Meet Our Authors: Raymond Mowla
DECEMBER 1, 2016 · PUBLIC
Author of Broken Hearted Joy
In your own words, please describe your book to our readers. My book Broken Hearted Joy is a testimony of the life journey I traveled to come to profess my faith in the true and living God. It is conveyed almost like an inner dialogue expressing my deepest thoughts, fears, insecurities and struggles, so that I might connect with my readers on a very real and intimate level to point them to the place where I finally found the answers to some of life’s most challenging questions that I’m sure many people battle with answering daily. It is suggested to anyone from 16-65 years old. I hoped to bring clarity to every reader to show that – not only is there a God – but that He is intimately at work in all of our lives every single day in ways that we commonly overlook when we do not have an understanding of His ways. In my journey, and through my life’s experience, I have come to learn that the Holy Bible is trustworthy, but also, the very living and active Word of God even still today, and that God loves us with an unfailing love beyond what we can even begin to comprehend.
Tell us about your life outside of writing. This book may be the only publication that I ever write. I say that only because it took a 30 year journey to compile the life experience materials coupled with the persistent longing and desire for answers to even have something that I felt was both relevant and worthy of publishing to share with others. Now that I’ve finally got it out, I can get back to everyday common life of enjoying good food, meeting new and interesting people and sharing experiences, and thinking up ways to serve my community. I love playing pool, listening to good music, anything adventurous but uncommon, and seeing the world through renewed eyes.
When and why did you begin writing? I’ve been an undercover poet since I was in my early teens. One of my first pieces of writing I remember was a eulogy for my deceased hamster “sleepy” in grade four. He passed away during summer break just two weeks before I was supposed to return to school. It was the first loss of a pet and affected me deeply enough to feel the need to say something about it all.
Tell us about what inspired you to write this book. This book is a direct result of God inspired purpose for my life. It was His doing, and every detail of it belongs to His foreknowledge. I am simply honored to be the vessel in which He chose to convey it.
How did you come up with the title Broken Hearted Joy? Broken Hearted Joy captures the very paradoxical answer to all my life’s searching portrayed in the book. It was the principle revelation that help me to begin to understand the ways of God.
What challenges did you encounter in the writing process? This book is one that speaks openly and candidly about some of my most intimate struggles that even at the age of 33, now that it has been published, will shock many of the people that walked we me as friends and family for the first 30 years of my life. It was difficult to share things that I knew they had never known about me, but I trust that the good it will serve for will far outweigh any superficial insecurities that I may have wanted to hold onto in trying to keep these things a secret and living a duplicitous life.
How do you get through/avoid writers block? Speak only the truth – Think clearly regarding all aspects of your topic so that your judgments will be sound and truly reflect a properly weighed opinion. I’m not a fan of creative writing that is simply creative for the purpose of being creative. I respect creativity when it is used to serve a purpose for the edification, inspiration, or betterment of others.
What kind of research was involved before/during your writing process? 30 years of first hand life experiences.
What is the most difficult kind of scenario for you to write? What, if any, subjects would you never write about as an author? Fiction for the sake of fiction. Superfluous ideas and thoughts that serve no purpose or good.
Truman Capote would only write while lying down. Vladimir Nabokov insisted on writing his works on index cards. What would you say is your most interesting writing habit? I’m not sure that I have any writing habits while writing. At least not any that I observed in myself or that readily come to mind.
What are you currently working on? Do you have plans for future books? The encouragement to write again has certainly been there, but I don’t personally have any immediate plans for another book just yet.
What advice do you have for first-time authors? Just like getting a tattoo, think long and hard first, and then write about something that you will still respect 25 years from now when you’re married and have children of your own.
Talk about your favorite author, and what it is that really strikes you about their work. The Apostle Paul who penned the majority of the New Testament spoke, wrote and lived with such courage and integrity in faith of what he believed. His inspiration was directly attributed and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. I know of nothing attributed to him prior to his experience in meeting the risen Lord Jesus. I suppose that after so many years of seeing what my life looked like apart from God, I too can only give appropriate credit to the Holy Spirit. He is clearly the person due any credit for making anything of the lives of mere men.
Talk about authors that have grasped your interest. C.S Lewis book, from his children’s writing – right to his more scholarly pieces – are always a good read.
Do you have any writers that you consider to be your mentors? Who and why? I sense that we glean importance from the words we read and hear from others all throughout our lives that ultimately help to form our world views and understanding when interpreting life. I suppose no one that I have met to date would be worthy to be without mention here.
Tell us about the books that have influenced your life most. The Holy Bible has thoroughly – and most absolutely – changed my life forever.
Describe the book you are currently reading. I decided to live a little before jumping into any new books right now.
What has the reaction been like to your book(s)? I continue to have a welcoming reception to the book among friends, family and even strangers. I suppose that most people would be very shocked when at 33 years old you announce that you’ve published a book when you have had no previous mention of writing all your life nor experience in the field. That has been quite the shocker for most – including me.
What advice do you have regarding how to deal with negative reviews? Even as someone who hasn’t received one yet in this particular area of life, there are many other areas of life where the same wisdom will apply. Thank everyone for their feedback, sincerely, whether good or bad. Consider all that is said from a place of honesty so that you might grow as a writer and a person. And be sure to forgive and let go of the rest.
What has been the most exciting part of your publishing experience?What part did you enjoy the least? Working with the editors and staff at Essence Publishing was such an honor and a blessing. They were so helpful, considerate, kind, encouraging, and wise. I learned so much from them and about them through this entire process.
What is your best marketing tip? Which social networks do you find easiest to use for marketing? Which do you get the most response from? If you write something worthy of sharing with others, people will be your best marketing tool. A recommendation from a trusted friend carries much more weight than all the pop-up ad’s, billboard signs, and commercial interruptions joined together.
Tell us about your experience working with Essence Publishing. Everyone at Essence Publishing made this entire process a breeze, but more than that, they reflected true integrity and Christ-like love and servitude to help me to make this dream a reality. I especially felt encouraged in all my conversations with Sherrill in our correspondence and enjoyed the feeling of “laboring for the Gospel” alongside Timothy, my faithful editor.
List any resources that readers can use to discover more about you and/or your work. I love getting to know new people so feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments.
Purchase your copy of Broken Hearted Joy on the Essence Bookstore.
Or get it on Amazon