Moments With Mercy: Interview With Michelle Cox

Hey y'all, I am so excited to share this interview with you all!

Michelle and I first started chatting about the When God Calls the Heart devotional but soon found out we had several friends in common (which I think is pretty cool).
She is one of the kindest ladies I've had the pleasure to work with and has a huge heart for the Lord!

I know you're reading this for the interview so I'll stop rambling and let you all enjoy!


Mercy: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Michelle: The most important thing you need to know about me is that I’ve got six perfect
grandchildren.
They own my heart. I’ve been married to my favorite husband, Paul, for 43 years (out of all the
husbands in the world, he’s my favorite), and we have three gorgeous and sweet daughters-in-
law and three sons—our oldest and youngest sons are in ministry and our middle son teaches at a
college in Florida. We live in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Oh, and I didn’t
mention that I love cupcakes. I think those are the main things for you to know about me
personally.
In my professional world, I’m a speaker and serve on faculty at numerous conferences each year.
I’ve written for Focus on the Family, Fox News, Christian Cinema, several national magazines,
Guideposts, and many other places, and I’ve written quite a few books (I think 14 of them - I’ve
lost count.) I also have my Just 18 Summers parenting blog with a staff of wonderful writers.
And now it’s my joy to work with Brian Bird on our new When God Calls the Heart books.

Mercy: When did you get saved?
Michelle: When I was six years old, my mother and I went to a training session for volunteers to help with an upcoming Billy Graham crusade. At the end of the service that day, I asked my mom why
people were leaving their seats and walking to the front of the auditorium. She explained that
they were going forward so that they could pray and ask Jesus into their hearts. I told her I
wanted to do that, and I prayed and met the One who has been my dearest friend since that day.

Mercy: What started your interest in becoming an author?
Michelle: I actually had never thought about being a writer. I was deep into politics and loved it, but God had other plans. I’d compiled a cookbook to welcome my son’s fiancé, Lydia, to our family. I
invited our family and friends and Lydia’s family and friends to submit their favorite recipes, and
then I wrote stories about the folks who submitted them, and then finished with letters to my son
and future daughter-in- law.
After the bridal shower, I gave a copy of the cookbook to my pastor’s wife. My pastor called me
soon after that and said, “You need to do something with your writing.” Long story short, those
words led to me attending the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference where I got
my start. The rest is history, and I am living proof that God can do amazing things—even if we
bring Him nothing but a willing heart.

Mercy: How did you and Brian get together to write the When God Calls The Heart devotional?
Michelle: It all started with pizza—definitely not the normal way to get a book contract! Both of us were on faculty at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference last May. Some of the
faculty went into town for pizza at the end of the sessions one evening, and Brian and I just
happened to sit next to each other that night (or so we thought).
We met at a film conference about seven or eight years ago and have been on faculty together at
conferences numerous times over the years. I’ve been a huge fan of Brian’s TV show When
Calls the Heart since the first episode, so I was glad for an opportunity to spend a little time with
him. I delivered my seven-year- old granddaughter’s message that she “just loves it when Jack
and Elizabeth kiss” and that she wanted him to make that happen more often on the show.
We talked for a bit, and then Brian mentioned that he’d always wanted to do a devotional book
based on the series, but that he knew there was no way to get the book done in time for the new
season in 2018. I’ve written quite a few devotional books and I told him I thought I knew one
publisher who might be able to make that happen.
We kept talking, and before the evening was over, we’d decide
d it made sense for the two of us
to work together on the book. I emailed my publisher and asked if he’d be interested, and two
https://www.amazon.com/When-God-Calls-Heart-Devotions/dp/1424556066/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1514909399&sr=8-1&keywords=when+God+calls+the+heart+devotional
minutes later, I had a reply with “Yes, we want to do this book!” We had our first conference call
the next day and had When God Calls the Heart finished by the end of July. We have 40
devotions based on episodes of the show, quotes from some of the favorite “citizens” of Hope
Valley, Bible verses, and questions for reflection—and the book is filled with photos from When
Calls the Heart. It’s so clear that this is God’s project. Only He could have pulled this together so
quickly, and I love it that His fingerprints are all over what we’re doing. (Folks can get more info
at WhenGodCallstheHeart.com.)

Mercy: What do you like to do in your free time?
Michelle: Spending time with family and friends would top the list—especially with my grandchildren. I love traipsing through vintage and home décor stores and small towns. And this probably won’t
come as a great shock to anyone, but I love to read. From the day I first learned to string words
together, I’ve had a pile of books readily available.

Mercy: What is one thing most people don't know about you?
Michelle: I graduated from a high school I never stepped foot in. I finished high school in three years. At the end of my junior year, I only lacked two credits that I needed for my diploma so I took those
classes at summer school in Atlanta. They consolidated all the high schools for summer school,
so I’ve never been to the school that issued my diploma.

Mercy: Who are some authors that inspired you in your writing?
Michelle: Have you ever thought about the fact that God was an author? He would be the one who has inspired me most. Some of His sentences and descriptions bring me to a complete stop as I’m
reading because they are so amazingly beautiful. I love how He uses the power of story to make
His Word come alive.
Authors Ann Tatlock, Steven James, Yvonne Lehman, and Jerry B. Jenkins were wonderful
mentors to me as I began my writing career. I love anything written by Dee Henderson and
Lynette Eason. Those ladies can weave a fine tale and I want to write like them when I grow up.

Mercy: What is your favorite book that you've written?
Michelle: That’s like asking me to name my favorite child. Each is special for a variety of reasons. My Just 18 Summers novel would be a runner-up because I love the message that God has given us just 18 summers with our children before they leave home, and the reminder for parents to slow
down and squeeze the sweetness from the moments—because there’s not a rewind button to do
those days over again. But the favorite one would have to be When God Calls the Heart. I’ve been a huge fan of When Calls the Heart since the first episode, and as a Heartie, it’s such an honor to work on a project that I love so much. I mean, I get paid to watch all the episodes of When Calls the Heart! How could I find a better job than that? Seriously, though, it was a true joy to go through the series
and discover the God-moments that have been woven into the show. Brian and I can’t wait for
folks to get their copies of When God Calls the Heart!

Readers, I hope you enjoyed! Michelle, thank you so much for taking the time to do this.  And make sure you go preorder When God Calls The Heart on Amazon!!
~Mercy



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