One question I am frequently asked is, âWhere inspired your books?â For âSISTERS
OF LAZARUS; Beauty Unveiled,â it was sibling rivalry, a song and supermodels.
Whenever I have read the New Testament story of Mary listening to Jesus while
Martha is stressed over being the perfect hostess, it was obvious that the two
sisters didnât get along. We often think of people in the Bible as being
stained-glass saints and above something as petty as sibling rivalry. But they
werenât. They had flaws and strengths, likes and dislikes, favorite foods, hopes
and fears, pride and insecurities.
Just like us.
One reason I like writing biblical novels is that, for me, when I view these
people as simple humansâwhen I learn more about their time period and their
cultureâthe Bible stories come alive and I glean answers to some of my personal
The second inspiration for this novel was birthed in 1982, when the Contemporary
Christian group Harvest released their song, âBecause I Am.â With rich vocals
and epic music, Jerry Williams and Ed Kerr related the interaction between Jesus
and Mary outside the tomb of Lazarus. As I listened to the song, the biblical
story resonated and I could see Mary falling at the feet of Jesus, crying out
her grief for the loss of a beloved brother, and Jesus reminding her of âall the
words that I have said.â
One of the first things I did after I signed the book contract for âBeauty
Unveiledâ was to pull out the albumâyes, I still have it on vinylâand listen to
that song. Even with the skips and scratches of a 30-year-old album, the song
was just as powerful as the first time I heard it. Every day, before I would
begin that dayâs writing, I would listen to the song.
About the time I began writing this story, I read a news report that stated the
acceptable size for âplusâ models had grown smaller. The supermodels from the
1980s and 1990s would be considered plus-size models today.
That is not only sad, it is tragic considering how many girls and young women
believe societyâs claim that if youâre not as beautiful or skinny as an actress
or a fashion model, then you have no value. It is not just appearance; there are
many who place a personâs value on their skills, their accomplishments, their
possessions or their intellect.
All of these are lies; these things are temporal and, according to scripture,
our value is not found there. Jesus Christ said that we were worth so much more
than birds of the air or flowers in the field. Our value is not based upon what
we have, what we do or how we appear. It is based upon the fact that we are
created and loved by God.
Due to the encouraging interest of my readers and the fact that I couldnât get
these characters out of my mind, I wrote a sequel. âSISTERS OF LAZARUS; Glory
Revealedâ will be released by WordCrafts Press on July 12.
What inspires you? One commenter will win a copy of SISTERS OF LAZARUS BEAUTY
Martha and Mary, the two sisters of Lazarus, couldnât be
Martha, the elder, is plain and self-conscious; Mary, the
younger, is beautiful. One sees her value only in serving,
while the other believes her outward appearance is her only
asset. Their worlds are turned upside down when Lazarus
offers hospitality to an intriguing new teacher named Jesus.
Paula K. Parker is a freelance writer living near Nashville, Tennessee, with
her husband Mike, who is also a writer. Paula writes books, articles, plays,
celebrity profiles, entertainment reviews and inspirational devotionals. Her
latest biblical novel, âSISTERS OF LAZARUS: Beauty Unveiled,â reached Amazonâs
Top Ten Best-sellerâs list for biblical fiction. When not writing, she spends
her days hanging with her hubby, playing with their three dogs, visiting with
their five grown children and four grandbabies, playing the harp, restoring
their vintage home and working in their garden.
8 comments posted.
My daughters inspire me. I'm not one to speak up but they sure do and I wish I could be like them. HA I'm more of a wall flower but they reach for the stars!
(Bonnie Capuano 8:40am June 4, 2016)
My inspiration come from things that people and animals do unexpectedly. These actions give me hope that there is a reason to believe.
(Kai Wong 12:55pm June 5, 2016)
My family inspire meal the time. We are a close-knit family. I also feel so close to our wounded warriors or Heroes as I call them. What they go through every day is so inspiring. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway!!!
(Bonnie Capuano 7:34pm June 8, 2016)