1) Hello there Livy! I am so excited to feature you on Jessica Martin Blog for our interview. I love your heart for girls all over the world to know and understand their worth in Jesus. It is inspiring! How are you doing today?
Hi Jessica! Thank you so much for having me! I’m so honored and blessed to be here, and step into your little corner of living-room space on the internet! Hehe :)
2) I am curious to know; how did you find Jessica Martin Blog? Because I am honestly so happy that you did, it has been such an encouragement to my faith!
Actually, this fall we opened up an internship opportunity for our readers at Crown of Beauty Magazine. As we gave the interns different assignments, a few of them started emailing blogs and doing promotion for our new book. One of our sweet interns recommended your amazing blog! I’m honestly not sure how she found it either, but I’m so glad that she did! It’s always amazing to connect with sisters in Christ.
3) Next, can you please start off by giving a brief introduction of yourself? Specifically, could you share with us where are you from, and when your walk with Jesus began?
Yes! My name is Livy Jarmusch and I am 22-years-old – oops, I mean 23! I just turned 23 this month, so now I have to wrap my brain around this brand new age! Haha. I live in Northern Michigan (which means lots and lots of snow) and was raised in a Christian family. It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly where my relationship with Jesus first started, because even as a little three-year-old, I remember flipping through my picture Bible and experiencing such wonderment and awe in thinking about God and everything He created. Once I was old enough to understand His amazing sacrifice and what Jesus did on the cross to rescue me from sin, He became my best friend.
4) Next, can you give us a brief introduction of Crown of Beauty Online Magazine?
Of course! Crown of Beauty Magazine is an online resource for Christian ladies, ages thirteen to thirty – and beyond! The heartbeat of our magazine is to remind women just how beautiful and valuable they are in Christ. Knowing our royal identity in His Kingdom is something that so many struggle with, especially when we’re living in a culture that is constantly bombarding our minds with lies. The purpose of our magazine is to come alongside our sisters in Christ, and encourage them in their walk with the Lord!
5) When and how was Crown of Beauty Magazine started? What inspired you to create this magazine?
I started Crown of Beauty in January 2013. I had just graduated High School the spring before, and honestly, still had no idea what to do with my life. I had always been obsessed with writing, and the idea of having my own magazine was a dream planted deep inside when I was a little girl. I was also painstakingly aware of the attack against our generation – young women in particular – and the assault against our identity. As a teen, I had seen several of my friends struggle with eating disorders and doubt their self-worth, and I knew that this was a message not many magazine were talking about!
I was at a place in my life where I knew that I wanted to launch out and do something that would make a difference, but I didn’t know what exactly. I felt the Lord nudging my heart to just jump off the cliff of unknowns and see what would happen!
6) How many people are on the Crown of Beauty Magazine Team? How did you meet each of these different people?
We have a strong core of about six amazing young ladies, but now with our interns, the team has grown to about thirty! It’s hard to label our team with an exact “number” because we’ve also got some amazing women who have helped plan conferences, back us up as prayer warriors, and join us on other projects, but they’re not necessarily getting every Facebook notification that our “Team” does. Haha.
We also some spectacular sister ministries that we work really closely with but we don’t say, “Oh, are you on my team? Or on their team?” In this ministry blogging, magazine, website world, we’re all kind of intertwined and overlapping with one another, working to support one another’s projects! We all have the same purpose, so it’s amazing to see the body of Christ working like this with each other!
I could spend so much time telling you about how we got connected with each of these amazing ladies, but all I can say, is that every time it was just a “God thing!” Whether it came from a follow on Twitter, or Instagram, or a visitor to the website who reached out and sent an email…the Lord is the Master of making connections and it’s so fun to see how He does it!
7) Can you explain how Crown of Beauty Magazine works, how often does the Magazine go out, and what else do you incorporate onto the website for the Magazine besides the magazine itself?
Right now, we have five full issues that anyone can read online, totally free! Our sixth issue was actually in print, but it was only available until our copies ran out. We’re working on our seventh issue right now! As far as our “release” schedule goes, it has been a little sporadic, which is why we ask our readers to sign up for email updates, that way they can be notified when we release something new, because we’re not on a specific schedule. They never know when we’re going to drop another issue – or a new book! Our main website, or blog I guess you could call it, is being updated with new articles every month. Our blog discusses tons of topics, everything from following your God given dreams, to relationships with guys, to tips on starting your own website! We just try to focus on things that matter most to young women, which means a lot of our articles revolve around purity, Disney, singlehood, and finding true love! ;)
8) Now, we would love to hear more about your passion for writing. How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
I was always a storyteller. (Just ask my parents, as a little girl, I spent way too much time with my dolls! I was always pretending and making up exotic tales in faraway places.) In Kindergarten I had many dreams, but I told my teacher that I wanted to be an author. As a teen, I continued writing and even though I struggled with spelling and grammar and terrible plots, I just couldn’t get away from it. The words continued to flow. When I reached that vital decision time during my high school years (you know, the dreaded period of life where you’re supposed to choose the ONE thing that you’re going to do the rest of your life?! Ahh, so much pressure!) my dreams of being an author faded to the background. In my mind, I wasn’t good enough, and I was galaxies away from any kind of publishing deal. But the Lord continued to press on my heart the fact that He had given me a gift, and I needed to learn how to use it and be a good steward. That’s when the story for Secrets of Royalty started stirring in my spirit, and I knew that it was a story heaven wanted to tell.
9) Has writing always been a passion of yours?
Absolutely! (I think I already answered that, hehehe.)
10) What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
Believe it or not, I don’t actually do a lot of reading. (Ahh! Authors, please don’t throw your pencils at me! I know, I know it sounds like heresy!) Don’t get me wrong. I love books. But when it comes to reading works of fiction, I just don’t have time. Everyone says that you have to read amazing fiction if you want to hone your skills as a writer, and I totally believe them, and trust me it’s on my to-do list for the future. But that list is really long! Haha. I have far too many ideas swirling around in my head as it is, without priming the pump with even more ideas from other brilliant authors.
I like to spend the majority of my reading time, in God’s Word. His Word is my life source, and all of my inspiration and strength flows from Him! I do enjoy reading non-fiction books though, devotionals, and messages that equip me in my faith walk! My favorite author is Lisa Bevere. Her books Kissed the Girls and Made them Cry, Lioness Arising, Girls with Swords, and Without Rival are some of my favorites. She has strongly influenced my writing style.
11) Next, we would love to hear more about your new book, Secrets of Royalty. Can you tell us about this book? What is it about?
Absolutely! So, Secrets of Royalty is an allegorical fairy-tale about an orphaned captive who lives in a nightmarish place called the Worthlessness Camp. It's a place of chains and torment and lies. Nobody would ever want to live there! Sadly, so many of us do. Our generation daily struggles to try to escape from this place of worthlessness in their own minds. In the story, a glimmer of hope is suddenly seen on the horizon as a Prince riding on a white horse gallops in to save the day. Jesus rescues the helpless captive and sweeps her into the royal courts of His Kingdom. But happily ever after has not yet arrived, and the grand rescue is only the beginning! This orphan then goes on an exciting (and sometimes terrifying!) journey through the ups and downs of her life-changing transformation process, learning to think like the Princess that she is, rather than the pauper that she used to be.
Following the fictional story, is a 31 Day Devotional that takes you through a similar journey in your own life, powerfully changing the way that you think about yourself, your relationship with God, and the world around you.
12) Why did you decide to write Secrets of Royalty?
I actually talk about this a little bit in the book, but the inspiration came from a dream I had. In the dream, there were many beautiful girls of all different ages, backgrounds, skin colors, hair colors, eye colors, and personalities. They were all so unique and different from one another! They stood along a wall, and complemented each other so beautifully, almost like a rainbow of God’s glory! All at once, the dream shifted and evil men came in and started poking the girls. They started speaking awful lies, telling them that they were ugly and didn’t measure up. I could see the girls hearts slowly begin to break, as sadly, they believed it. Then, the men pulled out guns. I gasped! They intended to kill each of those beautiful girls! I was outraged! In the dream, I knew that I only had a matter of time to change the ending, and do something about it. The clock was ticking, and that’s when I woke up. The dream was so vivid, and when I woke up, I immediately had an understanding about what it represented, and knew that it expressed an attack on our generation. A silent holocaust driven by lies. The Lord started speaking to me about the Worthlessness Camp, and that’s when I started writing the book.
13) How long did it take you to write this book? Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day did you devote to writing this book? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)? I myself, would love to write a book someday.
Honestly, the fictional part of the story took me several years! Not because it was hard to write, but because I would only get inspiration for the story little bits at the time. I wrote the first chapter in one afternoon, but then I had to wait a few months before God showed me what should happen next. This was very different from all my other silly, “just for fun” fictional stories that I had played around with on my keyboard. Secrets of Royaltywas like collecting puzzle pieces that God only gave me little by little.
For me, this was a really abnormal writing process. But since you’re asking about the process, and you’re considering writing a book someday (YAY! YES! DO IT, GIRL!) I’ll share what my ‘normal’ looks like, just so you can see why this project was so different.
For my other works of fiction, I try to type five pages a day. Sometimes, writing feels like lifting weights! You kind of have to build up your endurance. I had been writing for fun for years, and didn’t care about my page count or if I ever finished my stories, but now that I’m working on other projects for possible future release, I try to be more diligent about it. And at first, writing five pages a day was really tough! Typing one page a day is a great goal to begin with, especially if you’re thinking about writing a non-fiction book. Because think about it, if you write consistently every day for an entire year, by the end of the year, you’ll have a 365 page book! (New Year Resolution, maybe? Haha!)
14) Please give us an insight into the main character of this book.
The main character in Secrets of Royalty doesn’t have a name. Because this is an allegory, her purpose is to represent the Bride of Christ. This young woman in the story is orphaned, rejected, afraid, confused, sinful, and desolate. She is me. She is you. She is anyone who was once lost in sin and separated from Christ. The amazing thing about her character, is the transformation that takes place throughout the story. She slowly discovers that she is not nameless, and her true identity is a Princess, and she must learn what it truly means to be royal!
15) Do you think that you will write more books in the future? Why or why not?
Yes, yes, yes! I’m completely in love with writing. I’ve actually just finished writing a fictional novel called The Coronation. (You're actually the first blog I've told about this, so you're getting the exclusive, inside scoop! Haha) This story is about a modern-day royal family living in a palace in a small European nation called Tarsurella. It’s about the everyday challenges of growing up in a royal monarchy! (Because we can all relate with that, right? Haha!)
I’m also working on several other books as we speak. Oh, here's something exciting! We will actually be releasing a free, non-fiction e-book soon on our website, called Dream to Destiny: Discovering Keys to Change the World through Your God Given Dreams.
So yes, many more books on the way!
16) If you could give one piece of advice to your readers about life in general and their walks with Jesus, what would you say?
Such a good question. I’m so glad you asked this! Because at the end of the day, only one thing matters, and that is our relationship with Christ. At the end of the age, when Jesus comes back to judge the living and the dead, we will all stand before Him and be accountable for how we lived our lives on this earth. All the trivial, foolish, worthless things are going to burn away…so what will remain? Our faith, and our relationship with Christ. I want my relationship with Jesus to be real, and genuine, and pure as gold. When I get to heaven, I want Him to look at me and say, “I know you! You sought me. You loved me. You and I have history! Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Knowing Him is everything. It’s the only thing that truly matters. Books, and ministry meetings, and dreams coming true…they’re all going to fade away. The only thing that is eternal, is our relationship with Him. So here's my advice. Spend time with the King! If you only get one thing out of this entire interview, get this: spend as much time with Jesus as you possibly can! Set your heart on seeking Him every day. Read the Word, pray, and worship, and soak in His presence. His love will transform you! The world tries to distract us and send our minds in a thousand different directions, but determine to set your heart on One thing. “I am single minded in pursuit of You…” (Psalm 119:10).
Be like Mary and sit at His feet. Because no time spent with Him is ever wasted.