What follows is the first of many author interviews I’ll be posting throughout the summer. Hope Ann is a Christian Fantasy author and contributing member of Fantasy Writers and Readers Facebook Group.
What are the challenges of being a devoutly Christian author?
Quite frankly, the challenges of being a Christian author aren’t all that different from the challenges of authors in general: creating distinct characters, forming a tight plot, not getting distracted, writing realistic emotion…oh yes, and figuring out what on earth to title the book. As a Christian author, there is the additional challenge of presenting the message or theme of the story without it being forced or sounding preachy. Sometimes the presentation is harder than other times, but in the whole scheme of writing a book, it’s only one challenge among the normal amount of complications.
How do you “keep it real” when it comes to the Christian faith when writing fantasy?
In fantasy, the worlds, settings, and terms of region change, but people and emotions remain the same. And that is what I build my stories around; the characters and their actions and reactions as well as the plot. I also build in central themes into my writing. Sometimes they are obvious and sometimes they are more subtle, but a good theme is intertwined with the characters and plot until it is indispensable. It’s not forced into the story, but builds it up and weaves through character arcs so that, if absent, the story would feel like it was missing something.
We can likely figure out what binds you to other Christian Fantasy authors, but I’d like to ask what separates you from your peers?
There are other Christian fantasy authors who write allegorical books. I’d love to be able to say that I write in a completely unique style that no one has tried before, or that I have a revolutionary view on fantasy and allegory no one else has thought of. Unfortunately I can’t. What I do enjoy doing is taking themes which are familiar to Christians in theory, but harder to grasp in reality because of their abstractness (such as the source of true joy or relying on God completely for peace during trouble) and showing how such ideas look and work in the lives and struggles of my characters. And, by extension, how they can look and work in the lives of my readers.
Who are the Realm Leapers?
Stealthmaster Kirin and Scrollmistress Elena were two characters I created who can ‘leap’ between all realms real and imagined. Oh yes, and they can time travel. I can use the monthly stories I write about them to build up backstories of my characters or worlds, write a fanfiction in another realm such as Middle Earth, or just have fun. Their original intention was to liven up my newsletters and be my ‘on location researchers’ for fantasy articles on my blog. But recently they’ve taken on lives of their own and now want me to write a book about them. Someday, I might just listen.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Chocolate, notebooks full of random ideas I’ll never have time for, and lots of writing. As I’m getting more ideas than I have time to write, I plan, Lord willing, to write for the rest of my life. In the more immediate future, however, I am working on writing and self-publishing the Legends of Light; a series of nine novellas which retell fairy tales and focus on the nine aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit. I’ve another novel I hope to submit for traditional publication late this year and after that…more writing.
For more on Hope Ann please visit her website.
Hope Ann’s Work: