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

Congratulations to Marilyn Ridgway, winner of this week’s drawing!

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

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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.

       
       

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Unexpected Joy: When My Dream Became Reality

This article about unexpected joy first appeared on May 13 on the Seriously Write blog. For those who did not see it then, here ’tis  again …

***

Miss Colombia, Miss Philippines, and I have next to nothing in common—not hair color, body shape, facial features, age, heredity, ethnicity, residence, or life experiences—except one, in an eensy-weensy way.

I, a 70-year-old grandmother, and those two goddesses have shared a this can’t be happening moment. Theirs occurred at the Miss Universe pageant last December when Steve Harvey announced Miss Colombia was the new Miss Universe … and then had to admit he’d made a mistake. The crown went to Miss Philippines, not Miss Colombia. Whooops. 

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The Miss Universe Mistake. Whoops. An unexpected moment. Unexpected joy for one and not-so-much for another.

Watching that unwatchable yet can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it moment transported me back to January 2015 when I received word my Operation First Novel entry—THE CALLING OF ELLA MCFARLAND—had won first place. I experienced unexpected joy … and a few more emotions.

My first words: “That’s impossible.” (A few months prior when I learned my entry had made the list of 11 finalists, I had told my husband it was a good thing the list didn’t end at 10 or I wouldn’t have made it.)

I expected something akin to the words poor Miss Colombia heard: “I’m so sorry but there’s been a mistake.” Any minute the Whoops call would come. Surely. But the clock ticked away what remained of the evening and the phone sat silent while I worked my way through believing the unbelievable.

The unexpected joy experience was traumatic—in a good way—but traumatic, all the same. I’ve read that when a person experiences trauma, the needle in the brain’s “trauma center” goes “KERBAM!” all the way to “Full” and beyond. That’s true.

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Unexpected Joy=A cup that overflows

My tank—or cup if that suits better—ran completely over. (Tweet That!)

I couldn’t wrap my head around such unexpected joy. I wept. And wept some more. Around 11:00 p.m. my husband asked if I was going to be OK. (He was eyeing bed but wanted to be awake and alert if I had a stroke.)

Sure, I was OK. But I couldn’t stop pacing. Shaking my head. And weeping.

I slipped on my wool coat and sat on the porch. The air was cold. The sky clear. The stars in their places. Moon, too. The earth hadn’t shifted on its axis.

Deep breaths. And prayers of thanksgiving. God was seeing to it that my dream would be reality. Jerry Jenkins was the tool.

Johnny Cash’s “Why Me, Lord?” came to mind, reminding me my journey began in late 2006 when I stumbled across an essay contest online. Adam McManus, talk radio host on KSLR AM in San Antonio, together with one of his sponsors, Jerry B. Jenkins, was offering the Christian Writers Guild Conference to the winner.

It wouldn’t hurt to enter. I wouldn’t tell a soul, so I wouldn’t have to answer questions. I could write an essay about why I should attend the conference. I’d been dreaming secretly about writing illustrated children’s books.

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Unexpected Joy: The day I learned I would be a first-time grandmother in triplicate form, I reacted in much the same way as when I learned I’d won Operation First Novel.

Our daughter had carried (with great agony) and then delivered (at 28 weeks) a beautiful set of triplets (1 girl and 2 boys) in 2005. She had rejected the fertility doctor’s insistence that she abort one of the babies early on and had spent the better part of 21 weeks in the hospital experiencing every complication in the annals of “at-risk pregnancy.”

I wore my knees out in prayer. (Tweet That!) Daily when I arrived in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and heard “They’re doing OK” I whispered a prayer: “Thank you, Lord, for honoring Lynn Lee’s trust in Your care.” A year later, another boy came along. Four babies in diapers—not your everyday baby experience—requires extra applications of prayer.

Fast forward—past joining several writers’ organizations, critique submissions, conferences, workshops, contests, mentors, tossing aside one idea after another, starting and stopping, reevaluating and going at it again, and even throwing in the towel for 6 months. I’d had it!

Until one morning in April 2014 when I woke with a story on my mind. It wouldn’t let me go. I sat at my computer, opened a document, typed CHAPTER 1 … and began to weep.

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Yep. Prayer changes things. Unexpected Joy.

“I can’t do it, Lord. You’ll have to stand beside me.” 

The Kleenex box grew lighter and lighter—the way it does when it’s getting to the bottom and a quick yank throws it up over your head. That’s the picture.

At times I thought I felt Jesus beside me, whispering words every now and then, his finger pointing to a pathway, urging me to get my heart in tune—in rhythm—with His, the most precious moments in my writing life so far.

I did my best to edit the manuscript but on the last day before the deadline, I clicked “Submit” knowing it needed a lot of work. The consolation: The feedback would be valuable.

Did I expect the feedback I received on the following January 16? Absolutely not. Was I stunned and traumatized and unbelieving at first? Duh!

William Tribble and Ella Banks, 1910
William Tribble and Ella Banks, 1910. My grandparents. Mama left a name worthy of the heroine of The Calling of Ella McFarland.

For whatever reason, the Lord chose this blessing for me. The story isn’t perfect, not by a long shot. But neither am I. By the Lord’s gracious hand, I was granted some ideas and words and the freedom to put them together as I chose. My ancestors’ experiences are tucked into the story, and readers see my heart and soul laid bare. Mainly, I hope they see Jesus.

Writers, if I can do this, YOU can. Don’t give up!

And, readers, when you open your next novel, pray for the writer. She might be gasping for breath!

Thank you, Lord.

I haven’t stopped giving thanks … Ephesians 1:16 NIV

Website: www.lindabrooksdavis.com
Email: linda@lindabrooksdavis.com
Twitter: @LBrooksDavis
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LindaBrooksDavis/
YouTube Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/1VZcAi5
Publisher, Mountainview Books, LLC: http://bit.ly/1NqmYtF
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1RCKMgf
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1SEJUEI

 

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