(Note: Christmas Matters: How the Birth of Jesus Makes a Difference Every Day is currently available for pre-order at Amazon. The ebook will be delivered on Nov. 27. It can also be purchased as a PDF download, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
Believe it or not, the holiday season is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner!
There's nothing like preparing for the arrival of Christmas by reading an inspiring devotional book in the days of Advent. And if you're looking for a devotional ebook to curl up with this season, look no further than Christmas Matters (SCWC Books) by Anna Nash and Katy Shelton.
I recently had the chance to talk with Anna and Katy about their new ebook, their friendship, their faith, and their own writing journey.
How did the two of you become co-writers?
After finding ourselves at that empty-nest, middle stage in life, we both wanted more. We didn’t want to settle down or retire, we wanted to start over, to begin anew. We wanted to make a difference.
Anna founded a ministry called Beacon People centered on helping people understand how to intentionally live a more purposeful and meaningful life, and helping them align their lives with who God created them to be. Katy discovered a new passion for writing and editing and she was filled with more ideas and projects than she had time to explore.
That’s when our lives merged in a new way. Anna needed an editor for Beacon People. Katy needed to hone her new writing and editing skills. And so the collaboration began. In 2016, a beautiful and meaningful working partnership was born.
Where did the idea for Christmas Matters originate?
Katy approached Anna with the idea of writing a book about parables. Although Anna quickly said absolutely not, they began tossing around ideas for a book. When Katy mentioned she’d heard about a challenge to read through the gospel of Luke during December, Anna hopped on board and the idea of a Christmas devotional was born.
Tell me a little bit about the concept and structure of the book?
Christmas Matters is a devotional book that parallels the 24 chapters in the gospel of Luke with the 24 days in December leading up to Christmas. Our book is intended as a guide or supplement to Luke’s account of Jesus’ time on Earth. It in no way covers every detail of the gospel of Luke, but rather it is intended to bring focus on significant truths taken from each chapter.
We strongly encourage everyone to read the entire chapter of Luke upon which each chapter in the book is based as you journey with us toward Christmas. This will provide important context and a clear picture of what we all need to know about the Savior’s time on Earth.
Each reading begins with an overview verse from Luke and ends with a verse containing a promise, reminding us of the freedom and reward found in the hope that Jesus offers. In writing this book, our greatest desire is simply to help others focus on our Savior, the Messiah, during the Christmas season and beyond.
What do you hope to impart to your readers?
Our greatest joy with the Christmas Matters ebook would be to offer comfort, hope and promise to readers who are struggling during 2020 in ways they never have before. Jesus offers the hope we all need. While many of our securities have been stripped away this year, we have an opportunity to see Him more clearly than ever before. This Christmas may feel different, but God is moving, we have to believe that.
In regards to the writing process: how did the two of you do it together?
Anna pours her heart onto the page and Katy turns her ideas into a chapter. In general, Anna starts the chapter, Katy finishes it. It’s been a true collaboration.
What role does faith play in your writing?
Our faith is represented by our own personal belief in God and His Word. When relating to God as our Father we can be confident in His love and purpose for us. Our writing inspiration usually comes from God’s moving in our own hearts as we experience His grace and guidance. The closer we are to the light, the greater we reflect it. Our personal relationships
with Jesus mean so much to us that we can’t help but want to tell others about the freedom that comes in knowing Him as our personal Savior.
Are there any details that our SCWC members--and readers--might like to know about each of you?
(Anna) My husband, Tyler and I own a coffee shop called Innova Coffee in Birmingham, AL. This is such a special place where we can invite others into meaningful conversations and create new friendships. We have 4 grown children and 4 little grandsons two- years old and under. It’s quite lively at our house at times!
One more thing you should know is that my birthday is on Christmas day. Authoring a book around the themes of Christmas and having it published is the best birthday gift ever!
(Katy) My husband John and I have moved a lot. We are from Birmingham, but we have also lived in Atlanta and Mobile. Now we’re settled in Alexander City, AL on beautiful Lake Martin, and we are finally home! I work at the UAB Medicine Russell Medical Cancer Center where I am the Medical Records and Referral Coordinator. My greatest passion is reading and writing and I always have a novel in progress tucked away in my computer. I have fun writing my own blog at katyshelton. I love Alex City and everything about the lake, especially when our three sons Jack, Drake, and Sullivan come to visit.
Visit the Christmas Matters website to learn more about the ebook.
Visit the ebook's Amazon page to pre-order.
Learn more about SCWC Books.