Welcome to Godly Girls For God
Glorifying God and Encouraging Others.
- Reading Corner
Interview with Annie Downs, Author and Speaker
I'm Hillary Beth, Manager of Godly Girls For God, a Webzine for Christian girls. If you want to know one of the best things about GGFG, then you should know that we have a very awesome group of pre-teen and teenage writers from all around the world - so these questions are based on our common interest of writing!
I have been reading your book over the last couple of weeks, and I've found it very relevant and insightful! Tell me, did you have a specific moment (perhaps while reflecting on some of the experiences you shared) where you knew you wanted to write this book, or was it over a period of time this desire grew? How did God lead you to accomplish this goal?
I was leading a small group of high schoolers at my house and they asked me to tell them stories from my own life. So each week, I would write out a lesson, including my own life stuff, and they would show up, read it, and we'd discuss. After a few months, I had sort of accidentally written a book (about 25,000 words). I realized then that I wanted to pursue this farther- and with the girls' encouragement that this book was something others would want to read- I kept writing, finished it, and then began to pursue ways to get the book in as many teenage girls' hands as possible.
Sometimes you mention where you were when you were writing different segments - where was your favorite place to write?
I love writing in coffee shops. In fact, most of Perfectly Unique was written in Frothy Monkey, a coffee shop in my neighborhood in Nashville. I love the hubbub of conversation, the movement of people. It inspires me when writing.
Do you have a favorite part of the book? What was the hardest part to write? Was sharing your experiences easy for you, or was it kind of hard because you gave such personal examples? (By the way, thank you for being willing to give such personal examples - that's what made it so relevant!)
My favorite part of the book is the chapter on feet and all the places you can go! I love encouraging young women to serve God all over the world- in their homes, their school, their church, their city, but then also in foreign places. I think you can learn so much about God and people by traveling.
The hardest part to write was the story of how I once duct-taped myself. When I first wrote that, there was no one on earth who knew that even happened. It was hard to tell a story that was so personal and honestly, if I never told the story, it would still be a secret today. But I have found that when God pushes you to tell your hard stories, it's always for His glory and the healing of others.
At a recent Girls of Grace concert in Charlotte, NC, you spoke a little about how your childhood is expressed throughout the book - would you like to elaborate any? (How do you like touring?)
I LOVE touring! Our Girls of Grace family is so so fun to be with. Every weekend that we get to spend together is always a highlight. And what God does in the hearts of the girls and moms that attend is always amazing.
Yes- so much of my growing up years are expressed throughout the book. I did that on purpose- since many of the readers of the book are pre-teens and teens, I wanted to tell stories from that time in my life.
Many of us are curious - how did Hillary Scott come to have a quote on your front cover? (We're expecting a thrilling story out of this one, at least for Lady Antebellum fans!)
Hillary is one of my very best friends. She loves God so deeply- pursues Him with her whole heart. She has walked this book journey with me every step- from when I was writing in Frothy Monkey to when things looked like the book would never get published to when I signed the deal with Zondervan. She's been a huge support. I love her very very much and thank God for her friendship all the time.
(In 2010, I got to be her date to the Grammys! Here's some pictures and stories.... http://annieblogs.com/2010/02/04/grammy-time/#.UJKdV7SFYRs)
What is the biggest thing God taught you through writing this book?
I have really seen, through this whole process, that when you are brave with your stories- the good and the bad- God can use that for His glory. You have to be wise (I pray for wisdom every single day) and make sure you are telling the right stories at the right times, but God is honored when we do that. He created with words and the Bible says that words give life (Proverbs 18:21). We were created in His image and we can share life with our words too!
Do you feel that God is leading you to write more books? What are you current projects?
Yes yes yes! I love writing. I blog four or five times a week (http://annieblogs.com), write for (in)courage (http://www.incourage.me/author/annieblogs), and work on articles and freelance work every day. In fact, I've just written a free 30 day devotional for girls (http://anniedowns.com/wordrevolution/).
There are hopefully other books coming soon- I really have a heart to continue sharing stories with women around the world. I would love to write about courage, about the power of words, about how we can live openly and honestly before our friends and see them impacted by the gospel. I could dream on and on about the books I want to write.... this list could be looooooooong! :)
GGFG's motto is, "Glorifying God and Encouraging Others" - so, I have to ask, do you have any advice for other writers? Or anything you would like to say specifically to the girls here at GGFG?
My advice for writers would be KEEP WRITING. Don't give up. It gets hard and can be super tiring and taxing, but it is worth it. Just don't quit. Glorifying God and encouraging others is what it's all about, isn't it? I love that. Keep doing that- through writing, through friendship, through loving those around you.
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