WRITE: Interview, Janet Perez Eckles (Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God’s Fiesta)
AUTHOR BIO: As a young girl, Janet Perez Eckles packed dreams and expectations when she left Bolivia to come to America. She found not only wonder and beauty in her new life, but also the challenge to overcome trials—physical blindness, marital infidelity, financial devastation, the loss of her son and the acquittal of the man responsible.
But rather than despair, Christ’s love ushered victory for each battle, giving her wisdom to overcome adversity, rekindling her zeal for life and ushering peace for each moment. These victories sparked her mission to inspire and encourage others. As a bilingual Spanish inspirational speaker, she ignites in her audiences the same passion to triumph, to find purpose in life and achieve professional and personal success.
Janet earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University. After graduation, she met Gene, her husband of 35 years. They live in Orlando, FL where they enjoy their sons, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren.
Janet serves as a women’s Sunday school teacher and a ministry leader at South Orlando Baptist Church.
Janet, what prompted you to write this book?
That dear woman who anguishes about life, its burdens, deep heartache and needs someone to point her to Christ and show her the other side of adversity.
You share a great deal from your personal journey in the pages of Simply Salsa. How did you develop this type of transparency?
Years of hearing my audience’s feedback such as: “After what you shared, I’ll look at my problems differently from now on.”
The more I pour my soul on the pages, the more their heart is stirred to seek victory in Christ.
You are one of many authors and speakers who also has a “day job.” Can you tell us a little about that?
I serve as an Spanish interpreter. I’m on the phone interpreting between judge and defendant, between doctor and mom in labor, between bank and home owner. Each require a high level of skill, concentration and memory skills. All blessings to me because for 20 years :I’ve been performing this work. Unable to take notes, I retain lots of information in my memory–a testimony to God’s provision.
I believe your physical blindness has helped bring you to a place of greater spiritual vision. Do you agree? How would you say God has “worked all things together for good” through your lack of physical sight?
When my physical eyesight ended, God’s grace gave me insight to see the best of life. When I could see, I focused on the things around me, now I focus on things above—trust me, the view has more depth and beauty.
I can now appreciate what the eyes don’t see.
If you could summarize the message of Simply Salsa in a sentence or two, what would it be?
A passionate guide with Latina flair, spicy boldness and biblical insights, Simply Salsa invites you to dance to the melody of God’s Word. The amiga-to-amiga approach invites you to live a life rich with joy, confidence and purpose.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve ever received?
If you’re wiping tears from your keyboard, you’re writing not with your mind but with your heart.
Please share with our readers anything else you’d like to answer that I haven’t asked.
Many have told me I’ve endured more than most people—complete blindness, the murder of my son.
But what I found is that the trials we face bring us to our knees. The suffering we endure draws us closer to God’s grace. But the triumph Christ brings fuels our passion to finish the race.
Thank you for these thoughtful responses, Janet. Blog family, please check out Tuesday’s READ blog for my review of Janet’s new release, Simply Salsa. And check out her website to learn more about her!
Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Janet’s newest book. I’ll announce the winner early next week.