of: Speak To My Heart
But the Right Thing
- Click cover to order
- Stacy Hawkins Adams penned articles and
columns as a newspaper reporter for 13 years before becoming
a full-time author, freelance writer, and speaker. Her articles
have appeared in publications which include Heart & Soul
magazine; USA Today, and Florida Today newspapers. While a columnist
for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, she delivered live broadcast
reports on the Richmond CBS news affiliate. One of her feature-length
profiles led to an appearance on the Montel Williams Show.
- Her debut novel was Speak To My Heart followed by
her second book, Nothing But the Right Thing which was
chosen as a 2006 Summer Reading "Featured Selection"
for Sybil's Book Club on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.
- Vanessa Davis Griggs: Welcome Stacy! Please tell us about
- Stacy Hawkins Adams: Hi Vanessa! I'm honored to have
the opportunity to talk with you. I'll start by sharing that
I was blessed to realize my gift for writing at a very young
age. When I was six, I began writing short stories and poems
and sharing them with my friends and family. They encouraged
me in a variety of ways, and I realized that my writing touched
others. I spent many years as a journalist before returning to
my first love, fiction. In both types of writing, my goal is
to make a positive difference in people's lives.
- Along with writing, my other passion is my family. I am married
and have two children, ages 5 and 8. They keep me on the go!
- Other than that, I love to listen to music, play tennis and
of course, read good books.
- Griggs: One of the things I hear that's very important
to you is reading. In fact, you've devoted much of your time
toward promoting literacy. Why is this subject so important to
you? And could you tell us more about your work with Reach Out
and Read and other programs you've been involved with concerning
- Adams: I am a huge advocate of youth literacy, because
growing up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas in a single parent home, reading
was my window to the world. Books not only helped expand my vocabulary,
they also helped expand my dreams. As a social issues reporter
for more than a decade, I wrote about children living in poverty
and living without hope or vision because their circumstances
were so dire. Of course, books couldn't solve all of those problems,
but by improving their reading skills, these children could excel
in school and create opportunities to elevate their lives.
- Reach Out and Read is a national youth literacy program that
seeks to make books part of a healthy childhood by encouraging
pediatricians to tout to the parents the importance of reading
to their youngest patients. Doctors provide new books to children
ages 6 months to 5 years-old at every well-child visit. For the
program in Richmond, Va., I recruit volunteers to read aloud
to children in pediatric waiting rooms and to hold book drives
so that youths older than age 5 can receive gently used books
to take home when they visit the doctor.
- Before joining the Reach Out and Read team, I served as a
board member of The READ Center, an adult literacy program based
- Griggs: Your first published novel was Speak To My
Heart. What's this book about and what caused you to write
- Adams: This book tells the story of the fictional
character Serena Jasper, who finds out a family secret that she
allows to devastate her. I use the verb "allows" because
in reality, she has a choice. She can let the news she receives
make her a wiser, stronger person or destroy her life. She chooses
the latter and estranges herself from her mother and from God.
The book details Serena's journey to self-acceptance and to the
realization that she has to love others-and herself-imperfections
and all. Throughout the book, Serena tries to run from God. She
eventually understands that God was with her all along, no matter
- I wrote this book because for every person who openly professes
a love for Christ, there are probably two or three people afraid
of all things spiritual or religious. I wanted people struggling
with their faith to realize that nothing can completely separate
them-just as they are-from the God who created them.
- Griggs: Your novel entitled: Nothing But The Right
Thing was released in 2006. That's an interesting title,
for sure. How did you come up with that title and what is this
- Adams: Nothing But The Right Thing is a sequel
to Speak To My Heart. Readers who met Serena and her friends,
Erika and Micah, in the first book will be updated on where life
has taken them. In Nothing But the Right Thing, the three
characters believe they know just the thing that will make them
happy. For Serena, it's having a baby; for Erika it's the perfect
marriage, and for Micah, it's the opportunity to pastor a church
committed to serving the community. When their dreams go up in
smoke, each character begins to understand (or is reminded) that
the one true "right thing" is God, who always has their
best interests in mind.
- Griggs: Of all the genres out there, why did you choose
to pen Christian fiction?
- Adams: When people ask me this question I typically
say, with sincerity, that I didn't choose this genre. As a person
who has loved writing all of my life, I believe I would have
been happy writing literary fiction, mainstream women's fiction
or whatever my imagination dreamed up. My books are Christian
fiction because they reflect who I am as a person of faith. They
also reflect the many people I've encountered who face the same
issues and struggles as non-Christians, but love God deeply and
know He'll see them through. I wanted to create characters that
were real in how they struggled with and embraced their faith.
I wanted readers to realize that Christians can be vibrant, funny
and, at times, just as needy as other people!
- Griggs: What do you wish someone had told you before you
became a full-fledged author?
- Adams: I wish someone had told me that I'd also have
to become a marketing guru! I didn't realize until just before
my first book was published that I would have so much responsibility
for keeping my work in the public eye. Even with help from my
publisher, promoting my books takes just about as much time as
it takes to write them.
- Griggs: You're definitely an inspiration to others through
your writing and speaking. But what inspires you to keep going
when things may not appear to be working in your favor and it
feels like it would be easier to just quit?
- Adams: Thank you, Vanessa. You are an inspiration
as well. This may sound like a cliché, but what keeps
me going is knowing that the work I'm doing is about something
much larger than me. I see myself as a piece of the puzzle in
God's plan. I hope those who read my books are entertained, but
more importantly, I hope they are impacted by the characters'
journeys. All that said, there are times when the writing and
promotional work is more labor than love. That's when hearing
from my readers reminds me that I'm just the vessel.
- A woman living in Georgia emailed me during one of those
periods in May 2005. She told me that she had been contemplating
suicide on the day she received my book in the mail from her
mother. She stayed up all night reading Speak To My Heart
and by the end, had questions about how to reconnect with God
and let go of a bad relationship. I answered her questions and
eventually heard back that she had begun attending church and
was in counseling to heal her emotional wounds. I felt humbled
and grateful to be able to write these kinds of books when I
- Griggs: If there was one message you'd like people to
receive from you and/or your work; what message would that be?
- Adams: The single most important message is that God
loves each and every one of us unconditionally. We don't have
to worry about Him holding a grudge or using our mistakes or
flaws against us. Wherever we are in our faith journeys, He is
willing to take our hands and guide us forward.
Griggs: Tell us if you can: What can we expect next from Stacy
- Adams: I'm currently working on several projects.
A few anthologies in 2006 and 2007, and my third book in the
so-called Speak To My Heart series will be released in October
2007. The title has not been confirmed.
- Stacy, I thank you so much for taking the time out to
chat with me. Here's believing and thanking God for His blessings
to literally overtake you in all that you put your hands to do!
- Thank you so much, Vanessa. I appreciate your support and
pray for continued blessings to your writing ministry.
- To visit Stacy Hawkins Adams Web site, go to: www.StacyHawkinsAdams.com
- Copyright © 2006 Vanessa Davis Griggs All rights reserved
- Interview by: Vanessa Davis Griggs, Author of: Promises
Beyond Jordan & Wings of Grace (Web site: www.VanessaDavisGriggs.com)
- Copyright © 2006
For permission to use this interview, contact Vanessa Davis Griggs