Tuesday, March 29, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: Renee McCoy
Renee earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Winthrop University and has experience in different biological and chemical laboratories. Although having also been certified in various departments of human protective services, she maintains a heart to tell stories that will not only entertain, but enlighten readers to capture the message and power of God’s saving grace.
To date, she has penned three novels that make up The Fiery Furnace series: The Kiss of Judas, Confessions, and The Eleventh Hour. Also, her first non-fiction book entitled Soul Ties: Breaking Up with a Past that’s Killing Your Future is slated for a late Summer 2011 release. Her personal website is http://www.reneeallenmccoy.com/.
How did you start out your writing career?
As a teenager, I didn’t really write, instead had a fondness toward movies. I enjoyed watching them and could predict many of the outcomes. It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I began penning stories for the general public.
What did you learn while writing this book?
While writing this book I discovered how careful one must be in developing characters. Just as people have many different sides to them, the characters must as well. We, as individuals, may not open up about certain things to the general public, but to a spouse or sibling, the conversations tend to become much more intimate or involved. So, as I write, I try to convey how a character behaves at work as well as at home. And in even more revealing moments, how they pour their hearts out to God.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
With this book, I hope to get the message across that God loves us where we are. And my prayer is that it will help dispel the misconception of those who think they should be a saint before they come to Christ. In this series, you’ll read about sinners and how the light of God affects their lives. It’s disheartening to hear how some believe they can actually “get themselves together” and then come to Christ. The road to salvation in Christ is different for each person, but the destination is the same. I’ve found that many shy away from the Gospel because they feel as if they must be perfect before they approach God. The only criteria for salvation is to believe (confessing with your mouth and believing in your heart) that Jesus Christ is the Son of God raised from the dead, and to accept Him as your Lord and Savior. He never said wait until you’ve disciplined yourself into sounding saved. He simply wants us to believe and confess. If a person can clean themselves up and straighten their lives out on their own, then Jesus died in vain; and we know that’s not true. I wanted to make it plain that ordinary people who may be devout Christians today haven’t always been that way. I wanted to let readers know who may be struggling with sins of the flesh that God is indeed able to deliver. Also, that no matter what trials a believer may endure, God is right there in the midst for He’s promised to never leave us nor forsake us.
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
I had the most fun writing about Isaiah. He’s a handsome, young man who has the desire to do the right thing. His flaws are real. He shows vulnerability that many can relate to, but when it matters most he displays strength. The realness exhibited by Isaiah is one that I’m sure many will be able to identify with at particular points in the story. I believe the reader’s capacity to sympathize with him will grab them from the very first chapter.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
The biggest surprise about becoming a published author is the feedback on how much people truly identify with my work, in one way or another, and appreciate the literature that I took time to write.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
My fondest aspect of writing fiction is developing the characters. It’s interesting to design personalities and put them into an unusual set of circumstances; situations that happen, but not necessarily in your own life. The most tedious part of writing is the editing. Although it is great to pen a story, there is just as much work involved in preparing a piece for publication.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
Hmm … three things I wish I’d known before I reached where I am now:
• The importance of taking people at face value versus what they tell you. It reminds me of the passage of Scripture (Matthew 7:17-20) that states you’ll know the tree by the fruit it bears.
• The different venues in which to display my work with little to no cost.
• More about the literary industry in terms of promotions.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
Write in your own voice, and not to be like someone else. And don’t share your ideas in detail for a book you’re either writing or intend to write with others you really don’t know.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That it takes time to pen something worth reading.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
I really don’t read much fiction, although I do support some authors. I tend to gravitate toward non-fiction pieces of work.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I enjoy watching movies. There’s something about creating characters and seeing them brought to life through film.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
To interact with my readers, I do book club meetings and enjoy book signings and answering emails. It’s personal and allows the reader to get to know me as an individual and not just another author.
Our theme for this month is Resources On The Net. What are your favorite resources on the net?
Facebook users have provided a wealth of information. Blog sites (such as this one) that offer valuable information and of course fellow writers who share links that may have helped them along the way.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
I know for sure that I am saved by the love, sacrifice, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ. I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I seek to obey His commands and advance the kingdom of God. Jesus died for me, so I must live for Him.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
Sure! The second book in The Fiery Furnace series is entitled Confessions (ISBN: 978-1-934195-54-3) and it builds on the lingering issues from The Kiss of Judas, prompting the reader to understand more about those characters who thought that if they covered up a sin, it would simply go away.
In Confessions, the driven Jermaine Grant appears to have it all together on the surface. He's young, handsome, and headstrong with the perfect job and faithful love planted at his side—so it seems. What happens when all of this is threatened by a looming incident from the past? In the midst of chaos, Jermaine unexpectedly finds himself battling a demon that seems to be the fiercest of them all.
Jermaine's number one counterpart, Nia Thomas, strives to be just as successful at her career as her determined boyfriend of two years. She skillfully juggles a double life while struggling to keep her carefully designed mask from shattering to pieces. Nia's private world is threatened despite her attempts to conceal a secret that could change her family's future forever. A heartbreaking disclosure spiral lives into a startling off course collision. The reader will discover what happens when confessions are revealed without consent and how a simple lie hurt the involved characters so much.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Readers can contact me via Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Renee_McCoy, and Facebook @ www.facebook.com/people/Renee-Allen-McCoy/1735863039. My email address is email@example.com and my website is http://www.reneeallenmccoy.com/ which links the visitor to the other sites I have online.
The storm of betrayal is brewing...
Justine Dasant, a beautiful savvy ad executive, walks the earth in search of something that always seems to be just out of reach. After she's promised herself that she would leave her past in the past, history starts to repeat when her current boyfriend, Isaiah Johnson, shows interest in someone other than her. Laden with insecurities, Justine makes it known that she'll stop at nothing to get what she wants ... no matter who gets hurt along the way.
Isaiah Johnson, a young, successful CEO, has climbed himself to a life of wealth. He's worked hard to open his own business and just when success peaks, Isaiah's new found strength to step out on faith drives a wedge between him and the woman in his life. Not only does he regret meeting Justine, it's a challenge for him to escape her calculated stalking.
At what cost will Isaiah say no to the world and yes to God?
Book Excerpt: http://www.reneeallenmccoy.com/excerpts.html
Book trailer link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TU3360_MJsA
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