Please, tell us a little bit about yourself Toni.
I've been called Miss Personality, the life of the party, and social butterfly. When I gaze into a mirror, I see Miss Reserved, Deep Thinker, and the Loner. God has a custom design for every individual, equipping each for a specific achievement and purpose. I am an active leader for the seniors at Faith Fellowship Church and also serve on the prayer team. I am married to Rick Nelson, have two sons, three gorgeous grandsons and a dog named, Yaki. I have also been noted as the "happiest person on the Pahrump Planet!" Oh, I love u-no chocolate bars.
What role does your faith in God play in your daily life?
I have trusted in God since 1975. Proverbs 14:26 reads: "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge."
How and when did you decide to write a book?
I have been telling friends and family that I was going to write a book since 1986! I had no idea what genre, how or when but I knew one day, I was going to write a book.
What inspired you to write ' A Beggars Purse'? Any personal experience?
The inspiration for writing this book came to me while I was lying in bed under a down comforter in the chill of winter ailing from the flu. My mind was wandering aimlessly, as one's mind normally chooses to do when sick with the flu. From my bedroom window, I have a gorgeous view of Mount Charleston. The mountain is a cool haven in the Spring Mountains near Las Vegas, Nevada. As I gazed out over the mountain, completely enveloped in snow, an idea welled up inside of me that made me feel as giddy as Scrooge on Christmas morning. Here I was lying in bed, sick with the flu and actually laughing out loud. I felt like a mad person, a raging lunatic, and the best part was that I didn't even care. This is a story inspired by my own childhood memories in rural Carpinteria, California. God then relocated me to Las Vegas, Nevada, where He engaged me with a population I had long forgotten: The Homeless.
What do you desire to bring across, through this book?
God did not place us here on earth to sit around and become complacent in our journey called life. He wants us to live life to the fullest, which even includes feeling uncomfortable at times. God took me out of my comfort zone and placed me smack in the middle of the homeless population. I hope to share my experiences with the reader so that they too may become "uncomfortable".
Tell us how you felt when your manuscript was finally accepted?
I felt every possible emotion konwn to mankind! LOL. We have a saying in our home, "I can't wait to see what happens next..."
What was the most difficult thing in this writing process, so far?
Far beyond the writing process has been te marketing. I thought I spent numerous hours writing but nothing has compared to the time involved in marketing one's work.
What are your plans for the near future?
Well, I plan to continue to live life... (I hope you realize by now, I have a sense of humor.) I have another non-fiction manuscript I'm working on as well as a children's series. I would also like to learn to play the piano and paint.
Do you have any authors or specific books that inspire you?
I admire John Grisham's works. I read A painted house and was hooked. None of his other works are even remotely close to his writing style in A painted house, but we all have to start somewhere.
Any words of encouragement?
If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't... especially on a blog or website. Encourage and support one another, as the world is perfectly capable of tearing us down. If God has given you a dream, He has placed it in your heart for a reason... Don't quit!
Thank you Toni, for your time and for sharing a little bit of your life's (writing)journey with us!
BOOK GIVE AWAY:
Feel free to visit Toni's blog, leave her a comment a make a chance to win a free copy of A Beggars Purse!