Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A View from Diana Wallis Taylor's Window!

It is a great pleasure for me to be able to introduce you to Diana Wallis Taylor and her debut novel Journey to the Well. This powerful story has an interesting history, and Diana has a sweet testimony of all that God has done in her life to make her novel so rich. I hope you will join me in welcoming this very talented author to my Window! I'm so glad to share this brief interview with you today!

Was there a particular event in your own life that caused you to ponder the life of the Samaritan woman at the well? How did this story begin in your heart?

When the Lord first put the woman at the well on my heart I was separated from my first husband and going through some difficult times. I had three young children. I was reading the passage in John and I wondered why the Lord chose her, due to her circumstances and being a hated Samaritan, as the first person to whom He revealed Himself as Messiah. I began to see her in a different light and a story evolved in my mind. Of course it got shelved many times over the years.

Journey to the Well presents Marah as a woman of religious faith, a humble, hard-working woman who has become the victim of tragedy multiplied. I’m often admonished by my husband not to judge others, for we never know what God is doing in their lives through their circumstances. How did you come to realize this truth and apply it to Marah?

With all I was going through I used to look at other people in my church and wish my life could be like theirs. I soon learned that all was not as it seemed in their lives. Then I saw so many instances of God's redemption and I realized that He loves us so much and it is His desire to see us whole and healed. Jesus had an appointment with Marah. He had heard the cry of her heart.

I think we all have our own Journey to the Well experiences in life? Would you mind sharing a little about what God has brought you through and how He has shed His mercy and grace within your own life?

Due to my husband's alcoholism, I experienced rejection by people we counted as friends, isolationism, depression (with a near suicide), and heartache. There were other women in my husband's life, and for my own health, and for the safety of my oldest son, who was taking the brunt of his father's wrath, we were divorced. After the divorce I was naive and vulnerable and there were several devastating relationships.

Part of this was the insecurity generated by my parent's divorce and the influence of the occult things my mother and grandmother were into when I was young. It was affecting my life. My grandmother was part of the society of St. Germaine, a cult. There were horoscopes, books by well-known psychics, spiritualist churches, fortune telling, etc.

Through the efforts of some strong, godly women and prayer, I was set free finally from this influence. I searched for God all my life but never felt worthy until one Sunday in desperation I sought the altar again and God found me, healed me, and set me on solid ground. He whispered to my heart to finish Marah's story and show her as He saw her, as indeed he sees each one of us, with love.

What was the most amazing thing you learned about the Samaritan culture as you researched this story? How did it impact you personally?

I was interested in the Samaritan Passover on Mt. Gerazim, and their strong adherence to the Pentatuch. I had always thought Jacob's Well was the usual place to get water and was amazed to find it was a well of tradition, not convenience. Shechem had water channels and there were wells in the town, supplied by underground springs. As to how this impacted me, I realized that God doesn't care where we are from or what our background is, He seeks souls to redeem and that before the throne one day will be people of all races and nationalities. I saw that so clearly one day and it overwhelmed me.

You state in the Author’s notes that this book was 25 years in the making. Will your readers (and you will have a HUGE fan base!) see more Biblical fiction from your pen again soon? More poetry? Do you know what’s next for Diana Wallis Taylor the author?

I am working on another Biblical Fiction novel and have other manuscripts out for speculation that are not Biblical Fiction. My poetry book is probably the only one I'll do at this point in time although I am collecting poems in a file for the future.

I've finished an Easter Cantata (I wrote the script and sang the melodies in a tape as I don't write music.) and have a very talented friend who did the music for me and is now working on the orchestration. We hope to produce it next Easter.

What exciting things is God doing in your life? Words of encouragement you would like to leave with your readers?

I love writing and God has impressed on me that this is the gift He will use to touch other lives for His Kingdom. I am excited to write as the Holy Spirit inspires me. As to words of encouragement, I am over 60 and I want to say to those who feel that because they aren't younger that their time is past---WRITE! Grandma Moses didn't start painting until her 80's! Moses didn't start leading the people of Israel until he was 80. Joshua led the people into the promised land long after he was a grandfather. The only barrier to your becoming a published writer is yourself. If God has given you a gift of writing, share it and you will be blessed beyond measure.

I trust this introduction to Diana and her work has blessed you today. I hope you will ponder what she has shared and your own journey to the well will be rich and full of God's grace and mercy.

Purchase a copy of this terrific book here today!

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