Friday, April 19, 2013

Morgan L. Busse: Writing Christian Fantasy Fiction

Everyone's Story celebrates its 2nd year Blog Anniversary with a special contest. See here for directions to be entered once for the special giveaway of either "Writing Is Not For Sissies" T-shirt or an Amazon Gift Card. To be entered a 2nd time, leave a comment below for this week's guest, Morgan L. Busse. Winners announced April 26th. Blessings to all for sharing your stories and encouraging one another.

Everyone's Story welcomes Christian Fantasy fiction (also known as Speculative fiction) author Morgan L. Busse. I first met Morgan at an ACFW conference prior to her signing her first book contract. Now she has two novels out in The Follower Of The Word Series from Marcher Lord Press. Not only am I sharing a congratulations here with Morgan, that her first book, DAUGHTER OF LIGHT has hit the #1 bestseller in 3 different categories on Amazon and ranked #134 overall in Nook but that Morgan's first novel is now a Christy nomination in the Visionary division. Wow! Totally awesome, Morgan! So, did this going-places author always want to write Christian fantasy? Spend a little time with Morgan as she shares with you her inspiration. Plus, check out her Book Giveaway below.

Book Giveaway:
Morgan is offering 1 copy of either of her novels, DAUGHTER OF LIGHT or SON OF TRUTH(choice between paperback or ebook format) to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced between 4-6 PM EST on April 26th. Don't forget: by leaving a comment for Morgan you also will be entered to win the Writing Is Not For Sissies T-shirt/Amazon Gift Card contest that I'm hosting to celebrate my 2nd-year Blog Anniversary!! Please leave your email address within the body of the comment. 


Why I Write Christian Fantasy Fiction by Morgan L. Busse

I never set out to write Christian fantasy. In fact, I wasn’t sure what place that kind of book had in this world. Sure, there was Lewis’s Narnia series and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But with all the controversy over Harry Potter years ago, I didn’t know what to think. I read Star Wars, Terry Brooks, and such, but Christian fantasy? I don’t think so.

It was actually the Harry Potter controversy that made me start thinking about Christian fantasy. Could fantasy and Christianity mix? Could a good book be written where neither the faith element or fantasy element were not compromised? Like I said, I never set out to do that, but in the end that is what I wrote.

Daughter of Light began as a story in my head. It was a place to play with some interesting fantasy ideas. A fantasy book with a hint of faith. But as the years went by and I found myself traveling down dark roads and facing one crisis of faith after another in real life, Daughter of Light began to morph into an exploration of what it ultimately meant to follow God.


Through fantasy, I am able to explore what a Christian would look like if the externals generally associated with Christianity were taken away: like church attendance, bible studies, or Sunday school. Now I’m not saying those are bad things (not at all), but sometimes our Christianity is defined by where we go or what we do, not by who we are.

I am also able to paint word pictures with fantasy that I could not do if I wrote about the real world. For example: sin. In our world, sin is a hidden part of our nature. We see the results of sin, but not sin itself. But in a fantasy world, I can show what it would be like if we could actually see what we look like with sin: naked, broken, with blood on our hands. Unable to heal ourselves. Helpless and bound to darkness. 

Of course, there is a fun aspect to writing fantasy. I am able to write outside the box, to ask “what if” questions. What if we could see people the way God sees people, would we still love them? What if we could heal, but it would mean taking on the hurt and pain, would we? What if you found out you’re really from another dimension (that’s a fun question ☺). What if you discovered you’re not human?

I love writing Christian fantasy. It combines my weirdness, my creativity, and my faith. Here is a quote by C.S. Lewis that best sums up why I write Christian fantasy:

"I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralyzed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could."

Morgan's Ah-hahs To Tweet:

“Could fantasy and Christianity mix?” (Tweet This)


“What if we could see people the way God sees people, would we still love them?” (Tweet This)

“What if we could heal, but it would mean taking on the hurt and pain, would we?” (Tweet This)



Author Bio:

Morgan L. Busse writes speculative fiction for the adult market. She is the author of Daughter of Light and Son of Truth, the first two books in a series from Marcher Lord Press. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com

You can also find Morgan at:


Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganLBusse (@MorganLBusse)






29 comments:

  1. Wow, Morgan, congratulations on being nominated for the Christy Award. To be honest, I haven't read much Christian Fantasy, except of course, The Chronicles of Narnia (which I loved). However, your post has whet my appetite. How exciting that God would use you and the things you've gone through to reach others through this genre. God bless you!

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    1. Thanks for your visit, Cathy. Do stop by later on for Morgan's reply.

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    2. Hi Cathy,
      Thanks for stopping by and for the congrats :) I have had a lot of readers tell me they don't usually read fantasy, but enjoyed Daughter of Light and didn't find it confusing (sometimes fantasy, with some of the names, places, and ideas can be confusing).

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  2. Hmmm. Now you got me thinking I'd like to try to write fantasy. Interesting!!!

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    1. As always, Connie, it's so nice when you visit :)

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    2. Hi Connie,
      I love fantasy! But if I didn't write fantasy, I would probably be a historical writer. That is my second favorite genre :)

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  3. I love fantasy, and your books sound so good! I also struggle with the idea of Christian fantasy now and then, but for me The Chronicles of Narnia make the idea of heaven so alive and real. It's books like that that make even real life all that more real, if that makes any sense! I get weepy thinking of The Last Battle, and how one day we as well will go "further up and further in!"

    And congrats on Christy Award nomination!

    -Beka (beckz_1993_smile@yahoo.ca)

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    1. Beka, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment for Morgan and for becoming a Follower of Everyone's Story. Different genres appeal to different readers and I'm so thankful that talented authors like Morgan choose to write want they want to, taking a chance. Chances do pay off--especially when in the hands of God :)

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    2. Thanks Beka :) I think that is the power of the fantasy genre: showing us what we already know, but in a different light. Like Lewis's Last Battle.

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  4. Another fascinating read, Elaine. Thank you.

    Morgan, this quote has sure provoked my mind into overdrive. I'd suggest it will sit with me for a few days. So thank you. "We see the results of sin, but not sin itself. But in a fantasy world, I can show what it would be like if we could actually see what we look like with sin: naked, broken, with blood on our hands. Unable to heal ourselves. Helpless and bound to darkness."

    And is that why we, as Christians, even though we understand grace (or do we?), still may deceive ourselves to avoid seeing our naked bloody hands?

    Congratulations on your 2 novels. I might just have to add the 1st one to my TBR file to see how you address sin in it.

    Oh and Elaine, congratulations on your 2nd birthday. Woo hoo... Everyone's Story sure holds an important place in Christian fiction blogs.

    Blessings to you both.

    Ian

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    1. Thank you Ian. My husband is a pastor and one thing we talk about is how can we put "handles" on concepts like sin, grace, redemption, etc. It is one thing to talk about the concept and another thing to show it. And I like showing through story :)

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    2. Ian, thanks for the kind and most encouraging words. As always, I appreciate your visit.

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  5. I haven't read your stories yet, but I must say I'm looking forward to it.

    Fantasy can expose & highlight in such a 'tactile' way.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Mary, nice to see you again. I'm glad Morgan's words here have intrigued you about Christian fantasy.

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  6. I also write Christian spec fiction, and I loved reading about Morgan! Email is katieclarkbooks @ charter . net.

    Thanks!

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    1. I appreciate your visit, Katie. You're entered for both the Gift Card and for Morgan's book. Do drop by again for Morgan's reply.

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    2. Hi Katie. What kind of speculative fiction do you write?

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  7. Sam GraberApril 20, 2013

    It's so nice to have books like Daughter of Light that take some of the great aspects of fantasy and weave it into a powerful story from a Christian worldview. I just read Daughter of Light for the first time about a week ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    samgraber@sundialproperties.com

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    1. Sam, welcome to Everyone's Story. Hope to see you again.

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    2. Hi Sam, thanks for stopping by :)

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  8. Very inspiring, Morgan! The book sounds great!

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    1. Kathy, my apologies. I seemed to have missed this comment yesterday but am thankful for your visit.

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  9. Sounds like you challenged yourself and achieved your goal. I didn't really understand what the problem was with the 'Harry Potter' books except that the evil character was titled 'Lord', yet, many noblemen of England have used that title. But I like your concept and the fact that you have placed a female as the main character. I'll look for it at Amazon for kindle.

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    1. Renee, it's a pleasure to see you here on Everyone's Story. I'm glad that Morgan's novels have captured your interest. Hope to see you again.

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    2. Hi Renee :)
      I think the problem many Christians had with Harry Potter was the magic and the fact that they were witches or wizards. When I dug deeper into Harry Potter, it became apparent to me that the magic came from genetics, just like eye color, or height, or blood type, etc... It opened my eyes to the importance of world building, especially in fantasy. And by using world building, I felt free to write a fantasy with a Christian base.

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  10. Morgan, this has been a busy and fun week here on Everyone's Story and I have you to thank for it. You've been an awesome guest! I wish you continued blessings on your writing career and for joy and peace. Blessings to on the upcoming Christy Awards--I'm so proud and excited for you ♡ Thanks too for the generous offer of your BookGiveaway.

    And, the winner of Morgan L. Busse's giveaway is... Connie! Congratulations, Connie. Both Morgan and I will contact your directly in a little while. Happy reading!

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