Back in 2014, when Andrea Merrell was assigned as editor for my debut book, I may as well have died and gone to heaven. I was spoiled from the get-go–my learning curve shot straight to the moon with her edits and suggestions–all with a loving, kind, and genuine heart. Now, it’s my privilege to share with you her reflections about her newest book, Marriage: Make It or Break It, her thoughts and wisdom about writing, and what really fulfills her life and brings purpose and meaning.
Andrea Talks About Marriage, Writing, and Why She Does What She Does
Now, sit back and get to know this lady –you’ll be glad you did. Then, snatch up her books, especially her recently released Marriage: Make It or Break It. Andrea’s straightforward, honest, and personalized book had me giggling, nodding in agreement, and tapping me on my shoulder (or shall I admit, thwacking me on the head?) as a crucial reminder to earnestly love on, nurture, and work hard at my own marriage and model the best relationship with my husband. As our three boys grow into men, the practical, sound, and biblical wisdom shared in Andrea’s book will hopefully pass on to their future marriages and bless their wives as well.
Clearly, you are a giving person – one who delights in sharing your life experiences and passions with the purpose of helping others. Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and now, Marriage: Make It or Break meet readers in a very honest, yet kind and compassionate manner. Tell us more about this natural union.
Andrea: First of all, thank you for hosting me on your blog, Jayme. I do have a heart to help others, and I’ve learned over the years that the more transparent we are as writers, the more impact our words can have on the reader because they can relate to real-life experiences. We’re all looking for hope from those who’ve been there/done that.
Often we learn about ourselves when we write a book. What did you learn about yourself and your marriage on this journey? Were there blessings on your own marriage during this process? Challenges?
Andrea: You’re right, Jayme. We always learn more about ourselves when we write. Marriage: Make It or Break It made me take a hard look at my life, analyzing all the things I’ve done right and especially those I’ve done wrong. Considering all my husband and I have been through in the past forty-plus years, I am blessed to be more in love with my best friend than ever (who also played a big part in helping me with this book).
Your book is overflowing with excellent advice and prudent reminders for a marriage to be healthy and flourishing. Which section(s) or quote(s) would find you dog-earring the page and swiping with highlighters?
Andrea: It’s hard to choose, but I would say the sections on learning your spouse’s temperament and love language, plus the one on the difference in how men and women think and do life (waffles vs. spaghetti). When we understand and embrace the differences in each other and learn to have open and honest communication, our marriages can thrive.
Why do you write? What drives you?
Andrea: I write because I can’t not write. Not the best way to say it, but it’s true. When God calls and equips you for a purpose, that calling burns within you. If I couldn’t write the words God places in my heart, it would be heartbreaking for me.
You are a well-respected editor in the book biz. How do those skills compliment and/or detour your own book writing?
Andrea: This is a bit of a catch-22. As an editor, it’s important to keep up with industry standards, which also helps with my writing. One downside is that when editing for so many amazing individuals with unique voices, it can be easy to lose my own voice. I also tend to spend much more time on the editing side while neglecting my own projects. But all that said, I love what I do.
You mention your past was often impacted by self-doubt and insecurities. How has that changed, and has your involvement with writing impacted who you are today?
Andrea: Writing has definitely helped with my insecurities. After struggling for so many years to find out who I was and what I was created to do, my breakthrough came when I found out who I am in Christ. That is our true identity. When we know who we belong to and that He has a wonderful plan and purpose for our life (Jeremiah 29:11), everything changes. Walking in your calling is the way to be truly fulfilled.
What are you most proud of?
Andrea: My family, friends, my relationship with the Lord—and the fact that He chooses ordinary people (like me) to touch the lives and hearts of others.
Building on your experiences and passions, is there another book idea in the works?
Andrea: At this point, I plan to concentrate on the three novels I have in progress—unless the Lord has other plans.
I mentioned above some of the many roles you fulfill (and I’m sure there are many more!). Do you have pearls of advice as to how you approach all you do?
Andrea: Life gets crazy/busy at times, and I feel like a circus juggler. But I’ve learned to spend time with the Lord at the beginning of each day, seeking His help and guidance. When I give Him my to-do list, He blesses my efforts and helps me to accomplish more than I could ever do on my own.
Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers’ conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. For more information visit www.AndreaMerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.
Connect with Andrea:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/andrea.s.merrell