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Interview with Julie B. Cosgrove

What started out as a sensible career move for Julie Cosgrove has grown into a passion and a ministry. A prolific author and digital missionary, Cosgrove trusts her words to reach her readers wherever they are. Read on for some encouragement she shares for all of us who write.

You have a blog, as well as numerous fiction and non-fiction title to your name. Tell us a little bit about how you got started writing.
I have always loved writing, but never considered it seriously until, in 2008, three friends in three different cities suggest I pursue freelance writing for a living since we moved so much for my late husband’s career. That way, I’d always have a job. I took a short course, joined a freelance website and immediately received bids. Trusting it to be God’s will, I tithed my writing day to Him first each morning. Doors began to open after that.

Where do you get your writing inspiration?
Being a total pantster, I have an idea of the characters and the overall plot, obviously so I can be contracted, but then let my brain take off in whatever direction it wants — I hope through the Holy Spirit. Then I edit like mad later. I ask a few loyal prayer warriors to pray during the process that the Lord will continue to use whatever I write, fiction or nonfiction, to His glory and for whatever purpose He ordains. I have always been a people observer, and avid mystery buff so I think those two habits help me develop my characters and plots.

What are your must-haves when you sit down to write?
Time and space. When I get an inner urge to write, I seriously carve out time for a “P.J. weekend” so I can get in the zone and write. At times, I have started at eight in the morning and looked up at seven that evening. My family and friends know that I have a do not disturb sign on my phone and door, so to speak. I am deadline conscious, though, and have yet to miss one for any publisher.

Your latest book is the second in a series. What can you tell us about the characters and the trouble they find themselves in?
My previous four-book mystery series, The Bunco Biddies Mysteries, was a light-hearted one about twelve women in a senior community who become amateur sleuths. So, this time, I (and my publisher) wanted my books to be more in the Hallmark-style revolving around thirty-something women. I wanted them to be good friends from church, but each very different. Bailey is a brunette, single socialite with a fierce determination to correct wrongs. Jessica is a blond divorcee with a sweet nature and creative writing streak. Shannon is a married black woman entrepreneur whose husband is a long-hauler and thus gone most of the time. Each of the three novels, One Leaf Too Many, Fallen Leaf, and the to-be-released Leaf Me Alone, features one of them as the main character delving into genealogical past secrets, though all three books feature the three as sleuth partners.

What do you hope readers come away from your books feeling or thinking? How do you lead them toward those feelings and thoughts?
All of my fiction works, be it romance, mystery or contemporary women’s, center around a social wrong, that through God’s intervention, can be righted. If the readers identify with my characters, then they will vicariously get the message. But, as one professional book reviewer stated, I never interrupt a chase scene with a sermon.

As you're starting to wrap up this series, any idea what's next for you?
My publisher is interested in continuing the series in the future, so I am praying about it. In the meantime, I will continue my digital missionary work as a writer and editor for CRU and occasionally lecture at writer’s groups and workshops. I am also doing a 25-day devotional on Romans for a publication for whom I have written since 2009 and two-weeks’ worth of devos for another.

How do you spend your non-writing time?
I have a part-time day job billing and contracting for fifteen Christian behavioral health specialists. I selectively content edit for other faith-based writers. I love word games and watching or reading mysteries. On Thursday and Sunday evenings, you’ll find me curled up on the couch watching PBS’s Masterpiece Mysteries.

What are you reading right now? What's your go-to genre?
I first and foremost read works by authors I know, mostly with the publishing houses I am with or have been with, so I can review their books and support them on social media. Then I read cozy mysteries, and yes, I admit it, Y.A. Some of my all-time favorites are Y.A.

Any parting words?
Thank you for interviewing me, and for all ACFW does to promote faith-based writers.
To all writers, published and unpublished, your job is to use your God-given talent to help spread His message. It is up to Him to use it to His purpose and glory in His timing. Never fall into the temptation of believing is your work alone and you are in competition with other writers. That is a dangerous crag mire. We all ultimately write for an audience of One.


Lisa Bartelt is a child of the flatlands fulfilling her dream of living near mountains in Pennsylvania. She loves reading, writing and listening to stories—true ones, made-up ones and the ones in between—preferably with a cup of coffee in hand. Wife, mom of two, writer, ordinary girl, Lisa blogs about books, faith, family and the unexpected turns of life at

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