10 QUESTIONS FOR…Marilyn Hontz, author of “Shame Lifter”


Author interview with Marilyn Hontz 978-1-4143-1896-7hontz_marilyn_03edited

I’m married to a minister and we’ve been at the same church for 33 years. I’m also a mom of 5 grown children and 6 grandchildren, living near gorgeous Lake Michigan in Holland, Michigan. I speak at various conferences, retreats and workshops. I’ve written two books, Listening for God and Shame Lifter, both published by Tyndale House Publishers.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Shame Lifter is about a subject that is not too often talked about – unhealthy shame.  I believe shame is responsible for many of things we can’t stand about ourselves.  While shame is usually at the core of most addictions and eating disorders, I believe it plays out most openly in the “lies” we believe about ourselves. Shame has a hideous way of encouraging you to believe lies about yourself, i.e. I’m not good enough, I’m worthless, I’m fat, ugly and stupid.  That kind of shame paralyzes a person.  Shame Lifter, written in narrative form, takes you on a journey which begins by examining whether or not shame exists in your life. It reveals shame’s tenacious grip in your life as a result of verbal, sexual, physical or emotional abuse.  The book shares steps to overcome shame, helps you recognize shame in others, and how to become a shame lifter for someone else.  Bottom line: To extend grace to the disgraced – either to yourself or to others.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I came into writing in a very non-conventional way. No literary agent – no manuscript.  I experienced the every “wanna-be” writer’s dream. I was approached by Tyndale House Publishers and asked to write a book based on a recording of a speaking event of mine they had heard.  Thus began my life as a writer.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Starting early in the morning is my best writing time.  I generally start around 8 a.m.  I break at noon for lunch and then maybe tack on 1 or 2 hours after lunch.  I seek to keep my evenings free…unless, of course, a thought comes while I’m standing at my stove fixing gravy for dinner. I suppose I should add that my writing routine is generally interrupted every two or three hours by my chihuahuas, Paco and Zorro who want to be let outside.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

I write at a desk in my kitchen where the sun can stream into our large bay windows…that is, when the Michigan sun actually shines.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I enjoy the classics like:  Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, by Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

1.  It’s exhilarating to find a long lost sock and realize I still have its mate!

2. I received an Autoharp when I was 12 that has been sitting in my closet…I’m thinking about dusting it off and giving concerts at my speaking events.

3.  I absolutely love praying for people.


7. Favorite quote: “God has good works that were planned in advance for us to do.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer:

Best:  Having written

Worst: Writer’s block

9. Advice for other writers

·      Give yourself permission to write – let other things go

·      Consistent time slot for writing

·      Remember writing is fluid…some days its easier to write than others

·      If an idea or quote comes to mind, write it down on a piece of paper right away

·      Write with a person in mind

·      When you write, don’t just tell it, show it

·      Write!  Even if you’re not published, keep writing


10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

When the publishing company first called to ask me to write for them, I laughed and said, “I can’t write. I’ve never had a creative writing class.”  There was a moment of silence.  Then the publisher said, “Can you send us just one chapter and then we’ll be the judge whether you can write or not.”

Where can people buy your books?


Barnes and Noble

Christian bookstores

3 responses »

  1. hello. my name is kendra and im a 12 yr. old (in 6th grade) and i just wanted to tell you how inspiring your book Listening for God was. i felt a good connection and now my life has changed in a whole good way! thank you so so much! because of you i am a better person!! thanks again!

    P.S. i am also writing you a letter for school because we have a project… and i picked you.

  2. Pingback: Interview on "The Query Queen" | Marilyn Hontz

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