More of Allen Arnold, Part 2

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If you enjoyed learning about former Thomas Nelson fiction editor Allen Arnold in the October issue of ACFW Journal, here is the second of two blogs that contain more information from that interview.

In this segment, reporter Christa Allan and Allen Arnold look at another side of Arnold.

CHRISTA: What/who entertains Allen Arnold outside of the office?

ALLEN: I am a family man. I want to live a life filled with faith and mystery. I love being with my wife and children, doing nothing or everything together. I savor time at the beach-and times that stretch me through physical activity.

We’ve talked a lot about fiction (in this interview). It’s an amazing art form, but it pales compared to real life. Yes, spend time writing novels and reading them. But don’t trade real life for too many made-up stories about pretend life.

CHRISTA: What do you envision for yourself, your family in the next 10 years?

ALLEN: Our desire is to walk with God on a daily basis. A life filled with mystery and faith. To do that is to forgo the false comfort of an annual plan, much less a 10-year plan. I have no idea where God will have us in 10 years. My hope is each year we grow in our love of God and those around us and that we’ll never grow tired of hanging out, laughing, and loving our family extravagantly.

I long for the day where the secular world is looking to Christian fiction for new ideas rather than Christian fiction houses looking for ways to write a Christian version of a secular trend.

CHRISTA: Thinking about your two-hour workshop with Jim Rubart (author of Rooms, Book of Days, and The Chair) at the just-completed ACFW Conference, what does it mean to live a life of freedom?

ALLEN: To see what a life of true freedom looks like, just look at Jesus. Here was a man who was bold, daring, brilliant yet humble. Filled with deep emotion and laughter and joy, yet completely holy. Someone who didn’t change his personality or attire based on who he was with. A man led by his love of-and obedience to-the Father. He came to set the captives free. To truly be free from addictions, free from fear, free from all that binds you, gives you so much more freedom as a storyteller. How can a storyteller in chains write a novel about freedom?

Christa Allan writes Southern fiction that is not afraid to answer the tough questions. Walking on Broken Glass, released in 2010, The Edge of Grace in 2011, and Love Finds You in New Orleans in 2012. Look for Threads of Hope (Abingdon) in March. Christa lives in Louisiana, teaches high school English, and is mom of five, Grammy of three.

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