Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cheri Swalwell {Writer Wednesday}

I'm blessed to have Cheri Swalwell on the blog today - take a few minutes to get to know this wonderful author.

Cheri Swalwell is a wife, mother, and avid reader, but first and foremost she is a Christ follower. She has a degree in Psychology and has been blessed to be a guest on a variety of blogs including Christiandevotions.us, Circle of Friends, and Crosswalk.com/family. She is a regular contributor to book fun magazine. If you want to hear more about the heart she has for marriage, parenting, and relationships from a Christian perspective, feel free to visit her blog HERE  or “like” her on Facebook. She loves to interact with her readers, feel free to email her too!
 
 Author Interview | Cheri Swalwell

You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself:  How did you start writing?  What has kept you writing?

My journey with words might be a little different than most writers. I have created stories in my head since elementary school as a way to keep myself entertained.  I dabbled in writing after college where I finished a book but never pursued publishing.  About five years ago, I prayed to God asking Him to show me His purpose for my life.  I wanted my life to make a difference for Him and His kingdom and wanted Him to show me what He wanted me to do.  I promised to be obedient whatever the answer.  To my surprise, this is the path He led me down.  As a result of my obedience, He has opened so many doors and given me so much assurance that I’m where He wants me.  Until God shows me something different, this is the path I will continue to walk.  And, the best part is, when I started following God’s desire for my life, I received a peace and a passion that was missing before.  It doesn’t mean the road is easy, but there is a calm that can’t be shaken. 

Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it?

      Mantle Rock Publishing released my first devotional, A 40 Day Habit Between Friends: Taking It to the Next Level, on November 20th in ebook format on Amazon.com. November 28th or November 29th, the printed version should also be available on Amazon.com.   Around December 1st, my second devotional will be for sale: A 40 Day Habit Between Friends: Because They Need You, first in ebook format and then in printed form.  The paperback books of each devotional are perfect stocking stuffers for the holidays, a way to give encouragement and hope and help your friends and family as they consider their own relationship with the God we serve.  They are short, sweet, and meant as conversations that we would have if we were taking a walk around the neighborhood, sitting at our children’s practice, or having coffee together. 


      A 40 Day Habit Between Friends: Taking It to the Next Level is a general devotional.  It offers encouragement for relationships, marriage issues, and just general spiritual questions that we all wrestle with from time to time.  A 40 Day Habit Between Friends: Because They Need You is geared toward parents and deals with situations that we all face as we raise our children in today’s society.  Each devotional is meant to encourage, challenge, and offer hope in a variety of situations that we might find ourselves in from time to time. 


      These devotionals were originally written as part of my blog.  I received so much positive feedback that I felt led to group them together and offer them as a book to be given as gifts to hurting friends, family members, or just to offer encouragement to those in need.  I chose to offer forty at a time since it takes forty days to create a habit and my prayer is that when you have finished this devotional, you will want to continue pursuing a relationship with God or perhaps deepen a relationship that you already have with Him.  The whole purpose of these devotionals is to give people an opportunity to draw closer to God while being offered hope and encouragement from a friend.  

I have a few more projects that I am working on that I’m excited about as well. One is a nonfiction book that God laid on my heart to write dealing with miscarriage, stillbirth, and the death of a child, and the other project is writing women’s fiction.  I feel blessed that God started this journey for me with devotionals and can’t wait to see what He has in store next.


Writing  
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories? 

      When I first started my blogs, my intent was to share, in an authentic way, my relationship with my personal God and why I choose to live a life that pleases Him.  Ideas for blogs would come from the strangest sources.  For instance, while watering our garden one summer day, I thought about how my husband and I are similar to spaghetti squash.  Another day, while doing chores around the house, God brought an analogy to mind for me regarding laundry and mowing the lawn in regards to marriage.  Another time, when upset about an accident my daughter had, I realized that I truly was thankful for her bruises after all.  I desire to share my heart with others and this is the best way that I have found, for me, to do that.  I have such a passion for God and He continually teaches me so much that instead of keeping it to myself, I want others to experience that joy for themselves as well.  Most importantly, though, is that people see my authenticity.  I am the same whether we run into each other at the store, smile and catch up at church, a school function, or meet for the very first time.  I make mistakes, I’m not perfect, but with God’s grace, I’m growing and learning and hopefully improving a little each day.  My desire is that my children will see that while I have areas I still need to improve, I’m willing to admit them and work at “taking it to the next level” in all areas of my life. Then, when they are navigating life, they will be less afraid to admit their weaknesses and instead focus more on living authentically than covering up their mistakes.

You
What is your favorite thing about the Christmas season?


I love everything about the Christmas season.  I love that it lasts from the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day.  I love the Christmas lights, playing in the snow, fires in the fireplace, Christmas songs, gingerbread cookies, hot chocolate, playing games, a slower schedule (sometimes) which means more time with family, movie nights, etc.  However, my absolute favorite thing about Christmas is the Christmas Eve candlelight service at our church.  We get to worship all together as a family and our church always plays Silent Night while we stand there with our candles lit, illuminating the entire building.  God’s presence is always palpable but especially during that service and I wish it lasted much longer than it does.  It definitely helps our family to slow down and focus on the real meaning of Christmas, Christ’s birth and His reason for coming to Earth, before being caught up in family celebrations, presents, and too much food.  I look forward to it every year and it’s always over much too quickly. 


Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog and allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself to your audience.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to get to know me a little and I look forward to getting to know all of you through the comments below.  
Thank you so much for sharing Cheri!  I love the fact that you asked the Lord what He wanted to do with your life and then did it ;)  I think it's so easy to get caught up in our own strength we forget that God is there to help us do His will.  For a post I did about doing things in His strength, click HERE.
If you are interested in purchasing any of Cheri's books you can find them HERE and remember, she would love to interact with you (my dear readers) as well so feel free to comment below!