What is your latest project? Tell us about it.
My latest project is “Shades of Grace”. It’s an inspirational romance set in East Texas and centers around a Christian’s response to hate crimes.
How did you research for this book?
I was already familiar with the people and culture of East Texas since I spent a lot of time there in my younger days. What caused me to do a lot of thinking, however, was wondering how Christians should respond to hate crimes. Are we called to fight the hate crime, turn a blind eye, or turn the other cheek?
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I read about several cases of arson against African American churches. That’s what got me thinking. Of course, the police and fire fighters would do what was necessary to find the culprits, but how would Christians respond? As Christians, we are taught to turn the other cheek, to forgive those who hurt us, and to pray. But how would a community of believers react if their church was destroyed by arson?
What has been the hardest part of writing your latest book and how did you overcome it?
For me, the hardest part of writing any book is perseverance. There’s always some point in writing where I just want to quit, give up my dream, and pretend I don’t have stories burning to get out of me. However, if I just take a few days off to reflect and think about where I want the story to go, my desire to write overcomes my self-doubts.
What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?
The enjoyment of a good story, characters they will remember, and thoughts about how Christians react when faced with life’s difficulties.
What new projects are you working on?
I’m currently working on a story titled “The Captive Bird.” This story concerns a young woman named Jenna. As a young girl, she had a crush on her brother-in-law’s nephew. Fifteen years after that girlhood crush, who should show up at her front door but that nephew. Now Matt is an emergency room doctor and he’s come to deliver a request. His uncle is in hospice care, and wants to see Jenna. Jenna refuses to see Matt’s uncle, but sends him a written note. When Matt reads the note, he sees that Jenna has written “I never told.” Needless to say, Matt is curious about the meaning of the note, and the rest of the story is about Matt’s discovery of old hurts and the meaning of forgiveness.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing? The programs and speaking that you do?
The best way to find out more about me and to contact me is through my web site: www.clairesandersbooks.com
What is the best writing advice you ever got? The worst?
The best writing advice I ever got was “don’t give up”. The worst writing advice I ever got was “just follow the formula”. In order to stand out from the crowd, I have to be original.