In this weeks Author Spotlight, I interview Alexandra Swann, co-author of, The Twelfth Juror, a contemporary Christian fiction.
What is your book about?
The Twelfth Juror is a Christian fiction suspense mystery. Megan Cleary is a successful attorney who seems to have everything. But her perfect world is shattered when one night, while working late, she is brutally attacked by a stranger. After the attack, Megan’s world unravels and the more she tries to regain control the worse things get for her.
What inspired you to write this book?
My mother, Joyce, and I co-author a lot of books. Her book, The Warrior, has been downloaded 80,000 times on Kindle since its publication. She actually had the idea for the ending to this book before we wrote the story, and the story grew out of that. Basically the inspiration for this book is our experience with loss. When you go through a devastating loss it changes you, it changes your life, and how you look at life. Nothing is ever the same again.
Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
I love Megan—she is so self-centered and self-confident at the beginning of the story, and we get to see how she grows as a person through what happens to her. I also love Mother Harriet. She is very grounded and sensible, although Megan overlooks her initially. My least favorite is definitely Jeff—I dated a guy like Jeff when I was younger, and he gives special meaning to the term “fair weather friend.”
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
We only write Christian fiction and inspirational fiction. I love having the opportunity to share faith and hope through stories. But the story has to be good—the faith element can never be a supplement for a good story.
Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
This is a standalone. We thought about writing a sequel, but the story does not really lend itself to a sequel, so I don’t think that will ever happen.
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
Mother was constantly writing when I was a child. I think her love for it drew me to it. She loved to tell us stories and to write all kinds of short stories and poems. We got started writing together because when I finished school, I had more time on my hands than she did. We would talk through story ideas and I would write them. These days, she has more time than I do so she writes a lot more than me.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
I can’t limit it to just one. I have read A Tale of Two Cities about three times. To me that book is great inspirational fiction. We don’t think of it that way because it is a classic, but it is this beautiful story of laying down your life for a friend with a little scripture worked in against this wonderful backdrop of Revolution and love and loyalty and loss.
I feel the same way about Les Miserables. It is an amazing story that is so moving and yet timeless.
Have you written other books we should know about?
Joyce and I have co-written The Fourth Kingdom which was a top four finalist in the 2011 Christianity Today fiction of the year contest. (Christian author Erin Healy, who has co-authored with Ted Dekker, was also a finalist for that awarded and we both lost to Anne Rice). That book was written in 1989 and published in 2010.
We wrote the sequel The Force, in 2013.
Both are available as a box set called The KingdomChronicles.
In 2012, I wrote a novel called The Planner which came out of my experiences working with real estate for 15 years. Joyce and I co-authored the sequel, The Chosen. Both of those are also available as a box set called W.
I am working on a new novel called The Invitation, which is more inspirational than Christian fiction, but I am excited about the project and the message of the story.
If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
Don’t give up. You have days when you want to because being an author is so difficult, but don’t give up. Keep going. If you have the stories, keep writing, working and building your audience. A dream is work sacrificing for.
Where can we find your book?
How can we find out more about you?