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It’s always a joy to watch siblings who get along well with one another. Today we have the privilege of visiting with two sisters who not only get along but also write novels together, too! Bethany and Emily Acker’s novel, No Longer Broken, doesn’t dodge reality, either. Before we begin our visit with them, let’s take a quick peek at the story.
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No Longer Broken
Isaiah Russo knows that he has wronged the ones that he loves most. Heading back to his hometown, he encounters the brother he has hurt, the father he has always been distant from, and the teenage son that he has never met. Both he and his brother Jack struggle to make amends and find forgiveness. As they come to love and live as God wants them to, will they finally be no longer broken?
Welcome, Bethany and Emily! How fun to get to visit with both of you! Tell us a little about No Longer Broken. What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
Bethany: I really hope that they come away feeling encouraged to forgive and love those around them, especially their family members. I want them to read the story and feel that there is hope for them and their siblings or children to have a better relationship, no matter the pain there might be between them.
Emily: I hope that they see that they can always move on from their past – no matter how painful that past is. I hope that they become inspired through reading it to right the wrongs in their lives.
Relationships can be tough, and it sounds like you’re tackling some issues readers can relate to. You don’t see siblings writing together very often. What are the greatest blessings and challenges of working so closely with another author?
Bethany: Emily and I are not only sisters, but we’re friends. It’s great to have writing in common with her and to be able to spend time sitting side by side writing. She keeps me motivated, and it’s fun to work out stories together.
Emily: The greatest blessing for me in writing with Bethany is having someone to help make the story really come alive. One of the toughest challenges is in timing. We both need to be up for writing at the same time, and we both have to make the stories of our characters work out together and come to an end at the same time.
That does sound like it could be challenging. Aside from reading and writing, what hobbies do you enjoy?
Bethany: I love baking! It has been a longtime favorite hobby of mine. I also enjoy traveling. I have been to several National Parks recently, and I would love to go to more of them.
Emily: I enjoy watching beauty videos and vlogs. I also enjoy playing around with makeup, going on walks (sometimes), and drinking energy drinks.
I recently read Karen Barnett’s new historical romance, The Road to Paradise. If you love the National Parks, Bethany, you’ll have to read that one! You each probably bring different strengths to the writing table. What is your favorite part of the writing/editing/publishing process?
Bethany: I love coming up with the idea for a new story! I love writing down any thoughts that come to my head and trying to work out the characters just right. It’s fun to think up new ideas and fit all of the characters and their personal stories together for a novel.
Emily: My favorite part would have to be starting a new story. Seeing the characters come to life. Working with Bethany to get things going.
No fear of the blank page with you two! That’s awesome! Which authors have had the most impact on your writing?
Bethany: One of my favorite authors is Susan May Warren. I love how she puts so much effort into each of her books. You can tell she really knows what she is writing about, and she is a big inspiration because of the style that she writes, too. She often includes family drama in her novels, and that is something I love writing about.
Emily: I love Susan May Warren, as well. Karen Kingsbury was one of my earliest influences in regard to writing. I like that she has written books that focus on family and relationships beyond those between couples. I really like the emotion in her writing, and I try to make emotion a part of my writing.
Those are definitely two great role models for writing. If you could offer a word of encouragement to an aspiring author, what would you say?
Bethany: Keep writing. Story after story. Novel after novel. Keep writing. You never know which novel is going to be “the one.” We wrote many (dozens) of novels before No Longer Broken. We didn’t know when we first started writing together that it would be years before we would be published, or that that novel would be it, but it was. And we were only published because we never gave up but we kept on writing.
Emily: Write because you love it and not because you think you are going to get rich through it. Write in the way that you want to write and enjoy each moment that you spend writing. Seek God in your writing and ask for his direction.
Great advice! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us today, Bethany and Emily!
Your turn! Who was one of your first favorite authors of Christian fiction?
More about Bethany and Emily:
Bethany has been writing since she was young, and she is currently a freelance writer and novelist. She is constantly thinking up new story ideas, and in her free time she enjoys baking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her ten spunky nieces and nephews.
Emily loves reading contemporary fiction, historical fiction, romances, memoirs… pretty much anything. She loves all of her nieces and nephews and appreciates the special bond that she has with each one. Writing heartfelt fiction with Bethany is her passion.
You can connect with the Acker sisters online: