Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am very thrilled to have Christa MacDonald as my guest. While doing this interview, I absolutely fell in love with Christa’s heart for believers and, as she has termed them, aspiring believers. I feel like she and I could sit for hours and discuss Christ, love, and people. Plus she loves U2, so there you go! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. And — Christa is giving away an ebook of her latest release! Read on to see how you can enter to win!
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m the mom of three and wife of one, a full-time manager at a media company, and an amateur, but
Tell us about your current release: The Redemption Road is the third and final book in the Sweet River Redemption series. It’s a contemporary romance set in a small town in Maine. It has dramatic tension, romance, a bit of mystery, small-town life, the natural beauty of Maine, and a barmy cat named Hobbes. If that’s not enough to entice you, it’s the story of a woman willing to pay any price to help the man she loves find redemption.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? There’s no question that writing books with a Christian perspective, even if they don’t deal with a conversion story, narrows the audience. It’s still a big audience though and in it are believers and aspiring believers as I like to call them. There’s a lot of folks out there without a saving faith. People are led astray by some bad theology out there. There are many who end up worshiping a pale imitation of Christ thinking they’ve got the real thing. It’s a concern that weighs heavily on my heart so it weaves its way into my writing almost without me trying. If something I’ve written reaches even one person on the wrong path and directs them to the right one? That’s a greater success than hitting the bestseller lists.
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Reality. I don’t mean ‘gritty’ realism though. Authenticity. Depicting humans as they are, and importantly, Christians as they truly are. Christians are not perfect. As a reader I don’t enjoy idealized characters, folks so good they seem two-dimensional. We all still struggle with sin. Good Christian fiction needs to show sin, repentance, forgiveness, and the sheer joy and beauty of being redeemed by grace.
With all those characters in your head screaming to get out how do you write fast enough to get it all down? I type 80 words per minute so that helps.
What’s the first major news headline that you can remember and what do you remember? Ronald Reagan being shot. My family was in California staying at my aunt and uncle’s house for a visit. They had a big TV in their den and a lazy-boy recliner right in front of it. My sister and I would fight over that seat to watch whatever was on. I had won the last tussle only to get tossed out as my uncle rushed in and turned on the news. I remember how quietly tense the adults were. Now I know they had already lived through the assassination of civil rights leaders and the Kennedy brothers, so they’d unfortunately had practice dealing with political violence.
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? U2 was my first real musical crush. The music really spoke to me and the lyrics had a sort of Christian bent to them so my mother didn’t ban them from the house.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? If you’ve never written anything of length before, I’d advise trying NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). It’s an online community of writers all trying to get to 50k words in the month of November. There’s a lot of encouragement and tips. After that, whether you hit 50k or not, I’d suggest finding a writing group to join and seeking out seminars or online resources to learn the basics of outlining, plotting, etc. Sometimes it can be easier to learn the basics after you’ve tried to do it yourself. There’s something there for reference.
What is one thing that you “never saw yourself doing” and either do it now or have done? Outlining. I never saw myself as a planner. I was pretty committed to the romantic idea of sitting down at the keyboard and writing whatever came to my heart. What I found in practice is that leads to half-finished books or starts that never go anywhere. Now when I get a great idea, I write it down and come back to it when I have more, slowly building it up until I’m ready to write a full outline.
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Christa is giving away an ebook of her latest release Redemption Road! Enter here!a Rafflecopter giveaway
I agree with you about not liking books that depict Christians as “perfect”. A lot of these books also depict non-Christians as being horrible people. Unfortunately, neither is reality and can do a lot of harm (IMO). I’d rather read books that depict Christians in a growth situation that is encouraging instead of as people with lifestyles I could never attain. Something else that I wonder about are books that show siblings that greet each other with hugs and kisses every time they meet up. Is this real? Maybe, but it’s certainly not my reality! LOL
I know what you mean. As a reader I don’t like it when a Christian book depicts non-believers as villains. The reality is that many atheists are lovely people. Which is why I try to depict us all as we are. And yeah, I don’t hug my sister every time I see her. LOL I think she’d faint if I did.
Christa MacDonald recently posted…Welcome!
Hallee asks great questions! I really enjoyed answering them.
Love books that show people who change or are changed for better in their lives! Thank God that life offers spiritual growth.
I love your comment about what Christian Fiction needs more of. I think that’s absolutely true. More realistic people, more realistic situations. Those things can be achieved without writing risque, graphic, or overly violent situations. Great interview 🙂
I agree with your thoughts on reality in Christian fiction. Thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you.
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!
I like authors that tackle the truth about our walk with God. We still live in a sinful world with other sinner. The only difference is that we are forgiven. We are not perfect. We struggle with anger, lying, lust, deceit, selfishness, greed and pornography.
Yup. And I think showing the struggle helps to encourage us all.