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3.13.2013

Exclusive interview with Mesu Andrews

Andrews_BrokenVessel.jpgToday we have a surprise for you ~ Blooming with Books was one of 10 blogs selected to interview author Mesu Andrews and here is that interview. So sit back and get to know this talented author of Biblical fiction.

 Mesu, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to interview you for the Love in a Broken Vessel blog  tour. Thank you for a brief moment of your time.

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First off I'd like to ask you what about Hosea and Gomer's story made you want to bring it to life for today's reader?  What spoke to your heart?

I’ve felt broken like Gomer. I was never a prostitute, but I’ve felt shame, forsaken, empty. At a very young age, I thought my life was over, and if it hadn’t been for a dear friend, I would have ended my life. Brokenness is a desperate place—and that’s where God sent Hosea to find a wife. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? How could a godly, righteous man stoop so low to marry a harlot. That’s when I decided to tell the story as if they’d known each other as children. I felt Hosea must have loved her innocence, known her before the world destroyed her. This story has made me view people differently. Every grouchy grocery clerk was once an innocent child, a happy toddler learning to walk. Every maniac driver once peddled a tricycle—or a bicycle with training wheels—thrilled at the varoom sound they made. It is that innocence inside each of us that God adores, that unsullied gentleness and wide-eyed passion to know Him. The harder life hits us, the more breaks and chips we endure, and the less we resemble that innocent child. The more we resemble Gomer…

2) You mention physical, visible evidence of Jonah's 3 days in the belly of the fish. It makes sense that there would permanent evidence of this, but I have to be honest I had never given thought to the lingering effects on Jonah - What made you even think of this detail?

I believe the first time I heard of Jonah’s enduring scars was in another biblical novel written by Ellen Gunderson Traylor titled, Jonah, in which she told the prophet’s story and describes in detail his days in the belly of the great fish. When I began research for Love in a Broken Vessel, I looked into medical journals and ancient Assyrian documents and found that more than likely, Jonah would have indeed had a white, ghostly appearance after spending three days in the digestive acids of a fish. The biblical scholars supposed that this other-worldly presence may have been Yahweh’s divine provision to gain Jonah entrance into the court of Assyria’s king. How else would a nobody prophet from a no-account country gain entry to one of the most powerful nations on earth? I love the sovereignty of God, especially when it works so beautifully in concert with the free will of humankind!

3) You have Jonah tell Hosea that his struggle, emotions, joys and sorrows will often mirror Yahweh's (God's) own - Do you think that this is true of believers today or that it should be?

I believe it’s how God intended it to be—before sin marred His perfect Creation. Humankind was created in God’s image, and that includes God’s emotions. Unfortunately, sin has marred every aspect of our likeness. God issued a special calling to the prophet Hosea, a calling that required everything from Hosea—his life, his emotions, his thoughts, his possessions—just as Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, and that meant leaving their fishing nets, their tax booths, their families, etc. After the resurrection, the Holy Spirit was given to indwell believers, so we can whole-heartedly follow Him as He directs from within. So, should our lives mirror God’s struggle, emotions, joys, and sorrows? Absolutely, because as believers we should be conforming more to the image of Christ each day. Let it be so in me, Lord. 

4) How do you decide what to write?  Is it a story that has touched your heart at one time?  A sermon that made you think?  What?
The topics are sort of evolving. My first book was a passion for twelve years (and was actually the second book published, Love’s Sacred Song.) Love Amid the Ashes helped me answer some of personal struggles with the Lord about chronic illness in my own life, having asked many of the same questions Job asked. And as I shared above, Gomer was also a character I related to in her brokenness. As time passes, my editor and agent are helping to steer me toward characters that readers find interesting, and I’ve been asking my readers for input as well. Facebook is a wonderful megaphone to hear what folks are interested in! I have to choose carefully, avoiding characters other authors are currently working on—or have already contracted to write in the near future. We try not to bombard the market with the same characters, but even if two authors write about the same character, their stories are oftentimes vastly different because so many variables are left to interpretation.  

How about the folks here at Blooming With Books? Does anyone have a suggestion for a character that hasn’t been written recently? Remember, Old Testament is my stompin’ ground…

5) And finally what Biblical story are you hoping to write about next?

I’m excited to say we’ve just gotten an official title for my fourth book! The Shadow of Jezebel will release in March 2014. Here’s a sneak peek:
Princess Jehosheba (Sheba) wants nothing more than to please her Baal-worshiping abba, Judah’s King, and his first wife Queen Atalyah, the daughter of notorious Queen Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the king’s household, Sheba realizes her dark skills as Baal’s priestess reach beyond the world of earthly governments. When both light and darkness align, forcing her to marry Yahweh’s high priest, Sheba enters the unknown world of Yahweh’s Temple. Her husband shows her Yahweh’s truth and a love beyond hope, but can Sheba overcome Jezebel’s lingering torment? Can Yahweh use a fallen priestess to shine the unquenchable light of His love to faithless Judah? The Shadow of Jezebel—Meet the woman who saved a king, delivered a nation, and preserved the Light of the World.

Mesu, again thank you for your time and may the Lord bless you and your ministry.

Thank YOU, Meagan, for some great questions! And if folks want to find me on the internet, here are a few places to connect:


Be sure to check-out my review of Love in a Broken Vessel here.