THE SOUL is shaped by words, images, & experiences.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Author Interview & Book Giveaway

Wouldn't it be thrilling to visit Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' resurrection? Friend and author Amy Deardon takes the old idea of time travel and gives it a new twist in her stunning debut novel, A Lever Long Enough.

Not usually a fan of action adventure stories, I was blown away by Amy's masterful plot and meticulous attention to detail. She dovetails the awe-inspiring history of the first century with the chilling technology of latter times for a fast-paced, action-packed suspense. As a friend of mine remarked, after swiping the novel from me and devouring it in one night, "A Lever Long Enough would make a terrific movie!"

Okay, here's Amy now. Be sure to stick around to find out how you can win an autographed copy of this book.

Amy, tell us a little about yourself.

I’m married and fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with our two children, now 15 and 12. In my life B.C. (before children) I did bench science research and taught anatomy and physiology at an undergraduate level.

I undertook a personal quest to investigate the claims of Jesus’ resurrection with the goal of destroying them. To do this I studied biblical and extra-biblical accounts of Jesus and numerous commentaries by believers and skeptics alike, listed the facts agreed upon, and began to explore scenarios that could explain what was known. To my surprise and considerable dismay, the evidence kept pointing away from naturalistic explanations and eventually formed a virtually certain case for the resurrection of Jesus. Finally I admitted defeat and became a Christian.

What is your book about?

In the near future, the Israeli military has developed a prototypic time machine. When believers in Yeshua (Jesus) create a politically explosive situation that threatens the balance of peace between Israel and nearby countries, the Israelis must send a team of four elite soldiers back to film the theft of Jesus’ body from the tomb and thus disprove Christianity. The team, consisting of a Special Forces soldier as leader (Benjamin), an ex-American astronaut as engineering specialist (Sara), an archaeologist, and a linguist, has exactly seventy-two hours to collect the video evidence. Drawn into a web of first century deception and death, the only way to escape is for the team to change the past. In the present, a traitor, Gideon, attempts to sabotage the mission and seize control of the military complex. Benjamin is the only one who can reveal him, but he is trapped two thousand years away. Even with a time machine, time is running out…

Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote?

I love all of my characters, but if I had to choose a favorite, I’d pick Sara. She is very much like me—focused, quiet, but beneath her calm exterior a seething mass of turmoil. Her faith journey also parallels my own—she didn’t want to become a believer, but was pulled in by the strength of the evidence. She was pursued by what C.S. Lewis termed the *Hounds of Heaven.* An uncomfortable process, I might add!

What are you working on now?

I have two half-finished projects that I’m eager to complete in 2009 – an ambitious yet hopefully do-able goal, if I’m very organized. The first project is my prequel, entitled Nest Among the Stars from Obadiah 1:4, that follows Sara’s space station disaster. This one is really shock and awe, with a deep theme of forgiveness.

The second project is nonfiction, entitled The Story Template, that is a practical guide for a writer to develop a resonant, complete, compelling story from vague ideas. It’s based on an algorithm I’ve developed during my story studies, and with students I’ve coached it really works. It’s not a formula, more like a description of proportions and guidelines that work with any genre, since I’m a great believer in the uniqueness of each artist’s vision. You can see a sample tutorial I’ve put on my website under “resources.”

I've used your Story Template to map out my second novel. What I like about it is, compared to other "systems", it's easy to follow and it works! So, thank you for sharing that on your website.

Tell me, Amy, have you always wanted to be an author?

Oh yes, although it’s a daunting thing when you actually sit in front of the computer and think, “Now what shall I write?”

Which author has inspired you the most?

C.S. Lewis. He has an amazing mind, and he draws such wonderful metaphors.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Yes. Don’t expect to produce perfect prose off the bat – just as you wouldn’t expect to play a Beethoven Sonata for your first piano lesson. Just believe in yourself, and persist.

Amy, thanks so much for spending time with us today, and blessings on A Lever Long Enough. I look forward to your future books.

Reader, if you're interested in entering the drawing for an autographed copy of A Lever Long Enough, please submit a comment to this post. The winner will be chosen & announced on March 15th.

For more on this author, go to: or


Vicki Pappas said...

I hope that someone does make this book into a movie, something this generation of young people could get excited about. I appreciated learning of the Story Template. Thanks!
Vicki Pappas

Lori said...

This book sounds exciting! Thanks for bringing us this interview Lydia. :) I think I'll check out that story template next!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing that someone can start out seeking to debunk and end up believing? How wonderful! It is true Our God is like a lover pursuing his beloved. I'm so glad she stopped running and let him embrace her.
I, too, am going to check out the template. Her book sound so exciting.

Bernadine said...

Sounds like an exciting read. I'd love to win.

Anonymous said...

Amy's books sounds intriguing! Please enter me in the drawing.

The template sounds like something I could use, too. I'm goint to Amy's website right after this post! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Your overview of this book and interview with Amy piqued my interest in reading this novel. I would really appreciate being entered into this drawing. Thank you!


Amy Deardon said...

Hi Lydia,

Thanks for such a nice interview! Everyone, thank you for such kind comments -- please feel free to write to me. My conversion is the foundational fact of my life.

I really need to finish writing up my algorithm for story structure. It isn't the *only* way to write a story, obviously, but with the students I've coached by gum it works.

Lydia, congrats on finishing your ms! I'm anxious to hear how it goes with submission etc. :-)

Have an awesome weekend!

dot said...

Thanks for the interview Lydia and Amy. What a great premise for a novel! "A Lever Long Enough" sounds fascinating, so count me in for the drawing.
Amy, I thought your story template was terrific. I especially liked Step 3: The Heart of the Story. I've seen templates for structure; yours is wonderful for developing ideas.
Good luck to both of you on your novels!

mindy said...

sounds amazing and what a wonderful interview thanks for the giveaway

Connie Walsh Brown said...

Good interview on this novel. Sign me up!

The story template sounds interesting also.

Ellie Wright said...

I am definitely intrigued. This sounds like a fascinating book. Please enter me.

Leslie said...

It is very interesting how Amy became a Christian. When we set out to do something, we never really know what is in store for us. The book sounds great; I am adding it to my TBR list. Thank you for the giveaway.