Meet author Martin Wiles

Martin lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, and author. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and as an assistant editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He is the author of six books and has been published in numerous publications.

Tell us about your most recent book.

Although I’ve had a number of articles and devotions published in a variety of publications, my latest published book is Grits, Gumbo, and Going to Church (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). This was a follow up to Grits, Grace, and God (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). Since I’ve lived in the South my entire life, these titles were an attempt to put a Southern flare on the devotions.

What genre do you focus on and why?

My genre is religious nonfiction, and specifically, devotions. Having been a pastor for most of my working career, these come easier for me. I need a daily pickup, and devotions from others give me encouragement for the day. I write devotions, hoping mine will do the same for others.

Why do you write? What drives you?

I played around with writing a little during college when my English professor forced the class to keep a journal. Initially, I hated writing in it every day, but as time progressed, I enjoyed it more and more. I began writing devotions, and, eventually, began to think about having a number of those devotions put together in a book. As readers commented on how the words helped them, I became even more determined to pursue the gift of writing that God gave me.

What does a day in your writing world look like?

I am a five o’clock a.m. writer, with the exception of the summer. Since I am a school teacher, my summers are free. During those months, I am a six o’clock a.m. writer. But my thoughts are already formulated before I write. As all writers should, I keep a pad with me at all times and jot down writing ideas. The night before, I think seriously about what I’ll write the next morning. With an outline in hand, my writing the next morning takes less time from my already busy morning schedule. My goal is to write 400 words per day, with the exception of the weekends. I take Saturday and Sunday off to refresh and regroup.

What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?

Rejection. Although my writing credits are numerous, I’m sure my rejections letters or emails would be longer if I had kept them—which I didn’t. Not taking the rejection personally was the hardest thing for me to learn, regardless of editors telling me not to. It wasn’t until I had a few acceptances under my belt that the rejections became less painful. When I became an editor, they became even less painful. I began to understand that the rejection likely wasn’t about me but about an editor having to choose among hundreds of manuscripts, articles, or devotions that were sent to them. I also began to trust God more to open the doors he had in mind for me.

What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?

I suppose there is no feeling like the feeling an author gets when they see their name in print. Getting paid a little helps, too. But the best part is seeing how God uses what I write. I’ll never know the full scope of it, but comments from readers help.

What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?

I suppose the craziest thing that has happened is also the most ironic thing. My first attempt at having a devotion published was with Christian Devotions. At that time, the editor, Cindy Sproles, worked with individual authors to help them improve their writing skills. She returned my devotion with kind words and numerous red marks. I was devastated. But she didn’t reject it. After several revisions, she finally told me it was ready. Today, nine years later, I’m the Managing Editor for this same website, doing for other authors what she did for me.

What are you most proud of?

As a Christian, I’m proud that God chose to adopt me into his family. As a husband, father, and grandfather, I’m proud of the wife, children, and grandchildren who support me. As a writer, I’m proud of the many who have and continue to support me in my writing journey. As an editor, I’m proud of two special editor friends who took a chance on me and let me wet my feet in the editing world.

What is your favorite pastime?

My favorite pastime is doing what I once hated: reading. I enjoy reading devotions, theological books, Christian living books, historical fiction, and yes, some of those sappy romance novels where everything turns out just as the reader wants it to.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Prior to Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church, I had the following books published: Grits and Grace and God (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas), Morning By Morning,Morning Serenity, Grace Greater Than Sin (America Star Books), and Authentic Christianity (Smashwords).

What are you working on now?

I am currently working with the publisher at Ambassador International, hoping this will result in a contract for another devotional book.


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