Tuesday, July 19, 2011

with Christa Allan

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Christa!
Is there a story behind this book?

Over a decade ago, my brother-my only sibling-told me he was gay. The news fractured our relationship, but the truth of it is I was the one with the hammer. It took years, too many years, for me to realize that placing the word “gay” in front of the word “brother” did not change the substance of the person I’d known and loved all my life. He is my brother, and I don’t define him by his sexual orientation. In fact, he doesn’t define me by mine either! When my brother’s partner of over fifteen years was attacked in the French Quarter, that was my motivation for getting serious about the novel. The Edge of Grace grew out of those experiences. I wanted other families to realize that they weren’t alone, and that what God wants most, from all of us, is to love.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I consider myself an eclectic reader, which I think is a sophisticated way of saying I read almost anything if it’s a great story. Despite some of the literary snobbism attached to the Twilight series, I read and enjoyed them all. Sarah Addison Allen is one of my new favorites. She dabbles in magical realism, a genre I first learned about through reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Most of the books I enjoy are women’s fiction and contemporary fiction, though I am exploring more historical fiction. Philippa Gregory is amazing, and its her novels that enticed me into this genre. Susan Meissner has written a few novels that combine historical with contemporary events, and I look forward to more of those.

I read some nonfiction (Columbine is a recent one I’ve read), some instructional /education/curriculum books (you’d think after 23+ years of teaching, I’d stop trying to reinvent the wheel), and-of course-books about writing. One book that I don’t see mentioned often that has been insightful is Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer (and how cool to have that last name AND be a writer!).

It’s probably easier to write about what I don’t read—unless, of course, it’s recommended—
science fiction, thriller, western, and paranormal. There are some dystopian novels I’ve read recently that were great reads, like The Hunger Games.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
That’s a tough one…is there such a style as Jazz-Rap?

What is your strangest habit?
I read the end of most books before I read the beginning. I like to know where I’m going.
And during football season, while I’m grading papers, I sometimes watch Saints or LSU games without the volume. I have no idea why except that if I hear my team is losing, I get crazed.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
One visit to my house would answer that question! Let’s just say my husband didn’t marry me for my domestic skills. Otherwise, going to the dentist would be on the list.

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Any meal I don’t have to cook! Seriously, though, during football season it’s just grilled burgers, baked sweet potatoes, and salad. It’s one time we’re too busy watching to focus on food!

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed. . .” Romans 4:18a
When everything seems to be conspiring against me, when I find myself doubting, it’s this quote that resonates. It reminds me that Abraham continued to hope though he absolutely, certainly had every reason not to do so. And, as we know, he became the father of many nations. So, who am I to doubt?

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next novel should be out in January or February of 2012, and it’s Love Finds You in New Orleans from Summerside Press. I’m so excited that Summerside has made it possible for New Orleans to now be included in this impressive series. Plus, writing an 1840s historical has made for fascinating research. In fact, I sometimes forget that I’m supposed to be writing a novel, and get transported back into time myself! It’s also been a new experience for my family because now I start most conversations with, “Did you know that in the early 19th century….?”

You can purchase The Edge of Grace from Amazon.

Christa is giving away a copy of The Edge of Grace. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Jo said...

This book sounds like it is going to be very different and very interesting. I would love to win a copy of it. Please enter me.


Judy said...

"The Edge of Grace" sounds like a great book to read. I'd love to win a copy!

Thanks for a great interview with, Christa!

God Bless!

Marianne said...

i like 'different' and that's what Edge of Grace sounds like. So please enter me for the giveaway. Thanks Esther and Christa for the interview and chance to win. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

Linda said...

I haven't read a book by Christa and it sounds intriguing. Please enter me.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

ann said...

I would so love to win this book it sounds like my kind of book

amhengst at verizon dot net

Joanne Sher said...

Please enter me!

Linda Kish said...

This sounds like a wonderful story. One that I would love to read.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Emma said...

"The Edge of Grace" sounds like a great book.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the giveaway. augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com

Mona said...

I would love to read this.

My housekeeping skills have definitely gone downhill since I married hubby and had my daughter(now 6). Cleaning up after them is like shoveling during a blizzard.

After tackling dreaded household chores, I reward myself by surfing online(blogs/Twitter/email) and, of course, reading.


Andi said...

I am very anxious to read this book! I whole heartily agree that there needs to be more love and less hate! Thanks for the chance!
Andi radiantlyte(at)gmail(dot)com

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