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Friday, November 21, 2008

Spotlight on Nancy Moser and John 3:16


NANCY MOSER is is the award-winning author of nineteen inspirational novels that focus on discovering our unique purpose, including Solemnly Swear, Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner, and her latest historical, Washington's Lady, which is one in a line of novels that allow real women-of-history to share their life stories

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She's earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters,symphonies, and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included.

Find out more at Nancy and Sister

JOHN 3:16
by Nancy Moser
Published by Tyndale House


Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expect... In my usual "big cast" style comes a story of what happens when one man puts his faith on the line and holds up a John 3:16 sign at a sporting event. Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son, Billy, a University of Nebraska football hero with a promising life ahead of him. But when Billy's coach encroaches on Roman's relationship with his son, Roman fears he'll lose Billy forever. Roman isn't the only one whose world turns upside down. He's one of five unsuspecting people whose lives intersect on a bright fall day, when one of them will hold up a sign at a football game with a short message: John 3:16. This simple act of faith will have the power to change lives forever.

Buy Your Copy of John 3:16 Today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Years ago, before I was a strong Christian, I saw such someone hold up a "John 3:16" sign at a football game. That intrigued me. My first reaction was, "Huh?" My second reaction was to figure the verse had something to do with victory. Only years later did I actually read the verse and remember the sign and go, "Oh…that kind of victory." Better late than never.

In this book I wanted to showcase characters who were given multiple chances to say yes to God, but for a variety of reasons told him "No" or, "Not now." We all have a tendency to believe there's always another day to dig deeper into our souls and commit. We can pray a little harder later, when we have more time. Like Scarlett O'Hara always said, "I'll think of that tomorrow...after all, tomorrow is another day."

Sometimes. But not always. Because time does run out.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

Although the exact situations the characters have to deal with are foreign to me (thank you, Jesus!) the emotions behind them are not: pride, passivity, being a people-pleaser, doubt, confusion, grief, arrogance, forgiveness, hope, being broken to the Lord...

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what he/she be and why?

I have four main characters, each with their own storyline:
* Velvet Cotton would be pistachio nut because she's a little out-there, a unique personality who thrives on being different.
* Roman Paulson would be French vanilla because he thinks a lot of himself (hence the "French", not settling for just vanilla) but he's actually more basic than he'd like to admit.
* Maya Morano would be Rocky Road because she does everything the hard way, taking the rocky road through life...
* Peter McLean would be chocolate peanut butter because he's basically a down-home young man who is most happy with the basics of life: peanut butter and chocolate! (this is my favorite flavor.)

4. What themes exist in John 3:16 that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

I want to remind the reader of the most pivotal verse in all of Scripture: John 3:16. It's the essence of why we are here and what the future holds. We need to get back to this basic core.

The rest of the themes developed as the story progressed, as each character came to the verse from their own unique situation:

* Roman is a bitter man with a large chip on his shoulder (actually, it's more of a log.) He wants nothing to do with God. But God wants something to do with him.
* Velvet carries baggage from the past that makes her think her life (such as it is) is as good as it gets. She expects little of life until the verse reveals amazing possibilities.
* Maya and her husband are desperate for a child, and (like Sarah in the Bible) she gets in trouble by taking matters into her own hands. God needs to show her that His way is the best way.
* Peter has been raised in the church, but is tempted away—with strong consequences. He needs to find his way back...

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

Most difficult: the grief. As I get into the characters' heads, I hurt too.

My favorite: I took great care (and joy) in making the characters' lives intersect in surprising ways. It's like a puzzle. Also, I've tried to make the characters flawed and real, so readers can relate and be inspired by how they grow.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

It's a biographical novel on the love story of Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It's called "How Do I Love Thee?" and comes out in June 2009. Here's a blurb: The year is 1845. Elizabeth Barrett is a published poet - and a virtual prisoner in her own home. Blind family loyalty ties her to a tyrannical father who forbids any of his children to marry. She has resigned herself to simply existing. That is, until the letter arrives... I love your verses with all my heart', writes Robert Browning, an admiring fellow poet. And as friendly correspondence gives way to something more, Elizabeth discovers that Robert's love is not for her words alone. Could it be that God might grant her more than mere existence? And can she risk defying her father in pursuit of true happiness?

And here's a bonus: in the back of the book will be the sonnets that EBB made famous: The Sonnets from the Portuguese. They are quite lovely.

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Thank you, Nancy, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of John 3:16.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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windycindy said...

Hi! What wonderful characters with a fascinating story line. I really enjoyed this interview and the author's discussion of her book. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks.....Cindi

Carole said...

I have read and loved several of Nancy's unique books. How intesting that she was able to draw from this personal experience at a football game. I look forward to reading this book and would love to win it. Thank you for this generous giveaway.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Carolynn said...

I've heard a lot of good things about this book, and can't wait to read it! Thanks for the chance to win!

Pamela J said...

My heart hurts each time someone says "NO" to God's call to their heart. We have been working with some people who know what they must do to follow Him but continue to ease down the road they are going with just a sideways glance at THE WAY they should be going. Looks like some great themes in just this one book!!
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I've sent your mailing information to Nancy so she can send out your book.

Everyone else, check out interviews with Dennis Bates and Candice Speare to see if you've won.

As always, thanks for your continued support.