With the official launch of my novel this Friday, I was glad to (pretend) to sit down to an (imaginary) interview with the good folks at SuperExcellent Book Interviews. SEBI is, of course, a totally fake entity; the link takes you to my Amazon page.
I wrote the interview and answered my own questions.
Seriously? Who even does that?
*glances over both shoulders* Um, me, apparently.
We at SuperExcellent Book Interviews were super excited to have Sara Roberts Jones join us for a little chat about her novel, The Fellowship.
Q: Sara, your book will be released on Kindle this Friday, November 13. I understand it’s already available in print?
A: Yes. Thanks to the Amazon gods whose ways are very mysterious.
Q: Are you planning anything special for this week, in honor of the officially “all the way released” day?
A: Yes! I’ll be drawing names for a free book on Friday. Anyone who won my giveaways or commented on my swimsuit picture is eligible for the drawing. Meaning there’s still time to get your name in, if you click on the link and comment. Go on, it opens in another window so you can go ahead and do it and not even lose your place here.
Q: And is that the end of your fun posts-with-prizes?
A: Funny you should ask that! No, in fact, I’m lining up at least two more giveaways of pretty spectacular items, in time for Christmas shopping. For a glimpse of what they’ll involve, check out Red Pen Travel Notebooks and J.A.’s letter art.
Q: You’ve gotten some feedback from your first readers, with comments like,
“I identified with the main character in ways I can’t express.”
“The protagonists aren’t all good, and the villains aren’t all bad… There’s a surprising amount of humor throughout, subtle and otherwise.”
“I seriously took the morning off work to finish this book.”
“This book changed my life. I don’t even need a Bible anymore. My only regret is that I didn’t meet a brown-eyed country boy earlier in life.”
Q: Wait, are you sure these are all authentic reviews?
A: Well, most of them are.
Q: Although initial reactions to your novel have been favorable, some readers say that the work is triggering and difficult to read. Would you say that’s accurate?
A: Well, sure, it’s story of a young woman who lets herself be manipulated by her “authorities.” She submits to a system that says she’s flawed just because of who she is. It’s also the story of a young woman whose passion to help others and find God ends up inspiring a huge, shattering reaction in her church.
There’s no way to tell that story in a chick-lit pink kind of way. So yes, it’s frustrating and has a few disturbing moments. But a community like the Fellowship isn’t all bad. If you hesitate to get into the story, worried that it’s going to engulf you in despair and ugliness… it won’t. There’s laughter and warmth threaded throughout the story, and vindication in the end.
Q: Why is this novel timely for the Christian community?
A: There have always been, and always will be, authoritarian leaders who use and abuse their followers. But they always look so good on the outside. Many Christians admire these leaders, thinking that what they say is very solid and Biblical. But they just don’t know what really lurks behind that crisp, clean exterior.
The dark underbelly came painfully to light just this year on a national scale with the Duggar family scandals. This family (involved in the same cult I was in) believe in a heavily authoritarian, restrictive lifestyle. Their actions indicate that they believe it’s more important to protect the family name (and fortune) than to speak up for victims. We all know now that Josh Duggar cheated on his wife with random women, but Anna Duggar apparently has no plans to divorce him or leave the family. She can’t — women in systems like these have no real choice. No matter how much they smile.
My novel explores a world like that, sympathetically portraying the people who are trapped in that mindset. I really don’t think it could launch at a more fitting time.
Q: Would you say any scenes are inappropriate?
A: Sure, like entire passages of really sordid theology and injustice. Otherwise, nothing a reasonable adult would find uncomfortable.
Q: Who is your favorite Avenger?
A: Captain America. Hang on, what does that have to do with anything?
Q: Nothing. I just figured you’d enjoy thinking about Captain America.
A: I do, thanks.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about your novel before we close?
A: Go buy my book.
Q: Besides that.
A: It launches November 13.
Q: We’ve already said that, too.
A: There’s a shirtless guy on page 319.
Q: Yes, that’s definitely worth mentioning. Well, it’s time to wrap this up. Thank you for joining us and discussing your novel!
A: You’re so welcome. It’s like this whole interview was tailored for me.