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mail@authorsguildoftn.org    +1.865.254-3054 and 865.657-9560.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother, and most importantly–a born again child of God.  My greatest joy in life has been my family and sharing my spiritual experiences with anyone interested in hearing them. Over the years I have written a few poems, prayer journals, essays, and prepared many Sunday school lessons. 

God has greatly blessed me for sixty-three years and counting and my hope is to spend the rest of my days, however many or few, writing and publishing Christian literature for the good of those who seek to enrich their walk of faith.

During my early forties I attended some classes at the University of Tennessee and became self-employed in 1995 when God opened the door for me to own my own bookkeeping and income tax service. The clients He has sent to me have enriched my life beyond measure and I hope to enrich the lives of others through my writing

Books by Mary Ann Brantley

Interview with Author

What purpose or inspiration led to the writing of your first book?

Acorns from Ivy is the story of my mother’s life of hardship, and my own spiritual journey through life as the daughter of a strong Christian woman and a wandering earthly father.  God imparted in me a need to pass along our stories to my children and grandchildren, which gave me the inspiration to begin writing. The Holy Spirit compelled me to complete it and urged me on.

What did you learn from writing your first book?

I learned that writing is both a lot of joy and a lot of hard work.  Until I read what I had written I never realized how much of a hillbilly-at-heart I really am. Writing Acorns from Ivy has reminded me of many forgotten memories and given me a renewed appreciation of who I am as a human being, and who I am in Christ.

What doors have opened to you that would not have opened had you not written your book?

I have found ample opportunity to share my faith with people whom otherwise I may never have met.  Becoming a member of the Authors Guild of Tennessee is a good example of a new door for me. I’m eager to see what God has in store for the book He inspired me to write.

Did you use an outline in the planning stages of your first book?

I didn’t use a written outline but I did make notes of some of the things I wanted to include in my story.  I found as I wrote that many things ended up in my book that I never thought of during planning and many things I planned to add, I removed before publishing.

If you could write your first book all over again what would you do differently?

I would do more research on the guidelines for writing and publishing before I began.  I’m pleased with what I learned, but I’m sure the project could have been made easier if I had spent some time in the Chicago Manual of Style before beginning.

How did you choose your publisher and why?

Choosing a publisher was something I did before I started to write. An ad on a Christian web-site caught my attention with the question, “Have you ever thought of writing a book?” I searched the web for information on various publishing companies and the packages they offered but ultimately chose the first one I found in the ad. Westbow Press is a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan who publishes Christian literature.  I wanted my book to be good, wholesome reading and their guidelines met my standards.  Price was important and their prices are fair, but quality service is most important and they have very high ratings.

What are your goals for future writing projects?

Writing is a privilege God has given me and my future projects will be for the purpose of sharing His love.  I have finished a first draft of my second book which is a branch-off from Acorns from Ivy and I also have several ideas for articles or mini-books on enjoying the fullness of the gift of Christ. If I have a goal it is to spend the remainder of my days sharing the Love of God with others.

My Latest Blogs

04 June 2016
General

Thanks to fellow member Rachel Holbrook I'm attempting a new direction on blogging. Please check out my blog at acornsfromivy.wordpress.com. 

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19 October 2015
Truth in Fiction

I like this quote by Barbara Kingsolver

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

– Barbara Kingsolver

I find that most people tend to shy away from hard truths if confronted directly. Christian Ficition is a way to tell the truth without making the reader feel the need to put up defenses. Truth will seep into a fertile mind.  https://maryannbrantley.wordpress.com   http://acornsfromivy.wordpress.com

General
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10 October 2015
General
Christian Fiction is like a parable. The story is made up, but the truth is brought to life. Enjoy the story, but savor the truth.
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08 October 2015
General
Today we had the privilege of meeting two new local authors, Linda Brewer and Sarah Simpson Bivens. Welcome to the Authors Guild of Tennessee. Linda's Book "Shootin' the Bull" and Sarah's "Crazy Creek" are definitely in my "To Read" list. Looking forward to more from these two.
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10 July 2015
General

Thank you AGT for accepting me as a member. I am honored be a part of the Guild and I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you. A special thank you to Sam Bledsoe and Abraham for your help setting up my page on the website. 

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