As a Heart”wings” blog co-heart, one of my greatest blessings is the opportunity to get to know our Heart”wings” sister/authors!  I’ve met such lovely and gracious women here, and am honored and thrilled to share the beautiful Trudy Samsill and her stories with you today!

Trudy Samsill author of Finding the Beautiful featured on HeartWingsBlog.com

Welcome to our Heart”wings” blog, Trudy, and thank you so much for joining us here!

Thank you, Jennifer, I’m so glad we could be here together!

Trudy, could you share a little about yourself and how you came to the Lord?

I’m from Alabama but I call Texas home since I’ve lived here since 1984.  I met my husband at my high school graduation party and we married 9 months after meeting.  We’ve been married for 31 years and have 4 children (3 sons and 1 daughter) and 1 grandson (3 months old).  I’ve homeschooled for 27 years and am down to my last student who will be a freshman in the fall.  Our family attends a local church (Trinity Fellowship Church) and love serving God and His people there.

At age 11, I received Christ as my Savior.  Having been raised in church, I chose Him at an early age, face down on the floor in a family’s home that was leading a children’s group for my age.  I saw a picture of heaven and the streets of gold then felt an overwhelming love that poured down on me from God. My group leader explained to me what was happening and I asked Jesus into my heart. I knew I wanted to spend eternity with God and live in His love.  I strayed from Him in my teen years and lived foolishly for a while.  At 17, I returned whole-heartedly to God and never looked back!

We’re so grateful that you returned to the Lord and have continued to be guided by Him! How were you led to become an author?

I had a wonderful mentor as a pre-teen girl and she encouraged me to pursue my dream.  I wanted to teach and write and be a wife and mother.  The order of these events were a little mixed up in my life.

I met the man of my dreams and decided to get married at 18 and put college on the back burner, my first job was as a first grade teacher in a private school (you didn’t need a degree then to teach in a private school), was a mommy by 23, and began homeschooling my first child when he was 3.

After having my fourth child I decided to get my teaching degree (for private schools) and graduated in 2013 from college.

In December of 2012, I self-published my first book, a short story for teens after I had entered a writing contest.  I really just wanted to see if I could self-publish since traditional publishing was so challenging and costly and self-publishing seemed to be the way things were headed for new authors.

I took the plunge and I found that I could do it with a lot of sweat, tears, coffee, and chocolate. I publish my books through Amazon and Create Space (paperback publisher owned by Amazon). I have written and published five books, my most recent in May 2017.

You are definitely a dreamer whose dreams have come true as well as a consistent goal-achiever!  You are such an inspiration!  Could you tell us more about your most recent release?

Finding the Beautiful is near and dear to me since it is based on a true story told to me by a family member several years ago. Though I changed names, locations, and filled in the gaps of the real story, I stayed true to the events the characters endured but added an inspirational/Christian element.  When I heard the original story, I saw the main character as a true hero, but I wanted to add an element of hope and beauty in the midst of her troubles and hardships.  We all need that – the beautiful in the midst of hardships and trying seasons.Finding the Beautiful by Trudy Samsill, featured on HeartWingsBlog.com

FTB is based in the 40’s in Mississippi and is about a very young teen named Samantha who secretly marries at age 14. The man of her girlhood dreams turns out to be someone entirely different than she believed him to be.  A left-behind Bible becomes her life-line as Samantha searches for carefully underlined verses that seem to speak directly to her each day.  Eventually Samantha has to make the most difficult decision of her life and flee her hometown to an unknown place in Wisconsin.  The people there take her in and provide safety and a refuge for her as she goes through a divorce.  True love arrives in the form of a wonderful man who becomes part of the beautiful in Samantha’s story.

How do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Each book is different for me.  The short story (Glass Marbles) was prompted from the teen writing contest I entered in 2012 and inspired by my high school years as a volunteer at a local summer camp for Down Syndrome children in Alabama.  Glass Marbles by Trudy Samsill featured on HeartWingsBlog.com

My next writing venture (a three-book series based in Alaska:  Rescued, Returned, and Redeemed) all emerged from watching a documentary about the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.  My husband and I have always wanted to travel to Alaska so my interest is high for this area.  Some of the characters emerged, again from personal experience as I have attended several short-term mission trips with my family and previous church, so I wanted to write about Alaska and mission work by combining my interest in Alaska and love for missions in this series.

That family member who told me the story that Finding the Beautiful was inspired from about a sibling of hers, I saw the woman who I never knew as a hero, willing to risk all she had known in her very young life for herself and her daughter’s safety.  I used this true story as the basis of my fictional story to depict how such a difficult life can be enhanced greatly when we look for the beauty around us.  I didn’t know many of the details about the real-life character so I created a fictional world around her story.  

What sort of research do you do for your books?

I have done lots of online research to make sure the events and things woven within the stories are correct for the time period the story is told.  When I wrote the Alaskan series, I contacted an Alaskan Missions board and spoke on the phone and via email with several directors and missionaries there who were invaluable in answering my questions.

Why do you write? What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? 

My main goal in writing is to steward the talent God has given me.  The beginning of each of my books have the inscription “May my passion bring Him fame.”   I want to make God famous in all I do and present the gospel, freedom, healing, and truth in a way that most people can relate, just as Jesus did, through stories.

What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your books?

HOPE!  I want my readers to see that regardless of our situation or circumstances hope can be found in Jesus Christ.

Do you have another project in the works now?

Yes, I am working on two non-fiction books.

Hmmm, no sneak peeks, Trudy?  We’ll just have to wait anxiously for your debut into nonfiction! 

How about giving us a glimpse into your process. . .what does your writing space look like?

I love giraffes and have collected them since I was a little girl.  My writing space is filled with them because they make me smile.  It’s brightly decorated in orange, lime green, and turquoise and littered with colored pens, neon post-it notes, always a full coffee cup, and chocolate.  It gets pretty messy at times, especially with all of the notes, timelines, edits, and copies of rewrites so I have to stop and de-clutter or I get frustrated with the mess.

Is there anything more you would like to share with our readers?

If I could tell anyone something from my heart it would be this:  Hope is there for each of us.  Beauty surrounds us; we only need to open our eyes and heart to see it.  Love abounds for all.  Even in the hardest of times, and I have had my share, choose life.  Choose God, choose healthy relationships, choose what is best and right and true.  Choose life.

To connect with Trudy or find out more about her and her works, please follow these links:

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/TrudySamsill.Author/  ///       INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/trudysamsill/  ///    AMAZON:  https://www.amazon.com/Trudy-Samsill/e/B00FDY2TXE/

WEBSITE & BLOG:  https://www.mytruwords.com/   ///   PINTEREST:  https://www.pinterest.com/trudysamsill/

Trudy Samsill offers a giveaway on HeartWingsBlog.com

Trudy has graciously offered a copy of one of her books to a reader who comments and answers the following question:   What do you look for in fictional stories:  To be entertained, to receive a moral or truth within the story, or to connect with the characters on a personal level?

{Winner will be selected and notified Monday October 2, 2017}

 

 

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Jennifer Bunderle

Jennifer has spent the most recent five years living/serving in the coastal and northern sierra regions of Ecuador. Looongtime wife of Brad, fondly referred to as “mominator” by her two awesome now-adult-kidlets, Heather & Evan and new-daughter-in-love, Ann. Companion and therapy dog assistant to her beloved Bichon Frise, Coquette. AKA teacher, writer, reviewer of Christian lit and fitful blogger. Passion project = Carpe Diem (make the most of your day. . .every day!). Life verse = Phil. 4:13 – I KNOW I can do all things through Christ (undoubtedly He empowers my Carpe Diem) because HE is my strength/my all-in-all.

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