Thursday, March 26, 2009

Author's Buffet Welcomes Rita Award Winner Gayle Roper!

If I could say anything about Gayle Roper it’s that she simply has the perfect combination of tenacity and talent to make it in the volatile world of publishing. She has written over 40 books, fiction and non-fiction, her specialty being romantic mysteries. She teaches on writing and women’s issues and has won a Rita Award for her fiction. When I gave her the choice of topics for our Author’s Buffet, it did not surprise me that Gayle chose as the subject near and dear to her heart the topic of waiting on the Lord. Welcome, Gayle, to Words to Go!

GAYLE: Thank you, Patty! It's interesting that the greatest lesson in waiting on the Lord has come mostly through my writing and the process of publication. I'm a choleric personality, very task oriented, very accomplishment driven.

PATTY: If you’re new to the temperaments, those of us trained in the Littauers' CLASS speaker’s services are highly versed in them. The choleric temperament is also called the A-type personality. As a matter of fact, I’ve just noticed the Alphas are leading the pack this week in chats. Gayle, how do you best describe our type of temperament?

GAYLE: Let's do it, and let's do it now and well. That mindset works well when it comes to writing. I have control here.

PATTY: For a bit, at least.

GAYLE: Oh, sure! Then, off the work goes and I've lost control. I’m forced to wait for other people to make choices over which I have no control. I am forced to wait on their time tables, their tastes, their corporate charts.

PATTY: Readers may not understand our story's tenuous journey from desk to publication.

GAYLE: If the work sees publication, then I'm forced to wait on the whims of salesmen, store owners, and buyers. Again no control.

PATTY: Well, at least little control.

GAYLE: This waiting has forced me to constantly go before the Lord, asking His grace for today, his peace for my straining urgency. I have been forced through the years to learn to say, over and over, "Not my will but Yours be done."

PATTY: But sometimes it’s easier said than done in practice at least.

GAYLE: I've observed that we all have at least one thorn that drives us to the Lord.

PATTY: Only one?

GAYLE: I have a sound marriage, two kids who love us, two daughters-in-law we love and who love us, and five great grandkids. Often family tensions and disappointments are what drive us to our knees, but that's not my situation--for which I thank the Lord daily.

PATTY: I feel blessed with my family too. But there are other types of thorns, you’re saying.

GAYLE: Sure, for some the thorn is health.

PATTY: As some author friends shared in last week’s “Greening of the Soul” chats.

GAYLE: For me that thorn has been the lack of control over my chosen career and ministry. Every day I live in an arena that swirls around without asking my opinion or seeking my wisdom. Every day I hand over work I've sweated over and prayed over for someone else to do with as they please. Much as it grates, it has also been one of the best things for me spiritually. "Not my will but Yours be done."

PATTY: Gayle, what do you consider the greatest goal in life to obtain?

GAYLE: So many of us can quote Eph.2:8,9: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Great verses! But we often forget verse 10 which follows right after: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

PATTY: And a workmanship is a work in progress, isn’t it?

GAYLE: My goal is to do the work Christ has called me to do. As a doer, I like that idea, but I also realize that there's a LOT more than mere doing tied up in this thought.

PATTY: Like the part we’re supposed to do?

GAYLE: Yes. There's spending enough time with the Lord so that I hear Him when He calls me toward a certain task. There's learning to be obedient to this call. There's learning to walk as He would walk as I do this work. There's having my speech seasoned with grace toward those I work with.

PATTY: The little things that can trip us up.

GAYLE: In other words, doing the work He has called me to do requires me to be conformed to the image of Christ.

PATTY: Not a fallible leader, but the One on the throne.

GAYLE: And there's a goal worth living for.

PATTY: Yes, because in our reaching, he is reaching back to help us out of our frailties. Gayle, this has been such a delight to chat with you today. Thanks for chatting with us today.

GAYLE: Thank you, Patty, for inviting me.

PATTY: Gayle is giving away a copy of her novel Fatal Deduction. Please leave feedback along with your first and last name for a chance to win in Saturday's Big Book Give. Please check Saturday's list to see if you won a book from our fabulous authors on this week's Author Buffet.