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Interview with Noelle Marchand

Just as Noelle Marchand’s career was beginning to thrive, life side-lined her. She feared indefinitely. How could she write if she didn’t have the mental ability to choose between outfits? When a simple conversation left her frustrated and confused? What if she was never able to write again?

What if she was never able to think coherently again?

Noelle Marchand in a field of blue bonnets

Two books into her three-book Texas Bachelor series, with deadlines looming, Noelle was in a major auto collision, one that would take her a year to recover from. At first, shocked and confused from the accident, she wasn’t aware anything was wrong. But later that night she began to feel dazed. “I had a horrible headache,” she said. “Something felt off.”

The next day, she walked to the nearest emergency room and learned she’d suffered a substantial concussion. She was told to take time off writing, so for the next two weeks, she rested and healed.

“I don’t remember much of that time, except that I had a constant headache,” she said. “I couldn’t sleep. When I did, my dreams were filled with nightmares.” But all too soon, her recoup time ended, and she knew she needed to return to writing. Only her wounded brain refused to cooperate.

"I couldn't think."

“My thoughts and ideas for the story seemed to swirl around and around in my head, just out of reach, never quite connecting," she said. "Then, if by the grace of God my thoughts did start to make sense, I couldn’t communicate them. They got stuck somewhere between my brain and my keyboard.”

Even getting dressed became a challenge. The process of picking out an outfit overwhelmed her. This cut at her core identity.

“I’ve always been an intelligent person,” she said. “I graduated college with a 3.9 GPA and was involved in numerous honors organizations. Feeling stupid was really hard.” Her cognitive challenges threatened her friendships. “It was an isolating experience. I couldn’t talk to people because I’d get confused.” Then, when she began to get better, she started pulling away for fear that normal conversations might result in confusion.

"I knew I couldn't do it all on my own."

Her emotions were also a mess. “I had to battle anger, not because I’m an angry person but because of the effects of my concussion. I had anger with myself and others. I felt depressed. There were times when I felt there wasn’t a lot of hope. I wondered if I’d ever be able to get back to where I once was.”

To make matters worse, she couldn’t even concentrate to read her Bible. But she craved—needed—God’s presence. He was the only one she could truly rely on. The only one who could help her. The only one who could save her career.

“I spent a lot of time listening to worship music,” she said. “And I stayed in constant communication with God. I talked to Him about every step of the process and really listened to the Holy Spirit. I knew I couldn’t do it all on my own. I had no choice but to rely on God.”

Noelle Marchand head shot with white hat

"I needed to just keep putting one foot in front of the other."

Her time of great loss brought incredible growth. “An experience like this speaks to your character,” Noelle said. “It made me ask, ‘Who am I, and who am I in relation to all the things I find most important?’”

She came to realize there’s more to life, and more to her, than writing books. She also learned she was much stronger than she’d imagined.

“Recovery was a long process,” she said. “I realized, even if I couldn’t see where I was going, I needed to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I needed to do the small things I knew I could accomplish and leave the big things to God.” She can see now how God was with her all along, guiding her and helping her.

"Your calling is bigger than your failures and weaknesses."

“Sometimes it felt as if God were directing my every thought. He brought things to my remembrance when I couldn’t remember anything. He had a plan, even when I couldn’t tell what it was.”

In many ways, Noelle sees her struggle for cognitive healing as part of the cosmic battle every Christian writer faces. “When you’re trying to do something like writing, especially if it has a spiritual element to it, there’s always going to be push back. If God has a purpose in it, then the enemy has a counter purpose. You have to realize your life is so much bigger than you, and your calling is bigger than your failures and weaknesses.”

When asked what helped her press through the fatigue and discouragement she said, “We have a responsibility to each other as the family of God and to the world—we are the light of the world—to surpass our insecurities and do what we’ve been called to do. To be bold, and remember that even when it’s hard, with God’s help we can overcome anything.”

Today, Noelle is fully recovered and working on her next book, the second in her Love Inspired Historical’s 2017 Lone Star Cowboy League continuity. Though her journey has been hard and filled with pain and struggle, it’s helped make her a better person—one who is more focused on her calling and closer to her Savior. No doubt God will use this deep love and reliance to draw His children closer to Him through her novels.


Jennifer Slattery writes contemporary romance for New Hope Publishers, devotions for Café Devotions, and Christian living articles for When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves spending time with her adult daughter and hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at

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