Today I would like to welcome author Carole McDonnell, author of the book The Constant Tower and the Wind Follower.
Thanks for allowing me to interview you Carol. So tell us about your book.
My newest release is The Constant Tower. It’s Christian spec-fic. It’s set on a planet where at the rise of the third moon, humans get tossed across the planet. There are towers and longhouses, which have to contend with this problem and clans with different kinds of technology. The theme is about being stuck in one’s tribe but the main plot is about a young prince who wants to please his father and flee his tribe. But who can flee in a world like this? Where would you go?
What were some of the biggest challenges in writing the book?
The first was finishing it. I tend to work on so many things all at once that actually finishing a project requires effort. The second was my memory of my first book Wind Follower. Folks either hated it or loved it. They complained that it was too Christian or not Christian enough, or too complicated or too sexual. It’s very hard to write a second book when the success of the first book is aways in your mind.
Any advice would you give new novelists?
It depends on if you want to self-publish or not. If you are aiming to be published by a traditional publishing company, you have to write to please the editors and you have to fit into a specific niche. If you self-publish, you can write whatever you want to. However, the important thing is to write well. Get a good group of friends who will critique you and be open to suggestions.
Tell us about your journey of faith.
How did you become a Christian? — I really don’t know. My family loved Jesus, going to Church, and the Bible. There was no time where I said, “I will be a Christian now.” I was always a Christian, always loving the Bible since childhood. But there are many times when I grew deeper in my commitment to and faith in Christ.
The Bible, Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry James, various British poets. I read a lot of poetry and memoirs.
Now that you’ve written the book what other projects if any are you working on?
I’m working on two novels, two non-fiction books, some short stories, and a screenplay. The novels are a contemporary Christian young adult novel called My Life as an Onion, an adult contemporary novel called The Daughters of Men. The non-fiction books are Blogging the Psalms, and A Fool’s Journey Through the Book of Proverbs.
Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
I always try to write about God’s love and about how cultural identification works with one’s faith.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really but I often write in a folklorist fairy-tale style.
How did you come up with the title?
Wind Follower is about someone who follows God, who is the Breath of Life and the “Wind.” The Constant Tower is about the search for the “constant tower” a place where one finds the true and constant God.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In the first novel, Wind Follower, I wanted to talk about the problem First Nations have because Christianity was often brought by imperialistic nations who had conquered them. The second novel, Constant Tower, is about how religious, racial, and tribal groups often argue with themselves when they should be battling the demonic world. In addition, we are thinking of the wrong people as enemies, wasting our strength, being tools of the demonic, when the end of time is so near upon us.
How much of the book is realistic?
I often think Fantasy is realistic. More realistic than mainstream novels which don’t show spiritual or supernatural issues, more realistic than Science Fiction which is a false hope because so many futuristic events and inter-planetary space flight probably will not happen before Jesus comes.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some of the events are based on my experiences but not that many. In my contemporary WIP, however, there are many events that mirror my own life. This has been a problem because it weighs down the story sometimes and I have to watch carefully lest I fill the book with grudges.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change anything but I would probably add some new stuff or clarified a few things. This happens a lot because one keeps thinking about the characters and the world. I would also have proofed it a bit more to get rid of the typos.
I want to thank Carole for spending time with us today. If you are interested in learning more feel free to check her out her writings at the following links.