Thank you for coming on the blog today, Paula. Many people know you because of the non-fiction books, devotionals, and articles you’ve written. Your last book, Soul Scents: Flourish, was a deep journey out of emotional, verbal, and spiritual abuse. Tinseled Tidings is a collection of light, inspirational romance. How do you reconcile such different writing?
I’ve come to understand that God didn’t call me to a specific genre, but to a message. Everything I write comes from my passion to see others set free to flourish with Jesus. When He died upon that cross, He set us free from the things that hold us back in this life.
Next to my computer I have a statement that says, “I write to join with the Holy Spirit in setting captives free and healing the broken-hearted. To call forth the true essence of life, person, self. To be a part of the grand Love Story with Jesus.” Everything I write about goes through this filter. Messages of freedom appear in a short-word count novella just the same as in a complex work of fiction or deeply researched and vulnerably written work of non-fiction.
We all need to be fed spiritually. God’s truth comes to us in many forms. A song on the radio. A conversation with a friend. Deep study of the Holy Bible. Prayer. Many of us read books seeking an encounter with Jesus, whether we realize it or not.
I’m a smorgasbord gal myself. There are times I need meat—a deep dive into a serious work of fiction, non-fiction, or Biblical study. There are times I need a salad or dessert. I think of my writing like that. Everything I present to readers should offer the glorious grace and truth Jesus offers. Sometimes it comes in the form of key-lime pie, which is how I think of the first novella in this series, You’re a Charmer, Mr. Grinch. (The second story, The Joy Scrooge is more like dark chocolate.) But some of my writing is steak, and it takes a while to chew.
Okay, this has turned into a pretty serious interview about a book and collection designed to be fun. (Well, if calling books key-lime pie is serious.) Tell us more about the Tinseled Tidings collection and why it is playful.
It really started because I needed fun and wanted to offer fun to my readers. I’m in a season where I need to laugh more and be reminded of happy endings. Romance books illustrate that in the end we are Christ’s beloved bride, and we will have a happily-ever-after. What better way to pursue hope and joy?
Briefly share a tidbit of spiritual discovery you experienced as you wrote each title in this series.
Brief. Hmmmm. Not my strong point. Okay. Here goes.
When I sign You’re a Chamer, Mr. Grinch, I usually add the Scripture reference John 10:10 below my name. It says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (NLT). I got this book contract after a particularly trying season of about seven years in which my husband almost died, did lose his business, and we almost lost our home. There was more, but the point is when we’ve been through something especially difficult, it is hard to believe there can be abundant life. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this!) So my heroine’s struggle to hope again was part of my soul working its way out of those years of hardship.
The Joy Scrooge connects to this promise in Scripture: “I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing,” (Jeremiah 31:13, NLT). I write these kinds of stories for fun, but I also write them out of my passion to join with Jesus in His healing work. This is a simple love story, but it is dear to me. Grief is a part of life, and just as Tait had to face his grief to walk through it, we all must allow the seasons of mourning in our lives. But I don’t believe the Lord wants us to stay in grief. He promises to exchange our pain and sorrow for praise and joy. That’s a great deal, my friend!
In Fruitcake Fallout there is an over-arching theme based on Song of Solomon 4:7, but a secondary theme emerged as I wrote. I found myself thinking about how there is no place or person so dark that it (or they) is God-forsaken—an important concept in a book set during WW2! While I wrote this book, there was a random shooting at “my” Walmart, which traumatized many and stole the lives of a few. Then the horrific church shooting in Texas. Then the man who tried to enter the elementary school and went on a shooting binge. I wrote, in part, to remember that God is there in the worst of times, caring for the hurting. As a race we must stand even when darkness threatens our light. Because really, the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it (John 1).
One last question. Umm . . . make that two. How can readers find out about new releases or free days for your electronic books? Where can they get the Tinseled Tidings Collection?
The best way is to know what is going on with promotions and new releases is to sign up for my newsletter by visiting my website: www.paulamoldenhauer.com.
The Tinseled Tidings Collection is available at: https://www.amazon.com/Tinseled-Tidings-3-Book-Series/dp/B077BWG77T The individual titles were released on Kindle for 99 cents, and the whole collection releases in paperback this week!
You can find Paula in the following places: