An Interview with BJ Hamrick

I met Bekah at Mount Hermon and immediately fell in love with her sweet personality and humble spirit. It amazes me that she’s still in college, and yet so accomplished and focused. She’s been writing for about six years professionally and was recently engaged to her amazing boyfriend, Ethan. She currently lives in North Carolina. I hope you enjoy getting to meet my friend, BJ Hamrick.

*What is your passion in life?
Last winter, I lay on the floor and watched the snow hit my window. Little pellets of ice... when they made contact with the window pane, they melted into tiny trickles of water.

That's the way I want my life to be.

I want everyone who comes in contact with me to be forever altered.

But I can't change their lives. I'm only the window pane... and God is the heating force behind that pane.

I want Him to give me His passion... His warmth... His love for the world...

*What was your main takeaway from Mount Hermon? How are you going to apply it in your daily life?

The biggest thing I learned at Mount Hermon was how to fish.

I know this sounds crazy, but let me explain.

The day before I got to Mount Hermon, I got a rejection from a literary agent who was going to be at the conference. "It's not about you," he said, "It's about me. I don't do books for teenagers."

"Are you breaking up with me?" I asked. "Because this sounds more like a breakup letter than a rejection."

Anyway. What does this have to do with fishing?

I was feeling discouraged after the breakup/rejection letter, and decided I wouldn't pitch to any agents at all during the conference.

Poor, pitiful me.

The fourth morning of the conference, I woke up and started to read my Bible.

It was the story about the disciples when they had been fishing all night without any success.

"Cast the net again," Jesus told them.

"But LORD," the disciples whined, "we've been fishing all night."

Apparently they realized Jesus was serious, because they decided to cast the net again. Out of obedience to Him.

As I read, God spoke directly to my heart.

"Cast the net again," He said.

"Excuse me?" I asked.

"You heard me," He said. "Cast the net again. Talk to another agent. Put yourself out there."

That night I sat at dinner with a literary agent whom I had been praying about pitching my books to for 2 years (talk about working up the nerve).

The moment I gave my pitch, the agent handed me her business card and told me she wanted to hear from me. Last week, she sent me a contract.

When I think about it, I'm amazed that I almost didn't obey. That I told the Lord I was tired. That I wasn't willing to cast the net again.

The biggest thing I took away from Mount Hermon was that God doesn't call us to fish without first giving us the strength to do what He's asked.

*How has being a writer impacted or informed your daily life as a Christian?
It overwhelms me -- every day -- the sense of responsibility God gives me as a writer. When my life is not in line with what He wants, it shows in my writing. My lack of relationship with Him affects not only me, but also those for whom I write.

*I hear you have some exciting news in your life. Care to share?
About one month ago, I was out on a walk with my boyfriend. We were off the beaten path when he got on one knee and asked me to be his little wife. Well, he didn't say it quite like that -- it was much more eloquent. And of course I said yes!

*What are you most excited about in being married? Most concerned about?
I'm most excited about spending the rest of my life with my best friend. I'm most concerned about not being able to express to him exactly how much I love him. Some days, it's just impossible to convey how much he means to me. There just aren't enough words... and I'm a writer.

*I'm doing a talk about envy next week. Just for fun, what's the silliest thing you've ever been envious about?
I am completely envious of Mary DeMuth's hair. Seriously. How in the world, when you're camping at Mount Hermon, can you get your hair to look that good? It's a mystery to me.


BJ said...

Thanks Tina! I had a great time chilling with you at Mount Hermon, and afterwards answering these questions. :)

Anonymous said...

It is so fun to get to know Bekah better. Her writing is amazing! I hope I get to meet her next year at MH.

By the way, if you need an example of envy for tomorrow night, here's one: I'm envious that you've already memorized Galatians once before!


Llama Momma said...

Fantastic, and so encouraging!! Thank you for sharing.

spaghettipie said...

BJ - Me too!
Alyssa - So glad you stopped by. I hope you get to meet BJ at MH too!
LM - I'm glad you enjoyed, and check out BJ's blog for continual encouragement....

L.L. Barkat said...

What a marvelous young woman, so perceptive and well-spoken. Thanks for this lovely interview!

Madison Richards said...

you rock Tina! thanks for doing all these amazing interviews... and all with people I'd love to get to know better anyway!!

and thank you for your kindness.

and your prayers.

Donna J. Shepherd said...

Loved the interview, and getting to know Bekah at Mount Hermon. Thanks for sharing!

spaghettipie said...

LL - You're welcome. She's definitely a neat person to know. Glad you enjoyed it!

MR - The interviews are fun, and I love getting to share my new friends with everyone.

DS - Thanks so much for stopping by.