I am enthralled!
Web of Lies, fourth and final book of the Hidden Faces series. Web
of Lies brings together Brandilyn's two suspense series into one chilling and climactic story.
I guess I've overused that word, enthralled... but, how else can you describe an author who grabs your attention from the first word and then won't let you go until you've turned the last page?
There is not another person on the net whose blog I have scoured so deeply as Brandilyn Collins' blog. Her story brings such glory to God that I was brought to His feet. That is about the highest compliment I've ever paid anyone.
God has certainly made Himself evident in her life. When God decides to use us, He takes us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Brandilyn has certainly seen the shadow of death and has triumphed. She contracted Lyme Disease, and incredibly miraculous story. She tells her story of How I Got Here on her blog, Forensics & Faith.
But... on to the interview!
Brandilyn, you talk a lot about the “What if…” question when discussing your books. What was the “What if..” for Web of Lies?
If you're referring to the "what if" question that can begin plotting, I didn't have one. This whole book was put together backwards. First, due to Zondervan's marketing needs, I had to supply them with a title--before I had any idea what the book was about. From the title grew a story about a psychopath with spiders. With the underlying theme of Satan's web of lies. All quite mind-boggling, really. At least it boggled mine to approach it this way. God helped me write the story, that's all I can say.
For the complete story on the strange way Web of Lies came into being, you can read the posts about it on my blog, beginning Thursday, May 26, 2005. (Part 60 of "How I Got Here.")
I have read your “How I Got Here” series and it ministers in a most special way because there are such great lessons God taught you in your journey of writing. What did you learn about God while writing Web of Lies and how has that impacted how you live today?
Brandilyn: It's not so much what I learned while writing as what I learned before writing it that led to the book's spiritual theme. In praying sessions with people I'd noticed how often Christians fall under the wiles of Satan's lies. We hear them, then we listen. Then we believe. Then we end up walking in them--all without realizing what we're doing. We have to become attuned to how these lies sound--and wilfully reject them when they come.
What was the most valuable piece of advice you were ever given? How did this wisdom change you?
Brandilyn: Most valuable piece of advice I was given and now give is telling others to turn their talents over to God and allow Him to fully lead in how these talents are used. The Creator of the talent is the best one to lead the talent. If there is one theme to the 64-part NES on my blog (Never-Ending Saga--the "How I Got Here" story of my journey toward publication in fiction), it's this concept of allowing God to lead.
How have your books reflected your maturing as a Christian?
My books seem to return again and again to the concept of God's power in helping people face their darkest fears. Embedded in this truth is the power of prayer. I've seen God's power, released through prayer, much in my own life. This can't help but arise in my stories.
Thank you Brandilyn for taking the time to answer these questions. Is there anything you’d like to tell my readers that I might not have asked about?
I invite you to join me and the community of BGs (bloggees=blog readers) on Forensics and Faith. There I give inside looks at the world of publishing, teach fiction techniques, answer questions, discuss late-breaking news in the industry, etc. Many people go to the archives to read the Never-Ending Saga, which starts toward the end of February, 2005. [I gave the link to this extrordinary story above--stop, go read it! It will bless you!] Others read the archives for information on writing fiction. Readers of Forensics and Faith are always given first chance at being placed on my influencer lists, receiving free books in other ways, and becoming a part in various ways of my stories. Forensics and Faith is a great community of folks, and I am very grateful for them. If you have a topic you'd like to see discussed, you can leave it at any time in the comments area.
My next book, Violet Dawn, launches a new suspense series in August. If Web of Lies tells you to watch out for spiders, Violet Dawn says: Don't get in the hot tub ...
I want to share an excerpt from Brandilyn's blog (with her permission). Web of Lies was conceived in a much different way than her other books (she's written a LOT of books). She got a contract for the book before she had a clue what it would be about. She got a title with the help from her BGs and she
... was also thinking a lot about the spiritual thread. That’s as uncommon for me as backing into a story, because usually I don’t think about it at all. I just try to write the best rockin’ suspense I can, and as I write, the spiritual theme begins to emerge. But this time, I just couldn’t get a wrenching scene from the ACFW conference out of my head. It tugged and tugged at me. And remember, all through my plotting and writing, I pray a lot, asking God for guidance in the story. So I have no doubt that this heart-tugging thing was an answer to those prayers.
At that conference I’d had the privilege of praying for some people and seeing some wonderful healing results. (ACFW conferences have a dedicated prayer room that’s open all day.) Sunday, after the conference was over, a group of four friends asked me to pray for them. “Just whatever God tells you,” they said. I didn’t know these four people at the time.
In the prayer room, one at a time, I placed my hands on their heads, and asked God to show me how to pray. Sometimes He gives me a strong answer, sometimes not. When I receive a strong answer, I know God has plans for healing that area of a person’s life. The healing can be immediate, or it can take place over time. For all four of these dear people, God would impress me with specifics as to how to pray.
I came to one of them, a young woman. This is the scene I will never forget. She was sitting, and I stood over her, placing my hands on her head. I asked God to show me whatever He would . . . and waited.
He answered, all right. One word hit me hard in the chest. Just one word.
You'll have to go to Brandilyn's blog to find out what that word was... it will bless you, I promise!