A. S. Mackey is my guest today. Let’s find out a bit more about her.
How or why did you become a writer?
There is a two-fold answer to this question! Firstly, I have been in love with creative writing since I was about eight years old. I remember being in the gifted program in 4th grade and we were given an assignment to write a poem. That year I wrote an entire book of poems and gave it to my parents as a Christmas gift.
Secondly, I have always been a voracious reader. As I became older, I continued to find myself finishing a book and thinking, “I can do better than this.” So I decided to do something about that! I started making writing a regular habit in 2011, and pursued publication the traditional route by landing an agent in 2017.
Why do you write Christian Fiction?
I feel there is a gap on the middle school library shelves between Harry Potter and Laura Ingalls. The Narnia series fits the bill, but if you count the number of Christian fantasy books as compared to the secular choices for middle grade readers, the choices in the Christian market are exponentially fewer. I want to create fantastic “magical” fiction that a) points readers to God and deep spiritual truths; b) is well-written and entertaining; and c) parents can feel good about letting their kids read.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’m a musician in a local Celtic band! Besides singing, I play piano, guitar, Irish penny whistle, and a tiny bit of ukulele. My husband is also in the band; he plays an Irish drum called the Bodhrán.
Tell us a little about your books.
I write middle grade and YA Christian fantasy, and I love writing stories that lean toward the supernatural. I hope to make readers laugh, cry, and gasp in surprise at plot twists, and I strive to find new perspectives from which to narrate.
Tell us a little about your current book.
The Edge of Everywhen is my debut novel! It’s about a magic book that changes with each reader, telling each one the story they need to hear. Thirteen year old Piper and her ten-year-old autistic brother Phoenix discover the book in their mean old auntie’s library when they’re sent to live with her after the death of their mother. The magic book himself, called Novus Fabula, narrates the story from his perspective, and he takes the children on a supernatural journey of faith that impacts the entire family. It’s a book that bridges the gap between faith-based and fantasy kid-lit genres. And while the fantasy elements will appeal to reluctant readers, the book-nerds out there will also love that it celebrates libraries and reading and all things literary.
Why do you consider this book a modern-day parable?
A parable teaches a deep truth with the use of story-telling, and that can definitely be said of The Edge of Everywhen. While it is not allegorical to the Bible, it is filled with deep spiritual truths wrapped up in a fictional storyline.
Some of the key themes are grace, hope, and reconciliation. We are all faced with difficult people or difficult situations at times in our lives, and grace is what enables us to be kind, to offer forgiveness, and to keep our circumstances from making us untrusting and bitter. Hope is the evidence of things unseen, and holding onto hope, even in the face of confusion, is an act of faith that better days are coming. Reconciliation is the heart of God, and He longs to see broken families restored, and many of us today have estranged family members with whom we long to be reconciled. All of these themes are present in one way or another in readers’ lives, and The Edge of Everywhen is an example of how one family finds these things in the midst of trauma.