Mercy’s Rain by Cindy Sproles

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 | 14 comments

Mercy’s Rain by Cindy Sproles

Today I would like to introduce you to author Cindy Sproles and her debut novel, Mercy’s Rain. Cindy is a very special person to me because she published my first devotionals. I know you will enjoy meeting her! Don’t forget to stop by the Rafflecopter at the bottom and enter to win a copy!



Fabulous Fridays

Welcome Cindy! You have a long career writing and teaching writing. Congratulations on your debut novel! Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.

I’m a true born and raised mountain girl. Raised in the mountains of East Tennessee. I started writing seriously in my mid-40s. I always knew I wanted to write but I never afforded myself the privilege. I had a family, two jobs. . .there just didn’t seem to be time for frivolous ventures. But, God piqued my interest then called me. I listened, attended my first conference and the rest is history.

How did you come up with the idea for Mercy’s Rain?

Funny what goes through your mind at 3 a.m.  I had the title for Mercy’s Rain (which started out Where the River Mercy's RainBegins) long before I had the story. But one morning I couldn’t sleep so I flipped on the television and got one of the old time, down home, spittin’ and hollerin’ preachers. It made me laugh, but I thought, “Wouldn’t that make a great bad guy?”  I turned the channel and landed on a documentary (which to this day I still do not know the title of) but it was on sexual abuse in children under 7 years of age. It broke my heart. The more I thought on it. . .the more I realized the perfect storm had formed.  Mercy Roller was born.

You wear so many hats, how do you protect your personal writing time?

Sometimes it’s hard. Between the ministry of Christian Devotions, the devotions that pour in, project management for LPC and editing, it gets testy. But I’ve learned, you make the time. And I do. When I write on my own, it’s restful for me.  I do wear a lot of hats, and I find myself not always having the sympathy for writers who whine they just don’t have time. If you love to write, and you know that is your calling – AND YOU’RE SERIOUS, you make the time to be obedient and write.  Folks make time for everything else. This is no exception. (I’m on my soapbox, aren’t I? Sorry.)

We share a similar background in that devotionals served as our entry to publication. Was the transition to fiction an easy or challenging one for you?

It wasn’t hard but it was different. I wanted to do fiction right and so I’ve studied fiction writers I love, Alton Gansky, Steven James, Ann Tatlock, Yvonne Lehman, Nicholas Sparks, DiAnn Mills, Francine Rivers. These folks are masters of the art. So I’ve taken their classes at conferences, sucked in everything they taught and it paid off. It was an adjustment to write fiction. I fell into all the first time fiction writers blunders, but I quickly learned. So it wasn’t hard, but it took practice. I still feel like I need practice. Fiction is a fun place to go to let go of all your inner fears, wild ideas, and imaginary friends. Just put them in a story.

Why did you choose the particular theme in Mercy’s Rain? What do you want your readers to gain from the book?

First off, Mercy’s Rain was not geared to the Christian Market. I wrote it to the secular market. There were a number of things I wanted to accomplish. 1) I wanted to thread the underlying idea of redemption and it’s availability to everyone. But it couldn’t be overt. With the Christian world’s television evangelists falling to sin and bearing it in a very public manner, gave me an easy “in” to the secular market. That market of readers tend to call Christians hypocrites so why not capitalize on their already established ideas. By their standards . . .who doesn’t love to hate a preacher?  2) I wanted to address a hard subject – actually two hard subjects. The first being, to the Christian market – Worship your God Almighty, not your preacher.  I’ve seen so many congregations crumble because they put their faith in the man – not God. So I wanted to address this issue. Let me be clear. I don’t have a vendetta against ministers. I went to Bible College and married one. But I do want people to understand that preachers are men…men who can be equally as tempted, who can fall to sin, just like everyone else. I also want folks to know that just because they are preachers doesn’t mean they can’t have the same redemption you and I get. It’s a balance. And one that can easily tip either direction.  The other topic was this one of child abuse. I was just broken hearted to watch that documentary and see infants murdered from the cruelty of their abusers. Maybe I could address it with a deep passion through my character Mercy Roller.  3) Finally, I wanted the world to understand that Christians ask God the same questions – Why do you allow these horrible things to happen? But it is in our deeper understanding that we see God is present in every situation that sets us apart. Faith, trust in the higher power of Christ. God doesn’t create the sin but He is ever present, even when we do not see the reasons why.  I feel sure God cries at the atrocities some can come up with.

Tell us how you wove a spiritual thread through Mercy’s Rain without being preachy?

I allowed Mercy to ask the question over and over. “Why would a God who was worth a hoot, allow sucha thing?” She continually attacks God calling Him cruel.  The thread comes through love. Samuel (the preacher friend) and the Johnsons just love Mercy into the hands of forgiveness. Today we spend so much time trying to PROVE God and prove we are right about God, when what we are commanded to do is LOVE.  Once the seed of love is planted, God will nurture it. So the thread of spiritual context is unconditional love, not trying to fix the person, but loving them into a place where they will allow God to fix them. Our example speaks loud. We should really pay closer attention to it.

Often we desire to teach a lesson in and through our writing, but we as writers also learn something. What was one thing you learned while writing Mercy’s Rain?

God constantly wears at me to be better. I think I learned that God’s love is what heals. Even in my own life, through the years, I’ve made mistakes, had hardships, but God’s love has always healed.

How do you see the importance of Christian fiction?

BY ALL MEANS.  There are Christians who think fiction is misguided. What a better way to show redemption than through the eyes of a fiction character? Those characters can say, do, and feel the things we would never allow ourselves to do. People are touched by the stories. I get tickled when these folks say Christian Fiction is bad, when in the same breath they can tell you in detail the last movie they watched. Uh…99.5% of the movies they watch are…FICTION.  We tend to live by two sets of values. What is good for others and what is good for us. At some point we have to realize stories have changed the world, moved hearts, drawn people to Christ. There is nothing sweeter than an email from a reader who says, “I loved the story of Mercy. I’m not much on fiction, but this story forced me to stop and face my own demons.”  That is what we want to hear. Yes?

Now, I think as Christians we have a higher set of standards to adhere to when we write our fiction. The world tells us to “write where the reader is.  . .ie, if they curse, stomp, slash or whatever, write it real in the words you would hear.”  I disagree. Mercy’s story is hard. It’s filled with horrible abuse. But I never crossed the line. I did not use foul language. I did not draw every gory scene. I didn’t delve into the nastiness of rape. But I wrote the emotion. I didn’t need the gore or language when I hit the reader with the emotion Mercy felt. That was enough to make them cry for her. That drew the picture. So I think we have a responsibility as writers to set the standards. One review in a major site said if this were a movie it would be rated R because of the topic. . .not because of the scenes written. So we can dig down as writers and use emotion to paint a more vivid picture than nasty language or gory details. It’s easy to write the foul language rather than challenge ourselves to dig deep into the emotion and tell the story.

Christian fiction has the opportunity to CHANGE THE WORLD. But we have to allow the world to relate and show them that Christians suffer too. 

Without sharing any spoilers, what was the most emotional scene for you to write in your novel?

Oh, there are so many, but I think the burial of her baby. That said, you gotta read to find out why.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?

My voice. By all means, my voice. I’m very much a mountain girl. The dialect is second nature to me. The mountain folk of Appalachia are kind, gentle, and simple people. They’re truthful. So when I launch into tellin’ you all about my kin, it ain’t so hard to picture who they was or how they lived. A man had to work hard for his earnin’s and he had to pray hard for his survival. But they ain’t a soul alive who don’t find peace on summit of the mountain. They ain’t a soul livin’ who can stand on top of that mountain and stretch his arms up, scrapin’ his fingers against the door of heaven and not see God Almighty peering through the clouds. This is the mountains. Where the breeze carries the whisper of God and trees sing His words. A body just has to stand quiet like. Still. And listen. The good Lord’ll speak when a man chooses to listen and pay Him some mind.

What is on the horizon for you?

Hopefully a long  career. I pray every day that God will let me be a writer. A writer that listens to His call and writes the whispers He gently speaks into my ear.  I’m currently working on the next two books in the Appalachian Novel Series. So we pray for good words and blessing.

Book Blurb:

Mercy Roller was raised by a twisted father who wore the collar of a Pastor, and chose to be Jesus, judge, and jury, by his own appointment. Abused, broken and bitter, Mercy lifts the hand that takes the Pastor’s life. In one swift action, she becomes what she despises most about the Pastor. Now she seeks redemption. Can the unconditional love of a mountain preacher and his friends, guide Mercy to find peace?

Please share the first chapter of Mercy’s Rain with us.  

I’ll do one better.  Here’s the link for the excerpt of the first three chapters

I hope you enjoy them and I hope you’ll take time to grab the book.

About the author:

Cindy SprolesCindy Sproles is an author and speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries and managing editor for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.  Cindy is a conference teacher and speaker, working conferences all across the country. Her devotions are found in newspapers all over the eastern seaboard. Cindy is the executive Editor of and  She is the author of four devotionals and compilations and her first fiction novel, Mercy’s Rain is now available.

Connect with Cindy on the Internet:

Website: www.cindysproles.comNew Sheets

Book Trailer: visible on the website.

Facebook Author Page:

Pinterest: Cindy Sproles

Google+: Cindy Sproles

Goodreads: Cindy Sproles

Twitter: @cindydevoted




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  1. The book sounds great. I would love to read it.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Irma!

    • I hope you will read it Irma. Thanks for responding.

  2. Sounds like a book I would really enjoy. I enjoyed the interview with Cindy.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Ann!

    • Thank you Ann. I hope you’ll read Mercy’s Rain. It’s a tough story but one with deep meaning.

  3. What a painful and tragic topic to write about. It hurts just to think about it. Thank you for sharing this article/interview. Opens ones eyes to how we should respond as Christians and not how we want to respond. I would love a copy of this book.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Robin! Your comments are always appreciated!

  4. Norma, thanks for hosting Cindy. This is one novel I’d love to devour! Thanks for the opportunity.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview! Devour is the right word for this book!

  5. This is one book I’d love to devour. Thanks for the opportunity.

  6. This is one book that sounds real interesting! I really enjoyed the interview! I read it all! I would love to win!

    • Thanks for taking time to comment! I hope you will read it.

  7. This is one book that seems to be a great one! I really enjoyed the interview! I read it all! I hope to win this book!

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