Interview: Connilyn Cossette

Hello everyone! Today I am back with another author interview! Today I was lucky enough to interview Connilyn Cossette the author of the Out of Egypt series! Now onto the questions!

1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Honestly, my ambitions are simply to write well-crafted stories that touch people’s hearts, point them to Jesus and inspire them to study the Word of God for themselves. It was not my goal to be a “Biblical Fiction Author” and who knows what other stories will grow inside my heart in the future but for now within this genre is where the Lord seems to be planting lots of story ideas for the future.  

2. Why do you write?

Because I am addicted to it! Since I began writing a few years ago I have a hard time closing up the laptop when I am supposed to be taking a break. This career is a little bit like being a kid in the candy store for me. I mean, I get to read tons of books, research interesting history, daydream constantly, doodle ideas on paper, mumble to myself without people questioning my sanity (ok, maybe a little bit), and go to work in my PJ’s. I can’t ever imagine stopping writing now that I unleashed my passion for it!

3. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

When I was thirteen years old I read Gone with the Wind. I read the entire book, in one day, when I was home sick from school. I still remember the sun coming up and the birds welcoming the dawn as I turned that last page. Gone with the Wind awakened my curiosity for history, as well as a passion for historical fiction. In fact, I was so inspired that when I found out Margaret Mitchell had died before writing the sequel, I pulled notebook paper out of my Trapper-Keeper (which dates me), uncapped a green pen, and started writing it for her. I can still see that first scene in my mind—Scarlett sitting on the porch at Tara with her head in Mammy’s lap, bemoaning the loss of Rhett. Although it took many more years and quite a few detours before I realized my dream of becoming an author, I consider that first page (which I dearly wish I still had) the beginning of my writing career.

4. Do you write full-time or part-time?

Well, I am a homeschooling mom so I have a lot of balancing to do during the day but if I am not teaching or mom-ing, I’m pretty much writing!

5. Have any authors inspired you?

Oh, so many. Charlotte Bronte is my favorite, the timelessness of Jane Eyre’s journey of self-discovery and the exquisite language is a huge inspiration. I’m also inspired by Francine Rivers, Liz Curtis Higgs, and countless other fantastic historical writers. And of course my priceless writing partners, Tammy L. Gray and Nicole Deese, inspire me to be a better writer every day!

6. If Counted with the Stars was ever made into a movie who would you imagine as Kiya?

Such a good question. A lot of authors use actors to inspire their writing but whenever I’ve tried that it confuses my voice/characterization, so I find pictures of models and other anonymous people to spark my visual imagination. But that being said, I’ve had people say they see Kiya as Monica Belluci when she depicted Mary Magdalene in the Passion of the Christ and I think that’s a pretty interesting comparison.

7. What do you do when you have writer’s block?

I color! I was reluctant to try the new Adult Coloring book fad but when I did I realized it’s a fantastic vehicle for engaging my creative right brain while letting my mind wander aimlessly and I have come up with some pretty awesome plot points during coloring. In fact, one day I was coloring a fox while brainstorming a hunting scene in Book #3 and voilà! a fox is now featured in that scene! I also use a technique called mind-mapping to spark new ideas and dig deeper into my scenes and back stories.

8. Do you have a favorite author?

Charlotte Bronte for sure. Jane Eyre is a book I have read many times and find new gems each time. Right now I am piece by piece working through the Audible version and it’s causing me to slow down and giving me new insights.

9. Do you have a favorite book or Series?

I recently read the Mark of the Lion Series again and remembered why I adored it so much when I read it 20 years ago. The range of research that Francine Rivers dug into to write that series is breathtaking and her bravery in writing a story that depicted the harsh and gritty realities of that time period is an inspiration to me.  Liz Curtis Higgs Scottish Series is also among my favorites.

10. What inspired you to write Counted with the Stars (and the whole Out from Egypt series)?

Counted with the Stars was inspired by a study I was doing on my own into Exodus and the roots of my faith. I ran across the verse in Exodus 12:38 that said: “a mixed multitude went up with them.” I thought to myself—who were these people that went with the Hebrews on the Exodus? I wondered whether some of them might be Egyptian and what would have inspired them to follow an invisible God into the wilderness when all they had ever known were the gods of Egypt? Kiya’s story began as a product of my own curiosity about the motivations by those we would call “Gentiles” journeying with the Hebrews. Of course, after writing CWTS I was inspired to tell stories of other people whose life-stories connected with the epic journey. So the story of Shira, a Hebrew midwife’s apprentice in Shadow of the Storm, was born which in turn fed into the story of Alanah, a Canaanite woman, in Wings of the Wind. My hope is that the Out from Egypt Series will inspire people to dig into the Word and consider how those ancient stories are absolutely relevant to our lives today and also the timeless grace that adorns the pages of the Bible from Genesis to Revelations.

That’s all for this interview! If you liked it be sure to check out the rest of my posts! Also, if you want to check out my Instagram it’s @Bloggingbooknerd! Thank you so much for reading and I hope that you have a great day!

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