Interview Questions and Answers
Q What inspired you to write Hold the Faith?
A An incredibly detailed Bible Study series on the gospel of John. At that time I wrote illustrated computer help manuals for my students – my husband was the one who wrote fiction. I dropped a lot of hints about ‘someone needs to write a book on this’. He agreed, but didn’t offer. The pressure to write it mounted, and much to my surprise I was writing fiction.
Q Why did that Bible study impact you in such a way that you had to write it?
A I think for the first time ever, I saw behind the stories in the Bible and ‘met’ the people.
First, I wanted to check if what I heard was true. Then it became a ‘treasure hunt’. I found out what ordinary life was like for people without landline phones never mind cell phones. The women had no modern cookers, microwaves, washing machines or any of the kitchen appliances. When any of the people went anywhere it was invariably by foot. Even then they ran the risk of being attacked, impressed into carrying a Roman soldier’s burden for a mile, or being attacked by a wild animal.
Q Hold the Faith is part of a series, how did that come about?
A Ah, that is simple. I started at the beginning of the gospel of John and began to put people in. By the time I was nearing 130,000 words I realized one book was not going to be enough. Another thing happened. As well as relating my way through the gospel, the characters started ‘claiming’ their lives.
Q You said you had hoped your husband would write the book, did he disapprove of what you were doing.
A Not in the least. He was my biggest supporter, number one encourager and reader. We discussed the characters and what was happening to them. Sometimes he would say, “I thought you said ‘such and such’ happened.” I usually agreed because he had a good memory. Then he would point out, kindly, that I had told him, but not the reader. He died before book 3 in the series was published, but it was mostly written then.
Q If you were a ‘technical writer’ of sorts, what qualifications do you have for this kind of writing?
A A sincere desire to tell the truth. However, I did complete two years Bible College here in Perth. I think I was one of the few students in my year who enjoyed the Old Testament Bible History classes.
Q But you do not write Old Testament fiction.
A Stay tuned. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility. The series is finished, all five books, and there are two novellas arising from them. A third is underway, but for a long time I have been researching for a series set in the Old Testament.
Q What would you most like your readers to gain from your books?
A To see the characters as representing the people of the time… I found them when I was writing about them and they became real to me. I would love for my readers to find the same joy.