Dr. Stephanie Bigelow has served in ministry since her early teens. Growing up a Pastor’s daughter, Dr.
Bigelow was exposed to serving in God’s Kingdom at an early age. In her father’s ministry in Fairfield,
California, Stephanie taught children’s ministry, worked as a youth leader, and assisted her parents with church administration. A Bay Area native, Dr. Bigelow grew up in Fairfield, California where she graduated from Armijo High School. She studied at the University of Phoenix earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Healthcare Administration. Additionally, Dr. Bigelow holds a Master of Theology degree and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from GODSOM University.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
I’ve always known I had a knack for written communications since elementary school. My penmanship would always earn me an ‘A’ and as I moved into my high-school and early college years, my favorite subjects were English and Journalism. In the religious sector, my God-given gift was writing and developing Christian education materials. I guess you could say, that’s when the writing ‘bug’ bit me. Writing can be therapeutic. It helps you reflect on the past, present and future and gives you an outlet to be expressive without reservation. The times when the ‘downloads’ aren’t coming as fast as I’d like. Writer’s flow is a beautiful thing when it comes, but when it dries up, it can be quite frustrating.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
The PKs journey to Jesus is about my experience growing up in a ministry family. I chronicle my humble beginning as a youth and watching my parents sacrifice for the sake of ministry. I talk about my personal journey of failures, insecurities, loss and ultimately walking away from the Lord. Readers can join my journey at judahsden.com
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
Since this story is about my personal journey, I drew inspiration from knowing that God was always there for me. Through my hills and valleys, His provision was always there. His joy, my strength.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I don’t have hard schedule, but I prefer to write either early morning or late at night. I generally will sketch out the outlines first, and then fill in the content. For this first project, it took about 6-months. A devotional book.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
Believe it or not, ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’. I really don’t have one particular favorite, but I’m a big Max Lucado fan. The PKs Journey to Jesus!
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Hearing stories of how people can relate to being a PK or just hearing about their experiences growing up in the church (some positive and some negative). Professionally, I have about 5-more working years and then I’d like to retire and focus on my business and ministry.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
My motto in anything is that whatever God has for me, will be for me. I don’t want anything that’s forced or outside of His will for me. The worse rejections are like springboards that catapult us to our next levels. Be consistent. If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. Don’t do it alone. Get some accountability, either through a coach or friend.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
Sometimes. The writing part is the hardest, but when it comes to marketing and promoting, you really have to put yourself out there. It’s equally as important as the writing itself. It helps to partner and network with other professionals that know how to do this. I’m still building, but again having the benefit of a coach and networking is helpful.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
Not so much. I am definitely my own worst critic. I’ll find all type of errors in my own work. Even if I’ve read it 10 times, I’ll still find something!
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
It’s never too late to tell your story. Why? Because it’s your story and someone needs to hear it. It’s never been told before, so it’s never too late. Not necessarily. Again, it’s never too late to tell your story, however procrastination will rob your peak years.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I try to write as if I’m in a conversation. I really try to bring the reader into my world as if they were there and felt what I felt at that moment. Writing (for me) helps break the ice for the real purpose which is ministry.