HEROES OF FAITH by Marlene Bateman Sullivan. This book is a fantastic read. All of the stories are very inspiring. They left me wanting to become a better person and be stronger in my faith. I was amazed at the incredible research that was done and highly recommend this book to any and everyone who loves inspirational reads. Be sure to enter our US only giveaway and check out my interview with Marlene.
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Our fast-paced society loves adventure and it loves a hero—but what about Latter-day Saint heroes? Are there any? There are plenty!
Heroes of Faith, True Stories of Faith and Courage, is a collection of twenty-four riveting stories about people who rose above difficulties and impossible odds to emerge triumphant. You’ll read about stalwart men and women who stood firm and valiant in the gospel in spite of dangerous mobs, flying bullets, physical handicaps, extreme hardships, and dictatorial regimes.
It's fascinating to read about the exploits of real heroes and when that hero is acting in accordance with the principles of the gospel, the adventure is not only thrilling, but inspiring as well. In these days of increasing trials and tribulation, we can all use some worthy role models, especially those that strengthen our faith and increase our testimonies.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I’ve wanted to write ever since I was in elementary school. After two years of college, I got married. When I had children I had to cut back on writing because—let’s face it—you can’t do everything at one time. But I continued writing whenever I could. When the kids were little, I concentrated on writing for magazines—articles and stories. Then, as the children got older and I had more time, I started writing books.
I think a large part of wanting to be a writer came from reading so much. As a child, I was a voracious reader. Sometimes I wonder if writers are born, because I’ve certainly always wanted to write.
What inspires you to write?
I never have to try and find motivation to write—it comes as naturally as breathing. I’ve never had a day where I didn’t want to write. Even when writing is difficult, as it often is, I still have this weird, insatiable, urge to write.
What kind of research did you do for Heroes of Faith?
I lived in libraries for a while. While I did some research at BYU, the University of Utah, and Utah State, the majority of experiences came from the Church History Library and the Church Archives. I pored through old newspapers, early church magazines, and in the archives, looked at countless collections of papers, journals, letters, and microfilms.
What drew you to writing this genre? I love to do research. It’s a thrill to walk into the Church History Library in downtown Salt Lake City. I love it there. Seriously. If they’d let me I’d bring my sleeping bag and a cooler of food and live there until the food gave out. I guess I have a gene that adores searching out topics and finding old books and looking through them. Readings peoples journals, old magazines, and newspapers.
What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?
It might sound a little cheesy, but my main focus was on sharing these stories as a way of increasing the reader’s faith and testimony. I think they are just so inspiring. These stories make me want to be a better person and to demonstrate my faith, not just be passive about it.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Never. Give. Up.
People don’t fail because they can’t write, they fail because they stop trying. I have a yellowed newspaper clipping by my computer that says; “For most of us, it isn’t that we don’t have the ability to write, it’s that we don’t devote the time. You have to put in the effort.” Another way of saying that, is if you want to write and be published bad enough, you’ll work for it. And if you work at it, your writing will improve and you WILL be published.
What can we expect next from you?
I’m thinking about doing a sequel for Gaze Into Heaven, (a collection of over 50 near-death experiences in early church history), which was released earlier this year. For right now, though, I’m working on another mystery. My first novel in the Erica Coleman series, Motive for Murder, was published two months ago. I love writing mysteries, and it’s especially fun to write about a quirky private eye, Erica Coleman, who has OCD.
Where can we purchase your book?
Heroes of Faith is available at Seagull Book, Deseret Book, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. Here are 3 links where it can be purchased online:
Seagull Book: http://www.seagullbook.com/lds-products-792905.html