This month’s Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy (CSFF) blogtour features Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer—an action-packed, character-driven fantasy novel full of suspense. Please enjoy the following interview with Mr. Brouwer. It will no doubt whet your appetite to read the book.
JD - Mr. Brouwer, Broken Angel intrigued me right to the end and kept me reading. Yet, it was very different from one of my favorite books written by you, The Weeping Chamber. How different were these books to write? Do you feel more akin to one genre than another?
SB - Thank you for commenting kindly on The Weeping Chamber. It’s a special book to me because the research helped me learn so much about the historical background to the gospels. Technically, because of the setting and because of how booksellers categorize, yes, it is a different genre.
Sometimes when I am at schools, though, I ask the kids if they’d like to read a book about a man who was accused of working with the devil, who was hailed as a man who could lead a country to freedom from an evil empire, who was betrayed by one of his best friends, then tortured to death in public, then reappears after he was buried so deep in a tomb that it was impossible to get out. It’s fun to get their reaction, because they immediately think it’s a supernatural kind of thriller. Because in a sense, the events before and after the crucifixion are taut with suspense and the eerie feeling that comes when the fabric of the supernatural wraps a place and time on earth.
In that way, Broken Angel was not that much different to write.
I always try for suspense, no matter what genre. At this point, after 18 novels, I can see that I’ll continue with what my editor, Shannon, calls visionary suspense -- what if stories set in the near future that explore concepts that are hopefully unexpected, yet plausible.
JD - I enjoyed the different characters in Broken Angel, especially Caitlyn. But Mason Lee's cruelty gave me the creeps. I'm curious as to what inspired his character. Did you research cold-hearted criminals, watch horror movies or just conjure Lee's character up in your imagination?
SB - Unfortunately, I think villains are the easiest to create, and I say ‘unfortunately’ because I think it’s a simple matter of taking a vice that most of us have to resist -- selfishness -- and allowing a character to pursue his or her own goals without any regard or compassion for anyone who gets in the way of that self centered pursuit.
JD - I noticed Bill Myers endorsed your book (which is right up his alley). Bill is a personal friend and also on the advisory board of my non-profit organization, Orphans First (orphansfirst.org). Bill also spoke at the Commencement Ceremony of the Bible College my husband founded in France (we were church-planting missionaries there for 22 years). Do you know Bill? Has his work inspired you in any way?
SB - I have a great deal of respect and affection for Bill. We’ve worked together at workshops with kids (literacy) and he’s a profound thinker and compassionate man who is also capable of enjoying life like an eight-year-old boy. His work is inspiring because he sets the bar so high that it gives other writers a standard to follow.
JD - I love Cindy's accompanying song @ brokenangelsong.com. (Cindy may be blessed to know that I used to buy her soundtrax and sing her songs in our church in France.) Do you and Cindy often work together on projects?
SB - Cindy and I have only worked together on one other project -- The Weeping Chamber, and her album, The Loving Kind.
This time, many years later, the collaboration was not intentional. I had just finished my first draft of Broken Angel, and she played me a song she had been working on: Beautiful Bird.
It was as if Cindy had been inside my novelist mind for 10 months, because the song had the emotional resonance I wanted readers to take away from Broken Angel as Caitlyn finally takes flight for freedom.
I begged her to allow it to become part of the novel, but in a non-traditional sense. So readers can finish the book now, and go to www.brokenangelsong.com and hear the song and see the video that reflects the theme of the book: each of us are born to fly. (Our daughters are the angels in the video, and I hope this is something that readers might like, as despite the setting of Broken Angel, it really is a story about a daddy and his girl.)
JD - Thank you for taking time to bless my blogreaders with your answers. May God continue to bless you and Cindy--and your families--as you serve Him with your talents.
Check out reviews by some of my fellow bloggers.
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
John W. Otte
Mirtika or Mir's Here
*Featured book, Broken Angel http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1400070325 .
Featured author, Sigmund Brouwer: Web site – http://www.coolreading.com/ .
You might want to also check out Bill Myers whose link is on the side of this blog with other links.
Janey L. DeMeo M.A.
www.orphansfirst.org / www.JaneyDeMeo.com