Genre: Christian Living, Christian Self-Help
Format: ebook, paperback
During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. As I did, I sensed Him leading me to do a 21 day gratitude challenge.
Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I had been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day. This also led me to writing out 21 prayers of gratitude and compiling 21 stories of gratitude.
1. When and why did you begin writing?
I first started writing in 2007. I had just finished walking through a really dark season in my life and God has brought a lot of healing through it. At the time I was still working full time as a Physical Therapist but my husband was in full time ministry as a Christian speaker. Because of all I had went through and what God taught me during my difficult season, I felt like I needed to share what I learned with others. At the time, my main burden was for teen girls and I started speaking to them with my husband. He would take the guys and I would take the girls in break out sessions. Over the next year, I began writing articles for my website www.findyourtruebeauty.com and in 2008 I published my first book, “Mirror Mirror…Am I Beautiful? Looking Deeper to Find Your True Beauty.”
2. Is there a message in your books that you want readers to grasp?
The main message of my books tends to be about finding healing and freedom in Christ. The verse that best describes what God has done in my life and is not doing through my writing is Isaiah 61:1.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
3. Do you have a specific writing style?
For the past four years, I have written nonfiction books. My writing style has been very personal where I share from my own experiences to help others. I write in a very honest and vulnerable way on difficult topics.
However, I have started my first fiction work, so I’m excited to see where that leads.
4. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written 25 books all together, 8 of those being cookbooks that I have published under my pen name “Shelley Lynne”. Of all the books I have written I think my favorite is my most recent book titled, “A Life of Gratitude: 21 Days to Overcoming Self-Pity and Negativity” although I will always have a special place in my heart for my very first book.
5. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I wrote the book “A Life of Gratitude: 21 Days to Overcoming Self-Pity and Negativity” during a difficult year. There was a lot of transitions, loneliness, grieving as well as financial stress. I was praying about it recently and sensed God saying to me, “Yes, it has been a difficult year. But, if you had never walked through this dark season, you would have never written these books on gratitude that have impacted so many.” And instantly I knew that to be true.
This book was birthed out of my own desire to have more gratitude in my life instead of getting stuck in self-pity and depression. And now I pray that God uses these books to draw many closer to Him and towards a spirit of gratitude in their lives.
6. What is the most challenging part of being an indie author? The most rewarding?
The most challenging is all the tasks that need to be done in a day. Many people think being a best-selling author is an amazing lifestyle. While it is very rewarding, it is also a lot of hard work. I resigned my position as a Physical Therapist last year to be in ministry full time writing and speaking. I work harder now and longer hours than I ever did when working a “regular job.” However, I wouldn’t turn back. I know this is where God has me for now and I want to be obedient to Him.
7. As an indie author, what would you say to a potential reader who has never read anything from an indie author?
If you haven’t read anything from an indie author, is there a reason why? I love being an indie author and am so thankful for the opportunity God has given me to share my life with others. And in the process He has given me great success and an international ministry that I never imagined possible. When I first started writing four years ago I never imagined I would do what I am doing right now. The most rewarding part of my job is receiving e-mails from people all over the world who have been impacted for eternity through reading one of my books.
Shelley Hitz has been writing and publishing books since 2008. And she has been ministering to teens since 1998 alongside her husband, CJ. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing will inspire and encourage you