As part of this week’s blog tour, I had the opportunity of asking Jo-Anne about the invitations she now receives as an author to speak to groups:

Letting my books speak
If you were to ask me whether I prefer writing over speaking or vice versa, I would be hard pressed to give you an answer. I love being by myself writing, letting my thoughts and imagination take over. But I also love relating to people as I speak, watching their expressions as they connect with what I am saying. Both writing and speaking can be uplifting or draining at times, but to me that is what ministry is about. And I feel very privileged to be able to do both for God at this stage of my life.

Not long after my first novel, Heléna, was published in 2007, I began to receive invitations to speak to groups connected directly with churches. I love ministering in this way, seeing people encouraged, challenged and blessed when I share along the lines of the different themes of my books—for example, on God’s grace and forgiveness, on receiving God’s love, on trusting God through times of change. But I also enjoy the opportunities that have opened up for to speak to community groups in more ‘secular’ venues. God is there, too, I have discovered, as I share about my journey to publication and the challenges and joys involved in that in a way that hopefully connects with my audience. I always pray for sensitivity in what I say publicly about my faith in God and the Christian aspect of my books to such groups—but I don’t pull any punches either! And I always pray for at least one significant conversation at my book table afterwards.

I am delighted how my speaking ministry has flowed from the books I write. God is amazing, don’t you agree?

Yes Jo-Anne, God is indeed amazing. Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us.