What does the Canadian author have to say about the final release in her critically acclaimed Seven Trilogy? Read on to see.
Ashberry Lane: As the series draws to an end, which character will you miss the most and why?
Sara Davison: It’s always hard to say goodbye to characters at the conclusion of a book, and having spent three books with these characters it is especially difficult for me this time. Characters become so real to an author (sometimes frighteningly so) that there is almost a grieving process to go through when their time together comes to an end. I will miss a lot of these characters, but I’ll miss Jesse the most. I was drawn to him so strongly, not because he was perfect, but because he had both strengths and weaknesses and he struggled with knowing and following God’s will for his life like most (all?) of us do. In spite of that, he remained faithful and steadfast through times of extreme challenge and suffering, not just to his faith, but to the people he cared about the most. I also love his sense of humour and his courage. He is definitely the one who will stick with me as I move on to other projects.
AL: Did your purpose for writing these books change through the series?
SD: I always try to keep my two main goals in mind when I write anything: to be faithful and obedient to write the stories God gives me to write, and to do so with as much excellence as possible. In addition to that I usually have a goal that is specific to a book or series. In this case, the goal was to pose the question, “Are we ready?” to the North American church, the Body of Christ, in the twenty-first century, and no, that purpose never did change. All signs point to the fact that difficult times lie ahead for believers in North America. If, as a society, we continue on our current trajectory, an environment will almost certainly be created in which hostility toward Christians will be entirely acceptable. Are we ready to face the challenges that other believers throughout history and in other parts of the world have already encountered? Is our faith deeply rooted enough in the truth of the Word of God to withstand the coming storm? These questions are as much for me as anyone as I didn’t approach the writing of these books as someone with all the answers, but as someone asking myself if I would have the strength and courage to endure to the end if I experienced real and true persecution. If the Seven trilogy gets anyone thinking about this question, if it generates dialogue and sends even one reader to his or her knees to pray about the answer, then it will have achieved its purpose.
AL: Were there any scenes you wrote and loved that didn’t make the final cut?
SD: Um, yes. There were quite a few scenes in all three books that didn’t make the final cut. The editing process at Ashberry Lane is rigorous. Initially that shocked me a little, but when I got over myself and took the advice of all the editors (bless them) who worked their way through the manuscripts, I learned quickly that their edits, almost without exception, made the writing tighter and stronger and better. I developed a deep trust in and appreciation for each one of them. To be honest, pretty much every scene or storyline idea they cut was one I knew, deep down, wasn’t strong or didn’t really work, but I liked it so I was hoping no one would notice how weak it was. Fortunately, they never (seriously, not once) let me get away with that and, in the end, I pretty much always agreed that they were right. I’m deeply grateful to this publishing company and its commitment to excellence, demonstrated in the thoroughness of its editing process. It is quickly gaining a reputation in the Christian publishing world because of it and, even though it’s painful sometimes to let go of a scene or even a line or a word, in the end I wouldn’t have it any other way.
AL: The feeling of respect is mutual! Working with you on these three books over the past year and a half has been a joy and a wonder. We often remark that not a single scene lags in your novels. Thank you for trusting us with this series! Which brings us to another question. What’s next for you? And will we ever see these characters again?
SD: I am currently working on a two-book, contemporary romantic suspense series that is nearly complete. After that I have several ideas floating around in my head but no firm plans. I had never considered writing more stories involving the characters in the Seven trilogy until readers started commenting that they would like to read more about them. I am humbled and honoured by those requests, and will give it serious prayer and consideration. No promises at this point, though.
Sara Davison, author of the romantic suspense novel, The Watcher, and the speculative romantic suspense trilogy, Seven, has been a finalist for three national writing awards, including Best New Canadian Christian author. Sara has a degree in English Literature from Queen’s University and is a member of The Word Guild. She currently resides in central Ontario, Canada, with her husband, Michael, and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to. Her favourite way to spend her time is drinking coffee and making stuff up. Get to know Sara better at www.saradavison.org and @sarajdavison.