Welcome to Author, Alicia Jones
Tell us a little about yourself, including how you have arrived at this point of living your dream to publish a novel.
I was born and raised in Richmond, VA and the youngest of two. Growing up in a rough, low-income Southside neighborhood is part of my history—but not my story. My father died when I was six, so my mom raised my brother and me alone. I thank God for not allowing me to fall in the traps that were all around me as a child. Now, I’m married with two princesses, ages 5 and 17 months. I am a member of the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), where I serve as the Program Coordinator for the Richmond chapter. My day job is as an Internal Auditor for a large corporation, but I’m believing to become a full time Novelist in God’s time.
I’ve been writing for over 20 years and have binders of short stories, etc. to prove it. I finished college with a B.A. in Accounting, instead letting my passion guide me to choosing a degree in Journalism or Mass Communications. Through life lessons and faith, I realized that when God blesses you with a gift or talent He will not let it return to Him void. As Christians, God has predestined our lives and through us His plans prevail (Proverbs 19:21). In the fall of 2005, I accepted my destiny and began writing Blessings of Purpose.
What inspired you to write Blessings of Purpose?
After reading the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible, it was dropped in my spirit that a modern day story needed to be told related to the desire and possession of material wealth. I see it everyday around me. People had an abundance of material things, but are so spirituality empty. Those material things bring little or no comfort to them when they fall on hard times. In some cases were the material possessions are lost, it seems as if their world falls apart.
How does the title tie into the story?
Blessings of Purpose can be interpreted in a few ways: First, knowing God’s purpose for your life is a blessing because there are so many people that leave this Earth not knowing what they were here for in the first place. Secondly, when you are living God’s purpose other blessings will automatically come forth. He promises us that throughout the Bible. Lastly, once you reap blessings you must remember to sow—to be a blessing to others. In doing so, you reap more blessings. They may not necessarily be material; just the feeling of knowing that you were able to help someone in need is a blessing in itself.
What messages do you want the readers to grasp from Lia and Nigel’s (the main characters) story?
As Christians, we have to remember and honor the source from which all blessings flow. Keep focus on the kingdom of God and everything will continue to fall in place. God knows the desires of our hearts and if we are faithful and obedient He gives them to us, in His time, of course. On the other hand, if we become proud and reckless with our blessings, they can be taken away just as quick as they were given.
Are there any of your personal experiences tied to the story or characters?
There are some of my personal experiences that I weave throughout my writing, but very loosely. I feel experience is one thing that allows an author to tell a more vivid, realistic story that captures the readers.
What role do you believe faith plays in obtaining and maintaining success in life?
As I mentioned, when we are faithful and obedient to God He promises us that we will be blessed for it. When we start focusing more on the things we want instead of God and what He wants for us, that’s when the trouble begins. The key is staying focused on the will of God because He’s the source of all blessings and the enjoyment that comes from them.
This is a fictional story based on Christianity. Do you think it will appeal to those who are not Christian or do not practice religion at all?
Yes, because whether you’re a Christian or not it’s only humane to be caring and generous towards others. Remember, The Golden Rule says, “Treat others as you want to be treated.” There are also other spiritual messages related to life the reader can get from the story without feeling like they’re being preached to.
What topics/issues can readers expect to be addressed in your future writings? Everyday issues that Christian’s face from the things I see going on around me or things that are actually going in my life. This walk is not easy, so I hope my work inspires and encourages people to keep going because the destination and rewards are out of this world, literally.
Tell us about your publishing company, Destiny 11 Publications.
Destiny 11 Publications is the self publishing company I started to present my work, as well as the work of other Christian authors who wish to self publish. They may not want to deal with the administrative side of getting published, so we’re here to provide that support, as well as getting the manuscript ready to print. Contrary to belief, you don’t have to spend your life savings or go broke to self-publish.
Any advice to aspiring authors?
Dreaming and thinking about becoming an author is not going to bring it forth. You must write and complete your manuscript! There may not be enough time in the day for you to sit at the computer and type or write something down on paper, so a voice recorder is a great investment. Within in a minute, you release an entire scene from your mind and go back to write it later. The feeling of accomplishment from completing a full manuscript is surreal.
Tell us about your future projects?
Next on my agenda is to complete my second novel and putting some focus on growing my self-publishing company, Destiny 11 Publications. I also have something exciting in the works for promoting Blessings of Purpose. On June 3rd, the characters of the novel started blogging at www.living4bop.wordpress.com. This is an interactive blog that will give the readers a sneak preview and commentary into the novel. It will also allow the readers and characters to connect on another level. I encourage those who have read or have yet to read the novel to join us. It won’t be a dull moment!
Thanks for stopping by Alicia!
Readers may find out more about Alicia at http://www.aliciahilljones.com/ and http://www.myspace.com/aliciaj804
Blessings of Purpose is available where ever books are sold.