Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Author Interview with Krista McGee

Q. What inspired your latest novel, "Starring Me"?

Each of the three books in this series is based on a biblical story. Starring Me is loosely based on the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Gen, 24. I love that story - a servant is sent to find just the right wife for Abraham and Sarah's child of promise, and the couple experiences love at first sight. My editor and I both wanted Kara to be the "star" of this novel, so we brainstormed together how I could modernize that story using Kara as my Rebekah.

Q. Are you more confident about "Starring Me" than you were about "First Date"?

Yes. I wrote First Date not knowing if it would ever be published. It was just something I wanted to try, so I took my laptop to the local library one summer and finished the manuscript. With Starring Me, though, I was already under contract, so I knew it would be published - I even knew the publication  date before I had written the first chapter. That gave me greater confidence and greater motivation. 

Q. I admire the Christianity that is shown throughout your novels.  Do you ever worry that some people will criticize your work or accuse you of being "overly religious" in them?

I knew going in that my "Jesus Factor" was pretty high, and that people who aren't Christians or for whom faith is not an important element would likely not enjoy my stories. And that's all right. I have worked with youth for over a decade, as a youth leader, a Bible study teacher, a Christian school teacher, and now as a writer. My desire is to be an encouragement to the younger generations as they seek to know God and serve Him. I want to entertain, certainly, but I also want to give examples of young people living lives completely surrendered to our amazing Savior.

Q. At what age did you discover that writing was something you wanted to pursue?

I was about 24 when I started thinking about it. I would write skits for church, articles for magazines and newspapers - sometimes they were published, most of the time they weren't. But I really got serious about writing fiction just three years ago, when I sat down to write First Date.

Q. What are you currently reading?

The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo

Q. Have you ever experienced Writer's Block?  If so, how do you deal with it?

Certainly. I usually read a book or watch a good movie - enjoying it but also looking to see what those writers did to create their story, what I can learn from them. And I also pray. I have found sometimes God allows me to have writer's block to remind me to depend on Him for my ideas and "not lean on my own understanding."

Q. Do you think your future novels will always have a touch of Christianity to them?

Yes. More than a touch. I want my readers to see characters who know God or are seeking Him and are changed by His grace. I always want the romance of Christ with his bride to overshadow any other romance in my stories.

Q. As an author, what is your ultimate goal that you would like to achieve?

I want to be an encouragement to my readers. I want to make them laugh and to provide escape - life can be tough and we need some fun, sometimes, to get through those difficult days. But I also want to point them to the One who gives ultimate escape and peace and strength to help them weather whatever storms may come.

Q. What does your writing ritual consist of?

I usually sit at my computer a full thirty minutes before I begin writing. I get my coffee. I check my e-mail. I get some more coffee. I check my Facebook. I update my blog. I get some more coffee. And then I open up my word document and start writing. After I go and get some more coffee :)

Q. What do you hope your fans will learn from your novels?

I want them to see how much God loves them, how he pursues them and desires a relationship with them and how his plans for them are so much better than any plans we can concoct on our own.

Q. What can your fans expect next?

The third and final book in this series is Right Where I Belong - loosely based on Ruth, this story follows Natalia Lopez as she moves from Madrid, Spain to Tampa, Florida with her grieving stepmother. Addy and Kara will be in this book, as will a newcomer, Brian Younger, Jr. It will be released in December.

Q. What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Pray, pray, pray. Ask God what he wants you to write, when he wants you to write it, and who he wants to represent and publish you. And after that, read, read, read. There is no better way to grow as a writer than to read what others are doing. There are so many great writers out there, with such a variety of gifts and ideas and styles. Learn from them. Enjoy them. 

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