Connie Cook lives and writes in beautiful, rural British Columbia, Canada. Her background and education is in Bible and missions. Her twenty + books, ranging from adult Bible studies to young adult novels to children's books, are available through Amazon.
Tell us about your newest book:
What inspired you to write Look Around?
It's really a condensed version of a much longer book I'd written years earlier, called Straight Edges.
I like to joke that the subtitle of Straight Edges
should be, "Every Thought I've Had Over the Past Twenty Years." I'd written it over a long period of time, and it's a little too long to be marketable, but I liked the content. I decided to rewrite the ideas into a more concentrated form and tidy up the style. Look Around!
was the result.
How would you describe this book to someone?
To steal from the blurb at the back of the book, in Look Around, ten observations are laid out that make the case that the Bible is God's Book as well as relaying the general message of that Book and its implications. These observations are not scholarly arguments, requiring years of schooling and extensive research, but simple observations of life anyone can make. They build on each other in a cumulative case, one observation growing out of another. The observations are: the search, the creation, the family, the mess, the curses, the second act, the second death, the clues, the treasure, and the decision.
What genre do you focus on and why?
I don't have one genre of focus. I write whatever I like to read, so this includes adult Bible studies, Young Adult novels, mystery, literary fiction, I'm even working on a children's picture book. I find, however, that the one commonality in all of them is that I unavoidably slip in some apologetics into any of my Christian books or blogging or shorter pieces. "Apologetics" means, "an intellectual defense," and Christian apologetics is an intellectual defense of the Christian faith. I'm hardwired to try and make sense of whatever I can, so I find this tendency flavours all my writing, as well. And I've seen the results of the neglect of the discipline of apologetics on the part of the church as I was growing up. My generation down has exited the church en masse, often because of big, unanswered intellectual challenges. I see a strong apologetics thread all throughout the Bible but particularly in the ministry of the Apostle Paul who, we read in Acts, was constantly "reasoning" with people in the synagogue and the marketplace, "demonstrating" and "proving" from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ. He also accessed the pagan sources to build bridges with his pagan audience. And from his own writings, the apologetics show up strongly. So, I've decided to be unapologetic about my apologetics slant.
Why do you write?
What drives you? That's a good question. And a hard one to answer. Basically, I get an idea, and I want to share it. I think the simplest answer is that I write to be known. Which is also the scary part of writing. I can feel "too known" through my writing. But as relational creatures in God's image, we all long to know and be known, to love and be loved. So, I've come to the conclusion that the drive to write grows out of that relational part of us. And the drive to create which is also part of being in the image of the Creator.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing a book?
I don't have a schedule for writing, but it's pretty much full-on, whenever I can make the time, if I'm inspired. I'm like a dog with a bone when I have something to say, unless I'm procrastinating and goofing off because I'm stuck.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
Why? The vulnerability is the hardest part for me because rejection of one's writing feels like rejection of oneself. There is very little separation between the writer and the writing. The writing is just thinking on paper. So writing can be very discouraging. It's hard to find the tiny niche of people who will appreciate and connect to what I've had to say with the market flooded by self-published books like mine. And it feels like personal rejection when that niche is so tiny.
What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?
For me, the best part is having a finished product. I'm not always sure I like writing. But I like "having written." Also, on the other end, the planning is the second-best part. When the idea is still a daydream, the possibilities are endless. But also, when a plot takes a surprising twist mid-story that even I didn't see coming, that's also a lot of fun. I suppose, really, creating is the best part. Bringing something into existence that wasn't there before.
What's one unusual fact about you?
I like to travel, and I've mostly travelled alone. I've been to over twenty countries, travelling alone.
How have you changed or grown as a writer?
I finish things now. I remember the biggest hurdle to getting something written was perfectionism. When I started writing, there was a stage of disappointment where the words on the paper or screen fell flat compared to how I heard them in my head. It takes a lot of willpower to persevere through this stage and finish a project in spite of the disappointment. In time, the style develops as the writer gets less self-conscious and stilted.
What is your favorite pastime?
Writing. Or a variety of outdoor activities. I have to get in a daily walk, or I'll get grumpy and stir-crazy.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know!
Yes, more than twenty that are self-published through Amazon. I think there's twenty-one on the site.
What are you working on now?
A totally new venture for me—a children's picture book that I illustrated myself. It should be up for sale on my Amazon page within a couple of weeks.
As a self-published author, I like to pass on what I’ve learned. There are two video series on this channel giving tutorials in Open Office for self-publishing on Amazon. Amazon Author's Page ...