Member Spotlight: Susan Ball

What Type of Writing Do You Do?

Blogs, Novels, and a Bible Study

In 2007, I wrote my first novel, Restorations. It was traditionally published, as was its sequel, Reconciliations. I began blogging in 2010 as a way to promote my novels and share whatever I was impressed to write.  I have been inconsistent in blogging; however, I have set a goal to blog consistently two to four times a month this year.  Most recently, I wrote a Bible study, Honoring God with Your Money, which I self-published in February, and a novel, which is in the editing phase.

What Inspired You to Start Writing?

I can remember the anxiety I felt in elementary school when my teacher would have us draw a picture and write a story about it.  I could never think of anything to write and declared myself “not creative.”  I didn’t make any attempt to write until I was in my forties.  Then I felt led to share the impact that the birth of my severely handicapped brother had in drawing my family to Jesus. I worked at crafting a story for a few years but never got it right, so I set writing aside. 

In 2007, God gave me a story to tell, which was inspired by the journey of a friend who experienced a great loss.  She asked her husband for a divorce due to his ongoing infidelities, and he responded by killing himself.  With God’s help, she was able to overcome this tragedy and create a new life for herself as a single mother.  I wrote Restorations to demonstrate God’s capacity to love us, forgive us, and help us rebuild our lives.  My hope is that it will encourage women who have undergone great challenges in their lives that Jesus is the answer to all their needs.

Writing Life

How Often Do You Write?

When I wrote my first novel, I was in between jobs.  My children were in college, and I was home alone for most of the day. I started writing on my first day of unemployment. I worked diligently for about six hours each day and completed the novel in four months. I submitted it to The Writer’s Edge Service for evaluation on October 9. The next day, I started my new job.  I needed every day that I was out of work to write the novel.

Writing since that time has been more “as the Spirit moves.” When I am highly energized about a book, I typically write about two hours per day.  In between writing bouts, I may go for weeks without writing anything, other than blogging.  My life is busy with a full-time job, church ministries, and eight grandchildren. 

My one Word for 2021 is stewardship, and one of my goals is to be a better steward of my time and to write on a more regular basis.

Using the Expertise of Others

The only real expertise I used with the first two novels was in submitting Restorations to The Writer’s Edge Service.  The service worked well for me.  They assessed my book to be ready for publication; about six months later I was contacted by a publisher who eventually published my two novels.

When I decided to self-publish the Bible study, I turned to my sister-in-law for content evaluation and editing assistance.  Her input was quite valuable, and she has been an enthusiastic supporter of my publishing it.  It was her idea that I should write instructional material for group leaders teaching the Bible study.  She also came up with the idea for my cover and took the picture of her daughter, which I used for the cover.

About You, the Writer?

What Are You Reading Now?

In the past few months, I have read three of Mark Batterson’s books:  The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, and Win the Day.  These books, along with a few others, have encouraged me to pray bigger, bolder prayers with expectation.  I just finished Legacy Moments—Transformation that Goes Beyond Change, written by my good friend Johnnie Lloyd, and I have just started Permission to be Bold, which was written by another good friend, Barbara Gustavson. 

What Are You Working on Now?

Right now, I am focused on blogging consistently and marketing the Bible study.  The novel, which I finished recently, is a fictionalized story based on the actual letters my mother wrote to her mother while in college in the 1950s.  I think that my next project will be continuing Mom’s story, as she and my father began their life together; ultimately, this might be the right vehicle to share my brother’s story.  My grandmother saved every letter my mother wrote her, and I kept them for “safe keeping” before Mom could throw them away.  My parents raised nine children, and Dad served in the Marine Corps for 26 years, so I think the letters have the makings of some good stories.

What Would You Most Like to Share with Other Christian Writers?

I have found writing books to be the easy part of the process, and marketing books to be harder by far.  This was a bit unexpected, considering that I am a business consultant by profession.  I always advise my clients that their marketing should be focused on how they can solve a problem for their customers.  I need to take my own advice and consider how my writing might benefit readers.  This is easier, naturally, with a Bible study than with a novel.  I am working on developing a new mindset, along the lines of “God has a purpose in having me (and you) write. God’s purposes are not accomplished when I complete a writing assignment, but rather when these words are read by those for whom God intended them.”  With this new mindset, I am hoping to become bolder in promoting my writing.

Susan Ball

Susan Ball is a small business consultant, former restaurant owner, and author.  She and Steve recently celebrated their 40th anniversary and are blessed with three sons and eight grandchildren.  She has been active in Girls Ministries for more than 40 years and serves as treasurer for her church. She enjoys knitting and helping people to develop budgets that honor God and provide financial peace.
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