Let’s Chat! Psychological Suspense Author J.A. Marx!

Welcome, Readers! And Welcome, J.A. Marx!

This week J.A. Marx, a great Texas author, honors us with a visit. 

Join the conversation by commenting below, and you just might win one of her books: Destiny Defied (psychological suspense) or her quirky, psychological “romance” novella, Mirror, Mirror, in ebook format. 

Take it away, J.A. Marx!

Who Is J.A. Marx?

I grew up in the mountains and graduated from college (CSU) in Colorado—God’s country. Living in the heart of the Rockies, I adored my childhood playground: the side of a forested mountain, facing Longs Peak. Even though I had no real clue what “church” was until I met Jesus at age 18, I know God communicated with me while I climbed trees and built forts. (Tweet That!) Certainly, He created this playground with my childlike heart in mind.

Presently, I live in Texas—also God’s country.

What’s an Adventure to J.A. Marx?

In college, I smuggled Bibles into China—the greatest culture shock of my life and my most courageous adventure. (Tweet That!) Some of the most satisfying years of my life, however, were spent homeschooling my children and introducing them to different cultures and beautiful people and places. 3 grandchildren bless my life.

J.A. Marx
How Was J.A. Marx, the Writer, Born?

First, Fank Peretti’s books inspired me to let loose the reservoir of stories running through my mind. I wrote my first novel in 1990. Now it is safely tucked away in some obscure file on my computer. (Tweet That!)

But in 2001, a picture crossed my mind: a girl washing up on a beach. I had to do something with her, and thus The Destiny Series was born. I wrote all 6 books in this psychological suspense series between 2001-2003. They were terribly written because I had never studied the craft. Thank goodness, my first book in the series (traditionally published) did not hit the shelves until 2014.

Jerry Jenkins Christian Writer’s Guild changed everything. I learned the craft through his group of top-notch authors/teachers–the best, people like Doc Hensley, DiAnn Mills, to name a few.

What Is Author J.A. Marx Involved in Currently?

While I’m traditionally published in psychological romantic suspense, I’m also gearing up to self-publish book 4 in my psychological suspense series this year (the one featuring the girl who washed up on the beach).

Any Lessons Learned or Advice from J.A. Marx?


W
hat do I tell new writers? Writing is a serious business, and it should stem from a passion for story. Words carry the power to build up or tear down, to deceive or to deliver truth. (Tweet That!)

Julie’s Suggestions

First, spend lots of time in the presence of the I AM, Who created words; and don’t stop pressing in until Jesus returns.

Then write, join a critique group, write, study the craft, take classes, network at conferences, and keep writing. God opens doors that we cannot open. He connects us with people (even agents/editors) that we might otherwise not meet.

More importantly, what we surrender to His lordship and allow Him to build, He will also sustain (Tweet That!); what we strain to make happen on our own, we will also strain to maintain on our own. 

Living a surrendered-writer’s life translates into the successful life of an author. (Tweet That!)

~ ~ ~

Thank you, Julie. I loved this interview. We appreciate your opening yourself to strangers who now can claim you as something akin to a friend. You can bet I’ll be reading what you’ve written, girl!

Readers, you can find J.A. Marx at http://jamarx.net and https://www.facebook.com/embattledspirit.

You can find her books on Amazon:

Destiny Defied: Book One
Destiny Delivered: Book Two
Destiny Defended: Book Three

Family Lies Deadly Ties

Mirror, Mirror (a quirky novella in ebook format)

~ ~ ~

Lord, You are the Word. Your every utterance is flawless. We writers beg you to make our puny words flawless in their effect for You. We readers beg You to lead us to the writers You have chosen to speak words of truth and encouragement into our hearts. ~ For Jesus’ sake

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

7 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Psychological Suspense Author J.A. Marx!

  1. I loved Family Ties, Deadly Lies. I enjoyed this interview immensely and am excited to hear more books will be coming out by J.A. very soon. Have a wonderful day.

     
     
    1. Hi Stacy. Yes, and I appreciated your review of FTDL so much! Good seeing you here.

       
       
  2. Marilyn

    Psychological Suspense books are intense reading. J. A. Marx is a new author to this avid reader. I do remember reading Frank Peretti’s books when they were first released. Keeping our focus on God is best for all. Thank you for the reminder.

     
     
    1. I’m looking forward to J.A.’s books! Thanks so much for stopping by, Marilyn, my friend.

       
       
    2. Hi Marilyn. Yes, psychological fiction can be intense as they dig deeper into a character’s psychological issues and how they face those issues and how God redeems. Thanks for commenting.

       
       
  3. So appreciate Julie’s suggestions to new writers–which apply to all writers. Everything works so much better when we surrender our will, our work, our time, and our expectations to the Lord!

     
     
    1. So right, Clarice. God makes life run smoothly for us, and we make it difficult.
      -J.A.

       
       

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s Chat! Author Henry McLaughlin

Welcome, Everyone!

This week we chat with Henry McLaughlin, a writer who like me has a bit of gray on top. 🙂 He and I both won the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel contest (2011 and 2014 respectively). I’m eager to know Henry better.

So let’s gather ’round to learn more about this gentleman writer. Please comment below. You’ll help make this a richer conversation. And you just might win one of Henry’s books.

Henry McLaughlin Before Writing

Henry’s heritage is Irish.
Henry married a girl of Italian heritage.

Born and raised in Rhode Island in a strong Irish-Catholic heritage, I married at age twenty a beautiful Italian girl of nineteen. This may not seem like much to many people, but, at the time, ethnicity was a very strong component in the state. When it was announced I was getting married, one of my father’s Italian friends expressed amazement that he was letting me marry an Italian girl. My father, in a perfect Irish brogue, responded, “Well, you see now, Tony, it’s the curse of the Irish that we must help those who are less well off than ourselves.”


W
e raised five wonderful children—or more accurately, they raised us. (Tweet That!) The oldest is in heaven and the others are all grown and on their own.

I earned a bachelor’s degree in American History and a Master’s in Social Work. For thirty years, I worked in public child welfare. This was a rich experience I draw on to get into the emotions of my characters.

In 1999, my wife and I moved to Texas to be part of Kenneth Copeland Ministries. I served with the ministry for nearly ten years until God opened the door for me to write full time.

Henry McLaughlin, the Writer

For many years I dabbled with writing and started my first book in the 1990s. A writer without a clue, I loved to read and figured that was all I needed in order to write. Undisciplined for several years, I wrote sporadically. Actually I rewrote the first chapter many times, never getting to chapter two. And was never satisfied with chapter one.

In the early 2000s, with my wife’s loving support and encouragement, I decided to get serious about this whole writing thing. I signed up for the courses offered through Jerry Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild.

The Guild sponsored the Operation First Novel contest in partnership with Tyndale. I entered my novel and received a polite letter congratulating me on completing a novel. And to keep trying.

I rewrote the manuscript and reentered the following year. I celebrated when I was named as a semi-finalist, but when the four finalists were announced, I was not listed. I figured being a semi-finalist would help when I pitched to agents.


On the first night of the Writing for the Soul Conference of 2010, Jerry Jenkins announced a mistake had been made. Five, not four, entries reached the finals. I was the missing finalist, the one who was left behind. Then he announced my book as the winner of the contest. The prize: a publishing contract with Tyndale House and $20,000.

Only God could arrange such a total surprise.

Tyndall released Journey to Riverbend  in February, 2011.

I indie published two more books, Riverbend Justice, and Riverbend Reunion  and re-released Journey to Riverbend as an indie publication in 2016. Together, the three novels form the Riverbend Sagas series.


A Bit of Wisdom from Henry McLaughlin

  • Writing is hard work. An author needs to develop patience, diligence, and a thick skin.
  • We can only control so much. We need to write the best stories we possibly can. And leave the rest to God.
  • We can’t control if or how we get published. There are too many aspects of the business beyond the author’s control.
  • Never stop learning the craft. Write every day if possible. Read magazines and books on the craft. Read novels to learn how others do it.
  • Attend conferences and workshops. Network. Build relationships with writing partners for critiquing and encouragement. Hook up with a mentor and give that person freedom to speak honestly and, at times, bluntly, into your life. I whined to my mentor once about not having enough time to write. Her response: “Get up earlier.”
  • Never stop learning and discovering yourself as a person and a writer. Work on your relationship with God as much as you do with your spouse and as you do on your writing. Be in a position to be guided by him on both your personal and writing journeys.

How to find Henry McLaughlin

My website: http://www.henrymclaughlin.org
Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/henry.mclaughlin.79
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2riOpCQ

Lord …

You show Your faithfulness by calling Your servants from grand and lowly places. You called King David from a sheep pasture and Elisha from a plowed field, Esther from a lowly home and Samuel from the grandeur of the Temple. You call writers like Henry McLaughlin from their chosen professions to write stories that point others to You. We bless Your Name and ask You to bless the work of Henry’s hands and his heart that Your name will be lifted up in all it’s might and glory. ~ For Jesus’ sake

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

22 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Henry McLaughlin

  1. Lucy Reynolds

    I enjoyed reading this. Congratulations to you both on your award. Blessings

     
     
    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lucy! You’ve encouraged us!

       
       
    2. Henry McLaughlin

      Thank you, Lucy. I appreciate your stopping by.

       
       
  2. Marilyn R

    Linda and Henry, Congratulations on winning the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel contest. Another new author introduced to this reader with a beautiful testimony about God’s leading and rewards when waiting upon him for that first publication. Riverbend Saga series will be a great series to read–the covers are beautiful and captured my attention. God bless you both as yo continue to write stories for His glory and honor.

     
     
    1. Marilyn, thanks for stopping by. Your comments encourage both Henry and me.

       
       
    2. Henry McLaughlin

      Thank you, Marilyn, for visiting and for your encouraging words.

       
       
  3. Wise words, Henry! Your story is inspiring.

     
     
    1. Glad you stopped by, Jenny. Henry’s a great author to follow.

       
       
    2. Henry McLaughlin

      Thanks, Jenny. You’re so sweet!

       
       
  4. Great interview, Linda and Henry. I, too, have more than a sprinkling of gray, and I have to fight the voices that tell me I’m too old for the writing life. Thank you for your example and encouraging story.

     
     
    1. Henry McLaughlin

      You’re most welcome, Kathleen. Those voices speak to me to. I have found a Scripture to stand on when they seem to be shouting. It’s Isiah 40:31 (NLT): But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
      They will soar high on wings like eagles.
      They will run and not grow weary.
      They will walk and not faint.
      Another word for faint is discouraged. Don’t let those voices sow discouragement in your heart. Trust in the Lord and you will soar.

       
       
    2. Hi, Kathleen. I love rehearing from authors who have been guests here before. Thank you for returning and joining our conversation. God’s blessings on you and yours! Linda

       
       
  5. […] Here is the link: http://lindabrooksdavis.com/henry-mclaughlin/lets-chat-author-henry-mclaughlin/ […]

     
     
    1. I’m honored to have you as my guest this week, Henry.

       
       
      1. Henry McLaughlin

        Thank you, Linda. It’s a blessing for me to part of your blog community.

         
         
  6. Being an older author myself, I identify with Henry. It’s nice to know God doesn’t let us sit around and get moldy in the last third of our lives. Henry’s wisdom on writing is up there with Solomon’s.

     
     
    1. Henry McLaughlin

      Thank you, Clarice. Especially for the comment about Solomon.
      My wife likes to tell people writing is my third career. I’m looking forward to continuing this journey God has started me on.

       
       
      1. God bless you on this journey, Henry.

         
         
        1. Henry McLaughlin

          Thank you, Linda. I receive that.

           
           
      2. I, like you, Henry, love having an opportunity for another career.

         
         
        1. Henry McLaughlin

          Amen, Linda.
          I like the challenge of a writing career especially when I know God’s hand is on it. And it’s never boring.

           
           
    2. I’m with you, Clarice! Thanks for chatting with us.

       
       

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *