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Intimate Conversation with author MaRita Teague

Intimate Conversation Interview with Ella Curry of EDC Creations and author MaRita Teague

MaRita Teague is the author of the inspirational novel The Taste of Good Fruit, published by Walk Worthy Press in association with Harrison House Publishers (May 2008). It is the riveting story about how three close friends turn one another’s heartache, devastation, and secrets into triumph.
MaRita writes in the Christian fiction genre because she is compelled to draw others to God through realistic and entertaining stories. She has said that the stories she writes have characters facing heart-wrenching losses and revelations who ultimately find solutions to their problems in the Bible. She believes that writing Christian fiction is her ministry.

Although The Taste of Good Fruit is Teague’s first published novel, she has publications in Living the Serenity Prayer; The Cup of Comfort (Adams Media 2008): Daily Inspirational for Christian Mothers Women’s Devotional (Adams Media 2007); All My Good Habits I Learned From Grandma (Thomas Nelson 2007); Maryland Women of Worship Devotional (2007). She is a member of The American Christian Fiction Writer’s Group.

MaRita has a Master’s degree in English from The University of Alabama in Huntsville and a Bachelor’s in Political Science with a minor in Russian from The Ohio State University. She has taught English Composition at Alabama A&M University, The University of Alabama in Hunstville, Calhoun Community College, Rochester Institute of Technology, and most recently at Northern Virginia Community College. She and her husband, Zedric, and three sons have just accepted a temporary relocation to Dayton, Ohio from the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Black Pearls Interview – The Taste of Good Fruit by MaRita Teague

Ella: Tell us about your passion for writing.
The book offers readers a peek inside of the lives of three women who may remind them of themselves or someone they know. Like all of us, they each experience trials and heartache about their present situation or past and search for answers. In one way or another, each woman wonders why bad things happen to good people. They try to do the right things, yet bad things happen, and on their journey to self discovery, they ultimately realize that peace and contentment is accessible in even the most adverse situations.

Have you ever wondered why bad things happen to good people? Sydney Ellington, her sister, Sherese Hightower, and their closest friend, Chanel Dubois, each ask this question as they encounter seemingly insurmountable challenges in The Taste of Good Fruit.

Sydney has what she's always dreamed of—a loving husband, a thriving career, and unshakable faith—that is, until she is faced with unimaginable heartbreak. Sydney has always lived her life by a schedule and by the Word, but an unimaginable tragedy strikes, she questions how a loving God could allow her to suffer.

Sherese prides herself for avoiding hypocrisy at all costs, vowing that her childhood of sacrifice and neglect as a preacher's daughter wouldn't be continued through adulthood. Destined to be free of church drama, she distances herself from church and faith, but the revelation of a devastating secret causes Sherese to question all she thinks she knows about herself, faith, and the church.

Although Chanel has shaken nearly all of the remnants of her turbulent past, she wrestles with forgiveness. When life doesn't meet her expectations, her anger and trust issues gradually seep into Chanel's already troubled marriage making her blind to the blessings around her. Will she allow temptation to creep in and wreck her family? On a road trip to the south, the three best friends from upstate New York discover that heartache and loss can ultimately lead to The Taste of Good Fruit.

Ella: Finish this sentence: I am Powerful because...
I am Powerful because...I am anchored in the rock of Jesus Christ and by being connected to the Him, I have access to the One who holds all power!

Ella: How did you start your writing journey?
I've always loved to write, but I began writing the novel after seeking the Lord for His will in my life. Shortly after, I knew that the Lord wanted me to merge my passion for Him and my passion to write into writing projects to glorify Him.

Ella: What made you decide to write Christian fiction?
Quite simply, I felt compelled to write entertaining yet realistic stories that could possibly draw others to Christ or minister to them in some way. I view writing Christian fiction as a ministry more than anything else. I believe that it’s a calling that God has on my life.

Ella: Where did your inspiration for your debut novel, The Taste of Good Fruit, come from?
My inspiration for writing the novel came years ago during a particularly grief stricken time of loss and change in my life. I searched the scriptures looking for a reason why saved people suffer. After I began to find at least some answers in the Word of God, I found a measure of peace. Not long after, I began developing the three characters in my mind some time before I actually sat down and wrote the story.

Ella: Who are your two main characters and what do you like most about them?
I'm going to cheat a bit because I have three central characters. There's not too much to dislike about Sydney. She's strong, smart, and faithful to God and the church. I love that Chanel is sassy and confident, but she has a soft, sweet side as well. Sherese has the wonderful qualities of being sincere, independent in her thinking and she's artistic on top of that.

Ella: What makes your book stand out and would entice a reader pick it up?
I think the cover art, with its bold and bright colors, makes it jump out at the shelves, and the title is captivating because it can mean so many different things. I think people are curious to know what The Taste of Good Fruit means. Beyond that, the book is a wonderful book for teenagers to grandparents, and the subject matter the novel covers is ripe for discussion. There are powerful and thought-provoking discussion questions which are in the back of the book, and these are great for Bible study groups, women's groups, book clubs, and even mothers and daughters.

Ella: Why do you think your book is a great selection for a reading group, book club, or women’s Bible study?
It has so many issues that people struggle with, such as why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Other issues, such as temptation with adultery, grief from losing a loved one, dealing with denominational differences, pastor’s children’s problems, sibling rivalry, and even fornication are in the story. There are some pretty hefty issues that are ripe for discussing, and as I said before, the answers are in the Word.

Ella: What is the central message in the novel?
The central message is taken from John 15:2 where Jesus says that “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” I want readers to know that God often allows trials so that we can ultimately be perfected and bring Glory to Him. Just like the branches of a tree often have to be pruned to bring forth fruit, we also have to be pruned. The good news is that these trials can make us, like the song says, stronger, wiser, and better! I’m excited about this message!

Ella: Are any of your real life experiences in your debut novel?
The specific experiences that the characters have are totally fictionalized, but I can say that I can relate to each of the main characters in a very significant and real way. I have responded very much like the three characters have to bad circumstances at one point or another. There are y bits and pieces of me in each of them. I also lived in upstate New York for a while. Aside from that, like most of us, I can identify with struggling to deal with loss, forgiveness, pain, and heartache.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I want readers to feel spiritually energized and to have a renewed sense of purpose, knowing that there is a reason why bad things happen to good people. Our lives aren't about fate and chance. God has a purpose for us being through and for allowing trials to happen in our lives. If we trust Him, He will see us through any situation, and ultimately we can bring glory to His name through even the worse of times. As cliché as it may sound, our trials can serve a purpose!

Ella: What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
My most significant achievement has been to complete The Taste of Good Fruit, and to hear the wonderful testimonies from readers. One e-mail moved me to tears because the reader had experienced a very painful experience that she was trying to make sense out of. The reader connected with one of the main characters of the novel and she was encouraged by her story. This is the whole reason why I am writing Christian fiction.

Ella: Do you have a favorite author?
No, I couldn’t name just one. I am especially drawn toward writers of Christian fiction, such as Michelle Stimpson, Mata Elliott, Leslie J. Sherrod, Victoria Christopher Murray, Yolonda Tonette Sanders. Other authors I enjoy are Toni Morrison, Khaled Hosseini, Zora Neal Hurston, Nella Larsen, and I’m going to stop since I could go on and on.

Ella: Do you have any advice for writers who want to get published?
Aside from the obvious, I think that you have to have a passion for what you’re doing. As a newcomer in the Christian fiction arena, I would say that it’s important to have a solid message that helps to heal, deliver, and/or draw people to Christ. There are a lot of stories with church drama, but they may not necessarily be Christian fiction. I think Christian fiction authors need to tell a compelling story, but they also have to remember the importance of the message. In addition, I would say that reading is an important tool to sharpen your skills.

Ella: Name 3 things that it takes to make a successful author, in your opinion?
Success has many definitions, but for me, a truly successful writer is one who prays hard (smile), works hard to become a skilled writer, and one who is diligent.

Ella: Will there be a sequel to The Taste of Good Fruit?
I don’t think so, but I won’t shut the door completely. There have been requests from readers to know more about Sydney, so we’ll see. . .

Ella: What can we expect from you in the future?
I will continue to write in the Christian fiction genre, and I am very devoted to writing stories about hurting women who turn their personal tragedies into marvelous triumphs. Currently, I am writing my second novel. I would love to hear from readers.

Ella: How can people get your book?
The book is available for order at any bookstore. Many people say that they went to find it on the shelves, but it’s not there. I would love for people to order it at their local bookstore. It’s also available at,/,/,/ and more!

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  1. I have read this book. The author states here that the purpose of her book is so that the reader will be spiritually energized and have a renewed sense of purpose. She definitely accomplishes her goal. After reading this, I could not help but feel uplifted and oh so faithful to our loving, omnipotent GOD!

  2. I'd like to thank Ella Curry and the EDC Creation Black Pearls Magazine for the opportunity to share my novel with readers! The magazine is insightful and thought-provoking.

    I also want to encourage readers to contact me by email at or visit my website at
    Thank you so much for your support and happy reading! A special thanks to Shonda, whose e-mail is a great source of encouragement.


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