Questions & Answers from Kathleen Morgan:
You wrote for the secular market for years. What prompted your switch to Christian Fiction?
I've been a baptized Christian all my life, but I came from a religious background that, for a long while, dealt a lot more with rules on how to get to heaven than the personal relationship with God that is the heaven, even here on this earth. I always tried to be a good person, but more so because it was the right and honorable thing to do, than because I was a child of God and hence should live like one.
The turning point in my life came in the summer of 1996 when my youngest son, Sean, died unexpectedly of cancer. I was totally devastated. Only two things got me through those early days and months—my love for my husband and oldest son, Brad, and the fact I had made a promise to Sean before he died that we'd all join him again someday in heaven. It took me a while, though, to fight past the pain, guilt, and anger at the injustice of losing Sean. Still, as I battled through that terrible time, the kindness of others and the support of my church kept turning me around and pointing me back to my Lord and Savior. I was so moved by everyone's kindness and generosity. Their actions opened up a whole realm of new insights about my fellow man. And there, in the hearts of those fellow men, I caught the strongest, purest glimpse of God I had ever seen.
Prior to beginning my Brides of Culdee Creek series with DAUGHTER OF JOY, I wrote romances for the secular market and did well, garnering many writing awards and making several national bestseller lists. I amassed a total of 15 books for that market, including historical, science fiction, and fantasy romances.
As of June 2007, I've now published ten inspirational fiction novels through my two Christian publishers, Baker/Bethany Book House and Tyndale House. All my books, whether secular or inspirational, have consistently possessed common elements that I, as an author, find essential. Elements such as characters who come alive to the reader, with themes of courage and honor and the redeeming power of love. People, with all their hopes, dreams, joys, sorrows, losses, and human failings, have and will always be the primary focus of my books.
As my life and experiences as a Christian and writer have evolved, so have my writing and focus. Where before I saw writing as a fulfillment of a creative urge solely to tell stories about life and people, now I also see it as a Christian ministry. Life, and my writing, have always been a journey. Now I'm farther along in that journey than I once was, seeking answers I now find more fully and satisfyingly answered by God.
Why do you write Fantasy fiction?
For those of you who’ve never read a fantasy, I think you might be pleasantly surprised. Fantasies are a wonderful kind of storytelling, with a vast potential to deal with today’s concerns in a distant time and place, where one can frequently see things with a clearer perspective.
I particularly liked this statement by Frederick Buechner in “The Gospel as Fairy Tale” from The Christian Imagination: The Practice of Faith in Literature and Writing, edited by Leland Ryken, which, for me, epitomizes the appeal of fantastical fiction:
“What gives them their real power and meaning is the world they evoke. It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name.”
I had so much fun creating the fantasy world of my Guardians of Gadiel series, especially its peoples, cultures, history, flora and fauna, and language. In the end, though, like all my books, GIVER OF ROSES and the rest of the books in that series are tales of the only story worth telling—the story of sin and redemption. The story of God’s great and merciful love. The story of people, with all their hopes, dreams, joys, sorrows, losses, and human failings, struggling to live with courage, honor, and decency, saved, in the end, by the redeeming power of love.
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