BG: And that publisher, WestBow, brought you back to the Christian market with Hood. Can you share why your novels have typically published through the general market?
SRL: Well, I’m proud that they have been accepted in the general market! And I think the fact that they have been accepted there – all with very strong Christian messages – means that a well-written book will find an audience. As a writer, I think of myself as a missionary -- so of course I want to be a presence where I can do the most good.
BG: Then as a missionary what would you say is the Christian message in Hood?
SRL: As part of my missionary zeal, I have always tried to present the Gospel in a winsome way – perhaps not an easy option, but true and ultimately worth striving for. For those without faith, I hope that they will read my books and be confronted with the power of real goodness in the face of evil. As a matter of fact, I have had many letters from people who say that some ‘small’ thing in my books was the beginning of their journey to faith.
For Christians, who already believe and trust in God, Hood – and the other books in the series – may serve as a cautionary tale. In it we see Norman invaders who are deeply religious, and who would freely admit that they rule as God’s servants on earth. Yet their faith has become so institutionalized, politicized, and compromised that they think nothing of burning a village and killing innocent people, but would never dream of missing morning prayers.
Set against this practice of Christianity is our band of merry men – who definitely ‘get it’ when it comes to the Gospel message especially as it relates to justice, but who don’t display many of the outward niceties. All of this is seen in my Friar Tuck who is, in my mind, a sort of ‘sin boldly and trust God’ character. He’s absolutely committed to Christ, absolutely unsettling to the establishment of the day, and absolutely incorrigible by any standard.
I would hope that this story, and the characters in the story, could entertain first and foremost. But I also expect that the thoughtful reader will be challenged to consider his or her own posture before God as he or she reads.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
A nifty interview for you. Lovely Beth Goddard offers up a Q&A with author Stephen Lawhead at Residential Aliens: