Interviewing Linda Bonney Olin (U.S.A)
Interviewer: Kiriti Sengupta (India)
Hi Linda !! Greetings from India, this is Kiriti. I must congratulate and thank you for your contribution in Twist of Fate, an international charity anthology. I wish to ask you few things, if you please:
Linda: It will be my pleasure.
Kiriti: You are a God-centred writer from the United States. Could you, please, elaborate ?
Linda: In 2007, a small prayer group at my church encouraged me to candidly request my heart’s desire in prayer. My prayer request was to write something that would significantly touch hearts, in the same way that great hymns inspire people even long after their writers have passed away. I did not ask for fame or fortune, or even for my writing to be published—only that it would somehow have a beneficial, eternal impact. I felt the Lord’s strong assurance that he would grant my request, provided I would, for my part, write according to his daily direction. This seemed too wonderful to be true! But I decided to act with faith in the Lord’s promises.
In the past five years, the Lord has fulfilled his promise over and over again. He enabled me to write hymns and faith songs (collected in the book Songs for the Lord), even though I have no musical training whatsoever. He has inspired poems, dramas (such as The Sacrifice Support Group: Lenten Drama and Discussion), devotions, a nonfiction book about personal puppet ministry, even comedy. He helped me set up my Faith Songs website (www.LindaBonneyOlin.com) even though I knew nothing about that sort of thing.
When people ask what genre I write, I can only say, “Whatever the Holy Spirit assigns.” It’s a very unpredictable path, but a very rewarding one.
Kiriti: What does it imply when you say, I’m a Christian ?
Linda: My theology can be summed up very simply: The Lord God is what he is, and does what he does, regardless of my opinions or the dogmas of any particular religion or philosophy. As Creator, he is sovereign. I gratefully observe that he is generous, faithful, and wise in his dealings with me, and I try to behave accordingly, though my efforts aren’t always successful!
Kiriti: Did you read any interpretations of Bible ? Hopefully you are aware of, Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramhansa Yogananda. This is an international bestseller !!
Linda: I’ve read a number of translations of the Bible. The Lord has led me to find in both the Old and New Testaments an understanding of his relationships with people over the centuries, as well as comfort, courage, and counsel for my daily life today. Many of my hymn texts, poems, and devotions are based on scripture passages. For example, my poem in Twist of Fate, titled “The Wind and The Spirit,” alludes to John 3:8. I’m not familiar with the other book you mention.
Kiriti: Do you think your work will benefit the anthology and in turn the victims of Oklahoma ? Please elaborate.
Linda: I joined Indies In Action when the group was first formed, in December, 2012. Writers and artists showed amazing love and support for the Sandy Hook survivors with our first charity anthology, Angels Cried. I jumped at the chance to contribute again when I heard that a new anthology was in the works.
I wrote “The Wind and The Spirit” especially for Twist of Fate. I’m confident that the Lord will use it to encourage readers. In fact, he already has! Several of the people I asked to critique the poem prior to publication told me that it helped them face personal difficulties they happened to be experiencing.
I hope that sales of the book will provide lots of financial help to the Oklahoma tornado victims. I hope that they also will be cheered by the knowledge that writers around the world care about them.
Kiriti: Prayers fetch miracles, they say. What is your take on this ?
Linda: It seems an impossible, ridiculous idea that there is a God, let alone one who answers prayers. But the universe itself is an impossible, ridiculous idea, let alone all the humans and animals and flora that inhabit it. Yet, here we are! And here is my writing, in answer to a prayer. Looks like a miracle to me!
Thank you so much for answering me. I wish you all a stupendous success. “May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven … Amen”.
Thank you for the honor of interviewing me, Kiriti. God bless you and your work!