A little bit about Yvonne...
The Story in the Stars, the first in the Gateway to Gannah series as well as her debut novel, was a Carol Award finalist in 2012. The adventure continues with Words in the Wind and Ransom in the Rock and concludes with The Last Toqeph, released in October of 2014.
She lives in Western Maryland with her husband of almost forty years and shares the occasional wise word on her personal site, YsWords. She’s been with The Borrowed Book blog for a year or two now and coordinated Novel Rocket’s Launch Pad Contest for unpublished novelists since the beginning of time. (Or at least, since the contest’s inception.)
Oh, yeah: she also does freelance editing.
How to connect with Yvonne...
Purchase: The Last Toqeph (Gateway to Gannah Book 4)
Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a copy of your choice from the Gateway to Gannah series!
Author Interview | Yvonne Anderson
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...Short version of a long, dull story: I never had any aspirations to be a writer, but, after I reached middle age, there came a time when the Holy Spirit urged me to write a novel. I have no other explanation for the urge to do something so unexpected. What kept me writing? The same thing. I begged God to let me quit, but He kept urging me forward.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...I’ve written eight novels altogether, the last four of which are published. I’ve grown a bit with each one, so each is a little more polished than the one that came before. I might like The Last Toqeph, the most recent one, best for that reason. But I think what I like about it the most is the way it wraps up the series—or perhaps the fact that it wraps up the series. I love Gannah, but it’s time to move on, and the finale is satisfying.
Tell us a little bit about your book. Why did you write it?
...The Last Toqeph is, as I mentioned, the final book in the Gateway to Gannah series. The protagonist this time is Adam, a young man who first appeared as a child in Book #2 but who is now married and has a family of his own. Being his mother’s oldest, he hopes to be heir to the throne of Gannah, but that is not a birthright. He must first meet certain qualifications, and as the book opens, he’s working toward accomplishing one of them.
...This particular quest involves being airdropped into the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on his back and the traditional Gannahan weapon called a lahab, then traveling to an appointed destination to be picked up at a specified time. Several days into his journey, he meets another man whose presence changes everything. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil any surprises, but it’s all rather dramatic.
...I wrote this book for two reasons: to bring the series to a satisfying conclusion, and to illustrate the truth that God always keeps His promises.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I don’t know if she’s my favorite, but one minor character makes me smile. Here’s the story: My daughter in Virginia has a friend, Elmari. One time when I was visiting my daughter and Elmari’s mother, Riana, was visiting her from South Africa, I joked that I’d write Riana into the book I was writing. Problem was, she didn’t know I was joking. After she got home, she told everyone she knew that she was going to be in a book. Once I learned that, I decided I’d better make good on my promise! So Riana Groenewald is now a minor character in The Last Toqeph. I love the character, and I hope she makes the real Riana smile too.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...That God’s word is absolutely reliable; if He says it, we can count on it. The fulfillment doesn’t always look like what we expect, but it’s a certainty nevertheless. That’s the underlying theme, and I hope the readers will pick up on it, because it’s fairly subtle.
Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...I really don’t know. Though it’s speculative fiction and takes place on a planet that doesn’t really exist, all the characters are true-to-life as far as human nature is concerned. They’re multidimensional, each displaying a combination of strengths, flaws, and quirks. But I can’t say I modeled any of them on people I’ve met.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...To illustrate God’s truth through a compelling story.
What’s one thing you are looking forward to in 2015?
...Walking with God more closely, loving Him more fruitfully, and reflecting Jesus’s character more faithfully.
___________________________Thank you so much, Yvonne! I love that you honestly say, "I begged God to let me quit" because I think every writer has been (or will be) at that point. It is so difficult to be a writer at times! We don't acknowledge that enough I don't think! I also love how you incorporated a friend into one of your novels! I do that as well, but more traits from them or a mannerism that I think fits my character.
Lastly, I love that your take-away is "God is absolutely reliable" because He is! Thanks again, Yvonne! And readers, don't forget to leave a comment to win a copy of a book in the series! I'll announce the winner next Wednesday (and yes, I actually mean Wednesday this time hehe).