Sunday, December 8, 2013

Author Interview - Faith Blum

   A friend of mine from Holy Worlds has recently published a novel! As a way to tell the world about her novel, Faith Blum, author of A Mighty Fortress, has set up a blog tour! From December 3rd through 12th she has excerpts, guest posts, and interviews. Follow the link here (blog tour) or above to find the other posts!
   For my contribution to the tour, here's an interview with the lovely Faith Blum herself!

Jesse Rice: Hello Faith. It's a pleasure to interview you today. Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Faith Blum: I am a 23 year old home school graduate and I love to write, read, play piano, and play card games with my family.  I love history and want other people to enjoy history as well. 

What first caused you to become a writer?

From the time I can remember, I have always enjoyed writing and Mom (a.k.a. my teacher) tailored my schooling to fit into that love of writing.

What genres do you like to write?

Historical Fiction and Contemporary Fiction are my favorite genres to write.  Historical Fiction is my passion right now, though.  I just published the first book in a series.  I’m not exactly sure how many books there will be in the series, but so far I have four planned.  I do have a Contemporary Fiction trilogy that is started, but that needs a lot of work and will take many years to finalize.

You've come out with a book recently. What's it called and can you tell me a little about it?

My book is called A Mighty Fortress.  Joshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who's hunting them.

Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom's gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss's right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what's one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?

Can Joshua lean on God's strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town?   Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running--the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet?

What inspired you to write a story like this?

A Christian company had a short story contest based on the picture on the front of their catalog.  I decided to write a story even though I was too old to enter the contest.  It turned out to be novella length rather than a short story, but it still had good potential.  I let it sit for over a year, not sure what to do with it.

Then, last October, a friend told me about a writing contest.  The deadline to enter the finished manuscript was January 31st.  The next two months were spent rewriting and quick-editing my manuscript.  Although, I didn’t win the contest, I did get a very good draft of my book finished.

Long story short, a picture inspired the initial idea and my love of Westerns supplied the rest.

What authors inspire you?

Aubrey Hansen, J. Grace Pennington, Louis L’Amour, Louisa May Alcott, and Karen Witemeyer.

What are some of your favorite books?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Ride the River by Louis L’Amour, Blink by Ted Dekker, Peter’s Angel by Aubrey Hansen, Never by J. Grace Pennington, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Tailor Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer and many more. 

What encouragement or advice would you give to someone who has just started writing?

Just keep writing.  No matter how hard it gets or how bad you think you are doing.  You can always rewrite and edit it to make it better. 

Do you have any books that are coming out in the near future?

That depends on what you mean by near future.  I hope to have book two of the Hymns of the West series out sometime next year, but I do not know for sure how long it will take me.  I am still working on the rough draft of Be Thou My Vision.  I will have progress updates on my blog occasionally, so you can definitely keep up with my progress there.

Thank you so much for being here, Faith. It's been fun.

Thank you for having me here, Jesse.  It was fun answering your questions.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I Am Not a Pacifistic Author

   I'm not a pacifist author. I don't know why it is. For some reason I get a twisted enjoyment out of hurting and, inevitably, killing characters. I don't know if I'm psychologically corrupted. Or maybe I'm just morbid. Either way, characters in my books are going to die. They might not be main characters, but you can be sure that someone somewhere is going to kick the bucket.
   Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes death, while tragic, is necessary in a story. Though, to my mind, the death of the character is not the most important part. The way it effects the other characters is the most important part.
   First, why would it be necessary for a character to die? There's several reasons. A character could die to keep the story real. A character could die to make another character grow. A character could die to (strangely enough) provide comedy (it's happened! I don't know why it would be funny, but it's happened). The final reason (that I can think of) for a character to die is this: to show how high the stakes are or how evil the villain is.
   Okay, now that we've seen why a character needs to die, how can characters react to it? There can be multiple ways. Characters can be sad, characters can be angry, characters can be depressed... there's many different ways people react to death. These are the things I've been processing. How would a certain character react if another certain character died? Would he/she be sad?
   And after the death, what about the funeral? How do the characters react at the funeral? Is there a funeral? For example, in writing Kitten Mysteries Book 2: Trapped, a character (how much can I say without giving too much away...) dies. This character is close to one of the main characters of the series. I had to figure out how that character should react to the death. And then I had to figure out how cats would perform a funeral. It was an interesting thought process and it challenged me to deepen my writing (and all this isn't just going to happen in Book 2!).
   What about you? Have you written a character death which you felt was necessary? Or have you read/seen a story in which a character death was handled particularly well? Feel free to comment below and tell me your thoughts!