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
Tell us a
little about your book Stalking Willow.
her grandmother, she grew up thinking her mother was dead and the man
identified as her father was not really her dad. She eventually learns her
parents were Hollywood superstars who are both every much alive. They abandoned
her to her granny, and granny kept their identities a secret. The news about
her true parents gets out, and the paparazzi begins harassing her. She escapes to
New York. Ten years later, a stalker begins terrorizing her with email pictures
of her. She flees to hometown in North Carolina. In reality, the physical
danger isn’t the stalker but the bitterness in her life. She needs to change.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.