Today we visit with Sara Davison, author of a fast paced trilogy inspired by current events called “The Seven”
The first book of “The Seven” is the End Begins. You build tension in the first pages of The End Begins and hold it throughout. Can you tell me, what inspired this story?
It seems like a cross between current events and a trip into the book of Revelation. Yes, you’re exactly right. The seeds for The Seven trilogy were planted as I listened to a series on Revelation being taught by our pastor. That series got me thinking about what the future could look like for the church in North America in the near future, based on the trajectory we are on a society, and wondering whether we are ready to face what is to come, which led to the writing of these three books.
How likely do you think that events like this could occur at some point in the future?
I believe it is almost inevitable, given our current social climate, that persecution in some form will occur in North America before long. In fact, in small ways such as a bakery being shut down because the owners refused to compromise their faith and beliefs, or a law society attempting to have the courts rule that a Christian law school in Canada should lose its accreditation because of its faith-based mission statement, it has already begun. Having said that, persecution is not something the church should fear. Persecution strengthens faith and eliminates the middle ground, forcing everyone to choose for or against God and to decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for Jesus Christ. It draws the people who are being persecuted closer together and provides them with a powerful witness to others. And it increases our awareness of the love, presence, power, sovereignty, and mercy of God. Whatever comes, we can stand firm, knowing that he is always in control, and that he has promised that he will be with us and will give us the strength and the courage to endure to the end.
What has been your author journey been like? How long have you been publishing? What have you been doing to get your books out there?
My journey as an author began as a child. Two incidents from my childhood stand out as the inciting incidents that set me on the path to writing. The first occurred in fourth grade when I had an article I had written about a class trip published in the school newsletter. To this day I can remember the feeling of seeing my words in print and knowing others were reading them, and realizing that I wanted to experience that for the rest of my life. The second incident happened about a year later. I have always been a book-worm who essentially lived in the public library. I can clearly remember walking down one of the aisles of our old library with creaky wooden floors one day, running my fingers along the spines and thinking, All these people have written books. It can be done. I can do this. After that I took every class and seminar and every opportunity, including getting a degree in English literature, to learn more about the craft of writing and the business of publishing. Basically I did everything except sit down to write a novel, as that task always seemed too daunting. Then one Easter Sunday morning I was sitting in church and the entire storyline for my first romantic suspense novel, The Watcher, came to my mind. I went straight home and wrote it out, and five years later, after countless revisions, overhauls, and rewrites, that book won a publishing contest and was published by Word Alive Press out of Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2011. That was an amazing experience, but when I took the course on Revelation and began writing The Seven Trilogy, I decided I really wanted an American agent and publisher. I signed on with WordServe Literary in 2013 and later received a three-book contract with Ashberry Lane Press in Oregon to publish The End Begins (September 2015), The Dragon Roars (April 2016) and The Morning Star Rises (October 2016). It has been a fabulous experience working with this company. They are small and fairly new, but completely committed to producing books that are excellent in quality and that glorify God, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.
Also, what is the name of the last book of the Seven Trilogy? Can you tell us a little about that?
Book 3 of The Seven Trilogy is called The Morning Star Rises. The title, of course, comes from one of the names of Jesus, and the idea that one day the Morning Star will rise again and, on that day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. While the characters in all three books experience a time of great testing and trial, they cling to the truth that Jesus will one day return and all will be put right and they will be with him for all eternity in a place where there is no more suffering or fear or death.
What have been the milestones or Ebenezer’s in your own walk with Christ? The pastor of our church often prays for the babies he is dedicating that they will grow up to have “boring” testimonies. Of course any testimony that includes the saving work of Christ and a relationship with the holy and powerful creator of the universe couldn’t possibly be boring, but of course he means that his desire for that child would be that they would walk close to God all of their lives, without falling into destructive habits or walking away from God completely before turning back. As a teenager, I often listened to testimonies of former drug addicts or alcoholics and was amazed at their stories of life change and transformation. For a long time, I hoped no one would ask me what my testimony was, because I sincerely believed that, in comparison to the ones I had heard, I really didn’t have a testimony at all. Gradually, though, I came to see that my life is still a testimony, not to anything I have done or not done, but to the incomprehensible work of the Holy Spirit in and through me. My spiritual journey may have been more of a long, straight road than one of mountain tops and valleys, but that does not make it any less of a love story. In fact, I still joke that if I ever wrote my life story I would call it I Wish I’d Been a Prostitute, but now it would be an encouragement to all those who believe they don’t have a testimony to realize that we are all sinners in need of God’s grace and mercy, and receiving that, whatever the circumstances, is a powerful testimony for anyone to be able to share.
What was your most difficult project?
By far, The Seven Trilogy was the most ambitious and challenging writing project I have ever taken on. If I had known, when I started it, what a challenge it would be to carry on a storyline for three books and maintain the suspense, pacing, and interest in all three books, I may have thought twice about taking it on. Thankfully, the three books were also a joy and a blessing to write. I was captivated by the stories God provided, and fell in love with most of the characters (you’ll likely be able to guess which ones I didn’t love if you read the books). In fact, as happy as I was to complete the last book, I was also very sad to be done spending time with these people who had become so real to me.
What is your writing routine? Paper or Keyboard? Coffee or tea?
I always compose on a keyboard, usually my laptop but occasionally my phone if my computer is not handy, or if I wake up in the night with a thought I need to get down before I forget it. I can never create using pen and paper because I can’t write fast enough to keep up with the flow of the story. Since I am a night owl and not a morning person (at all), I do most of my writing late at night and into the early hours of the morning. Then, since I have to get up to get my three kids off to school and live my actual life for a few hours at least, I have become a big fan of the afternoon nap. It’s a bit of a different schedule than most people but it works for me (usually). And coffee. Always coffee. Hot, strong, and keep it coming. (Did I mention I’m not a morning person?)
Do you ever get writers block? What do you do to overcome it?
Thankfully, I have never had a serious case of writer’s block, but I think that might be because I am not a disciplined writer like so many others I read about. I don’t sit down at the computer at a certain time of day and determine to stay there until I have reached a predetermined number of words. Obviously that works for some people, but I can rarely write on demand like that. I sit down to write when I have an idea or a scene in my head, and almost always a chapter will then flow out of me quite quickly, one that I am generally happy with. For me, trying to force the creativity to flow would, I’m sure, only end in writer’s block and frustration.
How has your faith impacted your writing?
My faith impacts every aspect of my writing. It is my ministry and my gifting from God, and it is the reason I write at all. I do believe that some Christians are called to write for the mainstream market, to build up an influence there and be able to use that influence to be a witness to their readers or colleagues. Others though, like me, are called to write for the Christian market, mainly for Christians. Christian fiction not only provides a clean, safe alternative to secular books, but it can–and I believe it should–use strong, right, Bible-based theology to encourage readers in their walk of faith, challenge them to examine what they believe or how they are living out their beliefs, give examples of people exhibiting faith in times of difficulty, sharing the gospel, recognizing that they have sinned and repenting, receiving and offering forgiveness, or dealing with social issues such as abortion, bullying, homosexuality, addictions etc. Christian fiction can teach, convict, encourage, and inspire, all while offering an entertaining and hopefully powerful story. This is the ministry I am called to, and it is impacted and informed by my faith and my desire to serve God and to bring him glory.
What kind of things are you involved with when you are not writing?
My highest calling is to be a wife and a mother. I have been married to my best friend Michael for twenty years now and we have three children aged 13, 16, and 18. We have found that children need their parents more, not less, as they enter the teen years, and we embrace the joys and challenges of helping to guide them through this occasionally tumultuous time. I have been blessed to have always worked from home so that I could be there for them, and I continue to do so. My husband and I are both usually deeply involved in church ministry, although we have recently moved to a new city and find ourselves in a quieter season in that area right now. I do feel called to women’s ministry so that is usually the area where I typically find myself working. In my spare time (ha) I love to read, go for walks, watch movies, play board and card games, and go for dinner or coffee with friends. I am also a big sports fan and my younger son and I watch a lot of baseball and hockey together. Whenever possible, I travel to writer’s conferences as I absolutely love to spend time with other writers learning more about the craft and sharing our mutual passion for writing and our faith.
Is there a project you are currently working on that you could tell us about?
In addition to writing, I do a lot of editing work. I especially love to work with new and aspiring writers, passing along what I have learned over the years through classes and workshops as well as by trial and error. That takes up a great deal of my time so between that and life in general, my writing often gets shifted to the bottom of my to-do pile. I do have some projects that I am either working on or that are floating around in my head, though. I have a two-book romantic suspense series completed, tentatively titled The Night Guardian series. I will be looking into getting those published in the coming months. As quite a few readers of The Seven Trilogy have mentioned that they would like to see more books starring some of the minor characters from the series, I am mulling over the possibility of a spin-off trilogy, but haven’t decided whether that will happen yet or not. I firmly believe that God is the one who gives me the stories, often not until I am ready to sit down and write them, so I trust that if he wants me to continue to write, then he will show me the way he would have me go. If not, I look forward to seeing what other plans he has for me.
Thanks again for this opportunity! I pray God will bless you and your work as you continue to encourage others.
Thank you, Sara, for visiting with us today! I am so excited about this week’s release of the final book of the Seven Trilogy, that I’ve included links to all of your books below.