As soon as I learned about the book Joab’s Fire, by Lynn Squire, I thought to myself, “I’d love to meet this author!” Two weeks later I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Lynn as part of my self-published authors series.
- Tell me about your book.
Joab’s Fire is about a family that loses everything and the mountie who investigates. But the story is much more than that. It is about the spiritual journey each person faces when they feel as though the hand of God is against them.
Joab Black and his wife Sarah overcame the worst of pioneer hardships in order to establish a prosperous farm in Alberta, Canada. But those challenges never prepared them for the tragedy they now faced—a staggering loss and intense pain causing them to doubt very thing they had ever believed. In the midst of their sorrow, even their closest friends interpret their sufferings as a result of God’s judgment. Has God abandoned them? Inspired by the Biblical book of Job, this novel includes a Bible study exploring the perfection of God’s plan and the bounty of His love even in the most inexplicable and intense sufferings.
2. What inspired you to write a novel based on the book of Job?
My own life. When I was nineteen and very sick I asked God why. He answered through the book of Job. Since then life hasn’t always been easy, but God has always been sovereign, faithful, and merciful. I wanted others to know the eternal hope we can have. We can’t focus on the things of today. This life, here on earth, is only a speck compared to all of eternity.
- If you had to describe your writing career in five words or less, what would you say?
A journey guided by God.
- What made you decide to self-publish?
In this particular case, because editors told me that American readers weren’t interested in a story from Canada. However, my over all decision for self-publishing had to do with my concerns with traditional publishers.
My family and I had the honor and pleasure of taking Dr. Benny Beckum out for supper last January. Dr. Benny Beckum is a multi-published and much sought after evangelist. He set up his own publishing company. Why? Because he did not want his work associated with some of the work being published by some traditional publishers. At the time of this conversation, I was having the same issues. I saw books coming into the Christian market that I know did not hold to the clear teachings, the precepts and principles, of Scripture.
Before this conversation with Dr. Beckum, I was going through the editing process with HigherLife Publishing. Even though this is not a traditional publisher, they employ a macro editor, a copy editor, and a proofreader. All of these people were great to work with. However, I did see potential for problems if an editor and myself did not agree. For example, I have determined that for my novels I will avoid the premarital kiss. This became an issue because traditionally a romance requires a kiss (not that Joab’s Fire is a romance). Now, this is one small issue, but what if the editor asked me to write something contrary to the clear teachings of Scripture, and my word was not the final word…the publisher could potentially follow the editor’s direction rather than my desire. The work would be published under my name with a truth I do not agree with. For me, upholding Biblical truth is more important than being published by a traditional publisher.
A third reason goes back to a decision I made a couple of years ago. After marketing my first book, I realized that at almost every opportunity I was sharing the Gospel message. My writing was not a business, but a ministry. I felt that if I were to follow wise Biblical counsel I needed to place my writing ministry under my church’s authority. To relate it to a business, my pastor and church would be my board of directors, holding me accountable. This meant that when issues arise via outside forces, I had the support I would need to stand on truth. And that is exactly how it has worked. My church has been a wonderful and faithful support. My pastor does not fear speaking the truth in love, and I am very grateful for that.
- What is your favorite aspect of being a self-published author?
Freedom. When the pressure of the release date came up and all the things of life I had to juggle circled around me, I realized that I could never handle the pressures many traditionally published writers would have to face. I’m not good with deadlines. Not that I can’t meet them, but I can’t handle the stress of them. I do crazy things like make spreadsheet after spreadsheet and never really accomplish anything. As a self-published author, I can adjust the timelines to meet my own personal needs, and I don’t have the pressure of having to net a certain income by a certain date.
- What is your least favorite aspect of being a self-publish author?
The loneliness. I often feel as though I’m immediately looked down upon by some traditionally published authors because I chose this route. They judge me by ‘self-published’ rather than on the merit of my work. This became very clear at a home school convention this summer. I’m sure the author wanted to be helpful and only saying what she believed was true, but her assault on self-publishing hurt. She didn’t understand why I chose this route, and yet she all but called me a bumbling fool for following it. I learned from that though. Not everyone is called to travel the same road I have, so I hope I am more careful about sharing my opinion with others (alas, I know I tend to speak before I think—a foible I’m working on).
- What marketing advice would you give other self-published authors?
Pace yourself. Plan your marketing a year in advance and know what works for the market you are targeting. Don’t expect immediate results and plan to market for many years afterward. My first self-published book sold out about five years after it printed. However, I covered my expenses long before that. My second full-length book sold enough to cover expenses within a few months. The printing process of these books were different (the second was POD) and so the expenses were substantially different.
- What is your favorite genre to read?
I love historical fiction.
- What writer most inspires you?
Sandi Rog. She has battled cancer for a long time. Her book, Yahshua’s Bridge, demonstrates a depth of faith and understanding of God few writers are capable of showing.
- What (or who) keeps you writing?
I have a compulsion to write. Even if no one else read my work, I’d still write. However, God’s encouragement keeps me putting it in front of others. The passion He has placed in my heart for Biblical truth and the love He has given to me for others, both Christian and non-Christian, drives me. I stumble along, rather clumsily addressing what I see, feel, and hear, and pray God will make up the difference.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynn Squire is an avid writer who artistically intertwines Biblical truth with colorful narrative. Her childhood farm life,
coupled with her equestrian experiences, brings authenticity and heart to her stories. Lynn actively serves her church
through her writing in and in other ministries and is currently the president of the American Christian Fiction Writers San
Francisco Bay Area Chapter in California, where she resides with her husband and three children.
How to find Lynn Squire: