Thursday, May 24, 2007

Interview with Chris Dolley

What inspired Resonance?

Several things. One was Rupert Sheldrake's theory of morphic resonance. I read his book in the 90s and recognised immediately that - with a little tweaking and artistic license - the idea of resonance would make an excellent backdrop for a story. It took me a few years though to find the right balance. I needed a plot to go with it and a character to take the reader through the story.

In 2000 I found all three.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

Making a passive protagonist who didn't speak interesting. It's the one of the first rules of writing - have an active protagonist. And dialogue helps. Or else the reader soon gets bored. But the plot called for not just a passive protagonist but the ultimate passive protagonist. One psychologically incapable of doing anything interesting and who hadn't spoken a word since the age of nine.

So I concentrated on making him interesting - telling the story from his perspective. Using his internal thoughts for dialogue and immersing the reader in the very strange, quirky world of Graham Smith - a man who believes that any change in his daily routine will result in tragedy. He's seen people disappear, office blocks move across town, roads change course - all at night when no one's looking. The world's an unstable place - sloughing off reality like dead skin.

Then as the plot unfolds Graham is coaxed out of his shell and the book gathers pace.

What’s the easiest?

The snappy dialogue scenes for my heroine, Annalise. I blame it on Joss Whedon - I think he has some kind of subliminal message inserted into his programmes. Watch enough Buffy and your characters start talking like her. They're certainly much easier to write.

Was BAEN the first place you submitted?

Yes, I only submitted Resonance to the one publisher. I had an agent at the time for an expat true crime and when I gave him Resonance to look at I found out that he didn't like SF. So I was stuck. What do you do when your agent doesn't like your next book or the genre it's written in? I looked around and saw that Baen accepted email submissions (not the Baen's Bar slush pile) and decided to park the novel there while I worked out what to do next.

Two years passed. My expat true crime didn't sell. I parted ways with my agent. And I assumed Baen had passed on my book. Then I received an email from Jim Baen. Resonance was the first novel he'd picked from the slush for years.

Resonance has started off with rousing success, especially for a first novel—what’s next?

The next novel, Shift, comes out in July. It's actually a greatly re-written version of the first novel I wrote back in '94. It's a faster darker read than Resonance and introduces a protagonist who's the complete opposite of Graham. Nick Stubbs acts first and regrets it three pages later. Which makes him fun to write. If you like unusual mysteries or thrillers then you'll like Shift. Plus it has a 'spiritual' side to it - and a detective who's equally at home out-of-body as he is in-body.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Resonance, by Chris Dolley

You can't create a world in seven days without cutting corners
Graham Smith is a 33 year-old office messenger. To the outside world he’s an obsessive-compulsive mute – weird but harmless. But to Graham Smith, it’s the world that’s weird. And far from harmless. He sees things others can’t . . . or won’t. He knows that roads can change course, people disappear, office blocks migrate across town. All at night when no one’s looking. The world’s an unstable place, still growing, sloughing off layers of reality like dead skin. One day you drive by, and it's changed.

Annalise Mercado hears voices, all from girls calling themselves Annalise. Sometimes she thinks they’re spirit guides, sometimes she thinks she’s crazy. But then they tell her about Graham Smith, the men who want him dead, and how only she can save him. So begins the story of two people whose lives appear fragmented across alternate realities and how, together, they hold the key to the future of a billion planets. . .


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Interview with Pamela Thibodeaux

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder/President & Treasurer of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Check her out at

“Inspirational with an Edge!” What do you mean?

In March, 2001 I attended the NOLA STARS conference where one of the guest speakers was Susan Grant. For those who don't know her, Susan is a pilot who writes "aviation romance" and who's first book, Once a Pirate, sold out 3 days before it hit the shelves! She was speaking on book promotion, and since Tempered Hearts had just been Epublished and Tempered Dreams was due out in June, I knew I needed to learn all I could.

One thing Susan stressed was the importance of a tag line and how hers "aviation romance" really set her writing apart. After all, she is a pilot so who better to write about women pilots?

My initial thought for a tag line was 'the Nora Roberts of Christian fiction.' Not knowing how that would sit with Nora or her fans, I kept searching for a more suitable tag line.

While talking with a book seller one day, he asked what made my books different from other inspirational or "Christian" romances. I explained that I have a higher level of sensuality and –- as stated by reviewers -- 'gritty realism.' He commented, "Oh, so you write Inspirational with an edge."

That was it!

Most people associate “Christian” or “Inspirational” romance with something sweet and safe. Your romances have been describes as steamier than the usual Christian romance—has this alienated some readers or editors, or been a breath of fresh air?
Both, I think. Many people have told me that they love the way I put God in my books without being "preachy or sappy" and others have said that they enjoyed the books because they are "spiritual without being preachy and sensual without being smutty."

I honestly believe there are numerous readers out there that want this kind of writing….more sensual and grittier with more realistic characters and situations (again, words of my readers) as long as those characters stay within biblical principles.

However, there are some who won't read my books or feel that they push the limits just a little too far.

But, my goal is to reach readers outside the traditional "church" and CBA readership; those who wouldn't normally pick up a "Christian" romance; those who are disappointed with the normal Christian romances, and yet equally disappointed in the explicit and sometimes vulgar portrayals of intimacy in other novels.

What’s the best thing anyone’s ever said about your writing? What’s the worst?
If you're talking about reviews, the best thing ever said was said by Elizabeth Burton about Tempered Dreams. In her review, Ms. Burton said, "Although undeniably Christian, it is never dogmatic or insular -- she offers faith rather than religion. Fans of inspirational romance are certain to enjoy Tempered Dreams, and even those whose tastes don't run in that direction would do well to sample Ms. Thibodeaux's work."

If you're talking about personal comments, I had one fan say, "I love Nora Roberts, but you beat her!" (Honestly! )

As for the worst…well, I had readers complain to Christian bookstore owners about the sensuality and grittiness and ask them to remove all copies from the shelves of the stores.

Alas, we can't please everyone and everyone has their own idea of what should and shouldn't belong in a Christian novel; which is why I write "Inspirational." That said; EVERYTHING that gives God glory deserves to be praised!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tempered Dreams by Pamela Thibodeaux

Dr. Scott Hensley (introduced in Tempered Hearts) has built a wall around his heart since the death of his wife and parents. Katrina Simmons is recovering from scars inflicted on her as a battered wife. Can dreams be renewed and faith strengthened? Can they find joy and peace in God’s love and in love for one another?

For more information on Pamela, please visit You can pick up your copy of Tempered Dreams at Amazon.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

CFRB Presents: Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy

An independent lady rancher with four daughters and a befuddled mountain man who has never been around women get married for practical reasons on the Texas frontier.

He's just sure he heard the word OBEY in their wedding vows.

She keeps meaning to be submissive, but he needs to give her orders that make sense.

While they try to make there marriage work, the man who killed her first husband to steal her ranch, comes back to silence the only witness to his crime.

Petticoat Ranch: Suspenseful, historical, inspirational romantic comedy.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Barbour Books (February 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1597896470
ISBN-13: 978-1597896474