Meet Amazon Best Selling Author, Andrea Rodgers. I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Word Sower’s Conference in Omaha last month. After I spent a Sunday afternoon glued to her most recent book, Caged Dove, she graciously agreed to be featured in the first installment of my Author Spotlight series which will be featured once a month.
Henry the Hippo
Though she currently has two novels on the market, Rodger’s writing roots reach all the way back to to her breakout book, Henry the Hippo.
“I was in second grade and had been telling people since I was four years old that I wanted to be an author when I grew up,” she said. “My parents split up when I was two and I was raised as an only child, so the world of make believe was my escape and kept me entertained.”
Rodgers now uses her storytelling abilities not only to entertain but to provoke thought, raise awareness, and most importantly draw others nearer to God. Her two books spin tragic stories into inspirational testimonies as her characters learn to lean on Him through hard circumstances.
When Aniston Kline returns to her hometown where she vowed to never return, she was there to report on a young boy who committed suicide after suffering the same kind of bullying she did as a child. This plot line forced Rodgers to face the same demons her main character did, which is exactly why she knew she had to write it.
“I was bullied as a child and felt deeply that someday I had to write a book about this subject, but it took me a long time because any time I’d start to think about it, the emotions always came flooding back and it was just easier and more pleasant not to go there,” she said. “However, every time I saw the news…about someone taking their life after being bullied, I felt a dig into my soul.”
As Rodgers raises awareness of the true and long term effects of bullying which many can identify with, she also depicts the story of a woman seeking God through hard circumstances–something everyone can identify with. Caged Dove brings together hardship and grace as Aniston faces her past, finds love, and learns how God will use her testimony for his glory.
It has also given Rodgers a voice in the fight against bullying. Endorsed by Crisis Chat Center, Remedy Live, Caged Dove, is bringing awareness to the plight faced by many young people today. If you or someone you know needs a helpline, click on the image above to find out more.
“For adults, the main message is to listen to our youth,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you think they are being too sensitive or not–if it’s a big deal to them, then it is.”
The 20th Christmas
As a parent, the 20th Christmas immediately grabbed and held my attention. Toddler, Chase, is taken from his mom a few days before Christmas, and spans the 20 year wake of devastation for his parents, Arianna and Alan, who learn to seek God and ultimately discover his plan through the worst kind of struggle.
Her first published novel, and climbing to #3 on the Amazon’s Best Sellers list, Rodgers said writing the book was a special assignment. Not only was she aware of her calling to be an author since she was four years old, but the plot itself brought her dream to life.
“The story came to me in a dream during a time when I wasn’t planning to write because it was the holiday season which is the busiest time of year,” she said. “But God kept giving me sign after sign that I needed to write, so when I woke up from my dream, I grabbed a notebook and pen and began writing what I could remember.”
When The 20th Christmas was on the Barnes and Noble shelf by the next holiday season, another dream turned reality for Rodgers.
She is currently working on a new manuscript which was also initiated through a dream.
“I am not a mother who can write with a baby on my lap like I have heard some authors say,” she said. “I have to zone out–so that means no interruptions and that’s very hard to do as a stay-at-home mom of two children.”
Rodgers obtained a degree in journalism and mass communication at Iowa State University in Ames, and she has a background in television and Christian radio, but she knew God was calling her to be author. She left her job and completed her first (unpublished) novel and joined a writers group to learn more about the publishing process.
“God gave me my writing talent and so it’s only right that I would use it toward him,” she said.
Once she became a mom and priorities changed she didn’t write again until oldest son turned five.
“I realized I was always going to be busy or find an excuse to not accomplish my life-long dream of being a published novelist unless I made it priority,” she said.
With the help and support of her husband, Joe, Rodgers made a writing schedule and signed her first publishing contract at the age of 33. Though writing is now a priority, it isn’t her first—8 year old Logan and 4 year old Krissa come first. She also has two malipoo dogs, Bella and Cosmos.
“I do know that these years are short in the grand scheme of things so I don’t want to miss out on anything,” she said.
For more information about Andrea Rodgers visit her website at: http://www.authorandrearodgers.com/
Or purchase her books directly on her Amazon Author page: