Friday, September 10, 2021

 Hey everyone!

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Joan Embola, author of the brand-new book The One Who Knows Me! It just released yesterday, and I couldn't be more excited about it. Before I get into the interview, here's some info about the book. 



Bullies and family disasters have left eighteen-year-old Teeyana Sparks filled with anxiety and doubt. She feels pressured to believe in God, but as she embarks on her college journey in the hope of one day working at Google as a graphic designer, the only thing she believes in is controlling her own life. Things change when she meets Jayden Williams—the guy with a charming smile and kind heart.

Struggling with grief and recovering from a season of depression, nineteen-year-old Jayden is determined to help Teeyana believe in God’s goodness again. But when yet another tragedy strikes close to home, Teeyana’s response exposes Jayden’s unhealed wounds and tips him into a mental health relapse.

With the looming possibility of not getting her dream life, Teeyana is caught between holding on to her illusion of control and surrendering to a God she’s rejected. And as Jayden strives to break out of his despondency, he has to face that letting God in may involve him letting go of his friendship with Teeyana. Teeyana and Jayden must wrestle with uncomfortable truths, and the pride in their hearts, in order to face their biggest giant—God’s sovereignty over both triumph and tragedy.

The One Who Knows Me, book one in the Sovereign Love series, is a heart-warming standalone novel about hope and learning to take comfort in the sovereign goodness of a loving God who knows all things.



Joan Embola is a UK-based Cameroonian-Nigerian Christian author who is passionate about spreading God's love one word at a time. She is a Bible teacher, a blogger, a YouTuber, a podcaster, a dancer, and a poetess. Her book Outpourings Of A Beloved Heart; a 30 day poetry devotional about God's love, is available for purchase. Her debut contemporary Christian Fiction novel will be releasing on September 10th 2021. 


  1. What are some of your favorite themes in The One Who Knows Me?

    As I pondered on this question I realised that when I first started writing this book, the themes I thought I'd cover were slightly different to those that ended up featuring in the book. That just goes to show that we can make our plans (even while planning writing projects) but ultimately God reveals His own plans and how He wants to use that to bless others. Here are some of my favourite themes from the book.

    God's sovereignty: This was a theme I came to discover more as I wrote the book. I didn't understand it at first but with every draft I completed, God led me to understand that this book was meant to encourage others to see His goodness in both triumph and tragedy. It wasn't an easy theme to portray. I had to make sure the principles were Biblical and so writing about God's sovereign love encouraged me to read my Bible more, which in turn helped me draw closer to God. Till today, the concept of God's sovereignty comforts me,. It keeps me going through life's challenges and I hope that all who read this book will be encouraged too.

    Family and friendships: I knew I wanted to write a story which portrayed strong family bonds and friendships. The family aspect of this book was inspired by my own close knit family. We have been through so many challenging times over the past few years but God has been so good to us. I wanted to portray something similar in this book and show a family sticking together and overcoming trials together as they trust God. Teeyana and Amara's friendship was inspired by my friendship with my best friend--Adele. We have been friends since 2008 and we haven't seen each other in person for ten years, yet we continue to encourage each other through life's ups and downs. It was so fun to write Teeyana and Amara's friendship and I hope it inspires others to be intentional about keeping friends who will draw them closer to God.

    Mentorship and community: I'm a firm believer in the fact that we can't run our Christian journey alone. We need community and we need to constantly learn how to be disciples of Christ. Since both main characters in this novel are in college, I wanted to portray the idea of the importance of having mentors and having people who you can be accountable to. Choosing the right relationships will require a lot of discernment, but it is worth it and it is very encouraging.

    Faith and mental health: This theme is one I never thought I'd end up writing about. In fact it wasn't until the fourth draft that I realised this was actually a strong theme in the book. Writing about hope in depression and anxiety was so therapeutic for me because the idea for this book came after I'd been through a very challenging time in my life. God constantly used this story to remind me that He is with me through trials and that no matter how heartbroken I feel, God's love is still able to heal my ailing heart. It is my prayer that this same message of hope meets and encourages everyone who reads this book.

    Love: My mission as an author is to share God's love one word at a time, so I knew that this book had to talk about God's love for us and also our love for others. I enjoyed writing about the character's faith journeys to experiencing God's love for them, and also falling in love with each other in the process. I love romance and I think that's something that will always feature in every book I write.

  2. Which character was your favorite to write, and which one was the most challenging? I had a lot of fun writing Jayden and Amara. Amara's character was already set in my mind from the first draft. I knew the kind of personality she was going to have and the impact she was going to have on Teeyana's journey. Jayden came as a surprise to me because he was initially only supposed to be the love interest, and it wasn't until after the fourth draft that I discovered there was more to his story than I thought. I love Jayden because I feel we have so much in common and I relate a lot to some of his struggles in this book. That being said, it was also challenging to write Jayden's story because he went through a lot of dark moments which were very emotional for me to write about. I had to lean on God throughout the whole process and constantly look at the light at the end of the tunnel and focus on the hope in the darkness.

  3. If readers could gain one thing from reading your book, what do you hope it will be? That God's love for us is so much bigger than any trial we face, and even when things are bad, God is still working for our good.

  4. Can you explain (unless it’s spoiler-y!) which scene was your favorite to write? My favourite scenes would have to be all the scenes in chapters 27 and 28. It would be a spoiler to say exactly what happened in these chapters but I can say these scenes were my favourite to write because of the raw emotion expressed by the main characters. Till this day, I get goose bumps every time I read those chapters.

5. You reference a particular Bible verse throughout The One Who Knows Me -- a favorite verse of one of the characters’. What significance did this verse have to you while writing this book?
            This verse is Job 23:10 and it is my favourite Bible verse. I mentioned earlier that the inspiration for this story came after I'd been through a dark time in my life. This Bible verse brought me a lot of comfort and it still helps me to keep hoping and trusting God through challenging times. In other to write a story about hope in suffering, I had to relate to it myself. This verse taught me so many truths about God's love for me which gave me the confidence to write this book.

For He knows: God is omniscient, He knows all things, and He knows my story.
The way that I take: He knows my path, He knows where I'm going because He planned it from the beginning of time.
When He has tested me: Trials will come. They are part of the process and I can't escape them in this life. But these trials are a test and God remains the Good Teacher who has my best interests at heart.
I will come forth as gold: God is constantly working on me. The trials He allows are purifying me and helping me to be more like Christ every day. God is with me through it all. He will never leave me, and when I get my eternal reward, it will all be worth it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Joan! This was such a fantastic interview, wasn't it?! I loved hearing about the thought and consideration she put into this book, and I really truly recommend reading it. The One Who Knows Me is easily in my top 10 list of books I've read this year (and I've been reading a lot so...). 

What did you think about the interview? Do you want to read The One Who Knows Me, or have you already preordered it? Sound off in the comments! 

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