I realize it is customary to start off such posts with a great introduction with a taste of the aforementioned interview, whetting your appetite and urging you to read more, but truthfully, I doubt I can say anything that would peak your interest as much as mine was peaked when I first got Elizabeth's responses to my questions. So, I shall allow her to take all attention, and I sincerely hope that you all enjoy this. Don't forget to stop by Elizabeth's blog, and discover more about this amazing story, as well as see more from this amazing author! ;)
First, give me a short description of Ransomed.
Ransomed is an allegorical short story placed in a medieval-ish setting.
What gave you the idea to write this story in the first place?
Simply put, Ransomed is the written form of my awe at what Jesus Christ has done for me. I wrote the first version so many years ago I can’t remember exactly how I decided to write it, but the Bible and whatever books set in the middle ages that I had read (probably along the lines of Ivanhoe) were my story-starters.
Who is your favorite minor character and why?
There really are no minor characters, just four main characters.
Is the current ending of Ransomed exactly as you imagined it would be when you first began writing the story?
Yes, it is. Allegories are easy in that respect!
Let's suppose that someone just finished reading Ransomed and laid the book aside. What would you expect or hope his/her reaction to be?
Someone read the proof copy just the other day, and when he handed it back, he basically said, I’ve never read anything like it…it’s such a different way of looking at the story. It makes you think. And that is basically what I hope reader reactions in general will be. It is written mostly for teenaged Christian girls, by a teenage Christian girl. The story of salvation is one we have heard over and over again, often since we were babies, and I think sometimes we simply forget how incredible that story is. By placing a story I knew backwards and forwards into a new setting and changing the details, I wanted to force myself to reconsider what exactly it was that Christ did on the cross, and realize again exactly how awesome (using that word with its original heart-stilling meaning) it is.
Now let's switch topics from the enchanting story to the lovely creator. What is your purpose in writing?
I write because storytelling is in my blood and I’ve been in love with stories ever since I can remember. And in everything I do, my desire is to glorify God as I was created to do. Although I generally do not write with the idea of ‘what spiritual truths can I cram into this story’ (Ransomed was the exception, and even there it simply was the story, not something I tried to add), I do want everything I write to point readers to Him.
What time of day do you find it the easiest to write?
My ability to write is generally inversely proportionate to the time I have to do it, so finding time anywhere in the day can be difficult. Some of my best writing comes from morning lectures or sermons, though. There is something about singing hymns and hearing about the utterly incredible God that is ours that makes me ache to write that glory into words, and the better the sermon, the better I write, even if the scene on the surface appears to be unrelated to spiritual things.
As far as a specific time, though…I don’t have one. I write most easily when inspiration strikes me hard enough to stop whatever I’m doing and go write something down.
Do you often find what you believe coming through in your writing?
Hee, yes, actually far more often than I intend. Last winter I began a ridiculous novel I described as my “I’m-distracted-and-I-don’t-
Every writer struggles with something when it comes to writing, whether it be plot, character development, dialogue, etc. What would you consider your weak point, and how do you plan on perfecting that?
Erm… One of biggest reasons I write is to find out what happens—once I know, it’s just tying up loose ends, which is not nearly as fun. So my plots sometimes wander and ramble and go completely different directions from where I originally pointed them. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a structured writer with a beautiful outline to work from, but, as much as possible, I hope to use editing/rewriting to keep my stories on track and straighten up their wandering ways.
To wrap up, choose one of the stories you are currently working on (one of your favorites) and give me a taste of it, just enough to make me want to read more.
Oooh, it’s hard for an author to pick a favorite…but here is a piece from one story I’ve just begun revising. It takes place in Israel and Syria during the time of the prophet Elisha. And, as you can perhaps guess from this bit, it is about Naaman’s servant girl.
“So, planning my death already?” He took the towel from her nerveless hands, the corners of his mouth just barely tipping upwards.
Shock. Dread. Instant apprehension.
The young face turned to his showed nothing if not complete understanding. Oh, not only was she indeed planning someone’s death, if not indeed his own, she knew his language.
“Ah. And you speak Syrian, despite your pretense not to. Interesting information, that. I hope you realize Naaman told me to watch you. Better behave yourself, water princess.”
He dropped the towel carelessly onto her shoulder, turning to go, but then paused, glancing back at her. Her eyes had already veiled into confused wondering, and he narrowed his own eyes at her. “Don’t try to play with me.”
She defiantly dropped her eyes away from his, apparently submissive as a slave should be – something she could certainly not be punished for – and his jaw tightened. She knew he wanted her to look him in the eye.
When he took her wrist in his hand she gasped, jerking back, and he saw with slight satisfaction that she was again looking at him. But he ignored her, turning her wrist over and pushing her sleeve up to her shoulder. As he had expected, a great bruise was already purpling beneath the skin of her upper arm, and he dropped her wrist.
She jerked her sleeve down, clenching her teeth. This time she could not hide the flashing fury in her eyes, and he raised his eyebrows slightly.
“You’re not afraid to hurt yourself to give others what they deserve, are you? Dangerous quality, in a slave.” He held her eyes a moment longer, then added softly, “I mean it, water princess. Behave yourself.”
Elizabeth Ender is a homeschool graduate, private pilot, author, and current medical school student. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness is her life verse, and through her writing she hopes to glorify Him. All net profit from the sale of Ransomed will be donated to Chrystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a Christian ministry that uses rescue horses to help hurting children/families. Check out the giveaway at elizabethender.blogspot.com (beginning this Saturday!) and take part in the Amazon book blitz (also this Saturday!) to help out this amazing ministry.