I’m pleased to be part of the “Gypsy For God” book tour. “Gypsy For God” is a Christian fiction book written by Yvonne M Morgan. In this book Yvonne has put together a novel that showcases not only her own love of travel but also her deep relationship with God.
Kathleen is a middle-aged woman who loses her job, which leaves her doubting herself and fearing the future. This event sends her on a journey to find purpose and meaning in her life. She flourishes in a new career as a travel agent, but fear and doubt keep her from experiencing all life has to offer. Finally, an unexpected encounter changes everything as God begins to reveal His plans to Kathleen. Each new country she visits brings her closer to finding her real purpose. This story offers hope for readers seeking meaning in their lives regardless of their situation or age.
Publisher: Elk Lake Publishing
Print Length: 332 pages
Please welcome onto the blog the lovely Yvonne to tell us more about her travels, her book and her faith …. Hi Yvonne!
Hi everyone. I’m Yvonne Morgan. A little about myself, I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and spent most of my summers there as I grew up and I also lived in Canada for eleven years before immigrating to the USA in 1974. I’m a mom to five children (two girls, an adopted set of twins and a son who lives in heaven). And, I’m a grandmother to five grandkids. I love Jesus, doing short-term mission trips and traveling.
Who or what inspired you to write “Gypsy For God”?
We started going on mission trips in 1983 to honor our son after his death. For many years, everyone wanted to know about the travel aspect of our mission journeys. So after writing my other books, I wanted to try my hand at fiction and include travel to other places. We learn so much when we travel. And as I got older and retired, I thought the book should inspire people who think they are no longer as useful in life. I didn’t start writing till I was in my 50s, so I know God can use any of us, no matter our age or circumstances. So all that came together as Gypsy for God.
I really enjoyed reading your book, “Gypsy For God ”and I particularly enjoyed the character of Kathleen. Researching for your novel must have been quite interesting…describing the various countries visited, for example. I know you love to travel and have done mission work too, so did you draw on your travel experiences?
Yes, I drew on my travel experiences and each country in the book is one that I visited in my life. I wanted to really describe them in accurate detail for my audience, so picked the countries for that reason. Kathleen ends up visiting Spain, United Arab Emirates, India, Kenya, Nepal and Ireland. I found so much joy in revisiting those places in my mind as I wrote about them and digging out photos from my trips to make sure I got the details just right. I’m glad you enjoy the travels as I hoped and prayed that the travel sections would apply to lots of people as well as inspire them.
Having been to some of the locations myself mentioned in the book, I admired how you described the coexistence of the extreme poverty alongside the extremely wealthier parts – as it is a total shock to the system when you first encounter this. I found this especially true the first time I visited with Kenya – especially when I saw the slums and “rubbish/garbage” hills of Nairobi. Where did you get your first culture shock?
My first genuine culture shock came on my first mission trip to Haiti. Even before my mission trips, I traveled a lot with my parents, but not to such impoverished places. In Haiti, we worked with children at a summer feeding program. Then one night, after dinner, I noticed our host agency collecting all our scraps from dinner. When she took them outside the compound to the trash area, dozens of children ran after her to claim the food we had not eaten. It broke my heart to watch them, but then it also encouraged me to keep trying to make a difference for poor children in the world. Somethingwe continue to do. As a side note, we are off to Kenya in the middle of August for me to teach at a women’s conference in a church outside Nairobi.
Prior to “Gypsy For God” you have written your memoir, a prayer journal, bible study books, Bible based children’s books … Gypsy For God book is the first Christian fiction novel you’ve written. Was it harder or easier than you imagined to write a fiction book? Did you enjoy the experience? Were the characters based on people you know or met in your travels?
Writing fiction was so much harder than I imagined after writing the non-fiction books and children’s books. I wanted to give up often because I thought it was too hard to make the transition. But God kept impressing on me to keep going, so I did and am thankful I did. During the process of editing, if you had asked me if I enjoyed it, I would answer, no. But now, I look back and I learned so much that I will try it again, probably with a sequel to Gypsy. None of my characters are based on actual people,but more of a combination of many of the people we have to meet or worked with over the years. I used the various personalities from the countries to comprise my characters.
Growing up, did you envisage yourself as a writer or did you have other career aspirations?
I used to love writing poetry in elementary and middle school but then lived happened. I never pictured myself as becoming a writer. But, I pursued a degree in accounting and worked my entire career in the accounting field. So when I felt the nudge to write, I tried to laugh it off. But God kept nudging me to write, so I started about 8 years ago. After my first book, I thought that would end my writing because I had done what God called me to do. But He kept nudging me with other ideas and so I keep writing them. Writing is a journey I never expected, but it has blessed me so much.
Is “Gypsy For God ” available to purchase worldwide?
Yes, because it is available on Amazon and I think it holds a universal appeal for trying to understand our purpose in life.
If you could visit any place in the world to inspire your next book, where would you go and why?
I have a bucket list, lol. I really like to travel to remote, unspoiled by tourism type places. So one place I really want to visit is Mongolia. The vastness and history of the country appeal to me and, of course, I could incorporate it into a story. The other place is Morocco. I love their food and culture and dream of visiting it someday too. In both countries, I could see my main character get lost in a search for some kind of divine guidance. I might have to schedule some trips and call it research, lol.
Are you a bookworm yourself? If so, what genres (or authors) do you usually like to read? And are you a kindle or “proper book” fan?
I love to read and in some past years have read over twenty books in a year. Gypsy for God kept me busy for the last while. And I really do like all kinds of books. Right now, I’m looking over my books on Kindle to see if I can determine just one genre. So I love books set in other lands and full of adventure. I also like reading Christian non-fiction to strengthen my faith. I really love Alexander McCall Smith’s series called the “No. One Ladies Detective Agency,” set in Botswana. I’ve read all of them. I recently read the Gumbeaux Sistas series by Jax Frey. They are set in New Orleans, a city I love to visit so I can eat too much. And I just started “The Pinecraft Pie Shop” series by Tricia Goyer and Sherry Gore. These are Amish fiction books with great recipes. I prefer paperback books but use my Kindle when traveling on long trips so I can have more than one book available to me.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I’m a casual girl. I live in Oklahoma City and our summer is very hot. So most often I will be in shorts and shirts or sundress. I love my sandals and running shoes. It’s fun to dress up occasionally, but I am most comfortable in casual clothes. And if I’m completely honest, a lot of mornings, I stay in my pajamas while I write and drink lots of coffee.
Do you have any favorite shops or online sites?
When we travel, I like to visit grocery stores to see what things they sell that differ from here in the USA and to see the prices on staple items. There is a store in New Orleans called California Drawstrings that carries lots of the clothes I love. That includes dresses, pants and tops made of 100% cotton or gauze like material.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I am going to a wedding in Toronto, Canada at the end of September so need to go shopping for the event. It will be semi formal so I’m looking for a sparkle in the outfit and shoes.
Boots or Shoes?
Shoes – it’s too hot most of the time in Oklahoma for me to wear boots. But I own a red pair of cowboy boots, which I love.
Links you would like to share:
a. Author’s Page: https://yvonne-morgan.com
c. Twitter: https://twitter.com/ymmauthor
b. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YMMauthor
d. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yvonnemorganauthor
g. Charity work page: https://orphan-relief-effort.org
BOOK TOUR DATES
Thanks to Yvonne for agreeing to be interviewed and for a copy of “Gypsy Of God” . All photographs are by me, apart from the author photo and the book cover.