Friday, 8 June 2007

FabChat Presents David Brollier

This is a live chat transcript. Karina and Grace have done some editing to make it more readable...

Welcome to FabChat, where you can meet authors live and on-line. I'm Karina Fabian, your host. This is a moderated chat.

David Brollier is a retired corrections officer, a minister at Soar Like an Eagle Ministries, and a long-time writer. He’s been writing since the 70’s—poetry, editorials, songs and articles. He has an SF trilogy that he says “is not ready” and is working on a second mystery, but right now, his published work is The 3rd Covenant.

In the meantime, please welcome David Brollier, hereafter known as "sonburst".

karinafabian:
David, tell us about your current Work In Progress.

sonburst:
Deliverance? It's coming along fantastic. Not a murder, but I deal with the rape and abduction of a teenager.

Joyce_A:
I remember my grandmother's bookshelves being full of Pollyannaish type Christian books where nobody did anything different or "bad"

sonburst:
Not a chance of "Pollyannaish" stuff here ;-)

Joyce_A:
I was wondering if you think the deeper subject matter in Christian fiction is more appealing to mainstream readers?

sonburst:
I think that most important thing is getting the Gospel out. There are so many kinds of readers, but most of them are readers of fiction. Those readers don't want to skirt issues. They want the cold hard facts, well, wrapped around a really good story. I did that in 3rd Covenant.

Joyce_A:
so you think it helps

sonburst:
I think telling the story helps, yes. Keep it as real as possible. And for goodness sakes, let Jesus give you some help, k?

Joyce_A:
Ty :-)

sonburst:
The best Christian fiction I've read is sharp, cutting, but provides a balm to those who want to accept it rather than force it upon the reader.

Joyce_A:
I like that idea :-)

sonburst:
Thank God, He just gave me the words.

karinafabian:
Tell us about this award you're up for.

sonburst:
Deadly Ink has nominated me for the David G. Sasher, Sr. Award for Best Mystery Novel of 2006.

sent sound: applause

sonburst:
David Sasher was a member of Deadly Ink who had volunteered much of his time getting them off the ground. "The David" is in honor of him.

Joyce_A:
:-0

Joyce_A:
Congratulations!!

sonburst:
Thank you.

karinafabian:
What is Deadly Ink? Is there a website?

sonburst: Deadly Ink can be found at http://www.deadlyink.com It's a secular group devoted to writing mysteries.

sonburst:
Thank you. I was wondering if CFRB might come up with a similar award in the future.

karinafabian:
that would be cool--best of the 12 toured that year? or let folks nominate books?

sonburst:
Best of the Twelve? I like that, Karina.

karinafabian:
anyways, talk about that later. Cyn's been typing--did you have a question?

cynmacmor:
Mysteries are reportedly the most difficult type of fiction to write effectively. I thought you did a superb job of keeping the elements of mystery alive until the very end. How did you manage to do this? a special technique? outline?

sonburst:
I didn't work with an outline Cyn. I had an idea, a few characters, then I let the story unfold all by itself. It's amazing how much the characters know that can help the author with the story. Btw I was told I broke about every rule of telling a mystery story, but made it work ;-)

cynmacmor:
Well I didn't notice and I am an avid mystery reader. I just know that I was kept in suspense!

sonburst:
I didn't go in to break any rules. I just wanted to tell a story. I knew my characters (and got to know them much better) that helped greatly. I had an event to start off with. I had an idea for the bad guy. Then the end surprised me too.

Joyce_A:
Did any character end up totally surprising you--if so, how?

sonburst:
Yes, Hattie surprised me. She very much surprised me. Even I didn't know how great her love for her son had caused her to rebel.

cynmacmor:
The "whodunnit" reminded me of a Agatha Christie, you think, hmm it could be this person, no this one, no probably this one -- but one is never sure until you read it! Hattie totally took me by surprise also! Well done!

sonburst:
That was one of the challenges. In the beginning or very near, the reader is told that the Bishop was the "bad guy"...and he is, but I didn’t' want to leave it like that. I wanted to show how the poison of his hatred had infected others. That pulled in the Bishop's sister.
sonburst: I didn't know whodunit until 2 weeks before ending my rough draft. That's how loose I write.

cynmacmor:
He is a bad guy, no doubt, but there was so much we didn't know about him . . . what made him tick, why he was the way he was . . . I like how you doled that info out s l o w l y --kept me wanting to read on!

Joyce_A:
sounds like me :-)

sonburst:
The Bishop is special. He's like that part of us that no one wants to admit exists. The "us" that wants to kill the guy who cut us off...but I came to know more about him as I wrote. I knew he was a convict, so what kind of convict was he? That's where creating him came in.

karinafabian:
who was hardest to write?

sonburst:
That's a hard one. Probably Mr. Sung. Although I know lots about him, his style of speaking had to be different.

karinafabian:
which character is your favorite and why?

sonburst:
Nat's my favorite. He's who I'd like to be.

cynmacmor:
Did you learn anything from looking back on The 3rd Cov that you will apply to your next novel?

sonburst:
Yeah. Re-write more, get it critiqued by different people and Listen to what they say. Gosh, I was reading part today and I can't believe how poorly some of it is written.

karinafabian:
I think a lot of us have that reaction with our first novels

sonburst:
:-)

karinafabian:
what do you love about 3rd Cov? what do you re-read and think "Oh, yes!"

sonburst:
The story about God's love conquers all. Justice is served, but not without the context of love. We see that in Susan's tears. I also like the tit-for-tat conversations between Nat and May.

karinafabian: lol
karinafabian: I got an off-the-wall character question: If May hates her name so much, why not insist on being called by her middle name? I know why you didn't do it, but why doesn't she?

sonburst:
Oh, May? I think somewhere in the back of her mind she realizes that the odd name is making her strong, and she needs to be strong. May's rape, something only the readers and May know at this point, force her to take a harder road than most people would take.

karinafabian:
what’s one thing you'd like folks to know about your work that no one has asked you before?

sonburst:
I want them to see the love between husband and wife. Most focus on the rest of the book, but I wanted romance. What better romance could there be than a loving husband and loving wife in a Christian marriage?

karinafabian:
you've been married 33 years, right?

sonburst:
34 come July 7, a month from today.

karinafabian:
plenty of material to draw upon--are there similarities between you and Barbara Ann and Nat and Susan?

sonburst:
Some. That deep, soulful kiss, we've kissed like that many times. It's not just the lips folks, it's the blending of 2 hearts.

cynmacmor:
Ah, that is so sweet!

sonburst:
There's also this, Susan is Nat's "backup". When he's afraid he can lean on her. Barb is just like that for me.

sonburst:
There's also this, Susan is Nat's "backup". When he's afraid he can lean on her. Barb is just like that for me.

cynmacmor:
"sweet" sounds trite . . . I didn't mean it that way! Sorry

karinafabian:
nuthin’ trite in 33 years of soulful kisses--we knew what you meant, Cyn

sonburst:
Hey, we're just 2 "kid's in love. Oh, Cyn, I didn't take it as being trite. I took it for the wonderful comment it was meant to be.

cynmacmor:
phew!

sonburst:
Hey, if I can't be "sweet" on my wife, something's wrong. :-)

Adrienne_Ray:
I think there is something special about Christian love. there is a special trust there I think

sonburst:
There is. Love and trust are never far apart. Lose trust and loss of love isn't far behind. If you truly love, however, you'll extend grace so trust can be restored.

karinafabian:
how've promotions been going? what's been most effective so far?
sonburst:
Okay. I mean I'm not a self-promoter, but ... most effective has been one on one. My dad took me to a men's breakfast and I ended up selling there.

karinafabian:
the walking book tour. Did one last week...

sonburst:
CFRB was supposed to be my big "marketing tool. Then I fell back into letting God have control. When you think of it I have people who don't really know me reading my book now in almost every state, not to mention Grace reading it overseas.

cynmacmor:
that's a really cool thing! The power of the internet

sonburst:
I'd like to take a moment and that you guys for helping me. CFRB could have been a bust, but LGG (by God's direction) breathed life into it. Also, LGG has shown me how to tighten my writing, make things even more suspenseful. There's even a little spec-fic in my WIP ;-)

karinafabian:
cool. Before the chat, Joyce and I were talking about how much our lives as writers have changed this past year. Have you seen a lot of changes, and if so in what way?

sonburst:
Oh, wow. Where do I begin? In many ways I've grown as a Christian, not just a writer. The needs of CFRB members have become important to me. I've been working on getting my POV settled in. I don't want to lose any readers. It was the contributors to Light at the Edge of Darkness that really showed me how to write right. I was able to use some of that stark, edgy stuff in my writing.

cynmacmor:
What a wonderful compliment, David: I'll be sure to pass it along!

Adrienne_Ray:
I was wondering if the book caused you to discover anything about yourself?

sonburst:
The book helped me discover that I'm not as mealy-mousy as I thought I was ;-) I actually have the heart of a hero. I have the heart of Jesus. What greater hero could there be. And then it showed me how much I still needed to learn. Like when to shut up and listen ;-)

karinafabian:
wow--that's a lot. 3rd Covenant will always have a special place in your heart, won't it?

sonburst:
Oh yeah. I've been asked if I was going to correct it for my reprint when the rights came back to me. The answer is "no". I need to see and be reminded of just where I came from. I need to be reminded that without Jesus, this book wouldn't even exist, much less new ones coming out. And for those interested, outside of not knowing a whole lot about kung fu, being more writer than fighter, Nat is me. You get inside his head, and you've pretty much gotten inside mine.


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