Carole Townsend: Witty, Wise, Wonderful

“When (I’m writing) the story and it’s flowing well, I’m actually in the story. I’m there and I love it. To me, it’s nothing short of magical.”

Carole Townsend transitioned from a successfull marketing career to a full-time writer at the age of 40.

She is a columnist and correspondent for the Gwinnett Citizen newspaper in Georgia, where she writes a weekly (Not So) Common Sense column, and reports on the the good news that happens in a diverse county with nearly 1 million residents.

Before she began writing for the Gwinnett Citizen, she was a staff correspondent and blogger for the Gwinnett Daily Post for more than 12 years.

Carole has published four books, with two more on the way in 2020.

In this interview, Carole talks about her mid-career transition, her books, her work as an advocate for women, and how dogs wagging their tails can affect your story-telling ability.

Continue reading “Carole Townsend: Witty, Wise, Wonderful”

Chuck Holmes Has Stories to Tell

“God’s presence affects everything in my life, but—beyond whatever talent God gave me—it’s difficult to narrow anything down to a single facet of life, e.g., creativity. Some things that I write—”Views of the Cross,” or “King of the World” for instance—are overtly religious. More of them have a religious component, sometimes nearly hidden. I don’t know that any of them are totally without something that comes from my faith.”

Clear, humorous, factual, interesting, engaging. Those descriptions came to mind as I got to know Chuck Holmes. But those aren’t quite enough. 

In the best of ways, Chuck truly is a vendor or words (as Augustine and Malcolm Muggeridge described themselves.) Chuck says he has made his living “putting one word after another for more than 50 years.”

I’m grateful that Chuck took the time to put some words together for this interview… Continue reading “Chuck Holmes Has Stories to Tell”

When Christy Writes

“Shakespeare was totally correct when he said ‘to thine own self be true.’  Don’t change yourself to be viewed as cool. You can’t keep it up because it’s not who you are.”

I’m all in on anyone who lists her job titles as, “…writer, chauffeur, maid and short order cook. My paying job is a Media Para-pro at a middle school (pray hard for me).”

Christy Breedlove is all these things and more. She’s an especially good writer, with the gift of making you feel you know her from the very first word. In this interview, Christy shares about her two novels, goats, and how being normal is so overated. Continue reading “When Christy Writes”

Frannie Watson Finds Her Voice

“For people like me that have always struggled, maybe there’s a story that’s been burning in their heart for a long time. You just need to sit down and write it, and then ask God to show you who to get help from. Don’t ever push away what God has put in your heart to do. You’ve got to do it. He shows you. Believe him for showing you the right path to go down.”

Author of several books, Frannie Watson was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, where she still resides with her husband, Doug, and dog, Sally.

In this interview, Frannie shares about suspense and mystery, her writing process, and overcoming a potentially debilitating learning disability.

Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): You’ve worked in education, corporations and manufacturing, and you’ve served with a mission group in France. What drew you to writing, and when did you know you had an interest in it?

Frannie: I never really thought about writing because I have a brain disability in language arts.  Continue reading “Frannie Watson Finds Her Voice”

Marlene Griggs and Ulysses’ Diaries

“The journey of each of the women in Ulysses’ Diaries is a simple one, a rewarding one, and a healing one. I want everyone who reads this story, especially African-American children, to find reconciliation with the God of all gods, and to know his gift to us, his love for us through Jesus Christ.”

Marlene Griggs was born on the 4th of July, 1957, along with her twin sister Darlene. She’s a native of Pittsburgh, PA, and still lives there.

Marlene has five sisters and says, “There was never a time where I felt alone. It was fun growing up, always being able to engage our imaginations by staging a play or a film (musical) down in our basement.”

Marlene dedicated her life to the Lord as a teenager. Since then, she’s had a heart towards ministering to the Lord and his people. Ulysses’ Diaries, her first published work, continues that mission. Continue reading “Marlene Griggs and Ulysses’ Diaries”

Randi Ward’s Endless Journey

“I could have written many fascinating stories about my world travels, but I knew this life story and Egypt’s story needed to be shared with the world. My fantasy to teach in a foreign country had become a reality even though I lived in a turbulent period in Egypt’s history.”

Randi Ward is energetic. And interesting. And well-traveled. And lots of other good  things.

The depth that comes from her experience shows up in conversation and her creative work. 

Randi touches on several of her interests in this interview, including her thoughts on imagination and the creative process, never standing still, and a pivotal trip to Cairo, Egypt. Continue reading “Randi Ward’s Endless Journey”

Living History with Julie & Rick Clarke

“We would encourage younger readers to learn from history so we can understand how to work together today.  Also, don’t hide your light under a bushel, but let it shine.

Perhaps the best way to know history is to relive it, which is what authors Julie and Rick Clarke have done and written about…

Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): You live, love and write history. Which came first: doing reenactments or writing your book?

Julie and Rick: The reenactments came first. We had to follow the steps of the ancestors before we had enough information to write a book.

JWC: Your book is Pauline D’Alvigny Campbell, Civil War Nurse, Her Life and Times of War in Atlanta. What was the catalyst for writing a book about Pauline? Continue reading “Living History with Julie & Rick Clarke”

Claire Underwood Hertzler and The High Sheriff of Greene

“As I neared the finish line, I had to forego my three mornings at the gym; my only exercise became sitting at the computer!”

Claire Underwood Hertzler recently released her first book, The High Sheriff of Greene, based on the life of a legendary Georgia sheriff.

Claire’s writings include these published articles:  “Travel Insurance Tips,” Transitions Abroad Magazine; “Encounter With God,” Church Recreation Magazine; and “Easter at Flat Rock,” Georgia Magazine, also about Greene County, Georgia.  She has two articles in The Pens in the Piedmont, an anthology released July, 2017 by the East Metro Atlanta Christian Writers.

In addition to writing, Claire was one of the first activists fighting human trafficking in Atlanta. She is active in Atlanta’s North Avenue Presbyterian Church.

Jim Wall Coaching (JWC): This is your first published book. What prompted you to write this story as your first?

Claire: I had been considering writing a book set in Greene County, Georgia, because I grew up there. I knew Sheriff Wyatt by sight – “there go Wyatt and Taylor”; however, I never expected to write a book about a sheriff! So it’s been a surprise to me.  It’s like L.L. Wyatt’s name came to me from outside myself and the more doors the opened to me, the more I felt called to write his story.   Continue reading “Claire Underwood Hertzler and The High Sheriff of Greene”