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Q&A with Amy Brock McNew: Can Christians write steamy stories?

Q: Tell us about your new book, Sleeper.

A:How about I just share the blurb?

A throne with no ruler.

A beast stretching awake.

A goddess unleashed.


Ad for Sleeper, a novel by Amy Brock McNew Makenna is a self-proclaimed freak with abilities she can’t control. She’s clawed her way through life, fighting to maintain her sanity. Her lonely existence has only fed the vicious animal within her, one she barely contains and doesn’t understand.

Rhys has prepared since birth to be alpha and king of an ancient race of wolves. Instead, he leads half a fractured clan against a depraved madman. But victory begins to slip through Rhys’s fingers. Only one thing can save them. A single requirement for him to claim the throne:

Bonding with his mate, the one warrior queen born to each generation, the incarnation of a primal warrior goddess who holds more power than any of them can imagine.

When Rhys finds Makenna, he believes the battle has shifted in his favor. He never imagined his heart would want her as much as his body. While Makenna is drawn to Rhys with terrifying intensity, his arrival triggers an acceleration in her abilities, the beast within her growing stronger than ever.

Will discovering the truth give Makenna the peace she craves, or will it ignite a savage escalation in the war, drenching their lives in blood?

Q: What makes it dark and steamy? Why did you feel the story had to be told that way?

A: The darkness comes from the shadow of evil hanging over them, from the setting, from the amount of brutal violence, and from the tone of the story. They’re shifters, so it’s not all light and happy, though there are some lighter moments. The steaminess comes from sexual situations, sex on screen, and the tension between the characters.

Q: How do you respond to those who feel it’s inappropriate for a Christian to write that kind of content?

A: Some things are a judgment call. Wise as serpents, harmless as doves. If you know me at all, you know I have a big problem with legalism. Especially when a lot of it stems from people who decided the Bible meant this or that, and make up their own rules to go along with their interpretation. Or take Scripture out of context to suit their own needs or desires. Some things aren’t explicitly laid out for us. For some things, there are no rules, only suggestions and guidance. And what may be okay for some may be a stumbling block for others. I’m well aware that my stories aren’t for everyone. I’m very plain about that. I give multiple, honest warnings about content, simply because I don’t want to be that stumbling block. And I’ve never claimed to write Christian fiction. I write fiction. It’s not always pretty, but it is always real. I’m not glorifying the sex or violence, I’m simply telling the story. Those things are part of the story. Maybe I’m jaded, but my thought is, if it bothers you, you don’t have to read it. But don’t judge me for what I write when I’m absolutely certain there are things in all our lives we’d rather never come to light. I’m honest and upfront in my life and in my writing. Guts on the page is a way of life for me.

Q: What did you love the most about writing this book?

A: Creating a whole new world with a new magic system, and especially writing shifters for the first time. I tried to do them a little differently than I’ve seen before. I even gave two of the characters two different animal forms. It was just so much fun developing all that. And I loved all the research into Celtic myth and legend. That was fascinating.

Q: Who is this book for?

A: It’s for someone like me. Someone who loves romance, but also loves a good, bloody battle and lots of action. Someone who doesn’t mind a heavy story, with few lighthearted moments. Someone who’s okay with the darker side of things.

Q: On a scale of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to Kill Bill, what’s the violence level?

A: Oh, definitely Kill Bill territory here!

Q: On a scale of Bambi to Good Will Hunting, what’s the language level?

A: It’s toward the GWH side. Not too bad if you’re used to that, but plenty to offend those with more delicate sensibilities.

Q: On a scale of Babe to Debbie Does Dallas, what’s the sexytimes level?

A: Sorry. I just snorted cherry vanilla Coke up my nose! Ha ha! I would say right below Game of Thrones. There are four sexy times scenes. And they’re fairly graphic because, well, shifters. Certain things have to happen.

Q: Who is the target reader for Sleeper?

A: Men or women between the ages of 18 and 45 who like paranormal romance. That seems wide, but I have readers from 16 to 60. I say men as well because I’ve got several who’ve told me they’re excited to read it. I actually have a lot of male readers because I put more emphasis on the fights and battles than most female authors. And because I am 50/50 on male POV and female POV in my romantic scenes.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?

A: 1.  You have to trust someone sometime. And I guarantee there is always someone there worthy of that trust, even if it may not appear that way at first. (I may be pulling from my own issues. Again!)

2.  You have so much more fight left in you, and you are capable of more than you could imagine. Never stop fighting.

As with all my books, each reader will take away something different. Whatever they need in that moment. Whether it’s just entertainment, or a larger lesson, or identifying with a character in some way. I just want readers to get lost in the story, to feel like they’re part of the world I’ve created, and to want to come back to that world again and again.


Amy Brock McNewAmy Brock McNew doesn’t just write, she pours her guts on the page, honestly and brutally revealing herself in the process.

Nothing is off limits. She faces the tough topics head on and doesn’t pull punches, confronting her own demons along the way.

She loves music, chocolate, MMA, the beach, and cherry vanilla Coke. Most days, it’s a shock the neighbors aren’t knocking on her door, telling her to turn the music down. It is her firm belief that everyone should have a theme song.

Originally from Arkansas, Amy currently resides in Indiana. She longs for the day when she can return to her Southern home, and write her adventures of love and war on a back porch overlooking the hills she loves.

With her music ringing across the valley.

 

 

About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

One comment on “Q&A with Amy Brock McNew: Can Christians write steamy stories?

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