We’ve experienced An epic story of love and forgiveness, suffering and restoration and now we have the opportunity to read about Wisdom that came as God’s gift, but sacred love was forged through passion’s fire... what’s next?
What made you interested in writing Christian Historical Fiction? Do you write any other genres?
My first love has always been studying my Bible. I love discovering the rich historical and cultural settings that bring to life the deeper meaning of a Scripture passage. When I sought out publication for my study on Song of Solomon, I discovered quickly that no one wanted to publish anything from a li’l ol’ pastor’s wife from Indiana—especially a Bible study on the Song of Solomon! One editor told me, “I couldn’t get Billy Graham published on the Song of Solomon much less a first-time author!” So when you can’t go through the front door, you swing around back. My friend and critique partner suggested I write the study as a novel. I balked at first, thinking myself entirely too scholarly for such frivolity. Oh, brother. My sweet friend gave me her kindest impression of a 2 x 4 and asked, “Oh, are you better than Jesus? I think He taught with stories, didn’t He?” Ugh. Thus began my biblical fiction writing career. Love’s Sacred Song was actually my first manuscript but was delayed in order to release after Jill Smith’s Wives of King David series. So Revell gave me the opportunity to write a second manuscript that released first—Love Amid the Ashes (released March 2011, Revell). I still have that itch to write studies, so I scratch the itch with a weekly e-devotional. Folks can sign up to receive the devotionals free on my website @ www.mesuandrews.com. We’re currently studying the Book of Acts.
Are there any other Christian Historical Fiction authors that you think your readers would enjoy?
Biblical fiction is sort of seeing a resurgence in the Christian Historical Fiction community. For years it was difficult to find biblical fiction on bookstore shelves. The classic biblical fiction series by Francine Rivers, Mark of the Lion, will probably always be my favorite. Lynn Austin’s Chronicles of the Kings series was fabulous. But Jill Eileen Smith introduced a new generation of biblical novels with her [Wives of]David series. Some of the other great new authors are Roseanna White, Tessa Afshar, Ginger Garrett, and there are many more. It’s a growing genre, and it’s exciting to see the way different authors create their stories. Some hold strictly to the biblical text, retelling well-known biblical tales using famous scriptural characters. Other authors use only the biblical time or place and create entirely new stories, sometimes using minor biblical characters or no familiar characters at all. Readers should experiment. Find the author that writes the kind of biblical stories you enjoy, and stick with them!
What is your favorite scene from Love’s Sacred Song?
I love the wedding night scene between Solomon and his shepherdess. It’s got all the tension and fear of a young virgin with a king, but it shows the absolute resolve of Arielah’s love to overcome even her own fear in order to minister to the man she’s loved all her life. It’s intimate, passionate, terrifying, and satisfying. And I love Psalm 145. When I read those words aloud, I just want to cheer!
What is something that you have never told anyone in an author interview?
I’m addicted to those Lindt Lindor White Chocolate truffle balls. Eee-gad! Those things are amazing! I try to limit myself to one (or two) a day, but I think I might have to smuggle a bag into heaven…if my eternal home isn’t already stocked with them. Grin.
What is the one thing that you want to leave readers of Love’s Sacred Song pondering over?
The ferocity of God’s love. Too many times we think of God’s love only in terms of 1 Cor. 13—patient, kind, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, etc. And His love IS all those things…but it is so much more. Solomon’s Song of Songs also describes love as strong and unyielding, burning like unquenchable fire, and priceless (8:6-7). Love—true, godly love—is very different that the love we’ve grown accustomed to hearing about in our culture. God’s love gives and sacrifices for one another. And true love is utterly impossible without the One from whom it flows.
Please tell us about your next planned project…
I’m contracted with Revell for two more biblical novels:
- Love in a Broken Vessel is scheduled to release March 2013, telling the story of Hosea and Gomer—Can Hosea’s faith overpower Gomer’s unfaithfulness?
- Love’s Saving Light is scheduled to release March 2014, telling the story of Queen Athaliah and Baby Joash—Will Jezebel’s daughter snuff out the last king on David’s throne.
Tell us about your blog and participation in other blogs… (web presence, social networking)
I continue to write my weekly e-devotionals and post portions of each week’s installment on my website. You can sign-up to receive the full devotional mailed to your inbox each Monday morning by visiting my website: http://www.mesuandrews.com/.
Also, I’ve added pictures of a potential “Solomon” and “Arielah” to my Pinterest Board for Character Faces…check it out and leave a comment! Or give your own suggestions! I love to connect with folks on Facebook and Twitter, too. Come by and say “hello!”
Thanks for giving me the chance to chat with your readers, Margaret!