The following is the transcription of the Author of the Month Interview that took place with Pastor George McVey, Sr. from The Christian Indie Author Network (http://www.christianindieauthors.com/) . I’m so blessed that they chose to interview me, and it was requested that I post these questions and answers here for people to read. Thanks so much for all your continued support!
Question 1: You’ve managed to release 2 books so far this year. Both the start of new series. How many more books can we expect to see from you this year?
I guess the answer to that is more, what do I have planned, and what will actually be.
Right now there are 4 more books scheduled to release in 2015, possibly 5.
We will hopefully be able to see the entire series of Restoration come to a complete ending which will be within three more books. There has been some talk, behind the scenes of possibly creating a spinoff series of Restoration, but nothing has been set in stone yet, and that will not happen until at least next year.
We will also be able to see how the story continues in the Tri-Realms Saga.
Question 2: The Redemption series tackles a very difficult topic. What caused you to choose to write a series about sex trafficking and the effects on those that are victims and those that help them?
For quite a long time I’ve supported various projects that work in the rescuing of trafficking victims. It’s always been a burden on my heart. About two years ago I was attending a woman’s conference in Washington DC and during this weekend there was a wall of photographs of women who had been taken out of the trafficking world and were in protective homes and shelters, learning how to assimilate back into society. They were healing.
We were asked to take one photograph and really pray over that girl/child/woman, and then to write an encouraging letter to them. The project team would then deliver these letters. I still remember how I felt when I saw the woman in my photograph. All I wanted to do was tell her that she wasn’t broken, and that she was loved and wanted and whole. That was probably the first major push in my heart to do something that portrayed the healing process of these victims. I just didn’t know how and was unsure of my ability to do so.
Fast forward another year, and I was sitting in a church service and we had speakers from the International Justice Mission. We watched a film clip about another woman who was taken, tortured, but then rescued. During that service, I felt the Holy Spirit really press upon me to step out and do what I had known I wanted to do for a long time.
And that’s where it all started. The very next day I began to write, and I didn’t stop until REDEMPTION was finished.
Question 3: What do you say to those readers that might be afraid the Redemption Series books might be too graphic for them?
The world is a scary place, filled with scary things that most of us are used to turning a blind eye to. Yes, my book does have pretty graphic scenes when relating to the actual trafficking, but it’s also full of healing and hope for complete redemption. It’s all about finding a balance. I’ve heard from a few of my readers that they were hesitant to read it because of the topic, but once they did- they didn’t regret it. The purpose of the book is to open our eyes in such a way that we feel connected and convicted.
Question 4: So now lets talk about your second book out this year Finding Alaris. This is such a different type of book than readers are used to from you. What made you decide to write a fantasy Novel?
It’s been kind of fun to write these books as they are well out of my normal genre, but fantasy has always been a secret pleasure for me, so I’m glad to be able to share it. I decided to write it mainly because I needed a break from the emotional heaviness that comes with writing the Restoration Series. I wanted something to get lost in, and I think I’ve accomplished that with Finding Alaris.
Question 5: What do you think of those who say a Christian shouldn’t write fantasy because of the mythical and magical elements?
I think there’s a very unique balance. The worlds we create in fantasy are not based on real life, real heaven, real earth. But many times there are parallels to our faith written into the story if you just take time to seek them out. I think sometimes, we have to step out and try something different. I mean, what are magical elements other than the ability to do something we would not normally be able to do on our own?
In Alaris, the characters do obtain gifts and abilities, but those that are given to them from the ancients. Just as the power of Christ is given to us.
I think if people go in understanding that, they’ll have a completely different outlook of this genre.
Question 6: Do you consider Alaris a Christian Novel?
I don’t overtly call it a Christian Novel but I wrote it from a very spiritual place. To me, many of the elements represent the battle between heaven, earth, and hell as well as the portrayal of Christ finding his bride.
Question 7: So what’s next from Christina M Simpson and when can we expect it?
Right now, Renewal (Restoration Book 2) is on the schedule to be released in the summer. This is the continuation of Nova and Davis, but it will be a bit different than book number one, as we will be seeing more of Evie throughout the book.
It’s been amazing to see how much people want to see where these characters go, and I, for one, am right there with you.
Question 8: If you could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about starting their writing career what would it be?
Don’t be afraid of people who won’t like what you write. I feel like the biggest hesitation in any writer’s career is letting their fear of what people think stop them from ever stepping out. It’s your baby! You put your heart and emotions into this thing, and putting it in the hands of people all over the world is terrifying, BUT… if you have the mindset at the very beginning, that you will never please everyone in the world, then you will do just fine. You can’t expect everyone to enjoy the same kind of tea you enjoy, or the same foods, or the same anything really. Everyone is unique. All you can do is write to your best possible ability, love your work, and let it out. You’ll be surprised at how the freedom feels.
Question 9: If you could tell your fans one thing what would it be?
I tell them this all the time, and I hope they get sick of hearing it because I will never stop. I LOVE YOU! My fans are the reason I continue to do what I do. Their kind words and encouragement and support, every single time one of my books hits their hands, is priceless to me. Knowing that even if just one person is touched or changed or felt something amazing while reading. Man, that feeling is overwhelming. It’s what fuels me.
Question 10: What rituals do you use to get in the writers zone?
Oh boy. This is a fun question. Music is a huge part of getting into the zone for me. I have an inspiration page that I keep on my website of quotes, videos, etc. It’s fun to show that to the world.
It can be very difficult to write in my house. I have one teenage boy and another preteen boy who constantly need my attention. I am so lucky to have a husband who comes home, looks at me, and says, “I got this. Go do your thing.”
I have various places in town that I go to sit and write, but the biggest thing for me is being in a place where I can watch people around me. This is why I love sitting at the coffee shop or at the mall food court. My imagination runs wild with the possibilities around me.
Question 11: In all the books you’ve published so far who is your favorite Character and why?
Wow. That is a hard choice because all my characters become so much a part of me, it’s hard to choose one, but if I had to, it probably wouldn’t be one that most people would think. My favorite character in all the books I’ve published so far, is probably Abilla, in Finding Alaris. I have plans for that one.
Question 12: Is there one book you wish you could rewrite?
We all have that one book that kind of got away from us, don’t we? Mine was “War for the Heart.” It was my second book ever published, and at the time I was so excited to just get it out there, that I probably should have worked it, reworked it, and done a lot more work on it. I still very much love the story and the characters, but now, having moved on from that and having learned heap loads of other things, it was time to take it down and rework it. So it currently cannot be purchased, but it will be back. I just hope that when it comes back, it will be just as amazing as I ever dreamed it could be.
Watch the Interview Below: