The Spiritual Side of Creating a Novel – and a giveaway

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By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Years ago when I dreamed of being an author, I wrote to a husband-and-wife team of authors who impressed me with their creativity and love for the Lord.

They wrote back.

Not only was I surprised, I was blessed and encouraged.

Today I am honored to host one of those two authors, Janet Chester Bly. She shares her secrets for success that apply not only to authors but to anyone seeking to glorify the Lord in what they do.

Thank you for joining me today. Be sure to check out Janet’s giveaway at the end of the post.

From author Janet Chester Bly …

For the Christian fiction writer, the whole project involves a walk with God. He provides the idea, enables the writing gift, and empowers the ability to do the project.

1) Pray.

Daily talk through with Him the development of crafting the story and scenes. Pray for God’s will to be done in and through your story, that reader’s hearts will be prepared in some way to receive divine truth. And when it’s done, pray for wisdom in creative promotion.

2) Wrestle.

Agonize through the spiritual theme. In my recently released novel series, The Trails of Reba Cahill, the characters thoughts and actions and the evolving story, little by little revealed recurring issues. I either experienced them or lived it through them. On the negative side: deceit, lies, and bitterness. On the positive end: confession, truth, and forgiveness. Staying with that thread throughout helped me find where to begin, what defined the middle, and how to reach the conclusion.

3) Be willing to wait.

Your books may take months. Or years. Creating takes time with a multitude of starts and stops, to really know the crux of your story.

4.) Recognize your team.

Sure, the main discipline of the sweat and strain of the actual writing may be up to you. But you don’t really do it alone. Others will come alongside in various ways, with advice and inspiration, resources and research. Be thankful for each input. Call them out in some way—in the book’s acknowledgements or token gifts.

A sample writer’s prayer: “Heavenly Father, make this a story created by you. Bring it to life for your purpose. Work through my mind. Challenge my heart. Give voice to the characters to reveal something you want to say to each reader. Through the privilege of this project, minister to me , through me, and in spite of me. Keep me going toward the goal, as life happens. Bring your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”


Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing for a free giveaway paperback (USA only) or PDF copy of Janet’s newly released novel, Beneath A Camperdown Elm, Book 3, Trails of Reba CahillAnswer one of the two following questions:

Question for Writer: How do you make sure you keep God as part of your work? Question for Reader: What was the spiritual message of the last novel you read?

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ALT="free book giveaway on"Reba has everything she ever wanted! Her scary stalker is in jail. She’s engaged to a rancher-in-training. Her runaway mother returns home. But then, Grandma Pearl disappears! Is she about to lose it all?

Three generations of women travel separate journeys of the heart, while a mystery brews under an old Scottish Elm.





Janet Chester Bly is a city girl with a country heart. She doesn’t corral horses or even mow her own lawn. “I’m no womba woman,” she says. But she followed her late husband, award-winning western author Stephen Bly, to the Idaho mountain top village of Winchester to write books and minister to a small church. When she lost him, she stayed. She manages the online Bly Books bookstore,, rakes lots of Ponderosa pine needles and cones, and survives the long winter snows, one blizzard at a time.

Janet and her three sons—Russell, Michael and Aaron–completed her late husband’s last novel, Stuart Brannon’s Final Shot, Book 7, Stuart Brannon Series, a Selah Award Finalist. The family project process can be found on her website blog under the series topic, “Finishing Dad’s Novel”:

Contact Janet online:

Facebook Author Page:
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(c) 2019 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.

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11 thoughts on “The Spiritual Side of Creating a Novel – and a giveaway

  1. Davalynn: Thank you so much for featuring my article and giveaway! Greatly appreciated! Blessings, Janet

    1. davalynn

      It is my delight to host you today, Janet. Thank you!

  2. Barbara Franks

    The last novel I read Showed that although we are all imperfect, God still loves us.

    1. davalynn

      Thank you, Barbara. Such a great thing to be reminded of.

    2. Barbara: Such an important truth! Blessings, Janet

  3. Karen Gee

    This does not answer one of your questions, but what came to mind was the fact that your four principles could apply to any job or life in general. I believe that you presented a great set of guidelines to follow.
    Thank you!

    1. davalynn

      I agree, Karen. Absolutely. Your observation qualifies as a reader comment. 🙂

    2. Karen: Thank you for your observation. I do believe you are right. Blessings, Janet

  4. Vivian Furbay

    I just started Far Side of the Sea so haven’t gotten a message in it from god except to trust and wait on him.

    1. davalynn

      Wow, Vivian. That’s a message I hear a lot in my life! Great book, by the way.

    2. Vivian: Thanks for the comment. Is that the novel by Kate Breslin or Paula Scott? Blessings, Janet


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