I hope you and your family had a blessed Christmas. It's hard to believe we'll soon be entering into the first days of 2017. We have one more author to showcase before 2016 is over. Today I'd like to welcome Chawna Schroeder.
Hello Chawna. How did you develop a love of story?
I can’t say that I “developed” a love for story. Rather, story has always been an intricate part of my DNA from my earliest years. I never remember a time when I wasn’t read to as a kid, even if bedtime stories would make me hyper rather putting me to sleep like they were supposed to. :) In addition, I have many childhood memories of my dad making up a story with objects & characters we kids would ask for. Indeed, one of my grand ambitions at the age of six was to someday write down the stories my dad told.
I know many writers who developed a love of story as a child. :) What advice can you give to writers trying to break into the publishing world?
During this long and often discouraging journey, remember that writing is a privilege.
For when we create a story, we start with a blank page and an idea, and from this “nothingness” we create a miniature world. So by engaging in this form of creation, we imitate the God in whose image we are made. After all, the main thing we know about God in Genesis 1, in whose image we are made, is that He is a creator. Therefore, the very act of writing stories, no matter what happens to them, gives us insights to the character of God that many other people fail to understand.
I learned this during a particularly rough time about a year before I was finally contracted. Writing has become an arduous act of obedience. But when I remembered the privilege of writing, my joy was restored. Just the simple act of writing became significant and full of purpose. It no longer mattered if the writing was imperfect or if the story would be published or if it ever impacted another person or even if it changed me. That then freed me from perfectionism and the need to see results. I finally saw that writing itself was worthwhile activity, for it was an act of worship of the Creator, which of course is what I was ultimately created for.
I admit, this is still hard to remember sometimes. But when I take the time to remember, more joy than labor fills my writing time.
That's a great reminder as a writer. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I learned to read at four and still have my collection of “books” I wrote during elementary school. However, I seriously started pursuing writing in February 2000—so almost seventeen years now.
I have some of those 'books' I wrote as a child too. :) Tell us about your new novel.
Told through the eyes of its feral-child protagonist, tells the story of a girl who has been raised among dogs and considers herself “one of the pack,” even though she knows she isn’t quite like the others. Then a bunch of slave traders capture her, forcing her to become prey in a hunting tournament. One part fairy tale, one part coming-of-age story, and one part parable, doesn’t have a particularly complex plot, and it relies on many of the familiar fairytale tropes. However, the unique perspective, I believe, will resonate strongly with readers who feel like they can’t quite measure up to what they are expected to be.
Sounds like some interesting concepts covered. What spiritual truths do you desire to convey to your readers?
For Beast, the spiritual truths I hope my readers discover are twofold:
1. We don’t have to earn, explain or understand God’s unconditional love. Only accept that it is.
2. The truest thing about us is what God says about us—or to be even more brief, we are who God declares us to be!
Great truths there. :) What’s your favorite animal and have you ever used one in your stories?
It’s a toss-up between Pegasus, unicorn, or firebird. The third novel I wrote (still unpublished) featured a Pegasus named Wind-Servant, but I haven’t found a spot for a unicorn or firebird. Yet. :)
LOL. :) What are your hobbies?
Fiberarts (weaving, spinning, crochet, etc.), playing piano, translating Greek & Hebrew, and hiking/camping.
Wow. Translating Greek & Hebrew sounds interesting. I'd love to have a knowledge/understanding of both of those languages.
Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your writing world. May God bless your writing.