Monday, November 24, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Shannon Ethridge

Shannon Ethridge is a million-copy best-selling author, and speaker with a master’s degree in counseling/human relations from Liberty University . Ethridge has been interviewed on national radio and television shows such as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, Life Today with James and Betty Robison, FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey, and New Life Live! with Stephen Arterburn. Ethridge was also featured on the cover of Today’s Christian Woman magazine and is the winner of a Gold Medallion Award for Excellence in Publishing.

The Sexually Confident Wife

Shannon Ethridge has guided many people through the hidden sexual issues that women have been afraid to talk about. In her new book, The Sexually Confident Wife: Connecting with Your Husband Mind Body Heart Spirit, Ethridge suggests that the wife who wants her marriage to last forever should learn to love her body, share it freely with her husband, and really enjoy SEX.

Women deserve to enjoy a passionate sexual relationship with their husbands without inhibition, awkwardness, guilt, or shame. The Sexually Confident Wife addresses many needed issues:

overcome sexual inhibitions, distractions
embrace sexuality
celebrate sensuality, regardless of age, size, shape
maximize mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

We can learn to be Sexually Confident Wives no matter our age, size, shape, history, etc.

Sexual confidence is the birthright of every woman, and the deepest desire of every husband for his wife! There’s not one single hurdle that holds women back in bed that can’t be overcome. Poor body image, low self-esteem, sexual abuse, guilt over past promiscuity, ignorance about male & female sexuality – all of these rob us if we let them, but we can learn to control these issues rather than letting them control us.

What did you learn while writing this book?

There’s a biological reason why women often become “frigid.” Our bodies produce a feel-good hormone called “oxytocin” whenever we are touched by someone we love. The more we’re touched, the more oxytocin we produce, and the more we want to be touched. But the less we touch, the less we want to be touched because our oxytocin levels are experiencing a downward spiral. So the answer to frigidity is to touch even when we don’t necessarily “feel like it.” Our feelings do eventually catch up. As I say in the book, “I’d never be cold enough to say to a woman, “Get over it and get naked,” but I’ll let you do the math. One naked, oxytocin-producing man plus one naked, oxytocin-producing woman equals one intimately connected couple!”

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to make yourself sit down for long periods of time and focus. Whether it’s doing research, writing original material, or editing manuscripts, it requires a lot of concentration and alone time. For an extrovert who’d much rather be out schmoozing with people and interacting face to face, keeping company with no one but your laptop for hours and days at a time is a huge challenge.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

Being an author is not all that glamorous all the time. There are lots of emotional highs and lows – like a roller coaster ride. One reader adores what you wrote and says it changed her life forever, and you start to think you’re something special. But then another reader may respond to that very same thing with anger or resentment. It’s frustrating and exhausting, and you have to develop a thick skin. I just have to remember that I can’t please all of the people all of the time, and to just write out of my own conviction and experience trusting that it will help many people, even if it doesn’t help every individual

Our theme this month is Time Management. How do you do to manage your writing time?

My motto is, “You don’t find time to write. You make time to write.” I carve out big chunks of time in my calendar and have to be as faithful to keeping them as I would any other important meeting or social engagement. I know if I get behind on a manuscript deadline, the pressure kills my creativity, so managing my time and working on a book a little at a time over a several-month period is key to producing my best work.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

1) That success isn’t measured by how well a book sells, but by the impact it makes on a person’s life (and that’s something I’ll never know this side of Heaven, so I can’t stress about success).

2) That I don’t have to feel bad about taking time off when I’m simply not able to concentrate, because the diversion is like hitting the “refresh” button on your computer – it gets rid of the junk and helps you think more clearly when you return to your writing.

3) People will always want more and more from you, so personal boundaries are vital. You are the only one who is going to guard your free time, your family time, and your sanity. If someone robs you of those things, it’s no one’s fault but your own.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Never. Although it’s a difficult lifestyle, there’s always been new ideas swirling around in my head that are screaming to be birthed. I believe as long as my fingers will function, I’ll write, and as long as I have breath, I’ll speak to encourage others in their journey through life. It’s simply too rewarding of an endeavor to abandon completely.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

Writing best-selling books requires equal amounts of inspiration and perspiration. Discover what sparks your interest and energizes you, then relentlessly pour that energy out onto paper until there’s nothing left in you. Repeat that process the next day and the next, and over time you may find yourself as hooked as I am. In fact, I’m going to be starting a new online mentorship program in September 2009 called B.L.A.S.T. (Building Leaders, Authors, Speakers & Teachers). I know there’s so many people who have so many great things to say, but don’t know how to create a speaking platform or get those ideas published. After my experiences over the past decade, I’m hoping to be a “mid-wife” and help other people bring their writing and speaking dreams to life.

What are you thankful for this year?

The continuous encouraging support of my husband (married 18 years) and my children (a 16-year old daughter and 13-year old son). They are my biggest cheerleaders, and I could never juggle a writer & speaker’s lifestyle if it wasn’t for them holding me up and helping me out at every turn. We make a great team!

Five questions about books:

One book you’ve read more than once.

Daily Meditations for Women Who Love Too Much by Robin Norwood

One book you couldn’t put down until you finished.

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

One book that made you laugh.

The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands by Laura Schlessinger

One book that made you cry.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

One book you wish you'd written.

SexGod by Rob Bell

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Shannon Ethridge, P.O. Box 1018, Lindale, TX 75771 or

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