Okay, on this first interview we'll get a peek into Amber Stokes "book life." Hope you enjoy it!
***********Welcome to the CBRB, Amber! I’m so glad to have you here! What is your favorite genre?
Thank you so much for inviting me! It’s an honor to be here. =)
Generally, my favorite genre to read and to write is Christian Historical Romance. I’m glad I’m not limited to reading just one genre, though!
What is your all time favorite book?
Well, as cliché as it probably sounds, I really do have to say that my all time favorite book is the Bible. God’s word to us, full of the guidance and wisdom and grace that we need – it just can’t get any better than that!
As far as choosing a favorite fiction book, this really is a crazy-hard decision! I can tell you at least one of my favorites: The Redemption by MaryLu Tyndall. Historical romance with pirate flair first caught my attention in elementary school, when I read the “Buccaneers” series by Linda Lee Chaikin. Adventure and romance and purpose – I loved it! And then reading “The Legacy of the King’s Pirates” series by MaryLu Tyndall in high school… Talk about great books!
What character has stood the test of time?
Sherlock Holmes. OK, I’m definitely thinking of his character as it’s been portrayed not just in the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, but in the new BBC modern-day television series. I love how unique and quirky and legendary his character is, and how he continues to fascinate us in the 21st century. I’ve been inspired to read some more of the original stories because of how much I love the BBC series!
What was the most boring book you've read?
Can I choose a book that I never finished? Because I know Moby Dick is a classic, but that book just goes on and on. In a blog post author Jonathan Rogers wrote that “Moby Dick is a book about whaling.” [Here’s the link to that blog post: http://jonathan-rogers.com/?p=1520.] Studying it for a literature class to try and find the symbolism and all that… Yeah, I just don’t know. I’m sure there’s some there. But it seems to be mostly a book about whaling with lots and lots of details regarding the subject!
Another book that seems to go on and on that I never finished? Great Expectations. (OK, I really shouldn’t be sharing this since I was an English major in college – but not every book is going to capture everyone’s attention, you know?)
What book has had the most BANG! ending?
One Christian fiction book that has a literal “BANG!” ending is Pompeii: City on Fire by T. L. Higley. I’m not a huge fan of volcanoes. (I seriously dislike the movie Dante’s Peak!) But I AM a huge fan of Higley’s work – and this book is another great one that brought a tear to my eye at the powerful ending.
A couple of vampire books that have kind of intense endings are the classic Dracula by Bram Stoker (I really did like this classic, LOL!) and Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis . (Leanna Ellis is a Christian author, but this vampire book is written for a secular audience, just to clarify.)
I also have to throw a YA fantasy series in here: the “Phantom Island” series by Krissi Dallas. All three books – Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing (with more to come!) – have great, albeit sometimes frustrating, endings!
Which character has disgusted you the most?
Charity in A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman. I love that book, and it’s so emotionally absorbing that it’s easy to get super-frustrated with Charity and her shenanigans!!
Which character has been the Villain of Villains?
Hmmm… I could go with Iago in Othello or the two hateful daughters in King Lear (both plays by Shakespeare) – or even Moriarty, since I brought up Sherlock Holmes earlier. ;) But as far as Christian fiction goes, I’ll say the villains in Treasures of the North by Tracie Peterson and Snow Angel by Jamie Carie. I read Treasures of the North when I was younger, and that villain’s treachery adds a lot of suspense to the book – and makes the romance all the sweeter. Kind of the same thing in Snow Angel, actually. Books where the villain is completely obsessive and actively pursuing the heroine, which then causes the hero to shine all the brighter due to his true, sacrificing love… What can I say? I just really love a good romance story!
Okay, a really fun question: If you could choose one character to be your husband who would you choose?
Oh, that IS a fun question! Although it’s difficult to narrow it down, LOL! There are a few heroes that especially stand out to me: Jesse from Spring for Susannah by Catherine Richmond, Robert Cranwell from Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell, Captain Merrick from The Redemption by MaryLu Tyndall, and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (I confess I saw the PBS Masterpiece movie before I read the book, so I picture Henry looking like JJ Field). Jesse embodies tenderness and patience; Cranwell stands out to me as a mature, well-rounded, sweet, caring man; Captain Merrick is unswervingly loyal and incredibly dashing/charming; and Henry is intelligent and has a great sense of humor.
So… Can I get a man that has all of these traits?? ;) Of course, I think I’m also slightly biased toward my own characters in the works I’m writing. Maybe, if it’s the Lord’s will, I’ll get to introduce ya’ll to some of my heroes someday!
Last question: what is the ideal Christian fiction novel?
I think the ideal Christian fiction novel is one that has great characters – flawed but ultimately inspiring – and a great storyline with plenty of action and humor and romance (if it fits in the genre, of course!). But, most importantly, it should have an overall theme (usually emphasized through some specific element or scene) that inspires or challenges or encourages the reader to think more deeply about God’s truths, to embrace His promises, and to grow in godly characteristics (i.e.: understanding, patience, love, hope). Really, everything just has to come together into a well-written story that is authentic (that is, not “preachy”) and moving and powerful in its reminder of what it is to be human and how much we need God. It’s a tall order, for sure, but we ARE talking ideals here!
Thank you again for this opportunity to share my thoughts about books with you and your readers! You can learn more about me at my blog, “Seasons of Humility,” and on Twitter (@SeasonsHumility). [Link to my blog: http://seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com/]
**********Okay, readers, it's your turn now. Today's question is, "What is your all time favorite book?" I'm eager to see your answers! Mine is- for now- For Time and Eternity by Allison Pittman. A PHENOMENAL story! So, what's yours? Do any of you share the same one(s) as Amber and I?
P.S. Amber is graciously offering a $10 Amazon gift-card to one blessed person who joins in on the discussion. God willing, I'll announce the winner next Friday on the second post of this "A Peek Into A Blogger's Book Life" series.