I put out a call for Christian authors, musician and artists to contact me so I could get some interviews lined up. Denica McCall follows my Facebook page and responded to me. I’m glad she took the time to do so. When you read her interview I think you’ll agree. Make sure to check the links out at the bottom. Here we go!
I read on your blog that as a child you made up stories and wrote poetry. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I think I always loved words and making up stories, whether that be while playing a make-believe game or my first attempts at writing books as a kid (usually they didn’t get finished.) But I think I knew that writing was an inherent part of what I wanted to do in life about nine years ago when I was nineteen. One day I sat down and hand-wrote a story, the words spilling from my pen in a nearly unrestricted flow. The story seemed to write itself that day, and I was caught off guard by the ease with which the words came. I remember telling a friend later as my heart fluttered excitedly, “This is what I’m made to do!”
As a believer, do you feel that writing is a calling?
Yes, I do. God made me think and feel the way I do, created me with a unique sense of vision, and put specific stories and thoughts in my heart to share with the world through the medium of the written word. I never heard God say, “Denica, you’re calling is to be a writer,” but that’s not the point. The discovery of our calling often unfolds in small moments, where something “clicks” and we become just a little more aware of who we are and the artistry that God wove into our individual DNA. Writing is a way I have always connected with both myself and my Creator—to me, that is how I know it is a vital part of my calling.
Something you had in your about me page that really resonated with me was that you seek to bring a greater awareness of how the spiritual realm affects ours. How do you show that in your writing?
Well, the first two novels I wrote involved the spiritual realm pretty heavily. They were set in modern-day but I switched back and forth between the physical realm and the spiritual realm, some of my characters being angels and demons. So my goal specifically in those stories was to show how the spiritual might affect our everyday lives, relationships, and choices. I think being more aware of the spiritual would help us look at the circumstances in our lives more truthfully and have a more accurate perspective of the things that happen to us and those around us. Think of it as peeking “behind the scenes.”
After writing these two, I moved on to the fantasy genre. I am currently writing a sequel to book one which I finished earlier this year. Of course the spiritual looks quite different in these stories, but the allegories are there if you look for them. One of the themes in these stories is how we see things, and that our natural eyes (or thoughts/beliefs) so often deceive us.
You’ve already completed 2 novels and you are working on a third. The first two are pre-published correct? Do you have a timeline for when we will be able to get these books?
I am actually working on my fourth novel. And to be honest, I have not yet decided how or if I am going to pursue publication for my first two books. Being my first, they need quite a lot of editing to be ready to go out to the masses. 😉 So I guess I don’t yet have an answer for those. As for my newer fantasy books, I definitely plan to go forward with the publishing process for those. I think I will finish my current one and then go back and finish the editing for the first one and take it from there.
You also wrote a poetry book called Flowers in the Darkness, which is used for a fundraiser to help an organization that fights human trafficking. Tell us a little about that organization and why you are so passionate about it?
The organization is called the Genesis Project. They are located in Seatac, Washington, which is close to my hometown. GP is a drop in center founded by a local police officer, where girls and women can come off the streets and stay for up to two nights. If they are ready to get out of the life, GP can connect them with other programs that help with rehabilitation and job training. A good friend of mine is the center director there. Human trafficking happens all over the world, and I became more aware of its devastation when I went on an anti-trafficking mission trip to Thailand four years ago. Meeting those precious women changed my perspective and made it all so much more personal to me. Knowing this happens in my own state back home, I wanted to do something, anything, to help combat this tragically successful industry.
What is your writing process like?
I typically plan my writing sessions around my work schedule. If possible, I like to work on my novel for approximately an hour each day Monday-Friday. I often will make coffee first then sit down and just pick up where I left off. I don’t do a lot of outlining. I jot down ideas as I go and make character notes along the way, though I have a general idea of the plot. I have found that writing in small time increments works for me. If I sit for too long, I become restless. Thankfully I’ve discovered that even a half hour can go a long ways. Consistency is key.
How did you come to be a believer?
I grew up in a Christian family with a great church, so in many ways I feel like God has always been a part of my life. Of course there always comes a time when you have to own your faith for yourself. If I were to pick a moment when that happened, it would probably have to be when I decided to get baptized when I was thirteen. God’s love became very real to me at that time, and ever since I have seen more and more how he has been faithful to my heart. Even though my church didn’t last and even when people I knew fell away from their relationship with God, he has held me and continued to pursue me with his faithful presence.
How does being a believer impact your writing?
I think being a believer inevitably affects every part of my life, including writing. I grow closer to God and discover things about him as I write. Truths unfold in the words that flow from my fingers in ways I can’t quite explain. I also think it is God who gives me the best ideas for my stories. He was the first Creator, the first storyteller, so I’m learning to follow in his footsteps in my writing, learning to be a daughter made in his image as I seek to reveal his truths and connect with his heart through the stories he helps me to pen.
Do you plan to write more novels? Poetry books? Where do you see your writing going?
Yes, I plan to write novels for as long as the ideas keep flowing. And the cool thing is that with God, there is no limit to creative ideas! I will most likely write more poetry books as well since I am constantly writing poetry. I hope to publish as many books as I can and I hope to encourage a lot of people through my writing, and help people to feel less alone. I also have a desire to tell people’s stories. I don’t yet know how this might play out, but I have a passion both to travel and to tell stories that might not otherwise be heard and to tell them in a creative and captivating way, a way that moves people to compassion and to action.
Last question that I like to end my interviews with, tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
I think a lot of people probably don’t know that I have a love and fascination for horses. I wouldn’t say I know a lot about horses, but I want to learn and I also want to eventually take riding lessons if I can. I’m also addicted to a Canadian show called “Heartland” which is about a family horse ranch and a young girl who inherits her mother’s unique gift of horse whispering.
You can buy Flowers in the Darkness here. This is Denica’s poetry book that helps raise funds for the Genesis Project.
You can also visit her blog/website HERE.