1. Welcome to Christian Writer/Reader Connection, Christina. To open our discussion, please tell us about your story.
The Familiar Stranger is about a couple going through a rough patch in their marriage. When an accident incapacitates the husband, their relationship must be redefined. which would be a lot easier to do if BIG secrets from his past didn't raise their ugly heads. Despite the upheaval, the choices they make involving forgiveness and trust might allow a new beginning. Or...they might not.
2. Some Christian writers argue that fiction is first and foremost entertainment and decry any "agenda driven" stories. What's your opinion on the subject?
I say we're all writing with an agenda, whether we recognize it or not. Maybe it's to show what a godly romance looks like or to draw attention to child abuse, maybe to attempt to understand why people are capable of such evil. I felt called to share what God has taught me about forgiveness. That is definitely my agenda, which correlates with my tagline, "Live transparently -- Forgive extravagantly." 3. How do you manage wearing so many hats: mother, teacher, author, foster mother?
As a mother of young children (2, 8, & 10), and currently serving as a foster mother, time IS my biggest challenge. I have to make sure my family knows they come first, but to balance that with treating writing as a career. Summer is easier because it tends to be a dry time for substitute teaching. My recently- launched editing business has consumed all of my writing hours for a month and a half. Time for me to set better boundaries so I can progress in my writing as well.
While the idea of writing or editing may seem hard, I usually get quite a lot done in a short amount of time once I start. My pastor reminded me in a sermon that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. That applies to our writing. A little momentum can go a long way!
4. Where are you in the process right now?
I recently turned in my dedication, acknowledgments, and discussion questions. The manuscript has also been sent to a number of my mentors, who've agreed to read it for endorsement.
As writers, I think we dream about our dedications for years. I've pondered this particular book's dedication for months. And yet, when I wrote it on paper, it looked like mere words. Hopefully, I was able to capture some emotion.
With the acknowledgments, I'm still terrified I missed someone. In fact, I was all set to send it to Moody when I realized I'd left my wonderful agents off the list! I probably won't rest easy until the book has been out for a few months and no one asks why I left them out.
Oh, the release date might be helpful. LOL! September 1, 2009! Though I've heard rumors that Moody's books tend to release a few days early. You can pre-order Familiar Stranger at Amazon or Christianbook.
Thanks, Christina, for a great interview. I'm looking forward to reading Familiar Stranger.