Welcome to Lillian Duncan, an Ohio writer from Amish country. I’ll let Lillian describe how her writing world changed with her brain tumor diagnosis and her uinique giveaway to celebrate the release of The David Years.
Actually TWO different giveaways! The grand prize is a $25 Amazon gift card and your choice of one of my ebooks. To enter, CLICK HERE and follow the directions! I’ll also pick FIVE lucky winners to receive their choice of one my ebooks from comments left on my blog about The David Years. To entered that giveaway, go to www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment under one of THE DAVID YEARS posts. EASY-PEASY!I
First, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 64, happily married, and live in a small town in Ohio. I worked as a school speech pathologist for 34 years, mostly in a large urban school district with deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
I write because I have these stories that rattle around in my brain. I love books and stories. But the real reason is that I believe God created me to write.
I used to not have the nerve to say that! In 2012, I was diagnosed with brain tumors—benign but not benign. They were non-cancerous but they still wreaked havoc on me and my life. One of the results is a “fuzzy” brain or some people call it brain fog. Either way, my brain doesn’t work quite the same as it did before the brain tumors.
But miracle of miracles, when I write, something happens. The fuzziness goes away for a while, I can remember the details I need to for the story to make sense, and I can write! And that’s why I believe God created me to write.
And now, a little about The David Years
THE DAVID YEARS is the sequel to PUZZLE HOUSE. In Puzzle House at the age of fifteen, Nia was anointed to become a healer. Overwhelmed by the thought, Nia’s auntie tells her how King David was anointed at a young age, but didn’t become king for many years. Those were his learning years and now she has her David Years ahead.
Most of this story takes place after Nia graduates from high school as she struggles to find her place in the world. Impatient to begin her life as a healer, Nia tries to make it happen in her own timing. But God will not be rushed and whether Nia likes it or not, she’s still in her David Years. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘we learn from our mistakes.’ Well, Nia learns a lot that year, meaning she makes a lot of mistakes.
Puzzle House was intended to be a stand-alone novel. But I couldn’t stop wondering about what happened to Nia, so that inspired me The David Years. Even though Nia is a college student, we all struggle to find our place in the world—no matter what age we are. Nia’s lessons may just help someone else struggling to find their way.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Anywhere and everywhere! In the case of Puzzle House and The David Years, I was diagnosed with bilateral brain tumors and a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 2 or NF2 for short. Puzzle House features a character with the same condition.
I get to know my characters as the book progresses through several drafts before I even think about submitting to my publisher. Each draft teaches me more about my characters.
What themes do you write about?
One recurring themes is forgiveness, but another has been emerging: how crucial God’s Word is to our life journeys. My tumors have affected my health, but God’s Word gives me the wisdom and strength I need to have peace and joy in spite of my struggles. I want other people to know that God doesn’t leave us alone in our battles, he’s given us His Word so we can be victorious in spite of our circumstances.
How does your faith affect your writing?
I hope it does! I like to think of myself as a parable writer. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly message. Even my suspense stories have a heavenly message.
Do you put yourself in your books?
Of course! Sometimes it’s a snippet of a real-life event that happened to me or someone I know, but more often it shows up in other sneaky ways without me being aware of it—until I read it back. Then I have to decide whether to leave it in or take it out.
What are you working on right now?
I have another book releasing at the end of September—TRAPPED. It’s completely different from THE DAVID YEARS – romantic suspense with lots of action and a little romance. Along with that I’m also working on the third Puzzle House novel—SUFFER THE LITTLE CHILDREN.
First, don’t worry about being perfect—just write. Once the story’s finished, you can go back and fix your mistakes.
Second, write every day—even if it’s for only ten minutes. This will make writing a habit that will help you become a writer and it will help keep you sane when life gets crazy.
How can readers connect with you?
Nia looked at her aunt and asked, “So what am I ‘spose to do now?”
“Have you ever heard of King David from the Bible?”
“There were a lot of years between the time David was anointed as the king and he actually became the king. It’s a time for you to grow in your relationship with God.”
“And then later I get to be king?” Nia giggled.
“I meant that figuratively not literally but these are your David Years.”
“My David Years. I like that.”
Nia Johnson has spent the past four years developing a closer relationship to God. She wants to believe she’s still anointed to become a healer at Puzzle House but as each year passes, she has more and more doubts.
Now that she’s graduated from high school and is an adult she is sure it’s time to take the mantle of healing Rachel passed to her so many years before. But the harder she tries, the more it eludes her.