We have something very different today. Our author on Author Interview Friday wrote an interactive book – one that is okay to write in. Tell the readers the premise of your book we are promoting today?
The name of my book is “The Overflow of the Heart”. It is a Devotional Journal.
It is somewhat different than most devotional journals. Most devotional journals list a scripture or thought for the day at the top of the page and then ask the reader to reflect and write about it. My devotional journal lists all scriptures having to do with “The Heart” in the back of the book and instructs the reader to find, and then write, a scripture based on how they are feeling that day. This way, the journal will be extremely personal to the writer. As you reread your own writing, you will be able to track your personal journey through life. One day you may not be in a good place and you may choose a scripture and write words of hurt, pain or anger. Other days you may be in a great place and choose a scripture and write words of encouragement, thankfulness and joy.
Can you share a few paragraphs from your book to whet out appetite?
The condition of your heart is directly related to how you look, speak, and treat others. If your heart is joyous, you will probably appear happy, speak politely, and treat others with love. If you have a broken heart, you will probably appear despondent, speak hurtfully, and treat others callously.
How can you determine the condition of your heart? After all, if you want to know the strength of your body, you can take an agility test. If you want to know the condition of your brain, you can take a written test. So how can you tell what is in your heart or in the heart of someone you meet? The answer is quite simple … the answer is pressure. The heart is a tube, and when pressure is applied, what comes out in words and actions is what is inside.
To understand this principle, think about any and all items you can imagine that come in a tube, such as toothpaste, glue, acrylic paint, hair gel, hair color, cake icing, etc. If these items were all lined up in unmarked tubes, how could you tell what was on the inside? That’s easy … just squeeze the tube. Then you could see, smell, touch, and experience what was inside each tube.
The same is true for a person. When a person is squeezed, you will experience what is inside or what is in the heart. It’s the substance of the heart that will come out. Unlike a tube of icing, we obviously cannot physically squeeze a person. However, you are squeezed every day. Every day, pressure is applied to your daily life. Maybe it is the pressure you feel when you’re stuck in traffic and late for work, or maybe it is the pressure you feel when given a deadline on a project. Pressure can be as simple as spilling the milk container on the floor or as difficult as the loss of a loved one. Pressure is love and hate, weddings and divorces. Pressure is a good checkup at the doctor or a diagnosis of cancer. Pressure is going to school, taking tests, making friends, and dealing with enemies. Pressure is around you all the time. How do you react? The substance of your heart determines how you react!
Do you react with kindness, patience, forgiveness, and love? Or do you yell, scream, throw something, or hurt someone? If you are honest with yourself, you can gauge your own heart and grow to be the person God wants you to become.
Occasionally, you may react in an obscure way—you might overreact to a situation or say something you should have never said. Then, this reaction is usually followed up with an apology and words to the effect of, “I’m sorry … I didn’t really mean what I said.” That is a lie. The truth is that you probably did mean what you said, and when pressure was applied, the words that were in your heart came out of your mouth! It would be more accurate to say, “I’m sorry I hurt you … what I was thinking in my head and feeling in my heart actually came out of my mouth!”
Thank you Joy. Why did you write a Devotional Journal?
I have been journaling for many years. Sometimes I write in a traditional journal that prompts my writing for the day. There are other times that I write in a notebook when my heart is overflowing with emotions such as fear, pain, hurt, joy or thanksgiving. The Journal that I designed was exactly what I was doing in a notebook. I was trying to “find my heart” and I was writing everything I could find about “The Heart”. As I went back over time and read what I wrote on my pages, I saw my own “heart change” documented in my own writing. This book is set up to make it easy and to keep the writer accountable and on track.
Why did you choose to go the self-publishing Indie route in lieu of traditional publication? What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend that same Indi publisher to a colleague?
I chose the hybrid between traditional publishers and self-publishing and went with Crossbooks Publishing, which is the self-publishing branch of Lifeway. While I had to pay to have my book published, Crossbooks reserves the right to review all submitted material. I would recommend Crossbooks as they will also assist in marketing, set up a Facebook page, edit, advertise, create the cover design and file all required copyrights and ISBN.
It is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?
This is not a get rich quick scheme. As a matter of fact, it an expensive hobby once you get started. However, it can also be very rewarding, even while it may not be lucrative. I try to find book singing events as well as being proactive and asking stores if I could do book signing.
What advise would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?
Just do it! It’s not easy getting started but once you start, you get hooked! My second Devotional Journal is called “The Overflow of Joy” and should be available by Spring 2014.
Do you use your real name for writing?
I do not use my full name for writing. I use my first and middle name… Carolyn Joy
You can visit my Facebook page at