Posted on March 2, 2023 at 8:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Today we're interviewing author Leslie Vicary.
Vicary is a Christian writer loved for her honesty and humor. Her bestselling new book, God Loves You as Much as You Love Your Dog, illustrates her charming ability to find what’s funny and what’s true in everyday life.
Vicary lives with her husband, Jeff, her daughter, Eden, and her dogs, Sugarbell, Sunflower, and Clover, near Greenville, South Carolina, where they attend New Spring Church – not the dogs, just the people.
SADYE: Tell us something about your writing process that’s unusual or that you haven’t revealed before.
LESLIE: The book is about how my love for my little bichon helped me understand God’s love for me, so writing it spanned his fifteen-year life plus a couple of years.
My process is wildly haphazard and I recommend it to no one. Feel free to judge. Here it is.
Sailor would do something endearing (or infuriating) that immediately reminded me of some aspect of my spiritual life. I would jot my thoughts down on the handiest bit of paper (yes, y’all, analog), then lose it in the bottom of a drawer or coat pocket, or glove box.
Years passed. Sailor passed. I decided to finally collect all of my “rough drafts” and spent a good six months just looking for them. Then I started writing.
You can probably guess that I’m not one for organizational concepts like outlining. I just write everything and see what happens organically. What shaped was a funny memoir with a Christian POV.
It’s no surprise, really. Humorous essays are absolutely my favorite genre and my faith informs everything I do. It’s a unique merging of the two.
Eventually, I added journaling pages and interactive add-ons like a playlist to give readers the space to sort out their own thoughts.
I never intended for it to be a devotional book, but after getting feedback from readers I realized that the journaling aspect greatly contributed to their enjoyment and value received from the book. So humorous-memoir-devotional it is.
There’s nothing else like it in the Christian living section, which can be both a benefit and a challenge.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
LESLIE: This is my first book. I had no idea how it would be received.
I hoped and still hope that anyone who reads it will be amused by the anecdotes and, with the laughter, have a personal epiphany about God’s love for them. And if they don’t know God, I hope they will want to know Him after reading this.
I especially want to speak to people who are having a hard time and need to hear that they are loved and valued and that there is a good plan for their lives. Pretty lofty goals for your first book!
I mean, I didn’t even know if people would like it enough to finish it, much less be touched on a personal level. With that in mind, you can imagine why this, one of my first reviews, is so meaningful to me.
“This book is exactly what I needed to read. It has really opened up my eyes and really resonates with many of my life obstacles I’ve been going through that have been destroying me internally. But with reading this, it really has gave me relief and hope for a new outlook on many things! Thank you Leslie for this! Everything does happen for a reason!”
SADYE: What advice, as relates to your writing career, would you give your younger self?
LESLIE: Start sooner. Don’t just stuff your writing into boxes for someone to find after you’re dead.
Don’t worry about living up to expectations. Just be honest. It’s okay to speak in your own voice.
Write like you talk. Honesty and humor are your superpowers and don’t let anybody tell you different.
SADYE: Which historical figure would you most like to meet, and why?
LESLIE: Zelda Fitzgerald. I studied her life for a one-woman theatrical show I was performing a few years ago.
What a fascinating human being. And tragic. The more I learned about her the more I fell in love with her wit, intelligence and clever irreverence. And the more I wanted to rescue her.
I would love to spend an afternoon with her, preferably on the French Riviera during her and Scott’s expat phase.
As an aside, William Luce marvelously wrote of her life in the theatrical script The Last Flapper referenced above.
I would pair reading that with reading The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald for a masterfully written, entertaining and heart-wrenching look at this American icon.
SADYE: How did you come to see yourself as a writer, and what inspired you to seek publication?
LESLIE: I have always enjoyed writing, but I decided to pursue it seriously after seeing a meme that said “Whatever work people always say you should be doing, that’s what you should be doing.” Yes, making life decisions based on memes.
It was the classic lightbulb moment. Other people can often see gifts within us that we discount or are afraid to pursue.
Writing a book is the one thing that people have always said I should do. So I did. That’s a stunning oversimplification.
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Categories: Author Interview