Crystal Bustamante, who originally hails Brazil but currently lives in Terre Haute, has always had the writing bug.
She recently put it to good use and had her novel, "Where Are You, Lord? Finding God in the Midst of the Valley," published through Infinity Publishing.
"For as long as I can remember, I have had an interest in writing," Bustamante told The Brazil Times. "I wrote several short books when I was in school. These mostly consisted of a few pages.
"I later became interested in poetry and when I was (a sophomore), I had a literature teacher, Mrs. Lindgren, that encouraged me to write fiction for a state competition. I won first place in the regional division for my area of the state."
Bustamante grew up on Mechanic Street in Brazil before moving to Terre Haute. She said she has plans of moving back to Brazil this summer.
Bustamante, who writes under the pen name C.A. Jimenez, graduated through a distance education/correspondence program from a division of the Professional Development Career Institute, James Madison High School, based in Norcross, Ga. She is currently a student at Ivy Tech Community College in Terre Haute.
This is her first novel that has been published and she is currently working on her second, tentatively titled, "Beyond Emotions."
She said writing her first novel didn't take very long.
"Writing the book was the easy part," she said. "It took approximately four months. The editing took another seven months. I would say the whole process took a year before it was ready to go to the publisher."
Bustamante said she started writing the novel after going through some turbulent times in her life.
"This particular book was brought about by a series of trials, which took place in my life," she said, "including the death of my brother in 2007. He was 30-years-old."
The premise of the novel is helping people find where to turn to during moments of chaos. The book takes biblical and contemporary stories, scripture and relevant spiritual truths and "weaves them together in an imaginative manner that will impact every read," Bustamante said.
"The emphasis of this book is that a relationship with God is the most important element in our Christian walk," she said, "and that trials come to increase our faith and make us stronger."
She found Infinity Publishing through the Internet and after extensive research, elected to move forward with the company.
"I chose to have the book published through POD (print-on-demand) because it gave me ultimate control over the entire process, including layout and cover design," she said.
Despite living in Terre Haute, Bustamante is a member of the First Apostolic Tabernacle in Brazil. She has attended church there since July 2004.
"My youth pastor at the church, Joy McGarr, has also been an inspiration to both my life and my writing," Bustamante said.
"Where Are You, Lord? Finding God in the Midst of the Valley," is available online at www.Amazon.com, Buy Books on the Web (www.bbotw.com) and through Bustamante's website at www.authornation.com/cabustamante.