Last month I shared about my newbie experience attending the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in St. Louis in late June. During my two days at the trade show, which is put on by the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA), I had the privilege of interviewing three authors about their current/upcoming releases. Today I feature author and editor Fay Lamb.
Fay and I go back to around 2000 when we were both beginning our serious journeys into the world of fiction writing. We started as critique partners and in the process became great friends. This past June we caught up with each other once more and marveled at our being at ICRS together, both as authors and Fay also as an editor for Write Integrity Press, which also published her book Stalking Willow.
We sat at a small table with our soft drinks near one of the stages was set up and got caught up on each other’s lives and, in particular, Fay’s release Stalking Willow. I began by asking:
Pam: How long have you been writing?
Fay: I started writing at five, by making up stories and telling them to others. That would have been about forty-seven years ago. (laughter). Actually it was in my mid-twenties that I took writing Christian fiction seriously.
Tell us a little about your book Stalking Willow.
What motivated you to write Willow’s story?
My own bitterness. Write what you know. I wanted a godly heritage like other people I knew, and God said “you have the heritage I gave you. I was with you through everything and that is your heritage.” The bitterness is gone but I’m still growing.
What is the main message you hope your readers will take away?
God is in the details. That’s what I believe Rom. 8:28 is about. Not so much while in the midst of a crisis do you see this, but later when you look back, you see God in the details. If our lives are messed up by our own doing or by someone else’s, God will work all things out for good. He allowed his Son to die on the cross and He worked that out for good.
Which characters did you most enjoy creating and why?
I loved Willow’s Aunt Aggie. I didn’t know how her character would turn out but she surprised me with her character arc. She is comedic relief to the story. Willow looks at her aunt and must decide if she wants to follow her example or stay stuck where she is.
What was your biggest challenge in writing this novel?
Bitter people are never likable, and I needed to make Willow likable. My critique partners would say things like, “I’m not feeling her yet. She is too angry.” I used sarcastic wit with her, and I had to add a character in the story that would battle against her. The hero won’t take her sarcasm and is sarcastic back to her.
Do you ever show soft sides of your unlikable characters to make them more likable?
I haven’t tried that technique with a hero or heroine. With Willow I used deep POV to show why she is bitter. Going into her internal thoughts so that the readers would better understand her.
What are you currently working on?
I have two four-book series contracts. Stalking Willow is the first novel in the Amazing Grace series. The second book in the series Better Than Revenge is a repackage of my novel Because of Me that came out under another publisher that is no longer in business. The new version releases September 15, 2013.
The first book in the Ties That Bind series is Charisse that releases in July. The third and fourth books in both series will release in 2014 and later.
What do you consider the best part of your writing journey?
Being able to tell God’s truth in a modern-day parable to reach readers beyond a Christian audience.
What characteristic of God do you like to present most in the stories you write?
Humor. Forgiveness is another, but I love to portray that God has a sense of humor. Consider Haman in the story of Esther, or and the plague of frogs. Moses and Aaron must have shaken their heads, and wondered what in the world is God up to.
It was great fun learning all that Fay is up to these days. You can find her here: Twitter, Facebook, or her Website. Fay’s Blog, “On the Ledge,” is accessible through her website.