NAME – Phyllis Labrie Morneau
AGE – 64
WHERE ARE YOU FROM I am originally from Manchester, NH. We moved to West Hartford, CT in 2003 so our youngest son could attend the American School for the Deaf. When my husband retired in 2012, we moved to Maryville, TN so our youngest son could attend Tennessee School for the Deaf, where he will graduate next month. We also enjoy living closer to our grandchildren who live in the South.
A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF
I am retired and have been happily married for almost 45 years to my husband, Rich. We have 3 sons, 1 daughter, 1 daughter-in-law, and 7 grandchildren.
I grew up in New England with a loving Mom & Dad and 2 wonderful sisters. I was raised in the Catholic Church, which gave me a good foundation for my faith. However, although I knew about God, it wasn’t until I was 20 years old, that I surrendered my life to God and really came to know Him as my Lord and Savior. Actually, it is this knowledge of His love and saving grace that inspires me to share it with everyone who has an open heart to receive it through my writing.
TELL US YOUR LATEST NEWS
My 3rd book called Hope for the Daily Grind: Morning Meditations on God’s Word has recently been published as a kindle book.
WHEN AND WHY DID YOU BEGIN WRITING?
To be honest, although I loved reading books as a child, I didn’t have a passion to write until I was 51 years old, in 2004, when my husband was stationed in Iraq. I wrote to my husband faithfully every day, either by email or by letter, sharing news of life back home in West Hartford, CT. It was therapeutic for me to write creatively from my heart in a positive and humorous manner. It helped me to continue to be optimistic and lighthearted during a difficult year when my husband was so far from home.
WHEN DID YOU FIRST CONSIDER YOURSELF A WRITER
Although I always enjoyed writing – either essays or book reports when I was in school and then later those long emails to my husband when he was stationed in Iraq – it wasn’t until I started writing my 1st book, a memoir for my family, that I considered myself to be a writer.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE YOUR FIRST BOOK
The inspiration was actually a memoir that one of my husband’s cousins had written about herself to share with her family and friends. I read it and thought it was a wonderful idea and then had the strong desire to write my own memoir to share with my family and friends.
For my book, I was blessed to be able to ask questions of my Mom and Dad and to hear the stories of their life as well as those of their parents. I also looked at family photographs to help me remember stories about my own life. It was a way for me to share the love of our family with my children and grandchildren. To be honest, my grandchildren enjoy it most when I read to them all the funny stories about myself that I shared throughout the book. 🙂
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC WRITING STYLE?
My genre is Christian non-fiction and Christian poetry. I have been inspired by reading books in that genre and hope that my books will inspire people as well.
My favorite place to write is sitting in my recliner with either pen and paper or my laptop computer. And my favorite time to write is during my quiet time with the Lord in the morning. That is usually when the Lord places an idea about something on my heart.
For example, my 2nd book “My Season of Writing: Bible Bedtime Stories, Poems, Prayers, and Songs” was written during my morning quiet time with the Lord. That is when I first got the deep desire to write some bible bedtime stories and prayers as nursery rhymes for my grandchildren to read at bedtime. After many months of writing, I decided to have the collection of poems published to share not only with my grandchildren but with my family and friends.
Usually my ideas come when I am praying or reading the Bible. But they have also come from a conversation with someone or a song that touches my heart or an inspirational book that I have read. I try to stay open to whatever I feel the Lord is placing on my heart to share with others through writing.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE?
My husband likes to tease me that I can make a short story long. I guess I can make a short title of a book long, too 🙂 The title of my 3 books are From My Heart to Yours: A Legacy of Love, My Season of Writing: Bible Bedtime Stories, Poems, Prayers, & Songs, and Hope for the Daily Grind: Morning Meditations on God’s Word. I have never really thought about how I came up with the title for each of them. I think that, in the process of writing the books, the titles were something that the Lord placed on my heart.
IS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR BOOK THAT YOU WANT READERS TO GRASP?
I actually wrote a poem about the themes for each of my 3 books:
“Being still before the Lord this morning, I had the desire today,
To share with you my faith, my hope, and my love when I did pray.
Then I realized that I had already shared those 3 things – it was true,
In my bible stories, poems, meditations, and book written for all of you.
Faith was actually the theme throughout My Season of Writing,
Sharing God’s Word in Bible stories, poems, and prayers by rhyming.
And Hope was the theme in my meditations – Hope for the Daily Grind,
God’s Promises help us cope in every situation by renewing our mind.
Finally, Love was the theme for writing my 1st book – Legacy of Love,
The story of my family’s love and also God’s amazing love from above.
The greatest gifts we can receive are not costly – they are free,
They are Faith, Hope, and Love that God gives to you and to me.”
WHAT BOOKS HAVE MOST INFLUENCED YOUR LIFE MOST? A MENTOR?
Although I enjoyed reading the Nancy Drew mystery books as a child, I think that one of my favorite childhood books is “The Diary of Anne Frank”. It had a deep impact on me. I loved how she wrote so honestly from her heart about her daily life. When I first read the book, I was probably about the same age as Anne Frank when she wrote it. I could relate to her when she shared the mixed emotions she was having as an adolescent. And, In spite of the terrible conditions of her daily life, she wrote these profound words, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.” That statement really touched my heart.
Another favorite book of mine is “The Pilgrim’s Progress” by John Bunyon – it is not only enjoyable but also very inspiring. It is an allegory about the journey of a person called Christian from his home to the Celestial City or Heaven. He encountered much hardship along the way that threatened him many times and made it difficult to remain on the right path. I could relate to it as a Christian in my own life and was encouraged and inspired in my own walk with the Lord.
My favorite poet is Maya Angelou. Everything that she wrote – whether books, poetry, essays, or a memoir – she wrote from her heart. Her poetry, especially, touches my heart and affects me in a profound way. Each poem expresses her incredible wisdom and strength of character. I think that many people, including myself, have a new appreciation of poetry because of her.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AUTHOR AND WHAT IS IT THAT REALLY YOU ABOUT THEIR WORK?
I think that my favorite author is John Eldredge and my favorite book is Epic: The Story God is Telling and The Role That Is Yours To Play. It is a book that delivers a powerful message of truth about the reality of our life being a grand drama with God as the Central Character and the Hero in our own story. It is very interesting and inspiring. My favorite quote from the book is “The Lover of our souls, the One who has pursued us down through space and time, Who gave His own life to rescue us from the Kingdom of Darkness, has made it clear: He does not want to lose us. He longs to be with us forever.”
DO YOU SEE WRITING AS A CAREER?
I would like to continue to write as I feel led by the Lord. For me, I think of my writing not so much as a career, but as a ministry.
CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE OF YOUR CURRENT WORK WITH US?
My most current work is my 3rd book called Hope for the Daily Grind: Morning Meditations on God’s Word. I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit so my hope is that the 21 daily meditations in the book will help us to create a new habit of renewing our minds daily with the hope that is available from the many promises in God’s Word.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU FIND PARTICULARLY CHALLENGING IN YOUR WRITING?
When I am in the flow of writing, I lose all sense of time and can easily write for hours. When I wrote my 1st book “From My Heart to Yours: A Legacy of Love” I spent many hours at a time sitting in my recliner using my laptop computer to write. I remember one time that I was literally sitting for hours writing and found that, when I finally did stand up, I was so stiff that I actually had trouble walking. 🙂 So, for me, the most difficult part of the artistic process is to be patient, pace myself, and take breaks periodically.
DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM WRITING YOUR BOOK AND WHAT WAS IT? –
The reason for writing my 3rd book was to share the hope that is available from God’s Word that will help us deal with difficult situations in our daily life. However, I didn’t realize the extent of so many wonderful promises of hope that are available in God’s Word until I was in the process of writing the book. I was truly blessed in researching the many promises in God’s Word and my hope is that it blesses all who read it.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER WRITERS?
I would simply advise any aspiring writers to just start writing. If you have the desire to share something that is on your heart or something about your life that would benefit others, than do it. It is not easy but it is very rewarding.
OTHER THAN WRITING DO YOU HAVE ANY HOBBIES?
My husband and I enjoy retirement. I actually wrote a poem called When You Retire about the fact that every day is now a holiday. We love to go on long walks and enjoy nature together. We also enjoy going to the movies, too.
We also keep busy with different tasks around our home. My husband enjoys working outside our home – mowing, weeding, and pruning. While I enjoy working inside our home – cleaning and also cooking. I also love to find new recipes to cook for my family.
We are retired but we also are caretakers of our youngest son, who is deaf and autistic. He is definitely a blessing in our lives but I have to admit that, at times, it can be challenging dealing with his unique needs.
One of our favorite times together is traveling on vacation. We have enjoyed visiting Disney World the past few years and have also visited Hershey, PA too. We also enjoy taking weekend trips to either Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg in the Smoky Mountains during the year.
No matter where we visit, I always take many pictures and then later enjoy organizing them and putting them into photo albums.
WHAT TV SHOWS / FILMS DO YOU ENJOY WATCHING?
My favorite tv shows are action/adventure and dectective/mystery shows such as 24 Legacy and Designated Survivor. However, my favorite films are Disney Fairy Tales such as Cinderella and Beauty & the Beast.
FAVORITE FOODS / COLORS / MUSIC?
My favorite food is comfort food such as lasagna with garlic bread. My favorite color is purple. My favorite music is Contemporary Christian and my favorite CD is Transparent with Living Water Sound, my son’s band.
DO YOU HAVE A BLOG OR WEBSITE?
I do not have a blog or website.
However I do have an author page on Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/Phyllis-Morneau/e/B010R8THEY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0 I also have a page on Goodreads:
Phyllis Labrie Morneau’s desire to write a personal memoir for her family, especially her grandchildren, was the reason for writing her 1st book “From My Heart to Yours: A Legacy of Love”. She wanted to share her family’s story and their love and also share God’s story and His amazing love, too. It was originally published in May 2011. Her 2nd book “My Season of Writing” was also written with her grandchildren in mind. It is a collection of Bible Bedtime Stories, Poems, Prayers, and Songs written during a season of her life. Her 3rd book “Hope for the Daily Grind: Morning Meditations on God’s Word was recently published as a 21 day devotional focusing on the hope we can have by renewing our minds on the many promises in God’s Word.