I am so excited for today's interview. I have been waiting a couple of weeks to be able to share this with you all, and it's finally time! Allow me to introduce Jean Ann Williams. This is an incredible woman who has a heart to share her struggles and triumphs with hurting people. I interviewed Jean Ann over chat and since then it has been hard to wait to share it. I think ya'll will enjoy meeting her.
Jean Ann, thank you so much for joining us today! I’m so excited to introduce you to our Stitches Thru Time readers. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm 63, and published my first book after 20 years of learning the craft of writing. Just Claire is for the upper middle-grade audience.
I'm also an avid archer and love to big game hunt here in the mountains of Oregon. I got to call in a five by five antlered bull elk on my first bow hunt, but he was too far away to shoot.
I have a husband of 46 years, and we married when I was 16. We have three children, one has passed on. And 13 grandchildren. My husband and I have one acre and we raise goats, chickens, and two dogs.
That’s amazing. I come from a family of 12, so I always like to see large families.
Oh, how amazing, Amber. I come from a family of nine and I'm the eldest and bossiest. Our son has eight and our daughter has five children.
Love it. Your email signature quotes Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” It certainly sounds true for you! I was amazed to see that you write on a large spectrum. Can you tell us about your work?
I originally wrote for children, but my first published article was about my husband's work as a school campus police officer. The title was Don't Call Him Cop.
This was 20 years ago, and I was hooked on publishing. I sold crossword puzzles for Sunday school take home papers. I had a column in the Seventh Day Adventist Listen magazine for teens.
Ha! I love the title. I mean, adult nonfiction to YA fiction, how do you do it?
I don't know. I guess I have always had many projects in the works even when my children were little and I was a stay-at-home mom sewing and babysitting to earn vacation money.
I enjoy having many projects going at once. And, I have had such an interesting life even as a child that I have 11 more books to write. Let's just say I get bored easily.
Quite a talent if you ask me. Now, your upcoming release focuses on one of the most heartbreaking issues I’ve seen. How did you get into this ministry?
My son, Joshua, died by suicide coming up 13 years ago in March. He was 25. I had to write about how God blessed me, held me, kept me safe after Joshua's death. The story is incredible, even to me.
Within the hour after Joshua shot himself, after I held him in my arms and felt the last heartbeat, Satan spoke in my ear: Now where is your God?
Oh wow. You are a brave woman, Jean Ann. Do you find it difficult to open up about what you went through?
No, I do not. What was hard is doing the last edits of the book and reliving the hardest parts. My editor and I did a dozen edits that last few months before the book published.
I found myself sobbing more and more and prayed the book would be done.
I cannot imagine how hard that would be for a mother. What advice do you offer to people who know a mother that is going through this?
Please, do talk about the child to the mother. We want to hear our child's name. If you know this mother well, do something to ease her horror. Even if it's a card in the mail each week to show you care.
I highly recommend my book only because it shows what God can do for us.
That sounds like great advice. When will your book become available?
My book has been out since September and is available at Create Space and Amazon.
In paper back and Kindle.
It sounds like you've poured your whole heart into God's Mercies. I hope readers will check it out. Jean Ann, I want to thank you again for being with us today. Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Yes, for those of you listening, please do not put God in a box. I found out through the first four years after Joshua's death that God is capable and will do anything to ease our sorrows.
I greatly admire you for the strength that you display, your desire to share and help others, and the way you lean on the Everlasting Arms, even in such a horrific circumstance.
Thank you for our chat, Amber. I've enjoyed our time together. God bless you!