BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

NORA INTERVIEWS DENISE HILDRETH



Out of all the hats that you have worn over the years, public speaker, author, singer, song writer etc; what hat has been the most rewarding for you and the most fulfilling?

David & Goliath

I’ve been teaching now for ten years. That by far is the most fulfilling to me. This past year I began a new Bible Study in my community and there is just something special about being able to talk one on one with ladies, break the word of God and watch it come alive in their hearts. There is honestly nothing more powerful to me than that.

Some writers plot out what they are going to write step by step and other say they write by the seat-of-their-pants, which style of writing best describes your style?

Distraction of Purity
Oh my, I’m a “write as I go” kind of girl. I like to see where the story takes me. I always know where I’ll start and where I’ll finish, but I like to give the characters the opportunity to let their story play out. And it’s like I just get to stand on the sidelines and watch it play out. I’ve had characters die, that when I sat down to write that morning had no idea that they would end up dead! Now, what is more exciting than that? Not the dead thing…just the ability to let the story lead you…

What inspires you to write? What inspires you when you write?
You know, I’m not sure that one thing inspires me to write. It’s really multiple things. The story itself inspires me. When you’re a writer, there is a story inside of you that you can’t keep there. You have to get it out. You have to get it on the page. I have people come up to me all the time that say, “I’m going to write a book one day.” But a writer doesn’t wait for “one day.” A writer has to write. You just can’t help it.



The other thing that motivates me is knowing that I have the opportunity to tell a story that can touch and possibly change someone in some way. Maybe it offers them some hope, stirs up their passion, calms a fear, or speaks to a place of pain and brings healing. That is so important to me. I’ve never wanted to write a book that is simply, “a good read.” It is always about telling a story that will touch the very heart of the reader.

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has been surprising to you? Please explain.


You know, I never planned on being a writer. It just kind of was revealed to me through doors of opportunity. So, I didn’t grow up thinking, “One day I’m going to be John Grisham.” Most surprising…Not everyone makes John Grisham’s money!
I know from your newsletter that you spent the summer in Atlanta. What site seeing did you enjoy most? What stood out to you on this trip that you didn't know about Atlanta before?
I’ve always loved Atlanta. I’ve traveled through there for the last seventeen years going from my home in Nashville, back to my hometown in South Carolina. Some of my closest friends live there, so it’s always worth stopping in. But most people that know me, know that I am completely addicted to Coca-Cola. Not even afraid to admit it. I mean, after all they say admitting your addictions is the first step to getting rid of them. So, if I ever to decide to give it up, I’ve already taken the first step!
But Atlanta recently opened the Coca-Cola museum. How green is my valley? So, when I got to come see you last year, my mom and I spent some time there and this summer, on my nieces annual trip to visit Aunt Niecy, we took them to the museum again. So, yeah, Atlanta now holds a much deeper appreciation for me…
You said that it has been difficult to blog I'm so glad that you have pushed through that block. Your writing is very moving,thought provoking,motivational; you bring scripture to life. Where do you get your inspiration to write like that?
I bucked blogging for quite a while. Now I blog for three different blogs! For me I just have trouble coming to terms with the fact that people care what you think. That people actually read them. Probably because I don’t read any blogs…When I started my first blog Where Living and Life Meet it was really just to stay connected with my readers until a new book came out. I thought it would be light, fun, just information kind of like my monthly newsletter. But it quickly changed into more of a teaching blog.
I’ve always had a deep passion for the word of God. That has been accentuated through my years of teaching Sunday School, speaking at churches, women’s conferences and for the Billy Graham Association. About seven years ago I went through a two year Bible Leadership program and have just continued to study the Bible. I’ve taught a Community Bible Study for the last four years and trust me, teaching the Word of God teaches the teacher!
In the October Newsletter you've mentioned that you are starting a NEW BLOG!You said that the blog will be called "Flying Solo". Your description of the blog will be written with "singles" in mind. Singles of all kinds, widowed, divorced, always single, young singles. Would you like to elaborate on where your new blog is headed? What do you hope God will accomplish through you and your blog? Please Explain?

This blog came out of my most personal pain. In the summer of 07 I walked through the heartbreaking loss of my thirteen year marriage. It was painful in the deepest sense of the word. But I made some decisions in the very beginning of that journey. The first one was, the enemy may have stolen my marriage, but he wouldn’t rob another day from me through anger or bitterness. The other one was I found an amazing counselor who walked the journey out with me so well. When I first went in his office I said, “I want to do whatever I need to to get through this journey well, because I don’t want to be a year down the road still having to heal from bitter and broken places. So, I entered head first into my grief. I didn’t get to “free parking” and take a free ride back to “Go.” I stopped at every place, grieved it, yelled through it, laughed through it and experienced every part of it.
I’ve thought often through this journey how there was so much to be shared through it. So, back in August, I was in Poland to minister at a church and was just getting ready one morning when the idea of beginning a blog for singles came to me. Every idea for it came to me that morning and when I got home one of my precious friends committed to working the blog for me and we’ve been amazed at the response. See, what I’ve discovered is that people who are any stage of singleness often wish this time away in longing for a mate. Instead of realizing that this is the only season in their life when God can have them all to Himself. What a privilige!
So, that was the goal, to remind people of the joy that this journey of “Flying Solo” can actually be. So the blog is simply a place for people to learn, laugh and participate! My counselor does a Q&A with me every Friday, which I tell everyone is worth the price for admission! Free counseling! You’ve got to be kidding me! I’m always a “serve where you’re planted” kind of girl. And I am now divorced. Boy, that took a long time to come to terms with. But starting this blog “Flying Solo” has allowed me to claim that, and hopefully help others claim the beauty that being single can be.

By the sounds of your summer and beyond you have been (almost) everywhere.You have been from Paradise Island, Bahamas to Koszalin, Poland. And almost everywhere in-between. What were the places that stood out to you this year? What place would you most definitely go back to and why? You showed pictures of some different food you ate overseas – what was one food that you had never tried before that you just loved? What food and event surprised you on your trip?
It has been a wonderful year. Honestly, it has been the most difficult and most beautiful year and a half of my life. I love to travel. I’ve done it continually for the last fifteen years and I’m privileged every time I get to experience something new. I have really become an “embrace every moment” person. I just breathe it in and enjoy everything that it has to offer.
My trip to the Bahamas that I took in September really was a special trip for me in so many ways. It was a trip of personal healing. About thirteen years ago, during my first year of marriage, my husband and I at the time had traveled there and so I was really dreading going back to a certain extent. It was such a wonderful memory for me. But when I got there, the incredible hotel we had stayed in that had all those wonderful memories was boarded up, looked tired and worn down and I heard the sweet voice of my Father whisper, “Memory Closed. Time to make new ones.” That moment was a healing that I didn’t even know I needed. And so powerful.
It also was a reflection of something I’ve come to talk about this year about “Alive Moments”. I’ve had to learn how to live again. How to embrace life. And enjoy the moments it affords. And sometimes embracing life even means accepting those painful places too. For me, this was one of those moments. And I was alive in that pain knowing that it is going to lead me to another beautiful place.

Distraction of your Past
That trip also gave me the idea for a new book that I’m about seventy-five pages into. And no, I’m not giving a lick of it away!
And this was the trip where I ate sushi for the first time! Can’t say I liked it, but I did it. That for me was huge!
In your newsletter you have also asked for pray and discernment for the New Adventure that the Lord is taken you in and the new vision he has given you in an outreach for broken women? What does your heart long for in this ministry area? What vision had the Lord given you for these women?
I’ve always had a heart for hurting people. A lot of that has to do with my own personal story and what I’ve walked through. But about six years ago, when I was working on my second Savannah book, Savannay comes Undone I was in Savannah working and just had a vision placed in my heart about going there and doing an event that would change the heart of the women of that city.

In May of this year I finally had the “how” given to me to go with the “what” I had received six years ago. That is culminating in what we’re calling “The Whole Woman Revolution.” We will begin it here in Franklin in January of 09. We will minister to the hearts of women through a study on the life of Esther and then we will go out and minister door to door to the women of our city by reminding them of their value. Our desire is to create a thousand gifts bags, full of all the things women love, books, music, perfume, bath products and go door to door, taking them to the ladies of the house and telling them that women in their city value them. We have become such consumers. My desire is to help the women of my city learn how to give to the women of my city. If we remind just one heart of her value that will be worth the entire journey!
I know from hearing you speak that you set out to be a singer not a author and how God orchestrated you to write the books you have; where do you see yourself in 5 years? What had to you like to wear the most? Why?
Yes, ole Denise came to Nashville to be a singer, and no one wanted to hear me sing. Which is apparently a prerequisit for a record deal! But what I discovered was just as the Lord says in Revelations 3:7 to the church at Philadelphia that “He opens doors, and no one can shut them; he shuts doors, and no one can open them.” I have come to a place in life where I thank him as much for his closed doors as I do for his opened doors. Almost seventeen years ago, a woman read a story that I had written about her organization and asked me to come finish the book she had written. That began a writing journey that has changed my life.

Book Trailer "Savannah from Savannah"
The fourteen rejection letters I received on a non-fiction book I had written convinced me to give a try at writing fiction that ended up in being my first book Savannah from Savannah that received two book offers.
The trials in my life led me to deep places with the Lord. And those deep places gave me a hunger for His presence and His word and opened doors for me to minister that word that dwells on the inside of me.
My desire in five years is to be in the middle of what God is doing. I want to still be touching people in their broken places no matter what that looks like for me during that season. My prayer is that I never become irrelevant. But that my life is always relevant to where God is moving. Because He is always moving!

QUESTIONS YOU WERE AFRAID TO ASK DENISE, SO I DID!!
1. If you were trapped in a dangerous and life threateningsituation, which fictional character would you choose to save yourlife? (this could be a cartoon, comic book character, a super hero, amovie persona, etc. ) Why them?

Jack Bauer! He can save anyone and he can do it in 24 hours! So, thank the Lord my life threatening situation wouldn’t last long!
2. What two places do you love to shop? Why?

A Book Store - I can't leave without something.
Target- I could go broke there!

3.What special quality or talent do you have that would surprise people? What special event have you experienced that would surprise people?

(Denise can do this naturally - she doesn't need help)

Special Quality? I can raise my right eyebrow. It drives people crazy.

Special Event? I was a finalist and talent winner in the Miss South Carolina pageant when big hair ruled!

4.If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money); to do ANYTHING you wanted, what would you do?

I would do things for people anonymously. I’ve always dreamed of being able to pay off people’s mortgages. I remember the day my parent’s mortgage was paid off and the freedom that gave their life. If had all the money I wanted, I would want to see that kind of freedom for people.
Of course that would include the house on the beach that I would buy myself, so I could spend the rest of my years reading good books, drinking Coca-Cola and enjoying the most beautiful sight on earth.

5.If you could hang out with or interview two people (in the history of the world) for 48 hours who would you pick and why?
I know people expect me to say Jesus, but I’m figuring we’ll get eternity together so, I have two others.
C.S. Lewis. I don’t know separate of Jesus who I admire more for the treasures he left us. His novels, his non-fiction. What an amazing man. I never tire of reading his work.

His wife Joy- I don’t know that a woman was more loved. I’d love to know what her journey with this man was like.

6.If you found a magic lamp and the genie inside was going to grant you three wishes, what would your wishes be?

(Denise's Mom - enjoying her daughter reading from Savannah from Savannah)
That my family would stay safe and healthy- That can’t count for two!
That my two shih-tzu’s Maggie (Age 14) and Sophie (Age 2 and more trouble by the day) could live forever.
That I could have a Coca-Cola Fountain Machine, like they have at the Coca-Cola Museum, for my house!

7. What film to you remember seeing as a child that really impacted you?


No doubt- Roots. I’ll never forget watching this movie with my parents. I had no idea the depth of what I was seeing. But that movie changed me forever.

8. What are some of your favorite books you read as a child?
I loved “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.” Probably because I was about that age when my little brother came along and I could just so relate to the trials of having a little terror.
I also loved “Where the Wild things Are.” Which was odd since I was scared of my shadow as a kid. Hey, wonder if that was why!
9. What two TV shows were you passionate about as a child? (you know the shows you couldn't miss each week).
Oh- The Brady Bunch of course. Couldn’t miss it. And the Donny and Marie show. I was going to marry Donny you know…
10. If you had to be a super hero for a while who would you be and why? (you can mix and match the powers and make up your own clothing line (Ha!) you are the author here – be creative).




I would have the beauty of Wonder Woman, the agility of Spider Man, the Batmobile of Batman, the hearing of The Bionic Man, and the clothes of Charley’s Angels! Hey, they were super.

THANK YOU Denise for hanging out with me today. I appreciate that you have helped my readers get to know you better. Thanks also for sharing where the Lord has you and the ministires He has laid on your heart. It’s hard to find all these things in a book club setting.
ARE THERE ANY FINAL COMMENTS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE MY READERS WITH???
Thank you for giving me this opportunity...Nora, It's such wonderful news about your parents. I am so glad God is moving in such a sweet way in their life and you are getting to experience that. You are a precious lady and so is your mama!
Blessings on your writing and the journey the Lord has you on friend. I hope it beings you back to Atlanta and book club!!
Nora :D




Distraction of Busyness

Denise Hildreth
www.denisehildreth.com
www.denisehildreth.blogspot.com "Where Living and Life Meet"
www.denisehildreth.typepad.com "Flying Solo"

12 comments:

  1. Wow what a great interview.
    I really enjoyed this and you know I will be reading "ole Denise's" books.

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  2. Beautiful interview. Thanks, Nora.

    Love,
    Julie

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  3. Loved the interview! Denise is an awesome writer and speaker. I just love her books and love to hear her read her Savannah book. Can't wait for the new book!!!!

    Gail

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  4. "Nice interview, Nora. You continue to show the heart and motivations of writers better than just about anybody. "

    Chris Coppernoll
    Originally posted on Face Book

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  5. Thank you my sweet friend. You're a treasure to the body of Christ.
    It's a privilege to count you as friend...

    Thank you...that was absolutely wonderful! The pictures you chose were amazing...thank you for the opportunity.


    Denise Hildreth - comment left on my face book wall 11-10-08

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  6. Great interview, Nora! Denise is as delightful in person as she is in print, isn't she?
    And personally, I'd love to hear her sing!

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  7. What a great interview! I love reading Denises' books and can't wait for the next one to come out. I also enjoy her speaking and can't wait for the opportunity to hear her "live". Thanks to both of you women!!

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  8. Great interview, but I wouldn't expect any less. Nora, you have a wonderful interview style. Not sure who chose the pics, but they were spot on!
    Enjoyed every minute!
    Janey

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  9. Good interview Nora. I like the variety of questions you ask.
    Shellie

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  10. Very fun and interesting interview! I'll be sure to look for Denise's books!

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  11. Loved the interview. It was such a pleasure to meet Denise and I truly enjoy her books. Can't wait for the new one. Thanks so much for the interview and the opportunity to get to know more about Denise.

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  12. Nora,

    I loved this. Thanks for letting Denise share a powerful message through your interview. You know how to keep things interesting and how to touch a heart!

    Julee B.

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