Wednesday, January 13, 2016


This week, Debby asks us: What inspired each of you to choose writing as a career? What would you be doing if you weren't writing for a living?

For submitting her question, Debbie’s won a copy of Richard Mabry’s book, Miracle Drug, and a $10.00 gift card from Amazon!

If you have a question for us, leave it below. You might be our next winner! You could win a book by one of today’s top suspense/mystery writers – or a gift certificate to Amazon! (Questions submitted without contact information won’t be considered.)

As an avid reader, I met other avid readers who were aspiring authors, fell into friendship with them, then joined their writing group.  I never thought it was possible to be published at that point, it was just for fun.  But then we discovered writing conferences, and RWA (Romance Writers of American) which offered a lot of education, publishing information, and support.  And soon, the nice "hobby" became a real drive to write well enough to seek the chance to be published.

If I wasn't writing, I would probably still be working as a registered dietitian. I really enjoyed working at a psychiatric facility before leaving the profession to write full time.

Roxanne Rustand

I have two callings which are writing and teaching. I still do both. I work part of the week as a third grade teacher and write the rest of the time. When I finally retire from teaching I'll write full time, but that's not my world right now. :)

 Dana Mentink

I can't say that I'm actually "writing for a living," yet. But when I retire from Homeschooling (next year if all goes well), I hope to be at that point.

Before I started this journey about 5 years ago, I was making a nice profit as a scrapbooking and stamping consultant. I liked doing it (still like the scrapbooking part of it), but when my mom asked me what I would do if money and time weren't an issue, I said without hesitation, "Write." I surprised myself. I really enjoyed teaching scrapbooking and holding retreats. But I didn't surprise Mom. She always pegged me as a writer.

She challenged me to seek out the passion God had put in my heart for writing and not to put it off until I "had time." So I started a novel. I'd done that before, but this time I actually finished it! I think completing it was like God's confirmation on the career and the inspiration I needed to pursue it. I cancelled my retreats and workshops and jumped into a job that I love more and more every day!

Marji Laine

If I didn't write, I believe I'd go back into radio. I used to write commercials, but now, I intermittently write radio plays (and do voices) for The Christian Car Guy Theater on the Truth Network. The opportunity just appeared last year and has been a tremendous blessing. So, in answer to the question, I believe I'd like to go on portraying "Gracie Gas Tank" on the radio.

E.E. Kennedy

I've been making up stories since I was a kid. As an adult, I wrote and rewrote the same story over and over. It still hasn't seen the light of day, that's how bad it is. In 2006, a friend dared me to write a cozy mystery for a new publishing line. I took her up on that dare, wrote the book, entered it into a contest, won first place, acquired an agent, and got a contract for three books in that series. I was hooked. I now write prolifically and went to full time writer in May of 2013. 

If I weren't writing for a living, I'd most likely still be at that same day job monitoring students in detention. I much prefer writing.

 Cynthia Hickey (Melton)

I actually didn’t choose to start writing. I guess God chose it for me. I’ve told the story previously. Details can be found on my blog, including this post (

Suffice it to say that my retirement from medicine led to my “second career” in writing. After four novels written over a period of four years, garnering forty rejections, I got my first fiction contract. Now I’m awaiting the release of my tenth novel of medical suspense. If you want to hear God laugh, start making plans. 

Richard L. Mabry, MD

I didn’t start writing until I was forty-five. To be honest, I never knew for certain what I was supposed to do with my life. Then I heard a Bible teacher say that if we go back to our childhoods, we may be able to see what God had gifted us to do. As soon as I did that, I realized I’d loved literature ever since I was tiny – and I wrote. In fact, on several occasions, I was accused of plagiarism. Once in the second grade and another time in high school. I finally realized that perhaps it was because I was good at writing. LOL! At the same time I started watching Murder, She Wrote. One night I told my husband, “I know what I want to be. I want to be Jessica Fletcher!” After getting confirmation from God, I started my writing journey.

If I wasn’t writing for a living, I’d be working in social services. I spent many happy years assisting the elderly.  

Nancy Mehl


  1. How much time would you say you spend researching for your books before you begin writing?

  2. It's funny, Nancy, but Jessica Fletcher inspired me, too! Ellen Kennedy

  3. How did each of you decide to write suspense? Why not romantic comedy for example?

  4. I'm wondering where you get your ideas and plots for your stories. Do you base them on current news events, things that happen to family or friends (loosely of course), or do they just pop into your brain or maybe come to you in a dream?

  5. Thanks for answering my questions. It's nice knowing more about all of you.

  6. How do you choose names for your characters?