About the Author
Willowy Whisper is a young, Christian fiction author. She lives in a beautiful place called West Virginia, nestled between mountain and field. She is the author of nine novels, eight of which are published, and numerous short stories. She is also a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, an incurable romantic, and a passionate dreamer. To follow her, visit her blog: www.willowywhisper.com
1-Whom or what inspired you to become an author?
My second cousin! I heard she was writing a novel, and I told my mom, "I think I'll do that." Well, I did. I haven't stopped since.
2-Who was the hardest character to write in The Pursued? The easiest?
Sadie was by far the hardest, since she cannot speak due to a traumatic event in her life. And the easiest? Maybe Adam. He is complicated, typical . . . and so easy to imagine in my head. Probably my favorite character yet.
3-If you could go to lunch with one of the characters from The Pursued, who would you pick and why?
Jake! I feel like he'd be such an entertaining gentleman.
4-What inspired the idea for The Pursued?
Hard question . . . goodness. I don't know!
5-What do you want readers to take away from reading The Pursued?
Love heals all wounds. God forgives. The past can stay where it belongs . . . in the past.
6-What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
It is a contemporary novel about a fictional famous actor, a small-town girl, and a beautiful possibility of love.
7-When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
I also play the piano and the guitar, work a job, do college, offer graphic design services, enjoy photography, manage a blog, help in the bus ministry, teach in a children's Sunday school class, and read!
About the Author
J. Rodes lives on the wide plains somewhere near the middle of Nowhere. A coffee addict, pickleball enthusiast, and storyteller, she also wears the hats of mom, teacher, and friend. Mostly, she loves Jesus and wants to see the kids she’s honored to teach fall in love with Him too.
1. What intrigues you to write science fiction dystopian YA fiction?
Funny that. I never dreamed that I would write dystopian. Ever. I like the genre—The Giver is one of my favorites—but I couldn’t see myself writing it, until one day I did.
I like dystopian because it opens up new possibilities in writing. You can play out a “what if” storyline that goes to an extreme and do it in a way that captures a whole different kind of reality. For example, in The Giver, we discover through an extreme society that we think is impossible, but that Lois Lowry paints in crisp (black and white) life, that life is too multifaceted to invoke sameness. We’re too unique. Emotions are too precious. Experiences are too vivid and valuable to override for the sake of unity. In other words, we discover equality and fairness aren’t the same, and we can’t contrive forced unity. The human experience is simply too complex, and what is required to forsake in the name of sameness isn’t worth the cost. I can’t imagine delivering this concept in a better way than in through Lowry’s dystopian world.
Perhaps it’s that unique story power that is possible through a dystopian that intrigues me the most. Teach a lesson with facts, and I’m likely to forget. Show me with a compelling story, and I’m gonna remember it for the rest of my life. Somehow dystopian accomplishes that goal in a way that other genres seem to fall short. Not always, but often. Especially with a young adult audience.
2. What is your current WIP? What can you tell us about it?
Haha! Well, right now I’m working on a fun chicklit romance. Quite a diversion from a dark dystopian trilogy, isn’t it?
I’ve finished the rough draft for Evergreen—the final book in the Grace Revealed series (Blue Columbine, Red Rose Bouquet), which is Women’s Fiction. Now I’m working on a light, fun novella set to hit the world on Valentine’s day. I can tell you that The Cupcake Dilemma is quirky, fun, and about a kitchen fail girl finding her place in the small town of Rock Creek (the setting of Reclaimed and Ordinary Snowflakes). It is a total departure from my more serious books, but hopefully you’ll still find my touch of emotion and genuine characters—this time through humor rather than tears.
I have an idea rolling around in the back of my head for another young adult novel—though not dystopian. I’d like to flesh out So-J, one of the secondary characters in Evergreen (she was also in Red Rose Bouquet), and give her her own story. It’ll be at least a year though, because I have other projects scheduled.
3. If you were to go on a vacation to visit one of the characters from this series, what character would you visit and why?
Hmmm… not sure going to see any of these characters in their world would be a “vacation.” But I would so very much like to see the world as it shifts into Eliza’s vision post-Progressive Party’s rule. She sees, in the place of her worst nightmares, a place of healing and forgiveness, a work that is beyond immediate comprehension, but she believes is possible because she experiences it in her own heart. Eliza’s vision is profound—and something that I borrowed from Betsy ten Boom as she envisioned her place of imprisonment during World War II transformed into a place of hope and healing. What a sight that would be. Someday…
4. What inspired the idea for the Uncloaked Trilogy?
A dream. Not kidding. I dreamt it one night—book one, that is, and started writing it the next day. The other two books weren’t as easy to visualize—I had to work a lot harder for those stories. Much of my inspiration came from researching how Christians survived during the times of Roman persecution, and then from digging into details from World War II, which I’m sure is evident throughout the books. I read and then listened to Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place—which still makes me weep—and then sat back in awe at the ten Boom’s solid faith and surrender to Christ. Talk about courage. And love. And forgiveness.
I wanted those characteristics manifested in the story line, and they came mostly through Eliza. But also, I wanted a hero that wasn’t always heroic, who was ordinary—and actually, even a failure at some points. That came through Braxton. I’ve found that some of my readers really couldn’t stand Braxton—they were so mad at him for his decisions and failures. But I keep thinking back to the disciple Peter…
Can God still use a sellout? Yeah. Peter will tell you, God totally can, and He does. That’s the heart of the story there—not that my heroes have anything super “special” about them. No extraordinary gifts. They can’t walk through walls, fire a bow and arrow like no one else ever has, or fight off the enemy with their brute strength and cunning metal powers. They’re everyday people. Kids. Making choices—sometimes good, sometimes bad. But when the darkness falls, and no one knows what to do, there is God. That’s where they find their footing, where their courage is drawn, and where the story begins to turn. Where we find hope, and we dare to dream of things that are otherwise impossible. Because there is God.
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading the Uncloaked Trilogy?
Um, see above.
6. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
Taxi cab driver, mostly. Oh, wife. Mom to four awesome kids (thus the taxi cab driver). Teacher (Sunday school, AWANA, and subbing in our public schools). Friend.
About the Author
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love--not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger's syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society's downtrodden. In fiction, she's a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. Her ancestry tree claims she's a descendant of the House of Stuart.
1. Whom or what inspired you to become an author?
My earliest recollection of creating a story was fan fiction, in my head. I was six. I remember being in love with a certain TV show, and wanting more of it—so I decided to create my own scenarios for the characters.
2. What does your writing process look like?
I’ve been writing a long time. My current process is to write the entire book straight through. When I have smaller blocks of time, I edit. Longer blocks are for creating story. Once it’s complete, I set it aside for a week or so, and then re-read and edit in earnest, usually a number of times, and look for plot holes and places I can expand on the scenes, deepening point of view etc. It’s taken a long time to find what works best for my brain! Even then, agents and editors will make you edit again!!!
3. How much research goes into your books? Have you ever traveled for research?
I love research. I am always reading my favorite blogs, and I print out fragments of odd occurences and keep them in a binder. I have taken countless historical tours, because, for me, the best way to capture the setting is to walk, breath and see it first hand. I’ve toured in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, West Virginia and probably others I’m forgetting!
From the Gullah traditions and Spanish Moss of St. Simons Island to the Salem Witch Trials, each story and place is amazing, inspiring—there are everyday hidden heroes waiting for you to tell their tales.
Here is a photo of Trans-allegheny Lunatic Asylum. It is the setting for Book 2 in the BONESEEKER CHRONICLES
4. What inspired the idea for Boneseeker?
After watching SHERLOCK, I was convinced Sherlock Holmes resembled a person with Asperger’s Syndrome. Add that to my anthropology minor, and Arabella Holmes entered my mind, a fully formed tempest of personality: walking, talking and wreaking havoc in every situation I placed her in.
5. What do you want readers to take away from reading Boneseeker?
I am a character writer. If you remember my people, find yourself thinking about them, wondering what will happen to them—well that’s the goal. As a copious reader myself, that was always my litmus test of the the writer’s worth.
6. When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
I work in medicine as a feeding therapist—as in children that won’t eat—and I am a mom.
About the Author
Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger…be prepared for the extraordinary.
1. What was the hardest character to write in Mojave Rescue?
Believe it or not the hero, Cal Norton was the hardest to write. I knew him very well and he spilled onto the page originally but even though I thought his motivation…stopping the bad guys…was good enough, my editor wanted more. I had to dig even deeper.
The easiest was Drina Gallagher. I think guilt is something we all carry at some time in our lives.
2. What inspired the idea for Mojave Rescue?
The rocket site where my husband worked twenty years ago. The platforms were set on a hill and designed to hold rocket engines for testing. At the time the platforms were abandoned and they were desolate and scary…the perfect setting for a mystery.
3. What do you want readers to take away from reading Mojave Rescue?
A sense of God’s grace. Even when we deny Him, He’s watching over us and He has a plan.
4. What is your current WIP?
My next project is tentatively called Fatal Memories. It’s set in the Sonoroan Desert of Southern Arizona. The heroine is a border patrol agent trying to stop drug traffic.
5. When you are not writing, what other “hats” do you wear?
Well, I’m a mom and grandma with 21 grandchildren so I stay very busy. I love to travel. I just returned from a trip to China. And I love to play pickleball!
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