Hello Readers. Have I got another juicy treat for you today! On hand is Sarah Jae Foster to discuss the release of Broken Identity, which hits the shelves today!! Welcome, Sarah, and congratulations! *happy dance* (Stay with us to the end and enter for a chance to receive a free copy of Broken Identity!)
So, I must admit. I’ve never heard of “Edgy Inspirational Romance” before. Can you explain what this genre is? How does it compare with Contemporary Romance, or Contemporary Christian Fiction?
Hi Susan, thanks so much for having me, I’m excited to be here! Edgy Inspy to me delves into a more real and/or raw look into character’s choices. It allows for a more explicit detailing of an act while adhering to the CBA guidelines set forth for Christian lit.
I’m always curious to know how a storyline develops in the mind of an author. How did the plot for Broken Identity come to you? In pieces or all at once?
Literally, I was in a bookstore café; checking email and drinking coffee and had a random thought – what if a Christian woman had an affair? I thought, this is not good, that would not go over very well! I got a bit giddy and began plotting that night! I like reading heavier works, so I wanted to give readers something to think about. And unfortunately for my sweet husband, I also don’t mind controversy!
I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of non-fiction. That’s my happy place. Yet, one of the reasons I found myself completely engrossed in Mona’s personal and family life, is because I believed every detail of her life; it felt like non-fiction. The supporting characters also represent real people to me and so I connected with them quite easily. Pick any town across the country, head to any church or bookstore or coffee shop, and you will find people just like Mona, Joslyn, Brian, Jason, Ben and Zoey. How did you prepare for writing this novel in terms of mapping out the family dynamics and character development?
I’m almost embarrassed to share this but… we’re in a day where there’s a word for older women liking younger men – Cougar! I premised this work around that. Mona would have, never in a million years, thought that a not only younger man, but a handsome younger man would give her the time of day. That set the stage for the story, if she’d been secure and felt worthy; she most likely wouldn’t have had any issues at all! Writing this made me want to guard myself and I wonder how many other women, yes even Christian, would be flattered out of their everyday mommy sweats, etc. to have someone “out of their league” pay attention to them. It sounds shallow, but Mona never set out for that.
You deal with some pretty tough themes: infidelity, peer influence, faith, crisis of identity, issues of worth, personal responsibility, etc. What inspired you to write Broken Identity?
I’m concerned that Christians (and that’s ME) have been inclined to judge other Christians who fall, too harshly. We’re ashamed if we even have a bad thought so we don’t talk about it and there’s a lot of pretending there’s no sin in our own lives. Bringing up these obviously egregious situations tells us that God loves us always. He is Perfect Love and there’s no sin He can’t forgive.
One of the foundational elements to the storyline is Mona’s progression in letting her guard down. Over a period of time we see her indulge in mental, emotional, and spiritual concessions which eventually lead her to a place of committing adultery. I often found myself yelling, “No! Mona, don’t do it! This is how the path we don’t really want to take starts!” Can you speak to the significance of this series of progressions for Mona?
I yelled at her too! Just kidding, but I know what you mean. I think if she had dealt with her own issues, trusted God and her husband, she would not have gone down the path she did. But then, we live in a world of seduction, it’s all around us, there’s a self-fulfilling desire on every person, it’s natural. It’s our choice what to do with it, especially if it’s a selfish act that can affect those around us.
Brian is loyal and committed to Mona. His willingness to fight for their marriage, their family, and to trust God to heal and restore, was a difficult and painful and beautiful process to watch unfold. What was it like to write Brian’s character and to explore the depths of hurt from his perspective?
I honestly did not plan on writing anything in his POV until Mona did what she did. My beta readers didn’t like him at first and I didn’t get it, it wasn’t how I was trying to portray him. So I needed to redeem his failings and when I wrote in his POV, he was in pain. For a week, I listened to Adele’s singing to get in a frame of mind about broken relationships. It was my attempt to get my head around how Brian must feel, Adele’s music is heart-wrenching and beautiful, I hope it worked!
What do you hope readers take away from the example of Mona and Brian?
What I don’t want them to take away from this is that it’s preachy, I don’t feel like it is – it’s really a transformational work of someone’s broken identity. We don’t agree with it, surely, but it happened and what is she going to do about it?
Thank you, Sarah. What a pleasure to have you here today. Congratulations on the release of Broken Identity. I hope we see more from you, real soon!
You asked me some tough and thought provoking questions! What a pleasant challenge. 🙂 Thanks again, I truly appreciate being with everyone on release day!
About The Book …
by Sarah Jae Foster
Genre: Edgy Inspirational Romance
Tone: Dramatic, Emotional, Gripping
Tags/elements: Family Drama, Affair, Fidelity, Restoration, Forgiveness, Christian, Seduction, Romance, Book Club
Publisher: River Valley Publishing
Publishing Date: October 1, 2012
Word Count: 64, 000 words
A Christian woman has an affair.
It’s a betrayal beyond mention.
She stands to lose everything.
Mona Leigh Anderson, a good mother and even better wife, is unaware that her tidy and sheltered world is going to explode into a thousand pieces. And by her own hand, she launches the grenade of destruction.
Brian Anderson is a principled man, a leader in the church. Never in all his days did he believe his marriage could come to such a heart-rending testing of his faith, although this is exactly what he’s about to endure.
Damaged by deception and infidelity, Mona and Brian seek to repair the mistrust between them because that is the right thing to do. But can they fall in love with each other again, wholeheartedly and without reserve? Can they truly let go of the past and of the most egregious of marital sins, and survive in this world of seduction?
About The Author …
At the age of 12, Sarah Jae Foster found a series by Janette Oke, the well-known and beloved Love Comes Softly series. For the next several years, Sarah Jae unintentionally committed herself to reading historical works written by Christian authors. Having consumed everything possible within the inspirational market, Sarah Jae had to move on to other works and has fallen for fiction from all types of authors.
In keeping with a balance, Sarah Jae has a desire to portray a raw brand of inspirational stories. While she believes there is a purpose for guidelines of inspirational works, she also believes in portraying the reality of life, as it is today. Sarah Jae is a Christian, a wife, and a mother, wholeheartedly yet imperfectly, loving God since she was a child. She wants to share stories about characters with faith who mess up big time due to the seductions in society. In doing so, she’s willing to take a risk and be on the cutting edge of writing for the inspirational market, sharing what’s in her heart and in the world today.
Connect with Sarah:
** Broken Identity Giveaway Details **
Thanks to the wonderful folks at LitConnect, one randomly drawn commenter from each tour stop will win one digital copy of BROKEN IDENTITY.
To enter the giveaway, simply reply to this post with a question or comment for Sarah Jae Foster!
- Contest is open 9/24/2012 – 10/5/2012.
- Contest is open internationally.
- Contest is open the duration of the tour. (Ends 10/5/12)
- Winner(s) will be randomly selected and notified via email.