Good Girl Book Club



Meet Authors

Interview With Angela Benson
author of Awakening Mercy and Abiding Hope

GGBC: What experience or turning point in your life guided you to your vocation as a Christian author?

ANGELA: I wrote secular fiction until the day I couldn't write secular fiction anymore. I literally sat down to write a story that I had been contracted to write and could not write it. After several attempts to write this story, I found myself at a place of repentance, not just for the writing but for the life I was living before God.

When I stopped writing secular fiction, I wasn't sure if I'd ever write another book again. Sometime later a friend suggested I explore Christian fiction. I wasn't sure about pursuing the genre but I did sit down to write a story. This was a story of repentance, my own repentance. I wrote it because I wanted to talk about what happens when the prodigal returns. I didn't write the story to sell it, though I later tried to sell it as a novella. The story has yet to sell, but that's all right because I think it served its purpose.

GGBC: Do you think there is a different type of responsibility to the reader as a Christian fiction writer as opposed to a secular fiction writer?

ANGELA: Yes. I think that readers come to Christian fiction looking to receive. With secular fiction, they may have their antennas up, alert for anything that conflicts with their belief system. With Christian fiction, they let that antennae down expecting work that coincides with their belief system. As a writer, I feel it my responsibility to honor that expectation and not betray the trust of the readers who pick up my books.

I also think that people read looking for themselves and their situations so I try to create honest characters in honest situations. I don't go for the "good" character versus the "bad" character scenario, because I see that as an easy out. I go for characters that are complex, characters that are challenged to live their faith, not just talk about it.

GGBC: The setting of Awakening Mercy is Atlanta, GA any particular reason you chose this city as the back drop for Nate and Cece?

ANGELA: I think a writer needs to know the places about which she chooses to write. I've lived in the Atlanta area and I know and love the place. In addition, Atlanta has a large and diverse African American community that provides a lot of fodder for a story.

GGBC: The theme of Awakening Mercy was forgiveness and repentance. Why did you decide to give the main characters Nate and Cece similar personal struggles?

ANGELA: I'm not sure it was a conscious decision. The story just unfolded that way.

GGBC: What was your inspiration for the Genesis House Series and when could we expect your next novel Abiding Hope?

ANGELA: Abiding Hope should be available in August. It was scheduled for September 2001 but the publishers got it ready early for the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) International Convention that was held in Atlanta in July.

GGBC: Could you share with us the theme of Abiding Hope? Will we recognize any particular characters from Awakening Mercy?

ANGELA: Abiding Hope is about trusting God, and how we sometimes things happen in our lives will cause us to waver in our trust. Abiding Hope is Shay and Marvin's story. The couples were introduced in Awakening Mercy. They're picking up the pieces of their marriage, their ministry together, and their individual walks with the Lord. You can read an excerpt on my web page at http://www.bensonink.com/abiding_hope.htm

GGBC: What advice would you give aspiring Christian authors who feel called to write or compelled to share their story with the world? What resources could you recommend?

ANGELA: Write and pray. Pray and write. You have to have to message for your story and you have to get that message from the Lord. That's first. I also recommend reading other writers. Reading books on the craft of writing helps as well. I have a page of Writing Tips, including writing organizations and helpful books, on my web page at http://www.bensonink.com/newsletttips.htm.

GGBC: Angela, thanks for spending a moment with us and congrats on being our Good Girl Pick for May! We hope to have you back again soon.

ANGELA: Thanks for having me. I'd love to come again.

ON A LITERARY NOTE

Review: Emma Dash

Emma Dash
G-CAFECONNECT



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