Author Interview

Author Interview – Naomi Craig

ღ About Naomi Craig ღ

Author of Biblical fiction, avid reader, pastor’s wife, Naomi loves reading the Bible and imagining how things were at the time. When she’s not serving in various areas at church or trying to stay on top of mountains of dishes, you’ll most likely find her enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee. She co-hosts #BehindTheStory, an author interview show on YouTube and your podcast platform of choice, and co-hosts Biblical Fiction Aficionados Facebook Group.

Can you share with us a book you have read recently, are currently reading?

 I’m currently reading Building Benjamin by Barbara M. Britton. Taken from Judges 19-21 where the tribe of Benjamin steals young women from the other tribes. I love how she writes women in the Bible who are strong in their faith and stand boldly by truth (and their man).

Tell us about your new book.

The stage is set with the people of Judah being led increasingly more astray by those who should have had their best interest at heart, the kings and the priests. There comes a part in the book of Jeremiah where the king blatantly disregards the word of the Lord and burns the message of warning. Ezekiel knows that the Lord’s patience has come to an end, and judgment will come upon the city of Jerusalem. His goal is to call as many as possible into true worship, and build up the followers to be strong in the face of adversity. Ezekiel’s Song follows him out to Babylon where he is encouraging the believers in the face of adversity and apathy. When Ezekiel is called into the ministry of a prophet, we are able to see the lives affected by the sometimes bizarre prophecies and symbolisms. What does it mean to actually eat Ezekiel 4:9 bread? Who cares for Ezekiel’s needs when he is lying paralyzed on one side or the other for 14 months? How does he get the message back to Jerusalem?

A prophet’s heart broken, a woman’s joy gone. What does Yahweh have planned for His people?

On the brink of Jerusalem’s demise, devoted priest, Ezekiel, sees the insincerity of Judah’s worship. Despite his efforts to call the people back to true worship of Yahweh, priests, artisans, valiant warriors, and royals are exiled to Babylon. When God gives him messages of continued judgment for the people in his homeland, his heart breaks. How can he minister to the people from so far away?

The presence of the Lord is tangible when Shiriel sings in the temple, and her voice prepares the hearts of many to worship. When she is exiled to Babylon, her faith is shaken. Does the Lord’s presence extend beyond Jerusalem and His holy temple?

Ezekiel is struck mute and paralyzed as he begins his prophetic ministry, and Shiriel devises a plan to get the Lord’s message back to the unfaithful people of Judah. Shiriel struggles with discontentment as serving the Lord looks nothing like she’d imagined. Can she provide for her family and carry out her husband’s ministry when her joy is gone, and her own dreams are placed on hold?

How will Yahweh save His people from themselves? Find out in Ezekiel’s Song!

What do you come up with first, when you begin a new project?

Usually I catch some tidbit in Scripture that catches my eye. I like to know ALL the details, so I ponder what would have led this person to make this decision? What is the story and culture behind this tiny bit that is recorded in scripture?

What do you find to be the most challenging when writing?

Staying on track. I like to see all the plot points on my sticky notes on my plot board. If I run into a blank space, it stumps me, and I suddenly become incapable of thinking of words. Despite my admonition to myself that they don’t have to be clever words, they just need to be words typed down, I freeze up.

What character do you like best?

Shiriel. The prophet Ezekiel is mentioned as having a wife, but her name and backstory are my imagination. Shiriel (Shiri) is a gifted musician, she plays the flute beautifully and is an even better vocalist. I wish I had a musical gifting like hers. Shiri is also trying to find her joy again, because serving God looks nothing like what she had planned.

What was something that surprised you in the way this book unfolded?

I see so many parallels between the prophets urging the people to turn back to the Lord and away from apathy to today’s culture. Like the people of Jerusalem who believed the city was safe because it the Holy City, it seems prevalent to think “God wouldn’t invoke judgment on us, we are His believers.” It is a call to my heart and I hope to those reading Ezekiel’s Song that they would turn to the Lord whole heartedly.

How do you feel writing has affected your relationship with God?

 I feel I have a deeper knowledge of God’s word by writing about it. There is usually something God is working in my life as I’m working it in the characters’ lives.

What project is next on your list?

I’m part of a Christmas anthology, Keeping Christmas vol 1. In Matthew, when the wisemen seek out King Herod about the New King of the Jews, Herod has to consult his scribes and the chief priests to see where the Messiah was to be born. This story is from the scribe’s perspective.

Where do we find you and your books?

The best way to stay update with my books is through my newsletter. You can sign up at https://naomicraig.com to receive On Desolate Heights, my novella about Balaam and his talking donkey. I’m also hanging out at Biblical Fiction Aficionados on Facebook or on Instagram.

“Thanks so much! I appreciate the opportunity. It’s been an honor to be here.”

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