Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Interview with Nancy Wentz

Q & A with Nancy Wentz. The award-winning author of Cursebreaker answers questions about this first book in the “Order of the Scrolls” series.

Q: What mainstream authors could you compare yourself to, how, and why?
A: I would say that Cursebreaker is in the same spiritual warfare genre as Frank Peretti, but there are also the aspects of the hard-boiled crime writer Raymond Chandler in my writing, as well as classical yet gothic features from such writers as Bram Stoker.

Q: How did you come up with the plot for Cursebreaker?
A: I felt compelled to write a story about an abused little boy after learning about the troubled life my grandfather experienced at the hands of his own father. I placed it during the 1930s, a time that has always intrigued me. When I shared this idea with my husband, he scratched his head and said, “There should be a demon in it.” I balked at first, but little did I know that God was speaking through both of us.

Q: Cursebreaker is a very different type of fiction with its spiritual theme juxtaposed on a fast-paced, almost Hollywood-type action plot. Why did you structure the story this way?
A: I’ve always been a big movie fan, especially of suspense and film noir. Something I’ve learned by watching these films is the importance of keeping the audience’s attention. I want readers to keep turning those pages! Through the events in the book, especially in the problems the characters face, the message I tried to send is that no matter what the trial or tribulation may be, there is hope, there is love, and there is grace in Christ. In Romans chapter 8, the Apostle Paul said, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” I wanted my characters to face the same problems and difficulties people face and discover that in Christ they can conquer insurmountable odds.

Q: Why did you set the story in the depression era? Do you think contemporary readers today will relate?
A: I am personally captivated with that part of America’s history. The depression was both an intriguing and tumultuous time with prohibition, and gangsters, as people discovered that the things in which they had placed their security simply dissolved in their grasp. Metaphorically, the similarities with our current economic crisis are clear. Just as during the Great Depression, people are looking for hope, for answers, and are finding that the things in which they placed their security have failed them. I try to show that even when the world collapses around us, God is still sovereign and there is always peace and hope in Him.

Q: Why did you choose Denver as the setting?
A: I am a native of Colorado and I chose Denver primarily because I am familiar with it. It has a wonderful and colorful history and I thoroughly enjoyed researching it.

Q: What influenced you to show a darker side of Denver?
A: Except for local historians, few probably know of Denver’s part during prohibition. It was known as “Gin Town” and had its share of speakeasies and corruption. It also has some wonderful old buildings that I loved wandering through in order to set the scene for the story.

Q: Do you feel Cursebreaker serves as a bridge between religious books and the mainstream, and in what way?
A: The real world we live in is often dark and troubling. Cursebreaker offers suspense and supernatural thrills with the stark realism one would expect to see in both the mafia and the supernatural world, topics that are highly popular in the mainstream. However, it also depicts the hope one finds when turning to God, in that He can change the hearts of men and women, and that He also protects His children.

Q: What do you hope readers take away with them after reading Cursebreaker?
A: I want the book to send a message about good and evil. I did not want to emulate the many popular books and movies that glamorize evil - stories that make heroes of dubious characters like vampires, witches, warlocks, and wizards. While Cursebreaker does not flinch from portraying the dark side of the supernatural world, there is a clear defining line between good and evil. One of its central messages is that no matter what the circumstance, God is always in control and evil will not win the day.

No comments: