Here it is! My exclusive interview with author, Brittany Nicole Lewis! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. She has personal experience that fuels her writing, which makes it so real. It was almost like reading the journal of a real person. That’s a good read.
Q: What inspired you to write the book, “Finding Freedom?”
A: I was involved with a group of believers that had some rather strict beliefs about certain things. After I separated from that group I did a lot of studying and needed to figure out if I believed what I believed because it was true or because someone encouraged me to believe it. I wrote Finding Freedom so I could work out some personal things I was going through.
Q: What is the main thing you want your readers to take away from this story?
A: That there is freedom and healing through Christ and that community is extremely important.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for “Finding Freedom” and the community of Zion?
A: I used to read a lot of Amish fiction when I was younger and one of my favorite books is The Giver. I used some issues I was going through and blended it together with things I liked about The Giver and some elements of Amish fiction as well.
Q: What is it that motivates you to write these inspirational stories and constantly evolving characters?
A: All my characters have little parts of me in them. I personally deal with a lot of anxiety, and many of my characters do also. As for writing inspirational stories, I feel like our world needs more stories of hope, mercy, forgiveness and redemption. There is a lot about our world that I don’t like (the violence, the hatred). So I create my own worlds to spend time in.
Q: Was there any research involved in writing this book or any of the details?
A: Yes. I had to research a bit about GED’s and the laws regarding getting married in Oregon. I also researched a facility similar to Purple Haven, but I can’t remember the name of it now. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that those facilities actually exist for people who are escaping cults, though the one in my book offered more.
Q: When you write a story, do you already have the whole thing planned out or does it come to you as you write? Explain.
A: Both. I have the general story planned out. Then I have a word count in mind. Then I say I want about 20 chapters, and from there I know each chapter needs to be roughly this many words. Then I break down the story into the beginning, middle and end and then map out the various scenes in each chapter. It isn’t abnormal for my books to change slightly as I am writing them, though.
Q: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
A: Young Adult books are my favorite.
Q: Katie, her parents, and David all did not just transition seamlessly from life in Zion to life in the “world” even though they were glad that they left. Why was that important for you to portray?
A: Without going into a lot of detail, I have been in situations before when I was younger, where my world was very different and even though I made drastic changes because I felt I had to, it was still very difficult. It hurt, a LOT. Mentally and emotionally. My support system was gone. . Change is always hard, even good change. People naturally fear it. Now, imagine everything you have ever known was gone? All the people, where you lived, your belongings (for the most part), everything. Imagine how difficult that would be, to have to flee from your life. Now imagine your sixteen and you had to leave your twin brother behind, or leave your son behind. It would be extremely difficult. I feel like if I didn’t portray it, you would lose a lot of the story. Katie needed to grow, they all did.
Q: How do you handle writer’s block?
A: I go for walks and it usually fixes it, or make another pot of coffee.
Q: Before we go, one last question. Do you have any words of wisdom for up and coming writers?
A: Don’t ever give up.