The winner of Katia is Michelle Sutton! Congratulations!! Michelle, please email me (addy to the right) your snail mail so I can get your information to Bruce.
And now, on with the interview.
Christina: I know you have a picture on your website that inspired Katia. What’s the story behind the photo?
Bruce: Rather than tell you about the photo that inspired Katia, let me ask you to do something. Go to www.brucejudisch.com/katia.htm and, on the left side of the page, click the link to the KENS 5 TV interview featuring the book (sorry about the advertisement leader…). It tells the story. Just thought you might enjoy the video. J
Christina: Did the photo inspire For Maria, too? What else inspired For Maria?
Bruce: Katia is the prequel to For Maria, but it has nothing to do with the photo. Those who read Katia will know from the last chapter what For Maria is going to be about (i.e., its inspiration). J
Christina: Can you tell us a little bit about For Maria?
Bruce: Although it’s not necessary to read Katia to appreciate For Maria, I think the experience would be fuller. Here’s a synopsis:
December, 1939: The Gestapo haul Izaak and Maria Szpilmann away to the Lublin concentration camp, leaving their twin infant daughters behind to die. But the twins do not die. Rescued by a neighbor couple, Gustaw and Ròsa Dudek, they escape occupied Poland to Salzburg, Austria. They are not heard from again.
Today: Maria Szpilmann has survived Lublin, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen. She is now grandmother to Madeline Sommers, a young journalist who, despite the odds, passionately clings to the belief that the lost twins are still alive. She makes it her single-focused mission to find and reunite them with her failing grandmother before it’s too late.
Christina:Bruce, would you like to ask our readers any questions?
Bruce: Sure. “Aside from avoiding excessive profanity, gratuitous sex, and gory violence, why do you choose to read Christian fiction? Do you prefer an overt evangelical message (e.g., prayer, conversion scenes, quoting Scripture), or a mainstream storyline with a Christian worldview more subtly embedded? What makes a novel ‘Christian’ for you?”
Christina: That’s a great question, Bruce. For me, I love ‘real’ characters who find out just how much God loves them. I write romance, which tends to get a bad rap, especially within the Christian world. Critics say romance fiction gives women a false sense of what love really should be, it leads them into an unrealistic fantasy world about their spouses. But I say, romance fiction, especially Christian romance, inspires women to work on their relationships instead of walk away when times get rough. More importantly, when Christian romance is written well it shows how a three cord strand is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12). And that, with God at the center of that three cord strand, is what I like to find in the stories I read.
Now it’s your turn, Dear Readers, “What makes a novel ‘Christian’ for you?” One commenter will receive a copy of For Maria (upon it’s release). Oh, and feel free to ask Bruce any questions you might have for For Maria.
And don’t forget to join us next week when we delve into Bruce’s Biblicals. You can also check out part I of the interview here.
16 responses to “Author Bruce Judisch Interview & Book Give Away (part II)”
Woot! Hey, I love the name Katia and I love that era in history. Yay for the win then!
Congrats, Michelle. Hope you enjoy the story.
Oh, wow! I just checked out your Web site. The MC in “Katia” and “For Maria” is from Saginaw. 🙂
Aargh! I meant for this comment to go on Diane’s reply. Sorry.
I think we’ve become so ear deaf to profanity and the number of stories on television over the years, that it’s refreshing to enjoy books that don’t include, but have a good Christian theme. I hadn’t thought about the idea that Christina suggested showing how couples can resolve their differences in a story, so women reading won’t want to turn to divorce as their escape. The book I’m working now deals with a couple in their early 60’s who are very much in love….and I’ve received a number of critiques that women
really enjoy seeing this. I think we’re so used to “young love,” we often forget it’s a life long vow. Bruce, I like to see Biblical quotes and also someone who is the more mature Christian sharing with their spouse or witnessing to the lost. I enjoy a struggle within reason and then the realization that God is real in someone’s life. 🙂
Phenomenal reply, Diane. I couldn’t agree with you more. Someone (wish I could remember who at the moment) said that America has lost its ability to be ashamed, or something to that effect. We’ve become so ‘tolerant’ that there is no more mainstream morality. Anything goes; relativism rules. What an insightful thing Dr. Francis Schaefer wrote a couple of decades ago, “When a society abandons the absolute by which it judges its actions. society becomes absolute.” (paraphrased, although in quotes). You comment about being deaf to profanity rings at least a tangential chord.
Christian fiction has taken some hits in past years for not being realistic (one-dimensional characters–with the Christians always perfect and the bad guys totally bad–lack of realism, stilted conversion scenes, etc), and some of it was justified. That’s changing, I think, in the industry (if I may call it that). There are still boundaries, such as those I mentioned in the question, but couples resolving differences in a real way–a real Christian way that should have something to offer the world–is very true to life. Some authors, I think, cross the line and present no real difference between what they assert is “Christian,” but the market will filter those out, to a large extent.
Thanks for commenting. Your reply was very thoughtful. You mentioned “The book I’m working nowdeals with a couple in their early 60′s who are very much in love.” Without giving anything away, you might enjoy “Katia.” Don’t mean to market you, but your comment struck a chord with me. May I ask more about your WIP? It sounds very interesting.
I watched the video and that was so well recorded and presented.How nice to have the support you have, with your work. I well remember when the wall came down; our daughter was in her senior year of high school…We talked about what that meant. So wonderful that you could be there to experience it.
I haven’t heard Dr. F. Schaefer’s name in a long time. I remember his series that we’d watch in church, in the 70’s and also read some books by Edith. Such a remarkable couple, and what a wonderful outreach they had.
Both your books sound very interesting. You’ve done a lot of traveling and seen so much. That makes great story-telling. Our son and daughter-in-love are returning to the mission field in Russia this week. They served in Moscow for three years and have returned state side for some R&R, now they’re going to Sochi on the Black Sea. We’ve heard some interesting stories from then, and I pray for their safety daily. I’ll email you about my WIP….it actually starts in the mid 60’s and shortly comes to present day.
Continued blessings on your work, Bruce.
Diane, I judged a few entries with older characters and it was nice to see these love stories.
I was on a Book/Banter with an author from Bethany House and the question about what age do we like our characters to be was asked. I mentioned that silver strands and wisdom seem fine and I’d enjoy more books with older heroines/hero’s. Suddenly, women were making comments in agreement and the author asked “Bethany House are you listening.” My book was already in the works and I’ve gotten quite a few critiques with the scribes that they enjoy older couples who have a romantic love life.
The story is considered women’s fiction with some suspense and romance. It starts in the mid 60’s and goes to present day with a lot of twists, turns, a remarkable story of redemption and faith in Christ and loving marriage along the way.
Fascinating about your son. My degree is in Russian (I was a linguist in the Air Force for 12 years). I have a great story about translating children’s pen-pal letters I’ll have to tell you sometime. 🙂
I agree that the older generation is under-represented with regard to romance. My wife and I celebrate our 40th anniversary this year, and we still won’t admit having come back from our honeymoon yet. 🙂 I really think “Katia” would interest you. Perhaps Christina can weigh in on that when she finishes reading it, as I’ve sent her a thank-you copy for hosting me on her blog.
Thanks again for commenting.
I think a book is “Christian” when the heroes either know Christ or come to know Him. They don’t have to be perfect. They can sin – just like the rest of us – and their warts can show. But in their hearts, they need to know Who holds them in His hand. And there should be some character arc illustrating this.
Agreed, Pegg. With the former situation, those who already know Christ, there’s a plethora of situations to deal with: temptation, loss of zeal, doubt, just to name a few. And, as you say, tales of restoration or revival can be as edifying and instructing and those of conversion. Thanks for commenting.
Pegg, I tend to write dark heroes and heroines, but I love softening their hearts with the love of Christ.
I used to read alot of “naughty” romance when I was younger and not a very strong Christian. I think it set me up to think of “love” in an unhealthy way. I like characters who have challanges to overcome and they don’t realize it until they need God to help them fix it. Thats is how I realate to the characters….I didn’t know what healty love was, until Jesus showed me what it was to really love another person. Hope that makes sense.
That’s a great perspective, and it makes all the sense in the world. We have so much to learn in our Christian walk, and the lessons never stop coming, do they?
As readers, we love to relate to the characters–and as writers, it’s imperative that we do. I still find myself tearing up at a particularly poignant scene I’ve written, even after a dozen edits. When I asked a beta reader of mine if that seemed a little self-serving to her, she responded, “Bruce, if you don’t get emotional at your writing, how can you expect your readers to?” Wise lady.
Thanks for commenting.