Tell us about your book, A Place Called Down.
A place called down is common for us all. We can come to believe that our walk with God will only be filled with mountaintop experiences. It is not always the workings of evil, but Dr. Velma Bagby reminds us that in fact, God can also order for us A Place Called Down. In her new book, Dr. Velma deviates from relationship-focused topics to bring us into her testimony of tests, trials, and tribulation, to offer insight into the low place. She describes a place that is not fun or easy, but by its very nature, can be likened to a refiner’s fire. Fire is so hot that God uses it to burn away what He cannot use. This is how the place called down can feel. Isolating. Difficult. Unyielding. Helpless. It is a place of suffering – tragedy, illness, job loss, financial woes, death, divorce/separation, relationship issues, pandemics & more.
Why did you decide to write it?
Each year, I try to get my inspiration from God through prayer. He leads me to place my book ideas in the order they are to be written. It surprised me that this book was what I was led to write before the book I am releasing this year. As my first Christian fiction, it represented an experience I endured much of 2019, but also as I concluded my writing, it was around the time the pandemic was getting worse in early 2020. I did not realize at the time how God brought to my attention how the world went to a down place because of the pandemic. Then there was the George Floyd incident, where God showed me how a group of people can go to a down place. All of this inspired my writing, and I included both of these historical moments in the book. I believed they crossed my writing path on purpose.
What’s the best part of being an author?
Hearing from the readers when they share something from one of my books that resonated with or blessed them. I recently received feedback from a fellow author sharing how this book blessed her. She received it earlier but recently read it. She said, “Thank you Dr. Bagby for not only allowing me to share this great piece of spiritual wisdom with a greater audience but for giving me a source that has impacted my life.” Pat G’Orge-Walker. Pat’s message was a tremendous blessing to me. It was out of the blue and it had God’s stamp all over it.
What’s the worst part of being an author?
I struggled in the beginning as an author. It was lonely at times. Initially, there were very few authors willing to walk with you on your journey—many were too busy with their projects, while others wanted you to call 1-800-pay-me-a-fee-before-we-talk, first. But in time, I thank God for connecting me with a significant group of supporters; they are the tribe of friends I hoped to have in this literary business. Faithful believers who try to be there for each other. I try to remember my personal experience when I am contacted by someone for help.
Who is your favorite character in the book, and why?
I created a down place where the three T’s live—test, trial, and tribulation. Sometimes we meet all three at the same time, but whatever the circumstance, we will meet at least one of these characters when we’re in a down place.
What was the hardest part of writing the story?
The hardest part for me was remembering how difficult that time was for me and expressing it in the book. I remember thinking at one point, “Wow! God, you really think highly of me. This test is hard.”
If you were to write a book about your life, what would the title be and why?
The Little Princess from the Ghetto – How God positioned this princess on her journey to a blessed life.
What is something readers would be surprised to know about you?
My grandparents and parents are from the south. I grew up in the city, but our family raised chickens and ducks in our backyard. I remember going into the chicken coup every day to get our eggs.
What are you currently working on right now?
My new book The CATCH No One Wants, it is on preorder now and releases 4/22/22.
Do you have anything else you would like to add?
After you read this book, I would love to hear how much you enjoyed it. Also, stay connected with me, visit my website & sign up as a subscriber to my newsletter—there will be multiple giveaways throughout the month of April. Check out my latest book, The CATCH No One Wants, now on preorder and releasing 4/22/22.