Our interview today is with Aleigha Israel.
Aleigha has written several books and I’m very impressed with both her style and topics. Her latest book is called A Higher Ransom. Aleigha, tell us a little about your new book. What is the main story story line?
The main storyline boils down to one question. “Are you ready to die for Christ?”
This is a question that every Christian either has, or will, encounter. It’s a question that each of us must determine within ourselves. A Higher Ransom is not just an entertaining story, but it’s a story that will leave you asking yourself that very question; “Am I ready to die for Christ?”
That’s not an easy question, is it? How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was nine, but didn’t complete a book until I was sixteen.
You started writing early. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
When I was nine, I penned my first short story (that I actually never finished!) I crafted my first poem on the way to my great grandmother’s funeral and since then I’ve published three poetry books, a novel, and a devotional book. I love writing because as a complete introvert, it’s a way that I can express my feelings. I first noticed this with poetry and realized that I wrote most frequently when going through difficult times or trying to answer hard questions that life sent my way.
I can understand that. I’m more of an introvert too. What inspired you to write this book?
This is a tough question, actually! Because unlike the rest of my stories, I can’t even remember the day that I sat down to write this book. It’s like it’s always been with me, it’s always been there. I remember thinking for a very long time that it would be neat to read a book that was kind of like an “allegory” of Jesus’ life and how He gave His life for His children. So, being unable to find one of those books at the time, I decided to write my own! And as they say, “the rest is history.”
I’m glad you did! Did it turn out the way you first thought it would? If not, what was different?
No, actually. A lot of my plans changed while writing the book, and even more after it was finished. One main plot that changed was the fact that a certain character was supposed to die to save another one’s life. But being the person I am, I couldn’t bring myself to bestow such a fate upon one of my “children!” I still have the hardest time killing off any of the characters and actually “attempted” to do it in the sequel to A Higher Ransom, but I never could bring myself to write the scene!
It’s true. When we write the characters become our children. How long did it take you to write? Tell us a little about the process.
A Higher Ransom, being my first novel, took a lot longer to write than the rest of them. It took me about six to eight months to write this book and a few more to edit it. The entire process took around a year. Since then, my average time per novel is three months to write it, and three months for the edits.
You write much faster than I do! Still, it’s quite a process. Did you need to do any special research?
I sure did! Besides reading every book I could in that genre, I borrowed as many library books as I could on anything that had to do with kings and queens, the 1800s, criminal life during that time, and a score of other things. I also did an immense amount of research while I was writing it. I would often times stop writing a scene to Google a certain word or phrase to double check its authenticity.
Tell us where you like to write. Do you have a special place or atmosphere you like to write in best?
I actually change with that periodically! For a while, the library was my favorite place to write. Though, my room is the place that I usually end up. I find that I write the most when on vacation. For some strange reason, my inspiration just seems to burst during that time!
How are you like your main character?
Hmmm. Anna and I are actually very much alike. Although I’m not quite certain that I would be able to battle such extreme circumstances with the faith and trust she has, she and I are still kindred spirits. We’re both quiet, though we have strong convictions and can sometimes be just a little strong-willed. =)
I’m sure you would win that battle. We don’t know what we can do until the battle is upon us, but Christ is the one who gives us the strength and who wins the battle. Did you learn anything new about yourself while writing this book?
Yes, I learned that I actually didn’t have as much patience as I thought I had! And it takes an enormous amount of that to finish writing a book! I also learned along with my characters on so many various topics that came up during the story. Sometimes a character would pose a question that I myself didn’t even know the answer to! Writing this story really challenged me in my own faith and taught me many things that I may have otherwise never learned or encountered.
What new project are you working on now?
A Higher Ransom is the first book in “A Light for Christ” trilogy. Right now, I’m working on polishing up the second book and editing the third.
I’m really looking forward to you getting those published. I can’t wait to read them. What advice would you give a new author?
Writing a book is hard. Trust me, I know! But we can’t give up. We can’t stop writing when the writing gets tough. We must persevere to the end. Because believe me when I say, the reward will be greater than you can ever imagine. Read books in your genre, do a load of research, attend writing conferences, try to find a writing mentor, but most of all, write the book that’s on your heart and pray daily seeking God’s will for the life of you and your story.
How can we find your book(s)?
You can find my books over at my website below:
You can also subscribe to my blog and get updates on giveaways, events, and more!
I also post sneak peaks of my writing on my Facebook page and Twitter, so be sure to like and follow those pages so you can stay up to date!
Any closing comments you have for us today?
I can’t thank you enough for having me today, Stena! I really appreciate it and had a lot of fun!
My closing comment to you, dear reader, is this: Give your writing to God daily. Pray before you write a single sentence. Ask for His guidance and direction for every word. Earnestly seek and desire His will for every area of your life. If I’ve learned one thing since I began writing years ago, it was this: When we give our writing to the Lord and truthfully pray, “Thy will be done,” He blesses it and takes it to far better places than we can ever fully imagine.