JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Iris Celeste, author of Praise Your Way Through
Praise Your Way Through is a Christian Fiction novel detailing the lives of four characters from very different backgrounds and the challenges they encounter from day to day. From adultery, unhealed wounds, abandonment issues, wavering faith and everything in between.
For Tamara, the shame of a hidden childhood secret of being molested by her uncle, a reverend, is carried into her adult years with unfortunate results. Samuel is a single, well-established entrepreneur and a strong man of faith, but he hasn’t always been. He has a skeleton or two in the closet. Sheila has grown bored with her predictable husband and seeks attention elsewhere, which eventually causes her more trouble than she bargained for. Leon, Sheila’s devoted husband, is oblivious to the end of his marriage and life as he knows it.
When these characters are confronted with their problems will they have the courage and strength to listen to God’s direction or will they simply continue to take matters into their own hands?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Praise Your Way Through?
Iris Celeste: First, let me say that I LOVE books and I read it all. I’ve been reading and writing for the majority of my life. Then one day I felt a nudge. I wanted to write a book that spoke directly to me. A book about life and all of its pitfalls, but with a word of inspiration.
During the time that I sat down to write the book, I was going through a huge transformation of my own. I was hurting. But with each stroke of the pen I was being healed. Toward the end of the process, I was a different woman. I want every reader to experience the same freedom.
JP: What sets Praise Your Way Through apart from other novels in its genre?
IC: Praise Your Way Through is very real. It deals with struggles and issues faced by today’s Christian such as unforgiveness, infidelity, brokeness from childhood wounds and feelings of abandonment by God. The dialogue is personal and gets into the hearts and minds of the characters. No discussion is taboo.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Praise Your Way Through getting out to the public?
IC: Networking! I can’t stress that enough. Connect with other authors, book clubs and book lovers. Develop a strong on-line presence. Preseverence! Don’t give up. Lord knows I’ve been there.
But the one thing that keeps me going when everything and everybody around me is doubtful is knowing…a man’s gift will make room for him! Doors will open and when they do, seize the moment!
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Praise Your Way Through?
IC: I don’t know if I have a writing process. I simply allow the Holy Spirit to work through me. That can and will take place at anytime. In the beginning of writing Praise Your Way Through, I confess to not being as focused as I should have been. I permitted outside distractions to effect me. Therefore, I would pick it up and then find myself putting it back down. That went on for about a year.
JP: What’s next for Iris Celeste?
IC: I am currently working on the sequel to Praise Your Way Through. I decided to birth Taste and See, after such an outpour from readers wanting to read more about Tamara, Sheila, Leon and Samuel. So stay tuned!
Thank you so much for the opportunity, Joey! It’s been a pleasure.
Iris Celeste is your ordinary girl next door who stepped out on faith to self-publish her debut novel Praise Your Way Through. This novel is a story of love, betrayal and forgiveness. Being saved doesnâ€™t mean being perfect. To read an excerpt or order a copy of the book visit her website at http://www.irisceleste.webs.com/. Iris can also be found writing her weekly column As a Woman Thinketh for Big Time Publishing Magazine, as well as, being a contributing writer for Victorious Magazine.