Please help me in welcoming Chana Keefer. Thank you Chana for allowing me to interview you about your book, The Fall. (Book 1 in The Rapha Chronicles).
Kayla: When did you begin writing and why?
Chana: How far back do ya want me to go?? (: I always loved reading and writing was an outgrowth of that, but it was in the summer of 2005 that I had a dream that wouldn't let go until I had an entire novel rattling around in my head. It’s almost like the writing gift chose me. Ten months later when I finally completed the first draft of that novel, “Rock Star,” I was addicted to the joy of connection to God and the emotional release writing provided. Every writing session and painful edit seems to go both ways… I shape the story and it shapes me.
Kayla: I know that in the end of your book you have a section that explains the story behind The Fall, what was your inspiration for writing The Fall?
I had no answer for her because, ya know, she had a good point. What was up with all the bloodshed and crap in the Old Testament? Did I believe in God just because that’s how I was raised? Had I fallen for the biggest hoax in history, just another lemming swallowing the “opiate of the people?” I went home, shut myself in my room and prayed and prayed, calling God out, begging Him to give me a sign—a bolt of lightning, an audible voice—but… nothing. I cried myself to sleep, then held a grudge for a couple weeks because God hadn’t defended Himself. Maybe that was because He didn’t exist?
My faith was broken, but not gone. In quiet little ways He wouldn’t let me alone, a stillness and peace at the darnedest times, a scripture in my thoughts, little warnings or guidance when I needed it, a whisper of comfort and perspective in devastating circumstances.
Well, fast-forward a couple decades to my prayer time in our closet in 2007—God started telling me why. All the weird stories of slaughter in the Bible, what started the corruption and evil of the world as we know it today, how a good and loving God can be “creator” and yet things are NOT good—suddenly started to make sense as if a light switch had been flipped in my brain. From there on I was scrambling to keep up, scribbling on a notepad every morning, pounding the craziness into my computer and trying to wrap my heart and mind around some pretty mind-blowing stuff. That was the jet fuel for the next four years of writing, editing, then trying to figure what, exactly, to do with my misfit novel.
Kayla: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp. If so, what is it?
Kayla: Your book The Fall is from the point of view of Rapha, who used to be Lucifer’s best friend. If you were put in the position that Rapha was put in when he stuck up for Adonai and testified about his goodness, would you have done the same?
Kayla: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in The Fall?
Kayla: Did you learn anything from writing your book. If so, what was it?
Kayla: Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?
Kayla: Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects?
Ah! If only I never required sleep!
1. Chocolate or Vanilla? While I appreciate vanilla in all it’s basic glory—it’s chocolate all the way. The richer and gooier the better!
3. Water or Soda? I drink SOOOO much water, like a gallon a day. If I jump on a trampoline I slosh.
4. Cats or Dogs? I USED to like cats as much as dogs but we have one now who insists the carpet and litterbox are interchangeable so… dogs are my friends.
5. Dog ear or Bookmark? It’s always kinda bugged me to tear up a book so—bookmarks.
6. Morning or Night person? Early bird here—especially when in a writing frenzy. At first when writing I had to discipline myself, now I have, like, withdrawals if I don’t get to write in the a.m.
7. What do you do in your free time? My family and I love movies so one of my favorite things is cozying up on the couch for a good one—classic, comedy, rom-com, sci-fi—love ‘em!
8. If you could spend the day with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why? I would LOVE to hang out with J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, to find out if his stories have a code to crack. Fascinating stuff. Then again, hanging with Bono wouldn't suck either. But it’s hard for me to imagine anyone who could be more just downright enjoyable than my hubby.
A little about me—I’m a mom of four and wife to the best man alive. Inside, I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder living life in the suburbs of southern California. I try to channel Martha Stewart, but our household generally feels more like The Keystone Cops. There are many things I could be passionate about, but just a few that make the difference, for me, between a life well lived and a life frittered away. Those things that spur me on to fewer regrets and more than my fair share of joy and fun—those are the topics discussed here. My areas of expertise are few and any knowledge was beaten into my skull by hard knocks. But if, somehow, the gold discovered in the midst of crisis can spare you a lump or two—yea! Mostly, I’m a bemused traveler gleaning from much wiser brains than my own. I’m sure you qualify in that department, that you have your own unique story and nuggets that could help the rest of us, so please share. It’s hard to find a kind corner in this world—a place where you’re heard and can gain perspective to handle life’s craziness. I hope this site can be where The Keystone Cops throw on the brakes for a chat, a cup of tea and piece of cake on the honey-suckle-scented porch of Little House on the Prairie. One lump or two?
Click Here to check out Chana Keefer's Website!
Thank you so much Chana for allowing me to read your book, and for participating in this interview! I really appreciate it and I wish you the best!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Chana: Okay, gonna get gut-honest here. There was a gal when I was in college who, when she found out I was one of those Jesus freaks, told me, “If I was ever gonna be religious, I would go for, like, the B’hai faith ‘cause they are peaceful, not like in the Bible where God told them to kill all those people. I could never worship such a hateful God!”
Chana: The biggest thrust of THE FALL is that God IS Good and, even when everything seems to have gone to hell, He is still GOOD. No one—and I do mean NO ONE—is unloved by Him. NO ONE is a mistake. NO ONE is too far gone that they are out of God’s sight and forgotten. He loves ALL with a passion, determination and absolute unselfishness that makes human love seem like hate in comparison.
Chana: I certainly hope so, but I admit Rapha’s trust in God is light years ahead of mine—after all, he’s had, like, thousands more years than I have to see God in action. But, as the story goes, even Rapha, who thinks he’s seen it all, has a few surprises.
Chana: At the moment, no—beyond a word-tweak here and there. In a couple years? We’ll see (:
Chana: THE FALL challenged the hell out of me and I don’t really see an end to the growth curve it sparked. One of the main things I learned was that, yes, a mountain can be moved by faith, but usually it’s moved one spoonful at a time by someone who is overwhelmed by the job. The real miracle is the little boosts of encouragement that help you stick with it, day in and day out.
Chana: Yes. If you love THE FALL, please tell me about it. Hate it? Please tell me about it. I would love to communicate with you.
Kayla: What was you favorite chapter or part to write in The Fall?
Chana: I love where Rapha gets a taste of “human” love. Through most of the story, he’s in a pretty lonely spot—caught between heaven & earth—so it was wonderful to have him experience the joy of bonding. Yesterday, I had a man tell me that part made him cry. Wow.
Kayla: Did The Fall turn out the way you originally thought it would?
Chana: I started with a pretty specific map, but just like any journey, there were surprises waiting around every turn. Some of the best bits, like the part mentioned above, weren’t even on that original map.
Chana: I have at least three more installments of The Rapha Chronicles. Hopefully that will be enough to capture the scope of this crazy epic! Also, my first novel (my firstborn :) Rock Star, is ready for publishing. I love this story—a sweet, country girl meets the Rock Star of her dreams and worlds collide. Any time I get bogged down in life, I pull out Rock Star and fall in love with it all over again! There’s lots of music, fun, old barns, romance, heartbreak, paparazzi, and a leading man who’s just too hot to handle. Heavy sigh. I also have a fun book full of my own life stories and those of some of the coolest people I know called, Sex For Life. The nutshell for that one is, “Sex can be a lifelong joy, strength and confidence booster OR it can be POISON. It’s all about your CHOICES.”
I even have a wonderful, sweet ghost story called Annabelle that is actually my hubby’s favorite. Annabelle is full of suspense, childlike fun and the most charming haunted house ever—yet it deals with some of the toughest issues on the face of the planet: an extramarital affair, helplessness after tragedy, child abuse and pornography. This one was also instigated by a doozy of a dream. I can’t wait to get Annabelle polished and into the hands of readers. It would also make an incredible screenplay.
2. Who is your inspiration? There are tons of people I admire and draw inspiration from; musicians, missionaries, adoptive parents, actors—anyone who lives with purpose, passion and blasts through limitations without selling their soul in the process. One person who has had a huge impact though—in fact I doubt I would be writing on this scale without their influence—is Pete Greig, founder of the 24/7 Worldwide Prayer movement. I read his book, “Red Moon Rising” in 2004, and he inspired me to dive in and pray first thing out of the sack every morning. God took it from there, but Pete’s book was the spark.
Posted by Simply Kayla at 9:13 PM