Box Office Revolution: “What inspired you to first write Christian books?”
Susie Finkbeiner: “Honestly, it was never my intention to write books specifically for the Christian market. I just wanted to write stories. My world view as a Christian just became part of the novel. As with anything in my life, I’m hard pressed to divorce who I am in Christ from what I do.”
BOR: “What do you feel is your underlying philosophy of writing?”
SF: “I guess it all comes down to writing the very best story of hope that I can manage. Everything else — the plot, characters, themes — come together out of that.”
BOR: “What do you think is the hardest part of writing a good Christian book?”
SF: “From my experience, it’s hard to write a book for a Christian readership that avoids being preachy. But it’s so important that we, as writers, produce a story in which the art isn’t drowned out by a message. A sunset speaks to the glory of God without a big sign that declares,
“GOD MADE THIS AND HE IS SO GREAT FOR SHARING HIS BEAUTY WITH
US!”. The sunset is message enough. It’s the same for books that are written from a Christian worldview (as well as movies, fine art, etc.). The art is message enough on its own.”
BOR: What do you think we need to see more of in Christian novels?
SF: “You know, I would love to see more character driven novels on the shelves of the Christian bookstore. The past few years have brought a few, but I’d love even more!”
BOR: What do you think needs to be improved about Christian books as a whole?
SF: “We need to make room at the table for authors of color. These writers have much to say, incredible talent, and hearts for Jesus. It’s well past time for their stories to be shared!”
BOR: How do you feel about Christian novel writing as being a collaborative effort rather than a ‘lone ranger’ creation?
SF: “I don’t know a single writer who thrives in the ‘lone ranger’
mode of writing. We all need community in order to create our best work. I’ve been so fortunate to have many friends in all different aspects of the publishing world and I’ve worked with some incredible people. When we go at it together we have support, lots of fun, and can share in the good work God has for us to do.”
BOR: “How have Christian books improved during the time you’ve been involved in writing?”
SF: “When I started writing novels I was often disheartened when I visited the fiction section of Christian bookstores. It seemed that most of the books on the shelf were romance. That’s not to say that the romance genre is bad, its just isn’t what I choose to write. Back then I worried that there wouldn’t be a place in Inspirational fiction for me either as a writer or reader. Now I see much more diversity of genre when I peruse the shelves. This
BOR: “Is working with Christian publishing companies any better or worse than working with ‘secular’ publishing companies?”
SF: “I can’t say from personal experience. However, I have
friends who have worked in both Christian and General Market houses and have had fantastic experiences in both. I’ve not heard a horror story from either side of the coin, which is great! I think that publishing houses are peopled by those who love good books and are enthusiastic about helping authors grow as writers.”
BOR: “What are your future plans for new novels? Can you tease any specific upcoming projects?”
SF: “I have a novel releasing next year that I’m very excited about. It revolves around the events after the Vietnam War, particularly the adoption of 3,000 Vietnamese children by American, Canadian, and Australian families.”
Thank you for your input Mrs. Finkbeiner! We look forward to reading you new novel when it releases!