Mesu Andrews’ deep understanding of and love for God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for her readers. She and her husband, Roy, enjoyed fourteen years of pastoral ministry before moving to the Pacific Northwest, where Roy now serves as Academic Dean at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Mesu writes full-time, snuggled in her recliner beside a cozy fire on rainy Northwest days. The Andrews’ enjoy visiting their two married daughters and a growing tribe of grandkids. Mesu loves movies, football, waterfalls, and travel.
Biblical fiction is her favorite genre to read and write. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes (Revell, 2011), tells the story of Job and won the 2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author. Love’s Sacred Song (Revell, 2012) relates the poetic Song of Solomon in story form, and Love in a Broken Vessel (Revell, 2013) sets the story of Hosea and Gomer in biblical Israel. The Shadow of Jezebel (Revell, 2014) displays God’s sovereignty over Jezebel’s daughter, Queen Athaliah. The Pharaoh’s Daughter (Waterbrook/Multnomah, 2015), the first in The Treasures of the Nile series, unveils Moses’ early years through the eyes of his Egyptian mother, and Miriam, the second book in the series, introduces Yahweh’s prophetess during the ten plagues and the Exodus as she struggles to trust this God she doesn’t understand.
Welcome back to the blog, Mesu. I’m so glad to have you here today. Congratulations on your upcoming release, Miriam. What an amazing cover!
I first proposed the Treasures of the Nile series to my agent back in February 2013, and I think I actually signed the contract with my publisher sometime that summer or early fall. I wrote The Pharaoh’s Daughter first, of course, and did six or seven months of research before I typed a single word of that story. Egypt and Moses were completely new research topics for me, so locations, culture, and this particular time period were unplowed ground. I’d been accustomed to gathering scraps of information from very few resources for my other books about Israel, but there’s a HUGE amount Egyptian data, so at times it was a little like drinking from a fire hydrant. Miriam didn’t take as long to research because I’d already gathered a lot of background info for the first book, but the writing process still took a full year because of the extensive editing this book went through. Ugh! We totally revamped Taliah’s character and cut another female character that really served no purpose. It was a total overhaul of the manuscript that made it MUCH more powerful in the final draft.
What do you hope readers will take away the most from this book?
I hope readers come away realizing it’s normal and healthy to have unanswerable questions about God. For years, I was afraid to share my faith with friends and family for fear they’d ask me something about God that I couldn’t answer. Now, I realize there’s LOTS about God that I don’t know—because He’s God! If I could explain Him fully, He wouldn’t be much of a god. There’s a line in Miriam that sums up how I feel about Him: “I need a God I can’t understand to do the things I know are impossible.” I hope readers turn the last page of Miriam and are completely at peace with a God who is too big to fully comprehend.
I love that. What a beautiful message. Do you remember the first time meeting one of your favorite authors? Who was it and can you tell us a bit about it?
Yes! It was at the first ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference I attended. Liz Curtis Higgs was there—as an attendee—and I saw her coming out of the bookstore. My debut novel had released a few months earlier, and I had asked her to endorse for me. She’d declined because of her busy schedule, but it was the sweetest, most encouraging rejection I’d ever gotten! I wanted to thank her for even replying to my request. I was SO nervous, but I walked up and introduced myself, and she grabbed my hand and gasped. “Oh, Mesu! I’ve been wanting to meet you!” I just about swallowed my tongue. SHE wanted to meet ME? Are you kidding? She’d been intrigued by my book’s premise and was going to buy a copy. I was so humbled, stunned, awed…utterly flabbergasted! Needless to say, I GAVE her a copy of the book, and she was kind enough to pose for a picture with me. Now, years later, I know she’s one of the most humble and gracious women on earth. On that day, however, she was my hero and made that conference experience the most memorable to date!
Awww, I’d love to meet her someday. 😉 What is something you’re looking forward to once summer arrives? Any fun activity or vacation planned?
Visiting my grand babies!!!! Each summer, we make the rounds to see all the family that lives so far from us—parents, siblings, and kids. One daughter lives in the Atlanta area and the other in Colorado Springs, so snippets of visits on Skype, Facetime, and pix on Facebook and Instagram have to suffice until our annual summer escapade. Those special visits mean reading time with my older grand-daughters, tractors and light-sabers with the grandsons, and dolls and tea parties with the little grand-girls. It’s grandma heaven! Summer also means spending time at our little mountain property six miles off-grid. Our dog Zeke thinks he’s king of the mountain and eats more sticks than dogfood while we’re up there. Last year we built a small shed (8’x12’) and hope to finish the inside this year with built-in beds, a propane heater, and all sorts of nooks and crannies for storage and off-grid living.
Sounds like a wonderful summer to me. 😉 What’s something your readers would be surprised to know about you?
I didn’t fall in love with reading until I began writing. I wasn’t one of those kids that always had a book in my hands. In fact, during my whole high school career, I finished only one novel. The first Christian fiction I ever read (Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers) happened in my early thirties. Even now, I enjoy novels that teach me something, that challenge my heart and mind. Do I ever just relax? Absolutely…I watch a movie. 😉
Haha! It’s hard to beat a good movie… or book. 😉 Thank you so much for joining us today, Mesu! It’s always a joy to have you here. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I’m waiting on my publisher’s decision about the next project, but if they approve what I’ve proposed, it will be the story I’ve wanted to write for almost a decade. It’s Old Testament (of course) in the time of the Kings about a character I haven’t seen explored much. I’ll let you know as soon as I get the okay to make it public!
That sounds great, Mesu. Can’t wait to hear more about it. 🙂 Have a blessed 2016!
Mesu has graciously offered to give away a copy of Miriam to one lucky reader! Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest ends May 4, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!