I had the privilege of meeting Shirley Brosius at a recent author event. She was so gracious in hosting me on her blog, I thought I would return the favor. Enjoy!
What kind of writing do you do?
I prefer inspirational writing. I’ve authored one devotional book, Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories about Women Who Made a Difference, and coauthored another, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides.
Besides that, I write newspaper articles and especially enjoy writing profiles, capturing people’s personalities on paper. I also freelance with publications such as Sunday school take-home magazines.
Why did you write your books?
Sisterhood of Faith grew out of my teaching a class on women in ministry at a seminary. I was so impressed with what women had done for Christ down through the church age that I wanted others to learn what I had learned. I also found many women, even at the seminary level, were puzzled over finding their niche in ministry, so I wanted to tell them how God uses ordinary women in extraordinary ways. By reading of how others have used their spiritual gifts—in the church, in the home, in the workplace, on the mission field, on the airwaves, on the firing line—women may discover options they never dreamed of.
Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides grew out of the “Friends of the Heart” speaking ministry I share with Janine Boyer and Kim Messinger. As we lead women’s retreats, we find women burdened, sometimes paralyzed, by guilt. We wanted to offer a godly response to guilt and give women something to take home from retreats for encouragement after the spiritual high of a retreat weekend. In it we share our personal experiences and how we’ve dealt with guilt in order to show women they are not alone in their struggles.
Were you hesitant to share your personal stories in Guilt Trips?
You have to quickly get over that if you want to be a writer. Through my writing and speaking, my life is pretty much an open book, and I don’t mind. If something I’ve experienced or discovered can help someone else along in their Christian journey, I’m happy to share.
Why should readers buy your books?
Since the books are meant to be read a page a day, both offer great inspiration and help to keep women connected to God on a daily basis. And both of these books make great gift books. Kim, Janine and I speak from two different generations, since they are young enough to be my daughters, so we offer a wide spectrum of experiences of life and losses.
How did you grow as a Christian while writing the book?
Writing Sisterhood opened my eyes to how God can use women in the world. I grew up in a time when men’s and women’s roles were rather narrowly defined. But if God gifts us for ministry, why would we not use those gifts, whatever they may be?
One of your books was published by a traditional publisher and the other self published. Can you tell us which is the better route to take?
If at all possible, go with a traditional publisher. There is no expense to you, and the publisher gets your book into bookstores. Self publishing had far too many surprises along the way. I paid for a basic package, but there were so many things that came along—such as editing and marketing–for which the publisher requested additional money. Postage to have the books shipped to me was astronomical, and I had never thought to ask what that cost would be. Most traditional publishers require you to approach them through an agent, so go to writers’ conferences, get acquainted with agents and take any nuggets of advice you can glean from them. You may just pick up an agent to represent you along the way.
What is the best part of being an author?
My writing has led to speaking, and I have met the most wonderful people. Also, writing gives you credibility. And it’s always encouraging to hear how your writing has blessed someone.
What are some of the topics you speak about?
As Friends of the Heart, we have four retreat themes:
At Any Age, At Any Stage: Celebrating the Christian Life (based on Psalm 139)
Just say “Yes” to God! (based on Philippians)
If Our Closets Could Talk (based on the Gospel of John)
And our latest: What Every Girl Needs: Refuge, Redemption, Restoration and a Few Good Recipes (based on the book of Ruth)
Besides retreats, we offer special programs for Christmas, Mother’s Day and general keynotes. I also LOVE to give dramatic presentations of scripture from memory. I have memorized the book of Philippians, the first three chapters of the gospel of John and most recently the book of Ruth, plus other shorter passages. Presenting scripture is always part of our retreats. I also speak alone at Christian Women’s Clubs on “Passing on Your Legacy” and “Trusting The Hand in the Glove of Your Life.”
What are you working on right now in writing or speaking?
I am in the beginning stages of developing a book proposal related to issues faced by senior citizens.
Where can readers buy your books?
We are offering special Christmas prices right now for the books if purchased directly from me. Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides is $15 (retail, $17.99) and Sisterhood of Faith is $20 (retail $24.99). Postage and tax is included in that price. People can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, address, name of book(s) wanted, number of copies, and names to which the books should be inscribed. I’ll send out their order and include an invoice. You will also find the books at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and SimonandSchuster.com (for Sisterhood).
What else would you like to say?
Thank you for the opportunity to meet people through your blog. And a Blessed Christmas season to you and your readers.