Teric, we’re both the new kidz on the block in what is being called Indie/alternative publishing houses friendly to Christian themed novels. You’re with a very small press that takes chances and I’m with an ebook publishing house that has been at the forefront in publishing Christian stories.
I think it’s going to be fun throwing questions back and forth about our experiences. Then this interview is going to be put up on both of our blogs.
NC: Teric, you, and I are both newbie authors at what is now being termed Indie/Alternative Christian publishing houses. You’re the new kid on the block at TreasureLine and I’m new at Desert Breeze. You must’ve been excited when they offered you a contract for your new novel WICKFLICKER.. I know I was ecstatic when I got my contract. Did you turn cartwheels or go for a ride on your motorcycle to celebrate?
I am not an official spokesman for TreasureLine, but I should probably mention that they are not an “Explicitly Christian “publisher. TreasureLine features many great titles ranging from varying genres: from romance to children’s books to thrillers. However, there are a few genres that the company refuses to publish. The proprietor as a great deal of integrity… in my humble opinion.
So, Nike, how did you feel when you first received the publishing news from Desert Breeze? You’re pretty spunky and feisty (a true redhead!)… You didn’t go out and punch a Hell’s Angel in the face amidst all of your excitement, did you? If I’m not mistaken, you signed on for a three book series: BURNING HEARTS, GOODBYE NOEL… and I’m not sure if you’ve ever disclosed the title of your third novel to me. Can you share?
Another question that I’ve always meant to ask you: Did you create the term “Crime Fictionista?” It’s very catchy…very cool…
NC: I was blown away when I was signed with Desert Breeze. It was really a dream come true. Though I do believe I know where in the bowels of Gotham (NYC) to find a Hell’s Angel, I restrained myself and didn’t punch a Hell’s Angel in the face. I did get a three book deal, which was beyond my wildest dreams. BURNINGHEARTS, my debut novel is out. I’m tweaking GOODBYE NOEL which will be out at Christmas. It’s in the tradition of many fine holiday murder mysteries. There’s a body under the Christmas tree. I can divulge the title of the third book in the series, but I’m not gonna. I’m going to keep everyone in suspense.
As far as the term Crime Fictionista, I’m not sure if I created it or not. I have a bridal industry background. I’m a graduate of NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology, one of the finest fashion schools in the world. I was very familiar with the term fashionista. So, I thought why not crime fictionista. I googled all over the place and didn’t come up with anyone else using it… so it’s entirely possible that I created the term.
Teric, I’m going to turn to something a bit more serious… the division everyone’s talking about in the Christian writing community. Our fellow board member at the Grace Awards, Tracy Krauss, just wrote a blog article concerning this very subject, “To CBA or Not to CBA.” http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com/2011/06/to-cba-or-not-to-cba-that-is-question.html The Independent/Alternative, edgy/gritty writers seem to be in one camp and the traditional, CBA writers seem to be in the other.
Teric, what do you think, could that those Christians who feel called to live out in the world see the church in different terms than those who feel they should stay removed from the world? I personally don’t see the church as a building. I believe the church is wherever two or more Christians are gathered. So, the church could be on a mean, violent street corner is two or more Christians are there. Does that make sense to you?
TD: Yes, it makes sense to me, and I believe as you do, Nike: the Church is where two or more are gathered in His name; it is not four walls. The Church is the people: One Body, many parts, with Christ being the Head of the Body.
Here was my response to Tracy Krauss’s post: The answer to your question from my point of view: Yes, there is definitely room for everyone.
What about when Elijah had the 450 prophets of Ba’alslain (1 Kings 18:40)? Again, there was violence, righteous anger, and holiness happening at the same time. I could use many more examples from the Bible, but I think the point has been made: there is room for honesty and holiness.
Both were relevant; both approaches were needed and were a part of the Master’s plan in drawing all men to Him. Such is the same with writers holding to a Christian worldview. There is a need to exhort those within the walls of the church, and a need to reach those outside of those walls, whether by witnessing to the lost, or by calling out to wayward souls who may have wandered away from the Shepherd.
A resounding YES! There is room for both types of writers: Those ministering to those inthe fold, and those who minister to those outside of the fold. Two different types of callings; both serving the will of True and Living God.
Whether a writer is called to minister to the congregation through their works, or called to reach the lost, both are hitting the people where they live. Both are needed, and ALL are on the same team.
I am not in competition with any author, be they those who write for the Church, or those who script for the lost and wayward. It should never be brother against brother, sister against sister. That is the only tragedy in all of this.
I know you write from the “honesty AND holiness” point of view, Nike, again, not meaning holiness in a puritanical sense but rather from a Christian worldview. What methods do you incorporate into your writings to share God’s word and “keep-it-real/authentic/plausible” at the same time?
NC: Wow, I’m looking at your answer, noting Jesus going into the temple with a whip and Elijah with the 450 prophets of Ba’alslain…the Bible is a bit gritty. I write gritty action scenes with some violence, so this is indeed comforting.
I believe the darkness has to be exposed. It has to be uncovered. When someone in the world is adamant that there is no God, all the witnessing in the world may not convince him/her. But if you can show this worldly person that the devil exists, now you’ve got their attention. See, they also don’t believe the devil exists. That is the best trick of the enemy to convince humans he doesn’t exist. If we can show those in the world where this actual evil, palpable evil exists… they will likely be able to admit the devil is real. If there is a devil that powerful to wreak havoc all over the world, then, it stands to reason there is an all-powerful God. That’s why I show evil in my books.
Teric, tell me about your new book coming out via TreasureLine Publishing.
Nike, we now know that BURNING HEARTS is book one in a three-part series and that it’s a work of historical fiction set in the 40’s, opening up with both guns blazing via a roaring inferno. In your opinion, what sets BURNING HEARTS apart from other works in its genre? What personal techniques have you injected into it to give it that “something extra”?
TreasureLine Books. http://treasurelinebooks.com/default.aspx
Will be available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.
BURNING HEARTS purchase links…
Desert Breeze Publishing. http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-167/Nike-Chillemi-Sanctuary-Point/Detail.bok