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Vanessa Davis Griggs presents
 

 

Stacy Hawkins Adams

 
Author of: Speak To My Heart
&
Nothing But the Right Thing
 
Click cover to order from AMAZON.COM

 

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 yourself.
 
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 this matter?
 
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 in Richmond.
 
Griggs: Your first published novel was Speak To My Heart. What's this book about and what caused you to write it?
 
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 what.
 
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 book about?
 
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 read that.
 
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 Hawkins Adams?
 
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 at Vanessa@VanessaDavisGriggs.com
13)
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1) 
. . . where it all began!
 
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Sequel to
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