After reading Walking on Broken Glass, I wanted to know more—more about the book and more about the author. Funny how just asking for information leads to more than can be processed in one sitting!
This morning, I am pleased to share a recent interview with the book’s author, Christa Allan. Her work has really touched my heart, and I am sure it will touch yours as well. I can hardly wait to read more from her.
God bless you, Christa.
Tell us a little about Leah Thornton. Where did she come from? Is she a real person in your life? Or does she exist only in the pages of your book?
After spending so much time with Leah, I experienced separation anxiety when the book was published! She’s not a “real” flesh and blood person, but I do see her as a composite of many women.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book for you?
This being my first novel, I struggled with self-doubt. Did my writing ring true? Did I say too much? Not enough? I’ve discovered that writers write what most people think but hesitate to voice. Yet, I constantly had to quiet the voice in me that would whisper, “What if you’re just a wingnut, and no one else thinks this but you?”
Reading Walking on Broken Glass was a very emotional experience for me. It brought up a lot of things in my life that I had hidden for much too long. Was writing the book as emotional for you?
Absolutely. Although Leah’s experiences as a recovering alcoholic weren’t exactly my own, I still had to dig trenches in my twenty plus years of buried memory of having been someone who drank way too much too often. And the journal entries were especially difficult, but I know they would reveal Leah‘s vulnerability and pain.
What do you want readers to come away with after reading this novel?
Hope. I want readers to close the book and know that God’s grace can meet them where they are, and that our God never leaves us in the trenches. I pray readers are encouraged to face challenges in their own lives or those they may witness in the lives of those they love, and find courage knowing that grace waits on the other side of the decision.
Leah’s stronghold was alcohol, but the truth is we’re all addicted to something, If not alcohol, it’s other drugs, food gambling, shopping, pornography, sex, control, gossip, power…And those strongholds block our view of God and His promises of hope.
The ending of the book left me with quite a few “What happens next?” questions. So I have to ask—are there more stories about Leah and Carl in the works?
Absolutely! I planned a prequel and a sequel. I’m just hoping that the sequel has an opportunity to become a book! Leah, Carl, Molly, Devin, Leah’s father and brother, and a few surprises are planned for the sequel.
What else should readers know about you and your work? Take as much space as you need!!
I am so humbled by all that’s happened to me since Rachelle Gardner, my agent, sold the novel to Barbara Scott at Abingdon Press. Excited? Yes! But, honestly, all I could think then and even now is, “Who am I that my dreams should come true?” God’s generosity stuns me! In the two months since Walking on Broken Glass released, I’ve been so grateful that Leah’s struggle resonates in readers. And that’s my passion for writing, to expose all the “elephants in the room” we don’t talk about, but surely are stepping on our toes and squeezing the life out of many of us.
Being Christian doesn’t exempt us from problems; in fact, it sometimes exacerbates them. But often, because we’re Christian, we sometimes fear acknowledging that we’re struggling with issues. So many of us suffer in silence, and to what end? “We’re only as sick as our secrets,” is an adage I picked up somewhere along the way that drives me to push the truth to the surface. We can’t drive out the demons if we continue to feed them with despair.
Throughout the time I wrote this novel, well-meaning people advised me that the Christian market may not be ready for a novel rooted in alcoholism and recovery, and that being a never-before-published writer would certainly be the death knell. A few times, I actually tried writing something else. It didn’t work. I couldn’t abandon Leah. Or she refused to go away! I just felt so strongly that there were readers waiting for her story.
I often tell my students that we never know just by looking at people what’s going on in their lives. So many people look so bright-faced happy and pretty on the outside that we’re duped into believing they lead charmed lives. Like those families in the picture frames sold in stores (who ARE those people, by the way?!). But turn those pictures over, and what’s there…nothing. That’s not the life God planned for us. He wants our lives to be framed by His love. We called to compassion, and to consider that all those “pretty people” might just be waiting for someone to take them out of their frames.
And, finally, I hope my being published encourages everyone who reads this to hold fast to their dreams. Don’t let someone steal those dreams from you. Be prayerfully persistent, and believe that every “no” brings you a step closer to a “yes.” No doubt there are those who are better writers than I; the difference is I didn’t give up. But I also didn’t do it alone. So, if your dream is writing or painting or singing or baking or doctoring or whatever-ing, surround yourself with a support team. Find people who are where you want to be, and be teachable. Know that someone, somewhere is waiting for your dream to happen because you’re going to make a difference in their lives.
Thank you, Christa, for taking the time to answer these questions.
Blessings to you Lynn for this opportunity to share Leah and myself with your readers.
You can read more about Christa Allan at her website, www.christaallan.com.