Welcome to Novel Matters, where we seek to engage and explore irresistible fiction – specifically fiction written from a Christian perspective. It’s a perspective that explores the dignity, humanity and mystery of the human experience in light of God’s character.
We seven do not presume our work to be definitive. Rather, we strive to create sumptuous, lush fiction by using surprising and satisfying language, and creating unforgettable characters. And we aren't afraid to ask the difficult questions that linger in the reader’s mind long after the last page. We are students of the craft and desire to join with you in provocative discussions about novels that matter, stirring up the passion within author and reader.
The purpose of Novel Matters is to hone the calling and craft of fiction writing.
It's my (Bonnie's) privilege to be the first blogger on Novel Matters. We're starting off with a interview style tête-à-tête about who I am and a few ideas I have about writing, books, and creating irresistible fiction. I'm new to the world of publishing, my first novel, Talking to the Dead, will be released June 1, 2009 from David C. Cook. You can read the blurb on my other blog.
Each one of us will share a bit about ourselves in the weeks to come. And there will be more, so much more! Contests (with the most amazing prizes!), book giveaways, interviews. Be sure to bookmark this blog, or become a follower, so you don't miss a moment!
Let's begin. Bonnie Grove answers:
What is Christian fiction?
First a pet peeve: "Christian" isn't an adjective - it's a noun, or better, a verb. But on with my answer! Christian fiction has changed over the years, and will continue to change (as it should). It started out as a way of expounding on Bible stories and characters, etc., and now has become a market that embraces nearly every genre out there. But, in general, Christian fiction is stories that accept the God of the Bible as Ultimate Truth.
Of your favorite books, what one do you wish you had written, and why?
A Wrinkle In Time – The first time I “read” this book as a kid, I actually had it read to me by a camp counselor. I was transported. I could see every detail, feel every sensation – which is remarkable for a story that takes place in an unknown dimension. I don’t think I’d go so far as to say I wish I wrote it, but I aspire to write with the immediacy and intimacy I first encountered in this classic book.
Conflict is central to fiction, but how do you create a work of fiction that is tense, difficult, and sometimes even frightening, yet make it a place readers want to go to, spend time in, and get to know well?
Lots of things come to mind – but for me, it’s about respect. If I approach conflict with respect for the issues and people involved in it, and endeavor to show a multi-dimensional understanding of the problem, then I will earn the reader’s trust. I also steer clear of having all the answers about a problem.
Also, my work tends to explore issues and conflict I have lots of questions about, so much of what I write is me wrestling with questions I find compelling – and I’m sure many other people do too.
Where is the strangest place that you had a brainstorm and had to stop and write down an idea or snippet of dialogue?
Oh if I could turn my brain off in the shower! Head full of shampoo, eyes burning and YOWZA! Best idea ever pops into my head. So not fair. Anyone else relate?
When you sit down to write, who is your audience?
I write for women who have experienced unwanted change and/or loss.
Can you make up stories on the spot - at the drop of a hat?
You betcha. I love stories and I’ve been making them up my whole life. At heart, that is what I am, a storyteller. Drop your hat, and I'll tell you a story about it.
Think of a novel you have not written - yet - but would like to one day. The best thing you will ever write before you die. Don't tell us what it will be about, but instead, tell us how it will make the reader feel.
I see the reader finishing the book, reaching for the phone, and calling a friend to talk about the experience she just had – the enjoyment, the hope, the shattering grace she’s just encountered, and to share how God has whispered in her ear about His abiding love for her.
I look forward to hearing from you, sharing your thoughts about irresistible fiction, and engaging in this journey of words with you.