Linda Attaway

Linda Attaway has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember and is passionate about promoting Christian books and authors. She posts author interviews and reviews for a variety of publishers and organizations at her blog, Mocha with Linda. She is a member of ACFW and has had articles and reviews published in Christian Fiction Online Magazine and Wordsmith Journal. A self-described word enthusiast and grammar geek, she also enjoys proofreading and editing. She is a member of The Christian PEN. Linda lives in Texas with her husband as they adjust to having two children in college and a much too quiet house. Find Linda online at:

ICRS - 2013

Each year the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) brings together individuals throughout the Christian resources industry to promote a wide range of Christian products. A number of Christian publishers and authors present the latest in Christian publishing. The week is a flurry of book signings, interviews, and meetings. Here are excerpts from some interviews I was privileged to conduct.

Colleen CobleColleen Coble discussed her new release, Rosemary Cottage (Thomas Nelson).

It was such fun to write, and my editor says it’s my best book yet, so I’m eager to see what readers think! Romance blooms, as always! But it has action and mystery, including a lot of women’s fiction issues, because the main character, a midwife, loves children but she can’t have children. I’m interested in natural medicine, and I like to write about things I’m learning, too, which was the case with Rosemary Cottage. It is just now hitting the stores.

[Interviewer’s note: Readers seem to be enjoying it; the novel already hit the USA Today best-seller list!]

Cynthia RuchtiCynthia Ruchti’s latest novel, When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press), deals with the difficult and, somewhat divisive, subject of unwed pregnancy.

I look around my community and church and I see teen moms. Teen pregnancy is celebrated on television and even somewhat idolized. I think, “People, where is the ‘reality’ part of reality TV? Where is the concept of how far the ripples go in a thing like this?” The human drama creates When the Morning Glory Blooms, which is full of drama but very much full of heart. For example, what do you do when someone is broken? You help them pick up the pieces. You love on them all the more because they’re broken. You find ways to show them where hope is hiding and where grace is in all of the hurt. And that is part of what God designed a church to do: to embrace or welcome or engage those who are broken, because that’s where they will find healing. God is the only source of healing. But I didn’t want the book to give the impression that there are not heavy prices to be paid, consequences to be paid. In this particular story, some of those prices were paid many, many years down the road. Some of Ace Collinsit is in damaged emotional health needing repair. Some of it is in secrets eating away at you. And when we think we’re doing good now, here comes another wave of consequence for not following God’s perfect plan.

Ace Collins gives us a peek into his upcoming novel, The Cutting Edge (Abingdon Press), the story of a model whose physical attack left her unrecognizable.

The Cutting Edge represents the way America views beauty and the way we should view beauty. In this age when cosmetic surgery fixes all our evils but leaves the problems untouched, this young woman had no depth because she was beautiful. She finds other people who have incredible depth because they aren’t beautiful. Our spiritual anchor in this book is a little girl who is abused by her mother, whose face is disfigured. She always looked at this magazine cover before Leslie was carved up and said, “That’s my Cinderella.” Then when she meets her and sees her carved-up face, her first words are, “God doesn’t like you either, does He?”Jim Rubart

James Rubart received a Christy Award for Soul’s Gate (Thomas Nelson) the night before we talked, and he is on the verge of releasing his second book in the series, Memory’s Door. He shared a bit about his motivation for this series.

I wanted to write a book about the freedom that is available in Jesus. But as I got more into Soul’s Gate and this thing about freedom, the question arose: “What’s opposing freedom?” Ask people if they are free, and they say no, because they suffer brokenness from their childhoods or they have this fear or that wound. Where do brokenness, fear, and wounds come from? Warfare! Thirty-three percent of the healings Jesus did were casting out demons. Satan opposes Jesus. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood. So I couldn’t write this book unless I addressed that very real element in our lives. Soul’s Gate was an incredibly difficult book to write, spiritually oppressive to write. Memory’s Door was tough, as well, but with all Stacy Hawkins Adamsthis cool spiritual warfare and spiritual things going on, the heart of Memory’s Door is regret. Dealing with deep regret and getting free of it.

Stacy Hawkins Adams shared how she views her writing as a ministry to women as she discussed her latest release, Lead Me Home (Zondervan).

I was a journalist for fourteen years. I have a gift for empathy, so when people tell me their stories, I am able to relate it to readers in that person’s voice. That’s how I approach my characters. They become real to me, and I become invested in their stories. I feel like I have a heart for women’s ministry and for a ministry throught these fiction stories. I approach a project thinking, “What do I want readers to take away? What does this character need to go through in order for me to address this issue in a meaningful and real way that will touch aRandy Alcorn reader’s soul and maybe transform her in some way?”

Randy Alcorn discussed his new graphic novel, Eternity (Kingstone), and addressed this relatively new medium and the book’s biblical integrity.

The most important thing to realize is that there are different reasons for different kinds of books. Some people have said, “I’ll read your nonfiction, but I’m just not a fiction person at all.” The same argumentation is what nonfiction people use against all fiction: “Nonfiction is true and fiction is false.” Of course, the reality is that much nonfiction is false and much fiction contains a great deal of truth. A graphic novel is just another medium. My graphic novel is a way of reaching people who will read a graphic novel. It’s me telling a story and taking the liberties (of elaboration] that are always taken in biblical fiction. My number one rule is never ever violate anything Scripture says. Take what Scripture does say and include it. Loree LoughFor instance, every single verse and every single word of those verses about the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 are in the story. I include Old Testament prophecy about Jesus and the life of Jesus. Virtually everything Jesus says is directly from Scripture. In the end, this graphic novel contains more Scripture and scriptural truth than just about 120 pages of anything you’ve ever read!

Loree Lough, whose most recent release is Emma’s Orphans (Whitaker House), discussed her philosophy of writing.

It’s important to admit we write for the glory of God. We’re certainly not in it for the money! And we’re not in it for the fame. We’re doing it for the glory of God. It gives me chills just to say that! Every story idea, every character, every problem, every conflict, every solution comes from Him. Sometimes life interrupts and I get distracted and forget to ask for guidance, but sometimes I read what I wrote and think, “I didn’t even know I did that!” It’s as though I did it in my sleep or in a vacuum, because He’s guiding me.