Robyn can’t help but notice the handsome new guy at her school. She ignores, however, the arrival of another being at Brookfield Central High School—a demon assigned to destroy her…
Robyn loves her friends, enjoys her youth group, and looks forward to meeting cute Caleb Montague. But when a caustic news reporter challenges her school’s prayer team, Robyn must choose: defend their right to meet on campus and pray for whomever they wish or back down at the principal’s request.
Now she must learn what God wants her to do. And she had better learn fast, because there’s a supernatural enemy in town whose sole mission is to stop her—no matter the cost.
Today I have with me Shellie Neumeier, author of the young adult Christian novel, Driven. Below, she discusses her debut book as well as a bit of her writing life.
1. This is your YA debut; what compelled you to write a YA Christian novel?
I still think like a kid. Always have. Besides, young adult fiction contains a world of possibilities. YA readers are willing to go places others may not so it makes the adventure more unpredictable. And since God is the director of my life, it had to be Christian. One way or another, He was in.
2. Where did you get the inspiration to write this story? Do the spiritual battles found within relate to some experience in your own life?
What inspired me to write this book was the desire to encourage the next generation. To let them know that God does have a plan for them and it’s a good one, even if it doesn’t seem that way right now. This generation of young adults has amazing access to their world with the ease of travel and the internet. They also have the opportunity to change the world unlike any previous generation, but they’re also bombarded with harsh realism and even harsher dramatized “realism.” It would be very easy to forget that they have a purpose which comes from God.
As for the spiritual aspect, I believe there are battles fought which we don’t see. Warring factions fighting for our faith and dedication, not to mention our souls, are frequently mentioned in the Bible. If Jesus believed in them, well that’s good enough for me.
3. Authors often relate to their characters; in this book, which character do you relate most to and why?
Robyn. She’s tough on herself, oftentimes expecting near perfection which frustrates her…and drives her. Plus the poor girl gets gum tossed in her hair. Been there…done that.
4. What kind of setting do you most enjoy writing in?
I love to write in Panera’s or Starbucks. Free WiFi and unlimited (well limited by my wallet) caffeine rocks. Of course the fact that my children and my dogs can’t interrupt while I write in both spots counts as bonus points.
5. Just out of curiosity: Caleb's last name is "Montague". Any purposeful connection to "Romeo and Juliet"?
Only if you count the fact that I love “Romeo and Juliet.” Then again, if this becomes a series…well, there are fabulous possibilities, aren’t there? :D.
6. Are there any new projects you are currently working on?
Yes. I just signed a mid-grade chapter book to be released in 2/2012 (MuseItYoung Publishing) entitled The Wishing Ring. My twelve and nine year-old helped develop the plot, which makes the story one wild and imaginative ride. I’ve also teamed up with Lisa Lickel in writing a romance novel. I enjoyed writing the young adult sections. But my favorite project is another YA novel written about a young boy with special needs. After a fit of rage, he finds himself struggling to survive life in a treatment center. It’s been eye-opening writing that piece.
7. What do you hope readers will get from reading your book?
Hopefully my readers will come away with a renewed sense of power. A sense of I-can-do-that, whatever “that” may be in their lives. And of course I hope they come away having enjoyed a great ride from the story.
8. Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
My deepest gratitude for reading Driven. There’s no higher praise to an author than to have readers read their work and then share their work with others. For that, I am truly thankful. I also want to encourage them to persevere. If they are in the midst of a difficult or trying time, take heart. Perhaps it’s the sign of amazing things to come. Just don’t give up!
Visit Shellie here
Thanks so much, Shellie! It has been a pleasure to meet you and other authors like myself on the blog thus far. I too plan to always be young at heart; I've dabbled in other genres but almost always must come back to young adult. It offers such a wide array of possibilities, and as a young adult myself, I write what I would love to read. It's been great too to meet authors who also like to incorporate their faith into their books.
God bless, thanks again to Shellie, and to my readers as well!