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    Vanessa Davis Griggs presents
     

    Ryan PhillipsRyan Phillips

     
    Author of: Saving Grace
    &
    After the Fall
     
     
    Saving Grace After the Fall
    Click cover to order from AMAZON.COM

     

    Vanessa Davis Griggs: Tell us: Who is Ryan Phillips?

    Ryan Phillips: I can say, without any sense of uncertainty, that I have absolutely no idea who I am! At 24, I feel like I'm just now beginning to grow into myself and into my purpose. Most days, I'm awkward and shy. Often, I feel my only redeeming quality is that I'm head-over-heels in love with the Lord. So, who am I? I honestly can't tell you yet. But my hope is that each time someone meets me personally or through my books, they walk away thinking to themselves, "Wow! Now she's a true bondservant of Christ."

    Griggs: What inspired you to write Saving Grace?

    Phillips: I had several inspirations, one that I don't often speak of because it's embarrassing. But, if you can't face your past, you can't learn from it, right? So here it goes:

    I caught my long term boyfriend, who shall remain nameless, cheating on me (much like Grace discovered Stanley's indiscretion). For a while, my world stopped and all I wanted to do was curl up and die. But my heart proved itself to be quite resilient, as hearts often do, and I started dating again, only to catch that boyfriend cheating too.

    Shortly after, a series of family problems occurred, and I found myself harboring intense anger, bitterness and unforgiveness toward quite a few of my relatives.

    And as if that wasn't enough, I soon became very ill from complications with my juvenile onset diabetes. I was forced to drop out of school in order to reign in the condition.

    I needed to get my emotions out, but I'd strayed so far off the Lord's path for my life that I had a hard time praying because I couldn't hear His voice or feel His presence.

    So I began to write. At first, it was just a form of catharsis - a way to purge myself of the poisonous emotions chipping away at me from the inside out. But about forty pages in, I realized I was on to something. A few months later, Saving Grace was born and a couple of months after that, I had a publishing contract.

    Griggs: Have you always known you wanted to write? Had a gift to write?

    Phillips: I knew from an incredibly young age that I had a proclivity for writing and a love for English and the written word. I didn't acknowledge it as a passion or as a God-given gift until my sophomore year in college. Up until then, I was a journalism major at Michigan State University. Of course, that was the wrong type of outlet through which to try and express my creativity because I was much more interested in concocting my own stories than in reporting mundane facts. Also, I was (and still am) very shy and introverted - two personality traits that aren't conducive to a good journalist. On a whim the next semester, I took my first creative writing class and I fell instantly in love. That's when I knew I wanted to be an author.

    Griggs: I understand this is a three book series. The second installment, After the Fall, has hit the book shelves. Tell us what's in store for us in this novel.

    Phillips: Actually, there is no three-book series. Saving Grace and After the Fall are two separate novels with very different protagonists and very different plots. Saving Grace does have a sequel, though. It's titled Fall from Grace and it's slated for a mid-2006 release. The question everyone's been asking me lately is: Why didn't you hold off on After the Fall and release Saving Grace and Fall from Grace back to back? The answer is: Because I hadn't originally planned a continuation of Grace's journey. There was such an incredible reader response to Saving Grace that my publisher asked me to pen a second installment, and I happily obliged. By then, After the Fall had already been completed and sent to pre-production.

    After the Fall may not be part of the Saving Grace "family," but it's still a great read! It's the story of Abigail Walker and Jarvis Daniels. They're longtime sweethearts who find themselves drifting apart after Abby lands a recording contract and moves to Chicago to pursue her music career. During one of her visits to Detroit, she and Jarvis wind up in a near-fatal car crash that leaves Abby badly disfigured and Jarvis without legs. We follow their shattered lives throughout the ensuing years and watch as both of them struggle to pick up the pieces and push forward in the midst of betrayal, failure, heartbreak and even more loss. And as always, the underlying message is that the only One who can help us up after a fall is Jesus Christ.

    Griggs: I have to admit; I love your writing and was so impressed with how much you mastered the craft of writing. There is the anointing along with true to life situations that young and older adults can relate with. How were you able to reach the level in your writing, specifically since you were (still are) young (22 when Saving Grace was published)?

    Phillips: Well, I could claim that I'm just oh, so talented. Or I could credit my prolific reading. Maybe even pay homage to my private school education. But those would simply be surface answers.

    The truth is, I spend time in the Word and in prayer every morning and every night. When I sit down in front of my laptop, I commit my spirit, my heart, my mind and my imagination to God's will and then I wait for His leading. I've also been known to fast in search of wisdom, revelation and guidance during extreme bouts of writer's block. Every aspect of my craft is God-granted and Christ-inspired. It's not me who's writing, but Him through me.

    As for my age, yes, I am young, but the Bible admonishes, "Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity … do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you … meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all … continue in them for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you" (1 Timothy 4: 12, 14-16).

    God doesn't seek the oldest or the strongest or the smartest or the prettiest or even the most competent to accomplish His divine work. He's looking for willing vessels. And that's exactly what I am; a willing vessel. I believe that's the reason why my writing has reached the level that it's on. Because every day when I wake up, the first thing I do is die to self. I sacrifice my flesh on the altars of obedience and faith and I ask, "How can I serve You today, Dad?"

    Griggs: What's the great thing you've found about having your books published and being available to the world as they are?

    Phillips: As a Christian fiction author, the best thing about publication and mass distribution is that I get to minister on a worldwide scale. Novels are meant to be a form of entertainment, I know, but as a born again child of the only living God, I have a responsibility to, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). So my writing, above all else, is a ministry.

    I receive dozens of emails a week from readers, many who tell me that they repeated Grace's prayer of salvation and invited Jesus into their hearts; or that they were so convicted by Mike's pledge to abstinence that they made their own vow to stop having premarital sex; or that they've chosen to work on their relationships with their mothers; or asked for a friend's forgiveness; or joined a church. These are great victories in the Kingdom of Heaven!

    How many people can say that they absolutely love their careers or that what they do for a living serves God directly? Very, very few! But as a Christian fiction author, I can raise my hand to both. That fact alone makes me blessed beyond reason.

    Griggs: What do you look for in the books you read?

    Phillips: A contemporary setting and fantastic dialogues; pair those two elements with lots of drama and a smidge of romance, and I'm hooked! I must admit, I've had difficulty finding those types of stories in the Christian market. So I read mostly secular fiction. Though lately, it's become harder and harder to find good page-turners in the secular market as well because mainstream fiction has grown increasingly profane, salacious and vulgar. These days, I stick with a select list of "favorite authors," whose work rarely ever lets me down. On those rare occasions when none of them have any new releases, I just don't read.

    Griggs: When can we expect your next book and tell us the name of it, if you can?

    Phillips: My next book is titled, Fall from Grace. It's the sequel to Saving Grace and it's slated to hit stores in mid-2006. I don't yet have the exact release date. My fourth novel, Ciao, Bella, will be out sometime in early to mid 2007.

    I would like to thank Ryan Phillips for this absolutely wonderful interview and to encourage you, if you haven't already done so, to check out her books. For more information about Ryan and her works, you can visit her Web site at: www.RyanMPhillips.com. Interview by: Vanessa Davis Griggs, Author of: Promises Beyond Jordan & Wings of Grace
     
    Copyright © 2005 For permission to use this interview, contact Vanessa Davis Griggs at Vanessa@VanessaDavisGriggs.com
13)
The Other Side of Goodness by Vanessa Davis Griggs
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The Other Side of Dare by Vanessa Davis Griggs
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The Other Side of Divine by Vanessa Davis Griggs
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The Truth Is the Light by Vanessa Davis Griggs
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Strongholds by Vanessa Davis Griggs
 
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Practicing What You Preach by Vanessa Davis Griggs
 
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Goodness and Mercy by Vanessa Davis Griggs
 
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Book 5 of the
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1) 
. . . where it all began!
 
The Rose of Jericho
 
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Promises Beyond Jordan
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3)
Sequel to
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Wings of Grace by Vanessa Davis Griggs

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Book 1 of the
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Blessed Trinity by Vanessa Davis Griggs
 
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