Interview with Sally Metzger - Author of Night of Mysterious Blessings

 Interview with Sally Metzger - Author of Night of Mysterious Blessings

What advice would you give a new writer?

Every writer is different. Find what works for you. If you get advice (like mine), give it a try. If it doesn't fit, ignore it.

Persist. Persist. Persist. Believe in yourself. Keep writing and sending out your work.

Although we can learn from others, and imitation is normal at first, eventually, every writer must find their own style, their own "voice." Let yourself be yourself.

Read your writing out loud. Does it sound natural? Elmore Leonard, a famous writing instructor, once said, "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it."

Don't edit while you write. Instead, write what comes to mind in freedom. When you edit, it's time to get picky.

Once you're picky, annihilate extra words. Make every utterance count either for meaning or to create a pleasant rhythm.

Picture your audience and converse with them from your heart. Be moved by your writing, and readers will be moved too.

Work on more than one project at a time. That way, you can set one piece aside for a time and revise it with fresh eyes.

Occasionally, take a break as you write, quiet your mind, and take a few conscious breaths. You may find inspiration flows more easily after you do.

Attend writer's conferences to perfect your skill and pitch your work to publishers and agents in person.

What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

Confidence, comfort, and strength. As a child, I needed all three. The first time I heard the term

"late bloomer," I was consoled. I decided that's what I was. I waited. And waited. Would my petals ever appear?

It's too bad I couldn't have read Night of Mysterious Blessings. Had I realized that the God of all creation was dwelling inside me and would be with me through all life's challenges, I would have considered blooming a minor accomplishment. What are a few petals compared to what I already was by God's grace?

What is the significance of the title Night of Mysterious Blessings?

The title had to contain the words "mysterious" and "blessings" for several reasons:

v  The main character finds the serenity to sleep by realizing he's blessed.

v  The mysterious, oh-so-curious night carries a message to bless all of us.

v  The twist near the tale's end involves a mystery delightfully solved on the next to last page of the story.

v  The mystery of mysteries is how and why God blesses us with his indwelling presence.

What were the challenges you faced when writing this book?

I chose to write in rhyme. Often, that's more difficult. Writers should never sacrifice the story merely to make things rhyme. If I got stuck on a verse, I would play possibilities repeatedly in my head, like a song haunting me throughout the day.

I'm glad I persisted, though. Children delight in reading rhyme, which can help them figure out a new word. And verse makes a key message easier to remember.

What was the highlight of having your book published?

Immediately after the book was released, a friend was kind enough to give me a picture of her two grandkids—a little girl reading Night of Mysterious Blessings to her younger brother. They stare at illustrations, not the camera, and have huge smiles. The picture still has a place of honor on my refrigerator.



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