Q&A: Grace Bridges
On the sunless Planet Monday where slaves are subjected to mind control and used in forced labor, Mario and Caitlin heed the calling of a mysterious Voice. Following this Voice, they escape their world and travel across the galaxy, visiting new, unexplored worlds and witnessing marvels beyond their imagination. Where are they being led? What challenges await them?
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE LEGENDARY SPACE PILGRIMS?
I had another book all planned out to write before it—the sequel to my first, Faith Awakened—but then I had a very vivid dream that provided most of the basics for this one, even a couple of full scenes. Of course there were still a lot of gaps to fill, but it seized my imagination so strongly that it demanded to be written.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
It was Stephen Lawhead who first made me dream of creating such impact in prose. I love the poetry of his work ... Taliesin is still my favourite book, hands down. In early days, I also enjoyed Frank Peretti and John White, and C. S. Lewis of course. Nowadays, besides them, I am often inspired by indie writers who are awesome at what they do. By sheer quality they are succeeding without the backing of a big publishing house, and I love to see that happen. These would be people like Jeremy Robinson, Frank Creed, and Amy Deardon, to name a few.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
Actually, it's my writing that influences my faith. Writing is worship. Writing draws from the deepest part of me, and expresses truth that I may not otherwise grasp. In making use of real life to create fiction, I have often started out describing some external event—but then the story has ended up being about me and how I need to grow, as seen through the character.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Pretty much forever. I didn't start my first epic science fiction until I was nine, but before that there were plenty of, hmm, let's call them ... graphic novels, tales told in pictures. I devoured every book I got my hands on from a young age, and writing was kind of a given after that.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
A strong sense of empathy in the human condition that we share, the common emotions that I write of, even if the settings may be beyond-the-planet exotic. My characters may face problems caused by science fiction scenarios, but the way they react is the same as you and I might do. People are people in any place and time. This kind of empathy makes a reader feel good ... it boosts the spirit, so to say. Then I like to take it a step further into the speculative and connect the empathetic emotion to something that blows the mind, thus transporting the reader into an entirely new headspace where anything is possible. Reading a book can change your life! Well, it's often changed mine, at least.
I also hope to give my readers a quality experience, smooth, professional, properly written, lyrical, evocative, and most of all, satisfying. If I do that, then I am very happy indeed.