I admit to being a fangirl when it comes to certain authors, and Francine Rivers is at the top of my list. At the ACFW Conference in 2015, I tried not to stare and grin at her too often, but finally, when she was sitting only a table away, I could no longer contain myself and asked if she minded taking a picture.
Now I know we’re all just God’s creation on this earth, but there are such things as heroes, or heroines in this case, of the faith. Many years ago when I’d renewed my commitment to the Lord after a long bout as a prodigal, I began reading Christian books, but they were mostly nonfiction. One of my friends finally insisted I read The Mark of the Lion Series, and my world was rocked. I realized at once the power of story and began the journey of my love for Christian fiction.
Funny side note: I used to pay my daughter five dollars apiece to read Christian books. After the first one of Francine’s she read, A Voice in the Wind, she walked out of her room in tears demanding the next book. They are that good! So…I’m basically dancing with joy that she agreed to answer a few questions for us!
A big thank you sent to Francine for answering, and welcome to Inspy Romance if you’re reading this!
Hadassah from A Voice in the Wind and An Echo in the Darkness is my all-time favorite character you’ve written. Which characters are your favorites from your novels?
Hadassah is also my favorite. She is the Christian I would like to be. I have to remind myself that she went through many trials and it was the Holy Spirit training her to obedience. I’m still a work-in-progress.
I can relate to trials and the work-in-progress for sure!
I’m sure you’re not a crazy fangirl like me, but do you get excited over a particular author’s books?
My favorite author tends to be the one I’m reading at any given time. Every writer has a unique voice, and it’s impossible for me to say I like this one over another.
It is so hard to choose, isn’t it!
I know you write both historical and contemporary, and on Inspy Romance, we focus on contemporary, so which contemporary of yours do you recommend for a new reader of your work?
I would recommend The Atonement Child as a first contemporary book of mine to read. It is about the issue of abortion and the rippling effect it has on many people. On the personal side, the character of Hannah is based on my personal experience, and Evie is based on my mother’s. It was the most difficult book I’ve ever written, but also brought me the most personal healing.
That’s an amazing testimony, and the novel is so deep. Thank you for writing through that hurt to expand God’s kingdom.
I’ve heard, and it may not be accurate, that you’ve chosen to take some time off from writing to give time to other ministries and missions. If true, what ministries capture your heart?
I am taking some time off from writing. I usually have an idea building before I finish a project. That hasn’t happened this time, and I sense God is saying it’s time to step back from writing novels and step up on other aspects of my faith walk.
My husband, Rick, and I will be team teaching our Tuesday evening home Bible study group. He has Parkinson’s and it can cause memory issues, so this will help him and make me step up on deeper study. I will also have more time to be involved in our church programs. I was able to work at this year’s Vacation Bible School.
Ministries that matter greatly to me are Redwood Gospel Mission (our local homeless ministry that also has a rehab program), The Bridge (our local pregnancy counseling center), Crossing the Jordan (a local ministry that started five years ago and helps survivors of sex trafficking and also has a men’s program for those overcoming addictions), and the Empire Food Bank.
I get it about taking a step back and stepping up in other faith areas, although we will miss your voice and command of storytelling. Writing does take a lot of time. Your novels were a ministry to so many readers for so many years, and it’s more than fair that others get to have your time now. By the way, I researched trafficking for my novel Tackling the Fields, and that’s such a huge problem. I’m so glad there is a ministry for the survivors in your area. I read your article on your blog about it, too.
Francine, I’m praying a blessing from the Lord to you and your husband, your family, and those ministries. I hope our Inspy readers will join me in that prayer. Thank you so much, Francine, for giving us some of your time today!
Find out more about my heroine in the faith, Francine Rivers, at her website!
Inspy readers, have you read Francine’s books? What would you say to Francine about them? I’m offering to give an eBook by Francine to one person who comments by July 16!