Most Thursdays in 2019 we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.
Today interview Sally Poyzer
Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.
I got married to Josh when I was 19 years old and we’ve now been married nearly 21 years. We have two wonderful kids: our daughter, Promise (10) and our son, Rockford (4).
I grew up in cold, wet Mount Gambier at the bottom of South Australia. After our honeymoon Josh and I moved to the top of the country to sunny, tropical Darwin. We really loved it up there!
Following God’s call into ministry, we moved back to Adelaide nearly 11 years ago.
Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?
I have written non-fiction books, novels, middle grade fiction, picture books, poems, plays and even a musical!
So far I’ve only (self) published one book, ‘That Book for Wives’. I wrote it because I found the first few years of marriage challenging: my husband just wouldn’t do what I wanted him to do! I whinged to God and He began to show me how I could change my marriage. As I saw my marriage transform, I jotted down the different lessons God was teaching me. Eventually I turned it in to a book and published it. It only took me 14 years! It’s an easy to read book with lots of short, super-practical tips.
I write because I love to write – it is fun to create stories and I really enjoy trying to construct a well-written sentence. My other main motivation is wanting to help draw others nearer to God.
Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
It’s been lovely hearing from complete strangers in Australian and the US who have emailed me to say how much my book has helped their marriage. But, of course, I’d love many more people to read it. I would also love more CWD members to read it because I think we all appreciate how important reviews are to authors! So, to get more CWD members reading and (hopefully) reviewing it, I’d like to offer two things:
- A giveaway. I’m going to give away one a free copy of ‘That Book for Wives’, posted to anywhere in Australia. To have a chance of winning the free book, please share in the comments your best tip for someone who is about to get married. Next week I’ll send ‘That Book for Wives’ to my favourite tip!
- A free PDF. If you’d like to read my book and write an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads or Koorong (or all three!), please message me your email address and I’d be happy to email you a PDF of ‘That Book for Wives’.
Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?
I find it very challenging to get time on the computer to write. I have run my own consulting business from home for nearly 10 years, which has been a great blessing with young kids. However, it also means my kids always see me on the computer (for work) so trying to get back on it to write (for fun) is hard – to them it just looks like I’m ignoring them again! Not getting much time on the computer can be frustrating, especially since I have about 10 different books I’m thinking about/working on at the moment (4 books in a kids adventure series, 2 novels, 3 books in the ‘That Book for …’ series and a cookbook!).
One trick that’s helped has been to record my ideas on the Voice Recorder app on my phone, which I can do when driving to pick up the kids from school. Knowing the ideas are recorded removes the worry that I will forget them.
I also make sure I have a small exercise book lying around my house so I can quickly jot down thoughts when I get them. Then, when I actually get time to jump on the computer and type, I have plenty of material to work with. I usually aim to write for a couple of hours every Sunday afternoon, although sometimes I just end up crashing in bed with a good book and some chocolate!
What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why?
I recently read Lisa Cron’s ‘Story Genius’, as recommended by some of you in CWD. I borrowed it from the library and quickly realised I needed to buy my own copy so I could highlight it. It’s definitely a book you need to interact with! I loved the first third or so because it really got me thinking about my characters and their motivation and how this (rather than the external plot) is really what the story is about. However, from there it got a little bit too prescriptive for me. I finished it, but the last part of the book had a lot less highlighting. Still, it was definitely worth reading.
If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?
Um, all of them? I am so grateful for this group. When I first joined CWD (at the recommendation of someone at Book Whispers) I had no idea about the publishing and marketing process. I have learnt so much from the blogs, from people’s posts and from members who have answered my questions. Thank you everyone, for sharing your wealth of knowledge and allowing me to be a part of your journey too.
What are your writing goals for 2019? How will you achieve them?
My goals for this year are to:
- Finish writing the fourth book in my adventure series for 7-10 year old kids and hopefully find a publisher, which may be a bit challenging. The books have a strong Christian message, but also have some toilet humour! The kids who’ve read my drafts love the humour and the suspense, but I’m not sure if Christian publishers will be keen to publish books with references to wee and booger, even if the kids in the books meet heroes from the Bible and learn valuable Scriptural truths. Thoughts and suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
- Launch a blog. I watched a video by Cyle Young (a Christian literary agent) last year where he talked about the importance of platform which made me realise a blog could be a good way to increase my platform. My plan is to focus on writing practical blogs about Christianity (e.g. an overview of the story of the Bible, a ‘Reading the Bible for the first time’ reading plan), marriage (e.g. how to forgive when he hasn’t said sorry, how to apologise well), and parenting (e.g. teaching your kids to be kind to each other, how I got rid of TV during the week). I’ve started writing it already but want to get a few more finished before launching. I’m also thinking these blogs will help me get some content written for a couple of books in my ‘That Book for …’ series. I’m not sure how I’m going to achieve these two goals with only a couple of hours each Sunday, but I figure it’s one word at a time!
How does your faith impact and shape your writing?
All of my books (apart from the cookbook!) have a significant faith element. All the ‘That Book for …’ books are Biblically-based. I started writing the kids series because I was trying to teach my daughter powerful truths from the Bible (such as, you don’t need to be afraid because God is always with you) in a fun, engaging way. Even my novels, which don’t have a particular ‘message’, are written from a Christian world-view.
I’m really conscious that Christians don’t love super-preachy books, but at the same time, I believe story is a very powerful way of sharing the truth of the gospel. Hopefully I can get the balance right!
Sally Poyzer is a credentialed pastor with CRC Churches International and has spent many years ministering to women, particularly in the area of marriage. She is passionate about sharing how God can help wives enjoy being married.
With a background in corporate training and a Bachelor in Adult and Vocational Education, Sally is an experienced and enthusiastic preacher and teacher. She has her own consulting business, specialising in writing and facilitating customised training programs, as well as writing and formatting business documents.
Sally was married at nineteen to Josh Poyzer, who is now the Senior Pastor of Portlife Church. They have been married over twenty years and live with their two gorgeous children, Promise and Rockford, in Adelaide, South Australia. She loves reading, especially literature, with Pride & Prejudice easily topping her list of favourite books.