Liz Mitchell is set to publish her first novel, Like The Ocean Moves, Book One of the Torchbearer Series. The author chose the publication date for this powerful work of Christian Suspense for a very personal reason.
Exactly ten years prior to the day, Mitchell, a teacher in Madisonville, Kentucky, traveled to Nashville, Tennessee with her husband to join more than 20,000 other believers for The Call (www.thecall.com), a massive gathering for the purposes of prayer and fasting. On that 7th day of July in 2007, evangelist Lou Engle was among those gathered to intercede for our nation, for the church, and for one another. For Mitchell, it was a profound experience that made a lasting impression.
With no prior intention to move or change careers, a fire began to smolder in Liz Mitchell's heart that day. Over time, that fire burned with an insistence that ultimately became Like The Ocean Moves, Book One of the Torchbearer Series.
Like The Ocean Moves is a gripping work of Christian Suspense. Although she has had short stories and works of non-fiction published as far back as 2001, this is Liz Mitchell's first novel. Brilliantly crafted with storytelling that can only be described as "inspired," the dark subject matter is both painful and important to address. Mitchell weaves a powerful story that is both disconcerting and uplifting.
Liz Mitchell is a gifted new voice in the genre. Her faith is strong, her message is clear, and her writing is riveting.
Q: Liz, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself, tell us about yourself and how you became a Christian.
Thank you for your interest!
Although I had an ideal upbringing in a Christian family with solid teaching to undergird my growth, it was actually a work of Christian fiction that turned the key for me. I was reading a book called Roses for Mama by Janette Oke. In that story, there is a scene of salvation for one of the characters. I was about eight years old, alone in my room reading before bedtime. I remember reading that scene and then laying in my bed and praying, giving my heart wholly to Jesus. No fanfare. No applause. At least not that any human could see. Just me and my King in a special moment of understanding.
Q: How did you feel the call to write?
I think I was born a Storyteller. I wrote short stories and novellas growing up, and then pursued creative writing at the collegiate level as well. On 07/07/07 I attended The Call in Nashville where the Lord released a spirit of divine artisanship. I believe that Like The Ocean Moves began at that moment, though I had no knowledge of the Lord's plans for me or for the book for another few years.
Q: "Like the Ocean Moves" is your new novel, how did the Lord open doors for you to get this book published?
That's an interesting question. I first sent the book to a publisher who accepted it and then subsequently went out of business. I talked to a number of people in and around the industry who all seemed to agree that the world of publishing is changing rapidly; so rapidly that traditional publishing is not only difficult to achieve, but not always in the author's best interest -- especially a first time author like myself. After speaking with several vanity publishers, I decided the best course of action for me was to go through Amazon and Kindle directly. While the door slamming in my face when the first publisher closed its doors was an emotional shock, I see now the Lord's hand in it ... saving me from further injury. We don't always like to hear "no" from Daddy God. But sometimes that's exactly what's best.
Q: In a few sentences, what is the story of the book about?
Like The Ocean Moves is the story of ordinary Christians who decide to trust God more than they fear the unknown, transcending the boundaries between the physical and spiritual realms, and taking part in warfare alongside angels and saints to rescue a child and ultimately dismantle a human trafficking ring.
Q: Who is a torchbearer?
In Like The Ocean Moves, a Torchbearer is someone born with a special calling in the Kingdom of God here on Earth. They're the healers, the evangelists, the prophets among us. They bring Heaven to Earth in miraculous ways. But as the story progresses, it also becomes apparent that we can choose to be Torchbearers -- to dig deeper and hunger for more, because there is always more to be discovered within ourselves.
Q: What inspired you to write this story which in many ways speaks of the Gospel?
Every time I sat down to write, I asked Holy Spirit to be a part of it. I leaned in, I listened, I let Him take over my imagination and I wrote with His inspiration. Of course there is craft and work involved. It's not all rainbows and glitter. But I felt strongly in my spirit that this story needed to be told. It is supposed to be born. And I pray that Daddy God will use it to push the Kingdom forward and bless every reader.
Q: What value(s) do you think this book will have to both the Christian as well as the unbeliever who reads it?
For unbelievers, I hope the story holds an element of magical realism and if nothing else, that it can be enjoyed as a good story. Because if it's not at its base a good story, I have not done my job as a writer. For Christians, I hope it is an eye-opener that the spiritual realm isn't something that happens on a Sunday morning, that spiritual warfare isn't a separate reality, and that miracles aren't for "other" people. They are part of a full, healthy, in-tune walk with the God who sees us all and knows our ends from our beginnings. There's more. There's so much more. We just have to ask and receive.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learnt about God through the process of writing this novel??
I can't underestimate Him. I can't limit Him. I can't dream bigger than His dreams for me. Neither can I rush Him, bend Him, or change His ways to my liking. When I ask Him for more and I make room for Him to move, there is no way to measure what comes out of His storehouses. All I can do is hang on for the ride.
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