Here’s the situation… You’re an author with strong religious values and wish to motivate and not preach to your readers. You feel that you have an important message to deliver, but want to educate without sermonizing. So, instead of penning a nonfiction How-To or inspirational title, you decide that Christian fiction is the way to go.
The Situation Room with Michelle Cuttino speaks to Charmaine Galloway about her faith, her fiction and what we can expect from her in the future.
Michelle: How did you get started in Christian fiction?
Charmaine: I have been holding on to the manuscripts of my first two books for over ten years. I wanted to put my work out to inspire and inform others that God will see you through your darkest hours if you trust and believe. I write reality based stories adapted to Christian fiction. God has given me this gift to create unique and inspiring storylines for the characters in my stories and I want to share them with the world.
Michelle: Your debut novel is titled Girlfriends Secrets and is due out July 2013. Tell us what the book is about.
Charmaine: The main character’s Tyra, Alisha, and Brittany have been good friends since high school. More recently, there has been a change in atmosphere amongst them.
Tyra Bell is a single mother, who has had her share of heartaches and disappointments with the men she comes in contact with. While becoming accustomed to her walk as a Christian, Tyra’s faith is shaken to its core when she received some devastating news.
Brittany Parker is the epitome of a “kept” woman. This self-centered housewife of a successful medical doctor lives her life under the premise that life (hers at least) is too perfect to have a care in the world.
Alisha Wright is a struggling mother of two. She would go to any measure to stay in a relationship with her son’s father, which results in putting her children in harm’s way.
Their friendship is about to be put to the test with the secrets they hold. When the time comes, these three women will be faced with difficult choices and as a result their lives will never be the same.
Michelle: Where did you come up with the idea for the storyline?
Charmaine: I love watching the sitcom Girlfriends. I thought it would be fun to write about three women and the issues that they have and the secrets that they hold. But I wanted to adapt their story to Christian Fiction.
Michelle: Your first release was actually My World. Through My Eyes, a book of poetry and prayers. What will readers learn about you once they read this book?
Charmaine: As a teen, I found joy in writing in my journal. It was therapeutic as it allowed me to escape the negativity of my world. I wrote all of my thoughts, feelings, and emotions on paper. Having a positive outlet for this emotion and creativity encouraged me to see that there is a positive light within the hardships I had endured.
I believe that my purpose is to share my testimony of Faith. In this book, I shared one of the most valuable and essential lessons I have learned on my journey. Learning to Let Go and Let God intervene in my life and heal me from my sinful past has been the most changing, validating, and peace yielding decision I have made.
Michelle: Is it difficult writing within the Christian Fiction genre? What have you found to be the biggest roadblock in climbing that ladder of success?
Charmaine: No I don’t think it is difficult writing in this genre. I am a new author so I haven’t had any roadblocks as of yet. But I pray that the readers that do not usually read Christian fiction give it a try to see how God will work miracles in their lives.
Michelle: You will be bringing us Golden in December 2013, about a woman who is holding onto secrets from her past. How does this story differ from the others you’ve written?
Charmaine: Everyone goes through different tribulations in our lives and we all handle our pain differently. In my novel Golden, the readers will witness Golden’s story and how she never thought that she could be loved by any man because of the painful secrets she held onto from her past.
Michelle: The Secrets They Kept is the sequel to Girlfriends Secrets and isn’t due until Spring 2014. Where does this story pick up from and where does it lead?
Charmaine: The Secrets They Kept picks up three years later from where Girlfriends Secrets left off. Tyra, Brittany and Alisha are still going strong with the mess they have created. There will be a new arrival and there will be death in the sequel you have to read both books in order to get the full story
Michelle: It seems that “secrets” are the ongoing subject matter for your novels. Any particular reason why?
Charmaine: A lot of people in our society are holding on to secrets. They are scared to tell people the real truth of the matter. For example people hold secrets about molestation, rape, infidelity, their sexual preference, and a lot more other issues. I want to open up the discussion line so people will start to set themselves free and release their secrets. God knows your secrets and He still loves you no matter what baggage you are carrying. As long as you believe and seek His word He will deliver you from your sins.
Michelle: Do you truly believe that your novels will teach lessons and/or inspire?
Charmaine: I hope that my books will inspire others to seek God and to know that He will heal you when you are sick, He is your strength when you are weak and He will be there to comfort you in your darkest hour, only if you trust and believe.
Michelle: As a new author, what else can we expect from Charmaine Galloway?
Charmaine: I will defiantly be writing more reality based novels adapted to Christian Fiction and also another poetry book.
Michelle: What advise can you give to aspiring authors looking to break into Christian Fiction?
Charmaine: In our society today there is a need for more Christian Fiction writers. Please if you are a writer don’t be afraid to share the gift that God has given you. Your book just might be the story that others need to read that will encourage them to let go of their struggles and let God intervene in their lives.
Michelle: Please let us know how readers can contact and/or follow you.
Charmaine: Please visit my website to see my contact information, my Facebook page, Twitter, Amazon link, book reviews and my previous interviews. www.charmainegalloway.com.
Charmaine was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Writing has been her passion and a positive emotional outlet since middle school. As a teen, writing in her journal allowed her to escape the negativity of her world. Around that time she also began writing her first fiction novel. She finds joy in creating unique and awe-inspiring story lines for the characters in her stories. Ingenuity and imagination is a mainstay and compass in her work.
Charmaine has a Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education and an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. Becoming a fierce advocate and supporter of troubled young women has been a goal of hers since overcoming struggles of her own as a young woman. “I believe turning a blind eye or deaf ear to our struggling youth only promotes destruction and demise. They are human. They have a voice. You’ll be surprised by what you learn from them if you just listen.”
Charmaine, being the wearer of many proverbial ‘hats’, is an independent self-publisher and the founder of Charming Gal Publications. She is the CEO and jewelry designer for Forever Divas Fashionable Jewelry, her online jewelry boutique and a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher. However, the most important ‘hat’ she wears is that of Mom to her two children. Following her dreams as a writer and authoress will leave a beautiful legacy for them and encourage them to work hard to achieve their dreams because their Mom didn’t quit reaching for hers.
Her debut poetry book is called My World, Through My Eyes: Poetic Reflections of Life, Self-Love, and Relationships, and is now available in stores. Her debut Urban Christian Fiction Novel was released in May 2013 and is called Girlfriends. Secrets.
“As a new author I think it is very important that my readers get to know me. I’m a writer with Christian values and I hope to inspire people with the stories that I pen. My characters are everyday people going through struggles and obstacles because life is not perfect.
With every story I create there is a testimony that my characters will share about life and how they were transformed to become better people. Every story does not have a “happily ever after” ending and neither does real life.”
Charmaine is currently working on new projects so keep a look out for her upcoming releases. Please visit www.charmainegalloway.com to check out her blogs and new blurbs.