Author Chat and Giveaway with Alisa Hope Wagner

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Ladies, I’m so excited to introduce you to a fellow Christian women blogger whose blog I have been following for a few years now.  I have always loved her writing style and her unique way of pulling spiritual truths from her ordinary days.  One of the last books of 2013 that I read was Alisa Hope Wagner’s debut novel, Eve of Awakening.  This futuristic book transported me to the post Second World War era, where efficiency and technology reigned supreme.  This book kept me up late at night as I anxiously tried to discover what would happen next in Eve’s journey.  I am officially naming it one of my good reads picks.  If you enjoy fiction with suspense that also contains a message of hope and faith, you should read Eve of Awakening.

Let’s welcome Alisa as she tells us more about herself and the story behind the Eve of Awakening.

Alisa tell us a little about yourself. 
I’m a military brat, so I moved around a lot as a kid.  I never worried about making new friends because I always had my extroverted twin sister to make friends for me.  I met my husband as a 16 year old when I sat next to him at our church’s youth group meeting.  We both attended Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi, and we were married after I graduated.  We moved to Galveston where we entered into graduate school.  I graduated from the University of Houston with a M.A. Degree in English.  Now, we have three amazing children (2 boys and 1 girl), and we enjoy homeschooling them in a Christian home.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Since I must sit to read and write, I like to balance my sedentary routine with lots of exercise.  I will go stir-crazy if I don’t work out or enjoy some sort of outdoor activity, like fishing, rollerblading or hiking. I also like to make inspirational word pictures that I post on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.  I weave Bible Verses or quotes from my blog posts onto creative images to encourage others.

Tell us about your debut novel, Eve of Awakening.
Eve of Awakening has brought me closer to God, and it has been one of those promises that God used to change me.  No matter what happens with the book, I know that Holy Spirit has produced beautiful fruit in me through the challenges of chasing after this promise.  The story is about Eve, a woman who has everything—fame, fortune, acclaim, respect, etc.—but she realizes that it’s all in vain because death ultimately takes all she worked to achieve.  Finally, through many difficult events, Eve discovers the one thing that gives her victory over death, Jesus’ death on the cross.  Her life is turned upside down when she is ripped away from all the comforts she has ever known, and thrown into a world she does not know.

What was the inspiration for  the story?
While in graduate school, my lifestyle was very hectic.  I remember one particular day when I raced to the gym after my fulltime job.  I needed to exercise quickly, so I could go home and do some homework before I had a social engagement that night.  It felt like I was trying to live the life of multiple people in a single life.  I wondered if I was being influenced by a culture that condoned productiveness over relationships.

The message of salvation becomes evidently clear in your writing. How were you able to weave this message into your novel, Eve of Awakening?
To be honest, writing Eve of Awakening has been such a learning curve for me.  I just kept writing and rewriting, listening to the Holy Spirit, and changing every sentence until it sounded real and honest.  I think what helps me most to write my characters is that I get to know them first.  I think about them in different scenes and imagine how they would react.  My stories are character driven, so I must know the good and the ugly of each one.  Humans are very complex, and rich with nuances and details. Sometimes, we don’t even know how we will react in a situation until it presents itself. I make a skeleton of an outline for my books, but I mainly allow the characters to express themselves uniquely as the story unfolds.

Eve of Awakening is speculative fiction with some foreshadowing to the End Times. Would you like to explain a little about this aspect of your novel?
I paint the end times with broad stroke in my book.  I prayed a lot about this, because I know the end times is such a relevant and important topic for Christians.  However, God wonderfully painted a picture that describes the emphasis of my book.  He gave me an image of a flower on the beach.  The beach created a hazy background, so the flower could be very distinct in the forefront.  What God explained to me in this image is that the prophetic elements of my book are centered on the inner person.  My story examines what happens to a person when God gets a hold of his/her life.  As for the external elements, I definitely think Christians need to be aware of the events unfolding in our current time.  But, what I hope to show in Eve of Awakening is that if we are abiding in God, and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us daily, God will bring to us everything we need to be ready for what lies ahead.

What is your hope for Eve of Awakening?
I would love for readers to give, Eve of Awakening, to their non-Christian friends.  The book tackles the hard questions of life without being preachy or in your face.  It is easier to wrestle with spiritual themes through the eyes of a character you have come to respect and identify with.  Eve is my witness of faith in Jesus Christ to the world.

Is Eve Pallue, your book’s main character, anything like you?
Besides our driven personalities, my character, Eve, and I are very different.  Her life in the beginning of the book is very cold and sterile. My life is full of warmth and animation.  I always had the freedom growing up to choose my own path, unlike the path that Eve’s father directed her on.  Eve thinks with her mind, and I tend to be more intuitive. Eve is still in a phase of life where she hasn’t selflessly served others; but in the second book, she will begin to grow in the maturity of her faith.  Eve and I are both introverted and analytical, but I enjoy spending time with my family and pulling away from my constant thinking with physical activities.

Do you have a favorite character from the story?
Jonah is my favorite.  His character is based on a Christian leader who has had a great impact on my life.  To me he represents the highest form of beauty, Christlikeness, and his impact on the life of Eve has great Kingdom-influence in the book.  Jonah is my reminder that our truest joy and eternal glory springs from our humility and submission to God, as we let go of self-ambition and serve others with agape love.

Your book deals with a future, dystopian society, one where information technology plays a pretty big role. Do you feel like our modern day obsession with technology is harmful in anyway?
It’s interesting that I wrote Eve of Awakening before I had texting, before I knew about Facebook, before I knew anything about blogging.  As time crept by, I kept telling God, “Hey, everything in my book is beginning to happen.”  I wonder why God didn’t publish my book seven years sooner, but I trust that His ways are beyond my ways (Isaiah 55.8-9).  I think our modern day obsession with information and one-world communication exemplifies the Tower of Babel.  We are uniting as a people that don’t recognize a sovereign God.

How did you start your writing career?
When I started my junior year in college, I still had no peace about what I should major in.  I really wanted to get my degree in kinesiology because I loved athletics, but I felt God urging me towards an English degree.  Finally, God spoke clearly to my heart.  He said that I was called to be a writer.  I remember shrugging my shoulders and thinking to myself, “Well, I better start reading then.”  The road to actually fulfilling God’s call as a writer would take me many years and a lot of growing as a person and child of God to achieve, and I’m still learning.  I began by graduating with English degrees, teaching English, starting a blog and creating a Christian writers’ group.  Along with reading my Bible and other Christian authors, my writing style and voice finally began taking shape.  I wrote many years without expectation of personal gain, but these “desert” years of writing really refined God’s message in my heart.

What inspires you the most as a writer?
The Bible inspires me most as a writer.  As I read the Bible, I’m filled with excitement about my faith and about what God is teaching me.  I want to share everything that God shows me to others. However, my Bible reading influences the movies I watch, the music I listen to and the books I read because I see God’s handprint on everything that is redemptive and beautiful.  So the truth and life I see in other creative outlets definitely inspire me also.

What is next for you Alisa beyond Eve of Awakening? 
Eve of Awakening is the first book of a trilogy.  So I’m currently researching and writing the second book, Bear into Redemption.  I’ve also started the outline and first three chapters for a Christian fantasy series, which I’m really excited about.  I’ll continue to write faithfully on my blog, and I’ve committed to do several speaking engagements.

You can find Alisa Hope Wagner at these social media outlets!
Blog/Website: | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest 

Purchase your copy of:Eve of Awakening eveofawakening

View the book trailer here


Alisa has generously offered to give one of our readers a copy of her novel.  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. The giveaway will be open until 12am February 25th.
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