By Taylor Boyd
Arminda “Mindy” B. Roddy’s first novel, “Maya’s Mountain: Where God Stands Up,” is a tribute to the church that taught her about God and the importance of family.
Roddy centers her novel at the County Line Baptist Church in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she attended church with her family until she was five years old.
“My family would go to this church even though we lived in Lawsonville, N.C. It was the church where I learned about God, and helped to set me on the path to where I now walk with God,” Roddy said.
She said her family likes to play the “what-if game,” where they would think of what they would do in different situations like the zombie apocalypse or world disasters. “In any scenario we say we would meet up at this church if we were split up,” she said.
Roddy’s novel is a scenario of the “‘what-if game.’ It’s a Christian science fiction book that does a take on the theme of an alien invasion. My aliens are not the classic aliens, and I call them the peaceless. They hunt by reflecting a person’s sin on themselves.”
Roddy said her book focuses on the idea of everyone being imperfect. “In the book everyone has sin, and therefore everyone is hunted. Having sin makes people human,” she said.
Roddy helps demonstrate this by writing her family into the book. “I’m Maya and Jackson is my husband. Annie and Greg are my parents, and I mention my siblings too,” she said. “I think it was important to show readers that everyone is imperfect, and not just state it. I think it adds an extra layer to the story.”
Roddy uses several Biblical themes in her story, and said “Maya’s Mountain” was inspired by Mark 13:14 of the King James Version of the Bible. “The Bible passage said when abominations come to flee to the mountains, and that is what my characters do,” she said.
“Maya’s Mountain” also focuses on trusting God. Roddy said she wanted to show that if you trust God, He will take care of you and help you overcome the obstacles in your path.
Roddy said people have told her the book has helped them with the pandemic since its publication in February. “They said the message of trusting God to get you through obstacles has helped them realize that he is here helping them with the virus,” she said.
Roddy said she plans to write and publish a sequel within the next two years. “It took me six years to write ‘Maya’s Mountain,’ but I think I’ll be able to get the sequel out sooner,” she said.
She will focus on Annie, which is her mother, in the sequel. “I want to use the Book of Ruth as an inspiration for the sequel because Ruth was strong and humble, just like my mother,” she said. “I also want to focus on Exodus and the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, and have Annie in that leadership role. I want to focus on girl power.”
She said her mother, Nancy, is to thank for the publication of her book. “My mom was the ‘middle woman’ of my success. She was bragging to someone who happened to be from DW Beam, my future publisher, about my writing. I decided to email them to really just see what would happen. I was surprised to find out they were interested in my book,” Roddy said.
When she is not writing, Roddy teaches English at West Stokes High School in Stokes County, N.C. Roddy also dabbles in photographs and several of her photos are pictures in “Maya’s Mountain,” and others are personal family photos.