Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I am so excited to introduce to you Angie Brashear. Angie is the author of Of the Persecuted, a young adult fantasy novel (with a breathtaking cover). As I interviewed Angie, I was so intrigued by the fact that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis opened her eyes to Christ! Christians everywhere know that Lewis wrote that series of books as an allegory about Christ and the love and sacrifice of Christ — but I’ve never actually known anyone to be led to Christ through the books. How thrilling it is to discover that – especially as an author, like me, with a mission statement like this:
Hallee prayerfully crafts stories as modern day parables to uplift fellow believers and minister to seekers in our fallen world.
To know that God uses fiction, even allegorical fantasy fiction, to open doors in hearts is just exciting! I’m SO happy she’s joining us here today. And, she’s giving away a copy of her book, Of the Persecuted. If you enjoy young adult novels, or have a young adult girl who reads, be sure to enter to win with the Rafflecopter at the end of this interview!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My normal activities surround raising three amazing kids, as well as a career in public education with a focus on students with disabilities. I love to read and I love to run, especially now that my kids are old enough to do both with me. And now I love to write books into the wee hours of the night, after my kids fall asleep.
Tell us about your current release.
Of the Persecuted is a fantasy with a strong thread of romance geared toward young adult females. The story surrounds an insecure girl who believes she is no more than a burden to the people she loves. But in the midst of physical and spiritual war, and through the loss of loved ones, as well as the turmoil of unrequited love, she discovers her true worth lies in her faith.
Ultimately, my goal is to reach young adult females much like the lost, lonely girl I once was. As a nonbeliever for the majority of my life, I enjoyed reading speculative fiction and it was the The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis which ultimately opened my eyes to Christ. My prayer is that my stories will do the same for others. I also hope believers will enjoy the Christian undertones of my work.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it?
Without a doubt. While I have no idea how the Lord intends to use my story to His glory, I believe the heart of at least one nonbeliever will be opened to the truth of the One True God. And that makes my efforts worthwhile.
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction?
A little edge. I firmly believe that in order to reach nonbelievers who’ve suffered abuse – whether physical, emotional, sexual, etc. – we, as Christians, need to reach them where they are and help lift them to the Lord. We cannot be preachy in the midst of turmoil. My opinion regarding this matter occasionally upsets fellow Christians, which is certainly not my intention. My response to such criticism is two-fold. First, I’ve been on the other side and it took a little edge to open my eyes to the truth. Second, by “need to reach them where they are,” I do not mean to insinuate that we should deviate from the Word of God. Ever.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write?
In January 2012, my assistant and I exchanged late Christmas gifts. During the exchange, we discussed the various challenges of our jobs and the “what ifs” of other possible employment endeavors. Cue the violin, right? I mean, a lot of people face stressful situations in the workplace on a daily basis. As we talked, my assistant said, “The longer I work with you, the more I imagine you as an author.” My jaw dropped, for I’d NEVER shared my deepest dream with her or anyone else for that matter. I squeezed the lovely gift in my hands. She smiled and glanced at the journal. “Whenever you’re ready,” she said as she walked out of my office.
So I prayed for the next three months. And then I wrote. I completed the manuscript after seven months of late night writing, having absolutely no knowledge of the writing world. I later had to convert the manuscript from lackluster omniscient narrative to one person point of view. While I don’t profess to write without flaws, I do believe my story will reach lost girls. The journal my assistant gifted to me has been life changing. I’m grateful she allowed God to work through her.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher?
Not too long ago, I made the heartbreaking decision to leave traditional publishing, and to pursue an indie publishing route. While there are many pros and cons to both types of publishing, I ultimately felt God’s plans for Of the Persecuted did not involve traditional publishing. Now, I’m happy to share that my debut novel has been released under my very own indie publishing label – 4:13 Publishing. Because in Him, I can accomplish all things to His glory.
I strongly recommend using a professional cover designer, editor, and formatter if pursuing an indie publishing route. My website includes recommendations for all such professionals.
Do you have your plotline and character development already laid out before you begin writing a book, or do they develop as you write?
I’m a total panster. And sometimes I wonder if that is good or bad for my writing endeavors. As I write, I know exactly where I want to start and finish, but I fly by the seat of my pants when writing all of the details in between. In some ways, it’s a fun approach because my own characters surprise me with their decisions. LOL!
Thank you for hosting today. I’ve enjoyed our visit!
Back Cover Blurb:
Laila Pennedy awaits death by hanging. For the Rendow Clan rules the Woodlands Region, aiming to slaughter the Faithful. And she deserves to die. But Lars Landre, the man destined to lead the Faithful out of persecution, has other plans hidden behind his rare and mysterious blue eyes. Rescue.
Following the daring escape, Laila seeks the path of a warrior and vows revenge against the Rendow Clan. She embarks on a dangerous journey with Lars, one in which they endeavor to reach the promised safety of a magical village, to train for battle, and to ultimately assure freedom for those with faith in the Maker.
Clashes of weapons and souls. Brutal loss of lives. Unrequited love. How in all the Woodlands will Laila survive?
When Angie Brashear isn’t working or taking care of her family, she writes. Usually at night after her kids fall asleep. She’s a fan of speculative fiction and an avid runner, both of which perplex her nonfiction-reading, football-loving husband. Saved in her early twenties, Angie is grateful for the Lord’s presence in all aspects of her life. She is originally from Rockland, Maine and currently resides in Cameron, Texas with her husband and three children. Follow her at http://facebook.com/AngieBrashearAuthor, https://twitter.com/AngieBrashear, and http://angiebrashear.com.
Enter to win a copy of Of the Persecuted!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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