ELIZABETH MUSSER, an Atlanta native, writes entertainment with a soul from her writing chalet tool shed outside Lyon, France. Elizabeth’s highly acclaimed, best-selling novel, The Swan House, was named one of Amazons Top Christian Books of the Year and one of Georgia’s Top Ten Novels of the Past 100 Years (Georgia Backroads, 2009). All of Elizabeth’s novels have been translated into multiple languages. Two Destinies, the final novel in The Secrets of the Cross trilogy, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award.
For over twenty-five years, Elizabeth and her husband, Paul, have been involved in missions work with International Teams. The Mussers have two sons, a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. For more, visit www.elizabethmusser.com.
Savanna: Welcome to the blog, Elizabeth. I’m so happy to have you here! And congratulations on your newest release in Among the Fair Magnolias.
Elizabeth: Thanks for inviting me, Savanna! It’s a joy to be with you.
Elizabeth: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee. The thought whispered above the throbbing accusation, floating like a sweet memory in the evening chill.”— p. 254-55, Love Beyond Limits
Savanna: I love that verse! What was it like collaborating with the other three authors for Among the Fair Magnolias?
Elizabeth: It was a lot of fun. I had the privilege of doing a book tour with Tammy last year, and she is priceless, and I so enjoyed corresponding with Dorothy and finally meeting her last November. I’ve only ‘met’ Shelley through email and skype, but hope to meet in person in the future. I felt a lot of reassurance and complicity working with these women, all such talented authors. It’s been a real pleasure to put our heads together for some fun blog and interview opportunities, too, like this video introducing Among the Fair Magnolias along with some #LittleKnownAuthorFacts. Join us for the fun here.
Elizabeth: I have always been involved in one-on-one evangelism and discipleship of younger women in their faith journey. For 20 + years that was mostly with French women. In the past five years, our role with our mission has changed and although we still live in France, we travel all over Europe offering ‘Member Care’ (pastoral care) to our missionaries. So now I am doing a lot of one-on-one with precious women missionaries in their homes, on skype and phone etc. and I really love it. Their courage and faith are such examples to me. Our goal is for our missionaries to be healthy physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, but most of all to be growing in their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Readers can find more information about our ministry on my website here.
Savanna: I also read on your website that you are often asked to speak about your ministry in France and your writing ministry. What do you hope the listeners will remember the most from your presentations?
Elizabeth: I typically share a message about my journey as a writer and a Christ-follower and then I speak about the themes in whichever novel I have been asked to present. I hope my listeners will be spurred on in their faith—wherever they may be in that journey—and that they will be challenged to think about some of the themes I address (themes which have challenged, inspired and encouraged me). Ultimately I hope they will simply have a desire to get to know Jesus better.
Elizabeth: I’ve been meditating on and praying Psalm 86 recently. I won’t type it all out here, but list some the verses I have been praying for myself and others recently. I love the desperation and honesty—‘I’m poor and needy’, ‘Guard my life for I am devoted to you’, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I cry to you all day long’, ‘Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul’, ‘Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name’, ‘I will praise you with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever’, ‘Give me a sign of your goodness that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me’.
Savanna: Beautiful verses, thank you. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
Elizabeth: I have two completed novels which have yet to find an American publisher. I would appreciate prayer as to how to proceed. Here’s a sneak peek:
I was actually doing research for my novel, The Wren’s Nest, that takes place both in modern day and during the late 1800s, when I was asked to contribute to Among the Fair Magnolias. As I researched the Reconstruction Period (1863-1877), particularly in Georgia, I was both saddened and intrigued. Saddened (really horrified) that the rights which were given to African Americans after the Civil War were soon revoked and that it took another hundred years for those rights to be granted. Intrigued that our great nation did indeed survive the aftermath of the Civil War, despite all odds, with two such diametrically opposing worldviews in the North and the South.
Inspired by my previous research, I wrote Love Beyond Limits for the novella collection. It’s a story about a young Southern white woman, Emily Derracott, whose courage and convictions lead her to fight for the rights of the freedmen. The freedman, Leroy Eager, whom she is in love with is a character from my novel, The Wren’s Nest.
The Wren’s Nest
Atlanta, Georgia, 2012
Nan Fitten, a recently widowed young mother of three, is trying to hold her life together in spite of her grief and fears, when she meets a needy teenager, CeeCee, through Nan’s husband’s genealogy site. As Nan attempts to help CeeCee with a writing project about slaves and slave-owners in Georgia during and after the Civil War, she discovers a link between 19th century slavery and present-day sex-trafficking. The more Nan uncovers, the deeper the trouble, until she ultimately will wonder if her husband’s fatal accident was an accident at all.
The Wren’s Nest (which continues the story of the Middleton-Bartholomew families from The Swan House and The Dwelling Place) follows the lives of three remarkable young women, two from the 21st century and one from the 19th, who are trying to remake their lives in the midst of great change and adversity. It is a story of a woman learning to trust God anew and a story in which grieving a lost love can open doors to finding a new one. Ultimately Nan finds that, if there are no coincidences in life and a Sovereign God controls everything, even her deepest hurts can be used for good.
The Long Highway Home
This novel came out in Holland in April and has been #1 on their Christian fiction bestseller list for two months. It will also come out in Norwegian and German next year. Of course, I wrote it in English, so I hope to have it published in America soon. And the story is based on many real life stories of refugees and on the missionaries we work with in Austria who run a welcome center, offering coffee and Christ to the hundreds of refugees who come there. Here’s the back cover blurb:
When Bobbie Blake gets the news that she is terminally ill, she decides to go back with her niece Tracie, to The Oasis, a ministry center for refugees in Austria where she worked years ago. Back to where there are so many memories. Bobbie and Tracie are moved by the plight of the refugees and in particular, the story of the Iranian Hamid, whose young daughter was caught with a New Testament in her possession in Iran, causing Hamid to flee and putting the whole family in danger. Can a network of helpers bring the family to safety in time? And at what cost?
You can find me here:
Savanna: That sounds great, Elizabeth! Thanks so much for joining us today. Happy writing!
Elizabeth has graciously offered to give away a signed copy of Searching For Eternity to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU! 😉
Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S. and ends September 1, 2015. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!