JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Dr. Vivi Monroe Congress, author of Manna for Mamma
(Little Light Production, LLC)
Manna for Mamma: Wisdom for Women in the Wilderness, a Dallas Morning News #1 Bestseller, is a non-fiction work that parallels the journey of the Israelites (from captivity in Egypt to the Promised Land in Canaan) with the ten (10) most common experiences women face today during their personal seasons of wilderness.
The book’s driving purpose is to respond to those seemingly barren and uncomfortable situations in a woman’s life and reveal that Jesus is her manna, available to not only meet her “wilderness” needs but to bring her out. Manna for Mamma will inspire women to move into that place where His promise for her life has already been fulfilled and is awaiting her arrival.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Manna for Mamma?
Dr. Vivi Monroe Congress: I’d encountered a season where I was drawn, if you will, to the plight of the Israelite people; I read everything I could about them, couldn’t get enough, in fact. During that same time, women (some I knew, some I didn’t) would communicate to me how they were “going through” one thing or another and my thoughts would pair these women’s challenges with an Israelite wilderness experience that I’d read about. The resemblance between the two was so uncanny and undeniable. I began to pray for direction and answers as to why God was showing me all this, and even more, what He wanted me to do with it.
I believe it was His way of inspiring me to present Him as The Unchanging Hand to a population of women who were being tested and transitioned, looking for and in dire need of something new—like manna was to the Israelites. Hence, Manna For Mamma.
JP: What sets Manna for Mamma apart from other self-help books based on Biblical scripture?
VMC: Manna for Mamma is a book to, for and about women and our journey through this oftentimes tricky thing called life. Manna for Mamma is a different self-help book in that its not preachy, but teachy. Some self-help books point a ‘ Here’s-where-you-went-wrong ‘ and if you’re really lucky, a ‘ Here’s-how-you-need-to-fix-it ‘ finger in reader’s face(s)–at least I’ve felt that way after reading some. But I truly believe that Manna for Mamma points that same finger away from the reader and in the direction of God to show that no matter who, what, when, where OR why, He’s got you and it’s a done deal.
Manna for Mamma incorporates the stories of key Biblical she-roes, some real divas, showing them at both high and low points to remind women that there’s absolutely nothing new under the sun. If its happening to you today then, sweety, it surely happened to your foresister(s)! So, read about their losses, take your lumps and LEARN; look only to yesterday for the beauty of the lesson but set your sights on today so you can LIVE. And true living, abundant and free, IS the land of milk and honey.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Manna for Mamma getting out to the public?
VMC: Well, truthfully speaking, the keys to getting Manna for Mamma or any book out into the public eye–or hands–has far less to do with my being an author at this point. Because I’m still relatively new in the literary game–okay, maybe not new, but let’s just say I’m not a heavy hitter or shot-caller–I don’t have the luxury of simply making it happen on the laurels of my good name alone–at least not just yet (smile).
Success in this industry, as with any other, still has alot to do with what you know and who you know. It definitely takes a certain tenacity to push and keep pushing your book(s) out in front of others, but I guess I’m old school and believe in timing and favor as holding the keys to the success I’ve had so far. Plus, being in the encouraging company of some truly anointed and self-less authors (my Anointed Authors on Tour sisters), has a lot to do with much of Manna for Mamma‘s success. Love you, ladies!
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Manna for Mamma?
VMC: I’m an inspirational writer, seeking to motivate others, so I position myself to BE inspired before I can write and feel good about what I’ve done. I wish I could say that I’m disciplined and write twenty-five pages a day on schedule, but the plain truth is I write when “it” hits me. That “it” factor can be a simple phrase that comes to mind or sometimes “it” can be several pages in a couple hours. No matter what “it” is, I write it then wait for the pieces to come together and when they do, it’s always a fit.
But to answer your direct question, Manna for Mamma probably took somewhere between three and five months to completely pen.
JP: What’s next for Dr. Vivi Monroe Congress?
VMC: Still waiting to find out myself (smile). I’ve written with such a vengeance since 2001, and I do mean constantly plugging away at it! And because writing can be such a solitary undertaking, its easy to become somewhat reclusive. Of course, I’m writing, but a large chunk of my existence is now devoted to living and enjoying not just writing and promoting; I’m working to find that ever so delicate balance (smile). So, I’m trying my hand at something a bit different–a novel–and allowing life, up close and unedited, to inspire me.
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