Writing teachers often tell us to “Picture your ideal reader in your head and write to them.”
I usually picture my mother. She is such a voracious reader that it would be a struggle to find a Christian romance she hasn’t read.
But my mom did not grow up in a Christian home. She met Jesus in the pages of a Grace Livingston Hill novel.
I received the enormous blessing of growing up in a Jesus-loving home because of Grace Livingston Hill. (Of course, God could have grabbed my mother’s heart in a zillion different ways, but he chose to use a romance novel.)
My mother worked in special eduation and then in public school administration for more than thirty years. I can’t even begin to imagine the lives she touched, the love she shared with all those kids. And it all started with a book of fiction, a story about love.
Hi! I’m Robin Merrill, and I’ve written in lots of different genres under different pen names, but my first indie novel was a Christian romance called Shelter. And I wept with joy when a reader reached out to tell me that my story was an important step in her choosing to follow Jesus. What on earth could be better than that?
I wasn’t much for romance as a kid, but I was obsessed with The Sugar Creek Gang Series. Anyone remember those books? They were so great! And the second my kids were old enough (maybe even a little before that) I started reading those old stories to them.
And something a little freaky happened. I kept finding pieces of myself in those pages: expressions I still say to this day, things I still believe, things I still find fascinating. I could clearly see evidence of how my personality had been shaped by those books. I’m so glad that those were the books I found as a kid, in my small church library, where I was hanging out thanks to my mom reading Grace Livingston Hill before I was ever born.
Stories are so powerful. I am so inspired seeing what they can do, and what God does through them.
I love to give books as gifts, and sometimes I can get discouraged because people don’t read them. Or they crinkle up their nose when they see the word God on the back cover. I know sometimes my gifts go straight to the Goodwill bin. But God’s word never returns void, so I will keep gifting God-honoring stories, knowing that at some point, God will put them in the hands of a heart that needs them.
A few years ago I sent one of my books to a young woman in jail. (I also sent a Bible, but that didn’t make it through security. My book did.) She read it, loved it, and passed it on. A week later, she told me that every woman in her part of the jail had read my book! That book has sold very few copies, but there is no question as to why God inspired me to write it.
In that spirit let’s give away a copy of Shelter. Comment on the post to enter the giveaway. We will randomly choose one winner from those who comment. If the winner is in the US, they can chose between a paperback copy or an eBook copy. If the winner is outside of the US, I will send them an eBook edition. The winner will be chosen on May 13.
I am so delighted to be joining this amazing group of authors here at InspyRomance. If I ever doubted that God wanted me writing Christian romance, this invitation was my confirmation.
My current series is the Greater Life Romance series, the eBooks of which are available in Kindle Unlimited for a limited time. And I’m working on a new series right now!
I very much look forward to getting to know you. I love interacting with other believers and other avid readers. So drop a comment or shoot me a message on social media and introduce yourself! 💚