If you want to be entered in the drawing for Shirley’s book, I See God in the Simple Things, and/or Amy’s book, A Lever Long Enough, please leave a comment this week with your email address (necessary to contact you if you win) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The drawings end Sunday evening.
Amy Deardon’s interview:
What made you start writing?
I was blown away by the evidence for the resurrection, and wanted to write a book.
How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I’ve always loved putting words to paper (or computer screen), but only started taking the craft seriously a few years ago. This is my first book.
How do you handle rejections?
Rejections are never easy. First I take a deep breath to get some emotional distance. I look at any comments to consider what I may do better next time. Then, I try again.
Why do you write?
I’m driven. No more, no less.
What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I’d never be bored! Read a good novel, go to lunch with a friend, sew, knit, crochet, play flute or piano. I’d like to claim I garden, but my mother-in-law calls me the plant hit-lady.
Really, though, I can’t imagine not writing now. These other things, while fun, don’t fulfill me.
What are you working on right now?
I currently have two book projects. The first is my prequel, Nest Among the Stars, about the space station disaster that occurs to one of my main characters (Sara) before she emigrates to Israel, and involves the time machine in an unusual way. The other project is nonfiction. The Story Template describes the story algorithm I’ve developed to allow a writer to develop a resonant, compelling inner/outer story (novel or screenplay) from the germ of an idea. This is information I’ve put together through my own studies, then refined through story-coaching multiple students, and I’m excited about it because this method of story development truly seems to work! I have a preliminary tutorial on my website under “resources,” if anybody is interested in taking a look.
Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
Oh my goodness, yes. For something as complicated as a novel, each character has his or her own story and motivations. When I imagine the world through my character’s eyes, some of me inevitably colors him or her.
Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Lever is about a small military team that travels back in time to film the theft of Jesus’ body from the tomb. I tried to write the kind of book I love to read: full of action, a love story, and exotic background and ideas. While the emphasis is on the story, Lever fairly presents the arguments for and against the resurrection, and demonstrates (without the use of any fictional miracles) that the case for the resurrection is remarkable. Believers will also enjoy Lever, but I actually wrote this book to the skeptic I used to be. I want it to be the kind of book that someone races through to finish, closes it, and then says, “wait a minute…”
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t expect to produce perfect prose off the bat – just as you wouldn’t expect to play a Beethoven Sonata for your first piano lesson. Just believe in yourself, and persist.
How important is faith in your books?
Faith is the central part of my life, so it is the anchoring thread in my books also. However, my stories (this one and the prequel I’m writing now) don’t take faith in Jesus as a given – my characters are skeptics, and this point of view is respected. Non-Christians often have a strong moral sense and seemingly coherent worldview and assumptions. While it is the Holy Spirit who ultimately draws the person to Himself, you must address problems and cognitive dissonances squarely instead of create *straw men* if you are going to convince a non-Christian of the superiority of belief in Jesus Christ.
What themes do you like to write about?
Forgiveness, wrenching moral choices, sacrifice. The centrality of God’s love, mercy, and justice. Can we know truth? As I’m developing more story ideas I find these themes repeating.
What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
Well, since this is my only completed book so far, I’ve got to say this one. It represents a great achievement for me personally, and a ministry opening that I hadn’t anticipated. The response of readers to my book so far has been gratifying and humbling. I’m deeply hopeful that God will use Lever to reach hearts.
What is your writing schedule like?
I wake up early to write. About two or three days a week I turn off the phone and internet and write straight through the day until I have to get the kids. Other days some of my time is taken with a Bible study, working out, grocery shopping, tutoring novel construction, you know – but I do a weekly word quota and keep up with that. I have several projects and rotate as needed. In the evenings I belong to my family.
Readers may get in touch with me through my website at http://www.amydeardon.com
I also have a blog at http://amydeardon.blogspot.com
My book is available on amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Lever-Long-Enough-Amy-Deardon/dp/0981899722/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231363695&sr=8-1
Autographed copies of the book are available at the publisher’s website http://www.taegais.com