How does your faith shape your writing, and your life?

In my daily prayers I ask, inter alia, for guidance as to what is the best way to live, the best way to express my true self, the best way to use my talents for the good, the best way to help others. These aren’t easy questions, but I hope that my writing is a strong part of my way of achieving these goals. For instance, I believe that A Man of Understanding should help those who are suffering from bereavement, grief, loss to find a positive, worthwhile way to overcome those emotions. I think that it will help those who are struggling to express themselves to explore different ways in which to communicate better, like Blue and Horatio, through poetry and philosophy and music, or, like John Thompson, through painting. I believe I have a skill for creating strong characters who have something interesting to say, and who show by their way of living what is important in life: love, forgiveness, helping others, development of the soul, expression through the arts, the importance of truth-telling, the value of sharing our life with a diversity of characters, young and old, the learned and those with learning difficulties such as John Thompson, who is very intelligent in a different way, yet bullied by others because he is different. When I was struggling for a title for A Man of Understanding , having thought of and dismissed hundreds, I picked up the Bible and it fell open at Proverbs 10:23 ‘…a man of understanding hath wisdom.’ The words seemed to describe the aim of the story perfectly, as the characters strive in their different ways for wisdom. Horatio, who seems to be a man of understanding in the various senses of the word – wise, learned and also compassionate, empathetic – questions whether he has been wise in his actions, or a fool. Similarly, Blue grapples with his search for wisdom and understanding, fearing that he is unwisely transferring his dependency on his parents to a dependency on his grandfather Horatio, without learning to be wise in himself. There have been times in my life when my faith has been tested, times when I have had doubts, but I have always come back to it. When I do, I find a deeper understanding, a woman of understanding, perhaps.