Hello Anita. I enjoyed reading your book Letters to God on a Prodigal Son. It was a big help to me during a time that I was helping a family member. Please tell my readers more about yourself.
My name is Anita Estes, and I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I started writing poetry and kept a journal. When I became a Christian I began writing articles and devotions, then I started writing children’s stories when I became a teacher and a mother. Since I always enjoyed writing, I wrote many unpublished and published poems and articles about Christian living, marriage, overcoming depression, rejoicing in God’s creation and prayer. When I started teaching, I wrote several children stories including “Timothy I Can’t Learns to Fly” and a “Christian’s Alphabet.” I had the students illustrate them, but they were never published. When I became a mother I started telling and writing stories for my children. They loved them. A friend of mine illustrated one of them, “Growing Up with Blankie” We were very excited about it and even went to New York City to show it to publishers, but it never flew.
As I grew in the Lord, I progressed to writing inspirational stories and had more of my work published. I wrote my first book of stories and devotionals, When God Spaeks—40 Days and Nights of His Promises, six years ago when I was invited to be a speaker at a women’s conference (WIN). They wanted me to have a book available of my work.
I didn't realize that you had written so many books and devotions. Can you tell us more about them?
I have written a number of devotions and short stories that have been published in “Upper Room”, Penned form the Heart, Adam’s Media Books, God Allows U-Turns: for Women, Cup of Comfort Book of Prayer, and Deliver Me! I have three books published, When God Speaks, 40 Days and Nights of His Promises, which is a story format devotional with an accompanying Bible Study work book. My next book I compiled and edited was Transformed—Inspiring Stories of Freedom, a book of testimonies about men freed from the bondage of addictions.
My recent release, Letters to God on a Prodigal Son—Overcoming Addiction Through Prayer was birthed from the painful journey I experienced while navigating the minefield of my son’s addiction. I kept a journal that contained many powerful prayers, letters and scriptures that I thought would help others navigate the turbulent waters of a prodigal’s addiction, so I worked on transforming it into a book. As mentioned before, I added two sections, Lessons Learned and Suggestions that I thought would further help others to avoid some of the pitfalls I experienced, while offering a lifeline of hope. At the time my son was going through this terrible ordeal, I couldn’t find any Christian books on the subject that gave practical and spiritual, not textbook, advice. Letters to God, on a Prodigal Son was designed to fit this need. It’s filled with the heart-felt letters and prayers of a mother, key spiritual insights and practical advice. My desire in writing this book is to help others and minister to them though this true life story. You can buy this book and any of my others at www.anitaestes.com or on
Amazon (you can preview Letters to God)
Amazon kindle for When God Speaks
Barnes and Nobles (Transformed only)
If you like radio, you can listen to an interview about Letters to God at Hope for Prodigals
I’ve also written a novel, The Dividing Stone, which I plan on publishing in 2012. It is a spiritual warfare book with a historical slant involving angels, demons and an unsuspecting artist who is drawn into a battle for her life to rescue the lives of other Christians.
Does writing come easy to you or do you have some challenges?
At first I wasn’t sure I should turn my letters into a book, but when I talked with the director of a Christian rehabilitation center, he encouraged me to write and publish it. I also spoke with other mothers who went through this ordeal and they liked the idea of the book. Because I didn’t want it to just be an account of my situation, I added some areas of suggestions and lessons learned. This was challenging to write because I didn’t want to come off as knowing everything, which I don’t. Also I did want to have a “I should have” attitude all the time, because I believe God used my weakness in this area to do a work in both me and my husband and most importantly in my son.
When you write a book, who are you writing to and what do you want them to see in your book?
First I want to reach out to parents of prodigals and let them know there is hope. I especially want to let them know that God has not abandoned them, nor is he punishing them. God is compassionate and there to help, but he doesn’t trespass our will. I want to show parents and loved ones that it’s okay to be honest with God. He desires that. I also want to reach out not only to parents and loved ones of prodigals, but to everyone who is dealing with a difficult relationship or situation. I believe the prayers and scriptures in Letters to God are powerful for “pulling down strong holds” (see 2 Corinthians 10:4) that is an area of bondage, whether an addiction or destructive habit.
What do you want readers to come away with?
All my non-fiction books and articles are written to either help Christian’s grow in their spiritual walk with God or to reach those who are hurting and hurl them a lifeline in their storm. My books lean heavily on the power of prayer and God’s amazing compassion, mercy and love. I want others to intimately know the awesome God I know and the power of praying His promises. My fiction work is also spiritual in nature, filled with mystery and intrigue. I want to alert Christians to the enemy’s tactics so they can avoid his traps and use prayer as a powerful weapon. All of my writing is geared to coming away with a fuller understanding of God, His promises, and the transforming power of prayer.
Is there anything that ignites the passion in you?
Prayer and an intimate relationship with God are my two deepest passions. I want others to know how much God really cares for us and wants to know us. He gives us so many great gifts nestled in His promises. I want others to know how they can avail themselves of these treasures and go deeper with God. This is the theme of When God Speaks, but it is also evident in the prayers of Letters to God, on a Prodigal Son. My greatest desire is to help others to know how to victoriously face life’s challenges.
On August 30th I’ll be having a book launch for Letters to God… and you’ll be able to get many free products when you purchase the book on that day. You can find out more about the launch on my web-site,
or on my blog,
What advice do you have for other new writers like myself?
When I first started writing articles, I had either a preachy or educational tone of voice. As I began to write more I became more vulnerable. My first book, When God Speaks—40 Days of His Promises contained a few stories where I began to be more honest. In Letters to God, I am completely open and honest about my struggles and difficulties in handling my son’s addiction. I have learned that humility is an important aspect of writing books when you want to reach out and encourage others. With the type of books I’ve written, people don’t need to be preached at or corrected for their mistakes in a prideful way. I also wrote about situations that I understood and had experienced. So I would say to non-fiction authors, write about what you know in an honest and open way.
I know how I would describe your writing, but how would you describe it?
I believe my writing is honest, compassionate and engaging. Prayer and the Word of God permeate all my writing. I lean heavily on God’s promises and this is reflected in all of my writing. I believe God gave me words to encourage people going through the tsunamis of their life and point them to the unsinkable life boat, Jesus Christ. I myself weathered many storms—overcoming depression, battling for my marriage, raising three children on a shoe string budget and surviving my son’s drug addiction. All of this has shaped me into the writer I am today. Since I enjoy mystery, fantasy and suspense, my fiction tends to have these elements combined with spiritual warfare. Watch for my novel, The Dividing Stone in 2012
I know that like all authors you love to read. What are your favorite books?
- The Bible
- My Upmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
- The Watchers by Mark Andrew Olsen
- The Hobbit by J.R. R. Tolkein
- The Celtic Stone by Stephen Lawhead
- Crossfire by Jeanette Windle
- The Edge of Recall by Kristen Heitzmann
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini