I cannot take credit for this interview. However, if you are interested in Sue Dent, or other "WILD Card authors", please join our group!
Sue, I've been doing a little research into your book. Congrats!
You've gotten some great kudos for the book and I'm even more anxious
to read it.
Yes, I'm always surprised when another review rolls in. Especially I
usually never solicit for them! I'd always heard getting those
reviews would be tough and many first time novelists must send out
review copies to get the reviews that people will pay attention to.
Good thing God's in control! J My first publisher didn't have time to
send out review copies. We were on a deadline to get the books to
Book Expo 2006 for my author signing.
I am interested in ways to express, as you said, Light in new
ways. I would think a story of evil vs good could be well presented
in the legends of vampires and werewolves. Anyway, I'm anxious to
read the book.
That's just what it does too. And in a way so that a Christian can
read and enjoy without compromising their Faith.
I am curious - where has your book been marketed? Obviously not to
the CBA stores so are you out in the general market? Has that been a
challenge to get it marketed there?
I marketed my book to the general market, Christian and otherwise. I
Targeted Young Adult readers, Horror readers, Fantasy readers and, it
seems, readers of the conservative evangelical CBA market. I
certainly do market to CBA readers as they, so far, have been some of
my biggest advocates. Sadly that doesn't mean my book will be in CBA
Christian Bookstores, (BTW most bookstores with the label Christian
attached are CBA) but that's because, as a rule, they only allow
books in that meet their strict CBA/ECPA guidelines. Guidelines set
up to protect their conservative evangelical market. The only
challenge there has been to redirect people's thinking that not being
in a Christian bookstore means nothing more than you don't write for
a particular niche market. And let me tell you, that's a BIG
What inspired you to write Forever Ceese?
*Sue shaking head* Yet another title for my book. LOL Okay, it's
Never Ceese, silly. But at least you didn't call it Never Cease. I'm
keeping a tally you know. J
What readers do you think would most enjoy this book?
Based on the reviews—everyone! My mom looks at everything I do with
a critical eye and rose above that to tell me she really enjoyed it.
Many CBA readers have rushed to embrace it. Horror readers, Fantasy
readers, readers who like good books—you name it. I'm constantly
What would you like your readers to gain from the book?
I good read. I want them to have a spare moment that they want to
fill with something entertaining and exciting. That's what I want
from a book.
What inspires you as you write?
What inspires you to breath? There are stories in my head all the
time, every day. They're so good that as a child, I'd think all day
about one in particular so I'd could hopefully dream about it at
night. I honestly did this and was always excited when it worked out
that it happened.
Tell us something about yourself that we couldn't discover from
reading your website.
I don't like the horror genre. It scares me. LOL But I love vampire
and werewolf lore. It intrigues me.
I know you've written a second novel, Forever Richard. Do you plan
to write more books in this genre?
I like the speculative aspect. I have several other stories ready to
go that are speculative in nature. Hopefully the next one out will be
my modern day rodeo, western with a bit of voo-doo in it! Oh, yes I
did just say that! LOL
How is your faith expressed in your writing?
I write what I know. I was raised a Southern Baptist. Go figure! My
Granddaddy Lawler was a fire and brimstone Southern Baptist preacher.
He ordained my brother who is also presently a Baptist minister after
spending much time on the road with his family as the southern gospel
singing wonders, "The Steele Family." My family later started
attending a charismatic non-denominational church. What a wonderful
place of worship that was! My writing is a culmination of all that I
What advice could you give to other writers interested in writing
Christian horror/speculative fiction?
A Christian author should never assume everything with the label
Christian means that's what it is even if they're told differently.
There are many different markets for Christians. The label Christian
should never be attached to an organization unless it strives to
appeal to all Christians. Otherwise they should say who they appeal
to. I point directly to CBA/ECPA because they are notorious for not
saying who their market is and it leads a LOT of authors into
experiences they shouldn't have to go through. CBA serves a very
targeted market of conservative evangelicals. It's important to make
the distinction between them and the general Christian market. It's
important to do so because, as a rule, they won't. Their market is
not the general Christian market. The speculative fiction they
produce should legitimately be called CBA speculative fiction, as it
has to meet the same guidelines and writing restrictions as all their
When a Christian market is asking for speculative fiction MS's please
explore the market. If you're turned down and told it's because your
work isn't Christian enough, please explore further. It's difficult
to be write for the CBA market and why would you if you want to
appeal to the general Christian market. You will have to compromise
your writing to appeal to their market. BTW that's not a problem if
that's what you want to do. Just know that they're looking for
something very specific. J
My first publisher was Christian (not CBA affiliated as the label now
seems to infer.) My new publisher is also Christian. I've been
blessed by God twice and actually found two publishers who aren't
afraid to say who they are and sever the general Christian market as
well! How cool is that?