Frank’s Interview With Tricia Goyer: author of From Dust and Ashes, Night Song, Dawn of a Thousand Nights, and Arms of Deliverance.
Whether you're a reader or a writer, this you'll enjoy:
Writers have different motivations. What is it that drives you?
My brand is Reflecting Reality, Honoring Truth. That is my motivation for writing too. My desire for my fiction is to reflect the reality of history—to bring it to life for readers. I also desire to honor the truth of the experiences men and women during WWII . . . and Truth, who is Christ.
To do this, I not only research through books or on the Internet, I also interview the men and women who were there. And I tie spiritual threads throughout the books, which don’t focus on religion, but rather the relationship with Jesus Christ in individual lives.
You’re married with three children, so how do you find quiet-time to write?
There is NO quiet-time to write, since I also homeschool my kids. They are around 24/7. I’ve trained myself to write without quiet time. We have one big homeschooling room/ office. When my kids are working on their homework, I’m working on mine in the same room. I can be crying my eyes out, writing an emotional scene, and then I have to stop to help with a multiplication problem! Yet God blesses me as I serve Him in both of these areas.
To be able to write, I use advice given to me by my writer-friend Anne de Graaf, “Do the next thing.” The next thing may be to write a description, to research a scene, or to write 2,000 words for that day. Or it may be to read a story with one of my kids or to set up a homework schedule. These small steps keep me plugging forward, and helps me not to get overwhelmed. If I tried to think of the whole book at once (or thirteen years of education!), then I’d probably freeze up. But I can do one little part at this moment.And even I don’t have quiet time to write, I do take time for quiet time with my Bible and prayer book every day. I wake up at least an hour before everyone else and spend time with God. This is my priority, and this too transforms my writing.
Apart from interviewing WW-II veterans while writing this series, tell me about your creative method. Do you work from a writer’s notebook?
The first thing I do is get an overview on the time in history. I read some general books and figure out a basic timeline for the story based on historical events.
After that, I weave my characters within the timeline, and then I start specific research. This is when I start interview people who were there.
On each of these levels, I have WORD documents on my computer. Or I’ve recently started using a program called One Note. I have different files for timeline, characters, description, conflict, etc. Each of these have different title files.
Then, once I have the research about 2/3 finished, I start writing. I open a document and plug in my research according to how I will need it.
Then, I start writing.
War and Christian fiction seem like contradictory terms. Did you struggle with moral issues while writing Arms of Deliverance, or was Hitler vs the Allies too black & white?
Hitler vs. the Allies is the general conflict of the book, but I also have more specific conflicts within each of the characters. Each one has their personal goals, motivations, and vices. These are not cardboard people. My “good guys” have personal struggles, and my bad guys aren’t 100% bad. Even with my Nazi officer, I try to get into his head to provide motivations for why he does what he does—not always moral motivations, but motivations all the same.
So in essence war and Christian fiction are not contradictory. The Christian aspects of my novels deal with the people who are involved within the war. Most women stayed home for WW-II, but your main characters, Mary and Lee, are both war-correspondents.
Is your intended audience women?
I would say that most of my audience is women, but I also have a lot of male readers too. In addition to Mary and Lee’s point-of-view, the story is also told from the point-of-views of Eddie, a B-17 Navigator, and Hendrick, a Nazi officer.
My favorite male readers are the WWII veterans I’ve interviewed, of course. Here is what one of them said:
It was a fascinating pleasure to watch the development of the author’s courageous young reporter. The description of airbase activities and flight in a B-17 bomber out of Bassingbourn, England brought back poignant memories of my personal wartime experiences.I too flew with the 91st Bomb Group out of Bassingbourn as a Pathfinder Navigator. The descriptions of flight conditions are thought-provoking and accurate. Further, the author has pieced together an intriguing story with different segments. She skillfully guides the reader through peaks and valleys of why we fought, the struggle to win, nail-biting suspense, divine guidance, and . . . sweet victory.Tricia Goyer has effectively captured the robust ‘Can Do’ spirit of World War II.
~~ John HowlandPathfinder Navigator91st Bomb Group
Is there a feminist message in Arms of Deliverance?
I suppose all of WWII could be considered “feminist” in nature, not out of rebellion, but out of necessity. Women were forced to do the jobs of men, as their husbands, boyfriends, and brothers went off to war. My characters are no different. They use this opportunity to excel in jobs once only held by men. They struggled in these roles, and as my novel shows, some choose to continue with their careers while others return to more traditional roles.
This is your fourth and final book in this series; are you looking forward to a new project?
Yes, I’m currently working on a three book series on The Spanish Civil War. This war took place in Spain right before WWII. Hitler and Mussolini supported Franco and the Rebels. Russia and International Brigades from all over the world supported the Spanish people and their elected government. The first book, A Valley of Betrayal, (which I’m still writing!) will be out February 2007 . . . so I’ve been deep in the heart of Spain in my writing world.
I don’t believe in luck, so I’ll wish you His will.
Where can we pick up a copy of Arms of Deliverance?
Arms of Deliverance is available at local Christian bookstores or at on-line bookstores such as Amazon.com.
You can find out more at http://www.triciagoyer.com
Thanks so much!
Thanks for the interview!
Check out Tricia’s new release Arms of Deliverance at:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0802415563/ref=cm_arms_pdp_dp/102-3823501-9095348?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155
Plot Synopsis: The fourth and final novel in this exhilarating series capturing the tales of men and women swept into World War II. Two friends, Mary and Lee, land similar reporting jobs at the New York Tribune on the eve of the war’s outbreak and soon they become competitors. Mary’s coverage of a bombing raid over Germany leads to a plane wreck and an adventurous escape attempt from across enemy lines. And when Lee hears of Mary’s plight, she bravely heads to war-torn Europe in an effort to help rescue her friend. Will there be enough time for diplomacy or will war get the best of everyone?