Tuesday, January 4, 2011

CSFF Blog Tour: Susanne Lakin interview

Please welcome Susanne Lakin, author of The Wolf of Tebron and The Map Across Time, due to be released 2011!

Image of "C. S. Lakin"
NA: What drew you to write Christian fairy tales?

SL: I had been praying hard to God for direction in what to write for him. I’d already written three psychological mysteries that never sold and was pretty discouraged about writing. I even gave it up for about ten years. Then, I just felt I needed to write again but wanted God to tell me what to do. He made it very clear this was to be the genre and ministry for me—to write allegorical fairy tales, using traditional fairy tale elements and structure in the style of Lewis to reach a world that doesn’t know God.

NA: That’s great! What is unique in The Wolf of Tebron compared to other fairy tales?

SL: Well, it’s very unique in that I adapt elements from fairy tales that people are familiar with, old tales from Grimms and collections like Andrew Lang’s fairy books but I create full novel-length deep tales that have a lot of biblical infusion and sometimes loads of Scripture. Also no one in modern day is really doing this—other than Gregory MacGuire (Wicked), and his work is not Christian-based.

The Wolf of Tebron (Book1) in The Gates of Heaven SeriesNA: Were there any books that you read that became inspiration or interest
in the genre?

SL: Just read fairy tales all my life. Plus I’m a huge fan of Patricia A. McKillip, who is the consummate fairy tale writer in the commercial market.

NA: Were there any smaller influences that found their way into your writing?

SL: Interesting question. Of course, my own spiritual journey and personality slip in—my doubts, fears, self-doubt—other characteristics that become parts of my characters. I don’t deliberately put “myself” in my books, but it can’t be helped.

NA: Have you ever met a wolf?

SL: I held a baby one once at a roadside attraction. It was amazing. Plus, I’ve always been a huge dog/wolf fan. I wanted an animal to represent many of God’s qualities so a wolf had all the comfort and loyalty of a dog, but also the fierce protectiveness of a wolf.

NA: Which character was the hardest to write?

SL: I can’t think of any really. All my characters grow organically out of the story idea and they just form into themselves as I mull over and plot the story.

NA: Which character was the easiest to write?

SL: They all felt easy but I think the Moon was the most fun, since she’s a lunatic.

NA: If you could be any person in your books, who would it be?

SL: In any of my books? I would probably be the princess, Aletha, in The Map across Time, coming out in March. She is fiercely loyal to her brother and full of spunk. I guess she is already a lot like me.

NA: If The Wolf of Tebron were made into a movie, would you have any preferred
actor, director, composer, etc?

SL: I am hoping a film company will make the books into movies. I really don’t have any preference but pray God opens the door to the right company and crew to make these movies glorify him.

NA: Can you tell us three things about yourself we readers may not know?

SL: I love to scuba dive. I am an avid backpacker and love nothing more than to be atop a mountain in the middle of nowhere. I am seriously addicted to chocolate and right now I’ve been on a diet and haven’t had any for eleven days. I’m surviving.

NA: I would like to scuba dive someday! Do you have any future book plans or ideas?

SL: Always! I just finished book four in the fantasy collection. I’m hoping to do at least seven, maybe ten. I can’t imagine ever stopping writing fantasy. I’m working on my ninth novel, my fifth contemporary, called Intended for Harm, a modern-day take on Jacob’s family. I have a swashbuckling dog memoir I’ve started and am waiting to see if the proposal sells, so at some point I’ll be writing that. I also have a sci-fi series I’ve started called Time Sniffers, with the first book done, a romping time travel adventure with alien camo “dogs” that can sniff out black holes.

NA: Wow, that is a lot! I look forward to them. J Do you have any advice to those writing or planning to write Christian fairy tales?

SL: If it’s in your heart to write them, do! Read lots of fairy tales and glean from them. There are so many timeless, gorgeous tales.

NA: Thank you for spending this time with us! It was great to have you! May God bless you and your writing!

Buy The Wolf of Tebron
Check out Mrs. Lakin's book website and blog!

Blog Tour Participants:
Noah Arsenault
Amy Bissell
Red Bissell
Justin Boyer
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Carol Bruce Collett
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Nikole Hahn
Katie Hart
Ryan Heart
Bruce Hennigan
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Becca Johnson
Jason Joyner
Carol Keen
Dawn King
Shannon McDermott
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Joan Nienhuis
John W. Otte
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Rachel Starr Thomson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler

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  1. Very nice interview, Noah. Good questions. Thanks for sharing with us, Susanne.


  2. I really enjoyed your interview! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. Very nice interview. I enjoyed reading it a lot.

    Two more authors I would point out who are using fairy tales to write novels (though not exactly christian novels): Robin McKinley and Cornelia Funke. Cornelia Funke just happens to be my (current) favorite author. lol! She wrote the Ink Trilogy, "Dragon Rider", "The Thief Lord", and "Reckless" which I just finished reading a month ago. The fairy tale element is used in the Ink Trilogy and in "Reckless"... though, I admit, there was a dark twist in the later...

    I've also read some of McKinley's stuff, and it's pretty good as well... though my memory fails me at the moment and I can't remember most of what I’ve read. I recall one was called "Beekeeper" or something like that.

    There's another book out there too, called "Daughter of the Forest" which is about the tale of the 6 swans. I loved that one, even if I can't remember the author's name, and even if it took me a while to really "get in" to it. :)

    But you are right, Ms. Lakin... There's not a lot of people out there writing with that aim or purpose, and no other person that I know of writing Christian stories using the fairy tale style (which is a style I've always loved with all my heart, and a style I've vowed to someday use in my own writing... once I finish my other multiple novel projects. lol! :D)

    Very nice interview. It was a joy to read. Truly. :)


  4. Wow! Scuba diving! O_o Very col! Great interview :D

  5. Thanks for the interview! I was wondering what C.S. stood for. Now I know the "s" one.

    You have some great questions in all your interviews. Great job!