sydney has what she’s always dreamed of—a loving husband, a thriving career, and unshakable faith—that is, until she is faced with unimaginable heartbreak. Sydney has always worked hard to live a life that’s pleasing to God, but an unimaginable tragedy causes her to question how a loving God could have a purpose in her life.
Sherese prides herself for avoiding hypocrisy at all costs, vowing that her childhood of sacrifice and neglect as a preacher’s daughter wouldn’t be continued through adulthood. Destined to be free of church drama, Sherese distances herself from church and faith, but the revelation of a devastating secret causes her to question all she thinks she knows about herself, faith, and the church.
Although Chanel has shaken nearly all of the remnants of her turbulent childhood, she can’t seem to forgive her mother for the past. Her anger and trust issues gradually seep into Chanel’s already troubled marriage making her blind to the blessings around her. Only her faith can keep her from indulging in a tantalizing affair and from destroying the family she’s always prayed for.
On a road trip to the south, the three best friends from upstate New York discover that heartache and loss can ultimately lead to The Taste of Good Fruit.
What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
I’d love for readers to be able to connect to the characters in the sense that we all go through trials and even during those hard times, God is still in control and sovereign. Sometimes things happen that we don’t understand and we simply can’t make sense of. However, even during our times of bewilderment, we can make it knowing that God has a divine purpose for allowing grief, pain and hardship. If God allows it, then ultimately He can get the glory out of it.
What did you learn while writing this book?
I’ve learned so much that I can’t tell it all! As cliché as it sounds though, I’ve learned that you have to have passion for writing. I’ve learned the value of being open to constructive criticism, especially from those who have already been where you want to go. Also, I realized how invaluable being a reader has been to my own writing process.
What inspired this book?
The major theme of The Taste of Good Fruit is inspired by questions I had during a particularly difficult time. Watching loved ones suffer and experiencing loss and grief in my life caused me to wonder why a loving God could allow such pain. However, after searching the Word of God and through praying earnestly, I discovered peace from the questions I had wrestled with for so long. Although the characters and specific experiences are fictional in the story, their pain and how they respond to it is grounded in my own quest for answers and ultimate discovery that there is hope and peace when we are anchored in Christ. Finally, my inspiration for the story has come from knowing that if the Lord allows trials and suffering, He has a purpose which can be an opportunity for us to bear fruit for Him.
What is the hardest part about the writing business?
I think it can be getting your work published--although I was really blessed in that regard. Still, I would say that when you send that manuscript off, it can be scary because as a writer, you’ve invested so much of your heart and soul. Other than that, revisions and editing can be intense and tedious.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would
So many people tell me that they are going to write a book one day, but I don’t think they realize the dedication and discipline it takes to really complete a novel. Overall and quite simply, non-writers should understand that writing can be a lot more than what it seems.
What marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?
Venues like Sormag are wonderful marketing tools for writers! I’m learning how to use the internet to market, but I must admit that I’m a novice. I think that when you really believe in what you have and are focused, you will sort of naturally market your “product” well. Fellow authors insist that writing a good book and having that good old-fashioned word of mouth is best though.
What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where
you are now?
I wish I’d known how invaluable having patience is in the whole writing process, and to be honest, I wish I’d been more knowledge about the publishing industry overall. Finally, I think I would’ve really paid attention to some of the more technical aspects about writing a novel, ones that I’ve learned even since this story has been published. I teach college/university level English composition, but I found myself totally clueless about writing a novel. I never stop learning new things, which is exciting.
This month our theme is Mainstream Fiction. Can you give us five
mainstream authors you read?
Toni Morrison is one of my favorites. Other mainstream authors I’ve read recently and enjoyed are Khaled Hosseni, Delores Phillips, Pearl Cleage, and Jodi Piccoult.
Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?
Aside from writing all you can, I think reading is just as important. Reading in the genre you are writing is important as well, but I don’t limit myself to reading just Christian fiction. In addition, it’s wise to accept constructive criticism from other writers and avid readers.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
I would love to hear from readers!
- I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.
I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.
I’m available for:
Online promotion coaching
Contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org