Box Office Revolution: What inspired you to first write Christian books?
Morgan Busse: “Years ago, I walked into a Christian bookstore looking for Christian fantasy and science fiction. I had devoured the small section in my local library, but got tired of running into language or scenes that ran contrary to what I believed. Then I thought, what about Christian fantasy? I asked the lady working in the bookstore and she gave me a puzzled look before pointing toward the lone Frank Peretti book at the bottom of the bookshelf. After talking to my husband about what little I had found, he said I should write. I kept saying no, I had never thought about writing, but months later I had an idea for a book that eventually became Daughter of Light, my first novel. I discovered I loved combining my imagination and my love of God into a story. I can’t imagine writing anything else!“
BOR: What do you feel is your underlying philosophy of writing?
MB: “I ask questions when I write: who am I? Who is God? What does it mean to be a Christian? Can a person fall so far as to be unredeemable? What does it cost to follow God? Every single one of my stories asks these questions and I search for answers through my characters. Selene from Mark of the Raven is searching for who she is and can her gift of dreamwalking be used for good? Kat from Tainted has never heard of God, only science, so she is asking is there more to this world than what she can see? Rowen from Daughter of Light asks if the pain of following God is worth it? I don’t always find the answer these questions, but I think the best novels ask questions, the same questions people are asking themselves.“
BOR: What do you think is the hardest part of writing a good Christian book?
MB: “Being both authentic in your storytelling and in your theology. My job is not to write a sermon, it is to tell a story. So I want to write one that grips my readers and shows the world how it really is. But I also want to stay true to who God is, to reveal Him through my story in an honest way. That’s why I pray before I write each day and talk to God about my story.“
BOR: What do you think we need to see more of in Christian novels?
MB: “Reality and God. Show real situations, real emotions, real questions. But also bring a real God into the story. Not someone who solves everything, but tackle with how and why God allows evil in the world, where is God when it hurts, and how great His love is for us.”
BOR: What do you think needs to be improved about Christian books as a whole?
MB: “Honestly, I think Christian books are pretty good. They have grown in quality and craftsmanship with a good understanding of balancing the Christian worldview and writing a good story (at least all the novels I’ve read recently).”
BOR: How do you feel about Christian novel writing as being a collaborative effort rather than a ‘lone ranger’ creation?
MB: “I think it can be done both ways. It takes a good team to be able to collaborate and work together, but sometimes it is easier to write solo. As of right now, I do solo projects because I’m able to work on my own timetable, which I need as a mother of four.”
BOR: How have Christian books improved during the time you’ve been involved in writing?
MB: “I think the biggest improvement I’ve seen is the inclusion of the fantasy and science fiction genre. Back when I first started writing, there wasn’t a publisher who would approach those genres with a ten foot pole and self-publishing really wasn’t a thing. Since then, traditional Christian publishers have started carrying a few speculative titles, numerous small presses have risen with quality books (like Enclave Publishing), and self-publishing is allowing even more Christian fantasy and science fiction to be written and published.”
BOR: Is working with Christian publishing companies any better or worse than working with ‘secular’ publishing companies?
MB: “I think it depends on what your end goal is and understanding the publishing house you’re choosing to go with. Each one has its benefits and flaws. If you writing a secular book, a Christian publishing house probably isn’t a good fit since there are certain Christian worldviews editors like to see in the books they publish. Same goes with a secular publisher. The best advice I can give is know your book, your audience, and which publisher would be best for that book. Also, don’t go with just any publisher, make sure you will work well with them since you will have a close relationship with them.”
BOR: What are your future plans for new novels? Can you tease any specific upcoming projects?
MB: “I just signed a two-book contract with Enclave Publishing for a steampunk series. I’ve written steampunk before and look forward to working in that genre again (steampunk is a high science novel set in either the Victorian era or the Wild West). This particular series will take place in a world were humanity lives on mountaintops or on airships due to most of the ground being contaminated with a spore that turns humans into walking dead husks. Of course, like all my novels, there will be a spiritual twist and insight into the story.”
Thank you for sharing your perspective with us Mrs. Busse. We are excited to read and review your new series when it is released!