Today on the Blog the spotlight shines on Mandy Baker Johnson, our fabulous Secretary, who is also a writer. Thank you for agreeing to take your place in the spotlight Mandy.
I am sure the readers would love to hear about you. Could you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I love that I’m a child of God. I’ve been happily married to Adrian for sixteen years. When not dealing with patients as a private medical secretary, I enjoy serving in my local church, befriending women in the sex industry, and administrating for ACW.
I know your book comes from a difficult place in your life. Can you share a little bit about this?
Yes, in 2010 I had a dream job as a mission rep which involved travelling, meeting people and speaking at meetings. But a few months into the job I became ill with severe migraines which led to cerebellar ataxia and ME/chronic fatigue. Medical treatment had no effect and the specialists were running out of pills and potions to try, but thankfully I had a significant healing breakthrough in the October followed by a fuller physical healing in February 2011.
Are you able to tell us anything about the book?
The book is a very personal and honest account of the illness which God used to reveal more of Himself to me and also to highlight things He wanted to deal with. In 2013 God completed the healing work by setting me free from various demonic strongholds and showing me that who I am in Christ changes everything. It’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love with this wonderful God who has forgiven, healed and delivered me.
What other writing have you done or are you doing?
I enjoy blogging at http://www.mandybakerjohnson.com.
What does a writing day look like for you?
I’m a binge-writer - when I need to work on my book, I take a few days’ holiday and settle myself in a hotel room with my iPad and endless cups of coffee.
Are you a pantster or a plotter? Why does this approach work for you?
I tried plotting each chapter but got bogged down so I abandoned that and wrote the book in one long Word document. It’s easier to see natural chapter breaks and a general thread.
If I ever try fiction writing, I think it would be fun to simply write and see where the characters take me.
At what stage are you with writing the first book?
I’m about to start working my way through feedback from a select few privileged readers to edit the current draft. Hopefully I’ll be able to send it out to a publisher or two - or self-publish - within the next year.
If you could go to only just one country in the world, where would it be?
America because I’d love to follow the Oregon Trail and see some of the famous sights such as Independence Rock. I’m fascinated by the pioneers moving west in the 1800s.
When you are not writing what types of books do you read? What would you say was the best book you have ever read?
Apart from the Bible?! My current favourite is Duncan Smith’s Consumed by Love. I also enjoy John Grisham and Lee Child thrillers, the Chalet School series and books by authors such as Heidi Baker and John Piper.
What is your favourite food?
If you could sit down to talk with just one author, past or present, who would it be and why?
Elisabeth Elliot because she led such a fascinating life, and I consider her to be one of my spiritual mothers - not that I’ve ever met her.
What part does your Christian faith play in your writing?
A huge part. As it says in 1 Peter 2:9, God called me out of darkness into His marvellous light in order to proclaim His excellencies.
Have you got any more books planned?
Let me finish this one first! Although I may write about Adrian’s and my journey of dealing with childlessness at some point….
Thank you for joining us Mandy and for being so honest. I am with you on the chocolate.