In The Living Room With Ann Marie Bryan
She is the CEO and Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.
A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Her celebrated bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, blend faith and romance that test the resiliency of love.
Ann Marie's greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.
So let's get a little personal in the living room....
Ann, what inspires you to write? My inspiration to write comes from God, my family, friends, fellow authors, and my interactions with people in general. For me, writing is a ministry. While I desire to tell a great love story, ministry must come from it. It is my desire to write many inspirational, life-changing books. I want my words to encourage hope, change, forgiveness, healing, restoration and new beginnings.
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a Christian Fiction author who writes to inspire and empower others. I desire to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. I have written 6 full-length novels and a short story. Worthy of mention is my celebrated bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, which blend faith and romance that test the resiliency of love.
My greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. I enjoy writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed me with, I am determined to make my life a ministry for the Lord.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest release is “Hearts over the Line,” a riveting story about rising from the ashes, unlocking love, and learning to create and maintain an atmosphere of faith. This novel is the captivating conclusion to the “Encounters of the Heart” series, but it is also a standalone novel.
I always smile whenever I think about how the series started. I am a member of the Christian Authors Network (CAN) in Tallahassee, FL. and we decided to write an anthology about the consequences of sin. As I wrote my short story for the anthology, the story took on legs of its own, and became the first book in the Encounters of the Heart series.
The series is based on Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) –“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Although the books are in a series, they are also standalone novels.
Book 1 – Shades of the Heart is a novel about the courage to love in the midst of broken promises, and ultimately about the healing power of forgiveness.
Book 2 – Mirrored Hearts: Sealed by Fire is a stirring and deeply satisfying new addition to the series. It details the struggles of two broken hearts, mended by enduring love and sealed by fire.
Book 3 – A Place for My Heart is an emotionally gripping account of a most unexpected love. Crushed by heartache and desperate for an escape, he makes a life-changing choice.
Book 4 – Where My Heart Belongs is a heart-stirring story about love deferred and rediscovered under unforgettable circumstances. Love guided them to precisely what they needed—each other.
Book 5 – Hearts over the Line is an immensely moving story. As unresolved issues made unwelcome visits, the characters must learn to reset the atmosphere in which they live, and in so doing live in a place where God finds it easy to bless them. In a season that brought many challenges, the characters must learn to trust God.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I don’t think so. I write and keep going until the final product is in the hands of my awesome readers. I like to write in the morning… early mornings, when it is quiet. My favorite writing spot is in bed, propped against pillows.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Thanks for that question. I love to read, and I particularly enjoy reading Christian Fiction romance. Authors who have inspired me to write include – Authors J.L. Campbell, W. Mason Dunn, Cassie Edwards Whitlow, Tesa Erven, Tonya Franklin, Angela Y. Hodge, M.A. Malcolm, Melissa Mallory, Melinda Michelle, Ramona Poole, Danyelle Scroggins, Lorine Thomas, Denise Walker, Genevieve Woods, Rhonda McKnight, Michelle Stimpson, Kim Cash Tate, Vanessa Riley, Barbara Joe, Adrienne Thompson, and countless others.
Reading has always been the one thing that I loved to do from a tender age. I don’t recall a particular book or author having a direct influence. Off the top of my head, three books stand out, “Gone with the Wind”, “Flowers in the Attic” and “Animal Farm.”
Who are your favorite authors?
At this time, no favorites. I just read.
What are you working on next?
As always, I am excited about my writing journey, and I am thankful for the opportunity to share with others. I just wrapped up the “Encounters of the Heart” series. Usually, I take a few weeks off to rest. On another note, I keep thinking that I would love to write books with one-word titles. I’ll see where the Lord leads regarding that thought.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I love promoting my books using the services of Ereader News Today.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
1. Determine why you desire to write. After you have completed that task, do an outline of your ideas.
2. Ask for help. Don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of knowledge about writing or the publishing industry. Select an individual, group or organization with the knowledge or ability to help you succeed.
3. Educate yourself. Do research to obtain information on how you can best leverage your knowledge and abilities to fulfill your dream of writing. The internet is filled with information of all sorts about writing, publishing and marketing your book.
4. Determine the genre of your book.
5. Benchmark against the best in the area of your writing assignment. Nevertheless, be a trendsetter. Do not be afraid to break new ground.
6. Research your publishing options (traditional publishing, assisted self-publishing, do-it-yourself publishing) before making the decision.
7. Remember to budget for editing and promotional activities. Create a marketing plan.
8. Create your author platform (website and social media) to connect with readers.
9. Be enthusiastic about your book. It will help you to move forward when things are not going as planned.
10. Stay away from negative people and those who will talk you out of writing your book.
11. Celebrate the milestones you have achieved during the process of completing your book.
12. Stay expectant. Trust God. He will bring it to pass.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Create an author platform to connect with readers. Benchmark against the best in the area of your writing assignment. Nevertheless, be a trendsetter. Do not be afraid to break new ground.
So...what's the new book about?
Chandler Peynard has it all—family, fame, fortune, and salvation. This A-list celebrity has come a long way from his philandering days. That’s no longer his style. He’s head-over-heels in love with Sabrina, his wife, and in full pursuit of God’s calling on his life. But when shadows of the past beckon, he panics. Eventually, he has no choice but to face his previous indiscretions, but will Chandler’s past activities be more than his wife can handle?
Larry and Rozene Kanate have moved beyond the consequences of their mirrored sin. The birth of twin daughters helped to seal their happily-ever-after. Life is wonderful, until it’s not. After the beaded curtain falls, Rozene scrambles to put the pieces together and avoid public humiliation. As the past crosses paths with the present, will their marriage survive?
Madison Bradshaw has moved past her inability to trust and love. But when Tyler, her husband, makes a special request, she hides the truth from him. What could go wrong?
In this captivating conclusion to the bestselling Encounters of the Heart series, unresolved issues make unwelcome visits to test the resiliency of love. Will the characters learn to reset the atmosphere in which they live? Will they live in a place where God finds it easy to bless them? In a season that brings many challenges, they must summon the courage to forgive, heal and fall in love again.
Excerpt: Hearts Over The Line
I think that God is punishing me. I’ve been down this road before. I feel the dread. The shame. The guilt. Larry mulled over the conversation he’d had with Pastor Fotola the previous day.
Pastor Fotola had looked him straight in the eye when he responded, “I know you don’t believe that.”
Larry had to take it back, for he knew the very essence of God was love.
“God has been with you long enough for you to know that He has power over the elements,” Pastor Fotola told him. “Don’t let the elements intimidate you and push you from a place of faith to a place of fear; from love to hate. Stand believing that God who took you through your other situations is in control of your current situation. Remember the Word of the Lord—no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper. I declare that everything that was aligned to make this situation come together, will fall apart, in the name of Jesus Christ.”
Pastor Fotola watched him, then said, “You both stepped over the line that God has drawn, and for that reason, you must bow your knees before the Lord God Almighty and ask Him for direction.” His eyes scanned the room before settling on Larry again. “Believe God for the impossible, for the hard thing… believe. Let not your heart be troubled. For a troubled heart will not lead to a winning strategy. Put your trust and confidence in the Almighty God.”
And just like that, Pastor Fotola spoke to the fear that had caused him to become discombobulated. That fear had paralyzed him, causing him to want to throw in the towel. To think that he and his family would never recover. That the sun would never come up.
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