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Friday, February 12, 2010

Spotlight on Roseanna White and A Stray Drop of Blood

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ROSEANNA WHITE is a wife, mommy, writer, reviewer, and lover of all things literature-related. She makes her home in the mountains of Maryland, where she runs the Christian Review of Books. She is a member of ACFW, HisWriters, and HEWN Marketing. She also has a blog as well.

A STRAY DROP OF BLOOD
by Roseanna White
Published by WhiteFire Publishing

ABOUT THE BOOK

Beautiful is a dangerous thing to be when one is unprotected.

For seven years, Abigail has been a slave in the Visibullis house. With a Hebrew mistress and a Roman master, she has always been more family than servant . . . until their son returns to Jerusalem after his years in Rome. Within a few months Jason has taken her to his bed and turned her world upside down. Maybe, given time, she can come to love him as he says he loves her. But how does she open her heart to the man who ruined her?

Israel's unrest finds a home in her bosom, but their rebellion tears apart her world. Death descends with Barabbas's sword, and Abigail is determined to be there when the criminal is punished. But when she ventures to the trial, Barabbas is not the one the crowd calls to crucify. Instead, it is the teacher her master and Jason had begun to follow, the man from Nazareth that some call the Son of God . . .

Born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds, Abigail never knows freedom until she feels the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter. Disowned by Israel, despised by Rome, desired by all, she never knows love until she receives the smile of a stoic Roman noble.

Readers, buy your copy of A Stray Drop of Blood today!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

A fight with my best friend over a guy, actually. It was Good Friday, and I was 16. Torn between new love and an old friend, I settled down on my parents’ couch feeling bittersweet and introspective. I got out my Bible and read the Gospel accounts of that first Good Friday, and as I did, I was totally overwhelmed by how big this was, this thing Jesus did for me. So much bigger than my problems. And it made me wonder what it would have been like to be at Golgotha that day. As just another nobody, maybe one there with bitterness in her heart.

I moved over to the computer and wrote a short story entitled A Stray Drop of Blood. I knew then and there that it would become a book, but it took me six years to develop it and write it. During that time I married that guy my friend and I had fought about and learned so much about the things on which my faith is founded. But more than anything, I really came to appreciate the awesome, cleansing power of the blood of our Savior.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I gotta say, I don’t think I could have written this book without falling in love with a guy I was crazy-attracted to (same one as above, my now-hubby). But as I dealt with people’s various opinion and expectations, with the throes of love and passion, I certainly came to realize that these aspects of humanity are timeless. Fleeting though some may be, emotions make the world go round.

For aspects other than feelings, I turned to some outside experiences. I had the privilege of having a college class with an Orthodox Jew, and his viewpoints definitely influenced the way this book turned out and some of the opinions the characters hold. I also had the privilege of attending a church pastored by a Messianic Jew for a while, and that perspective made its way in as well.

But the characters ended up an amalgam of all I’d learned. Abigail, though a slave, is well educated in the Classical literature I spent two years studying and has been taught to question everything . . . which more often than not doesn’t lead to answers. Jason, schooled in Rome, is torn between rebelling against the strict rules of Judaism and admitting to the pull it has on him.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

LOL, it’s actually kind of hard to think about my Biblical-era characters in relation to ice cream! Abigail would have to be one of those un-colored Mint Chocolate Chip kinds, that are white but for the chocolate. You see it and think it looks nice (I mean, who doesn’t like vanilla with chocolate, right?). But then you get your first taste of it and are shocked by the burst of flavor. Abigail is beautiful, alluring, but those who expect her to be only what she appears to be are usually caught off guard by her wit and intelligence.

4. Are there any themes in A Stray Drop of Blood that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Forgiveness and redemption are biggies, as you might expect from a story that pivots around the crucifixion. But it isn’t just the need to be forgiven. It’s also about forgiving. Those that hurt you, those that wrong you, those that fail you and disappoint you. And that it’s only when you do that, when you admit your own part, that you can be redeemed.

Something else that snuck in is freedom through Christ. Not just freedom from the law, which wouldn’t have struck my characters all that much, but freedom to believe in something bigger than Israel or Rome. Freedom from who you once were, freedom to be a new creation through Him.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I had to write a death scene in the middle of the book, and I wanted it to be different. Impactful. So I chose to stay in the point of the view of the character who was dying, all the way up to the moment of death. In the first incarnation of the scene, I switched to another POV halfway through, but in this version I stayed put. It allowed me to write some depth into the character that was such a reflection of his soul, of him. I was afraid I wouldn’t pull it off, though, so I drilled the first people to read it to make sure it turned out as I wanted it to. =)

My favorite is still the scene from which the book gets its name. Abigail in standing with toes on the road leading to Golgotha when Jesus is brought by. Here’s a little snippet from it, picking up when Jesus is jerked to his feet, opening his wounds:

A stray drop of blood arched through the air and landed on the round of Abigail s stomach.

Immediately, she felt a burning on the flesh beneath her garment. It was so quick, so debilitating that she could not even respond. A fire spread through her, devouring her, leaving in its wake a relief that brought tears to her eyes. She looked down at the stain on her clothes in disbelief. It was so small, so insignificant. One little drop of red, a perfect starburst against the faded blue of her woolen tunic.

One little drop to soil her garment.

One little drop to cleanse her soul.


6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

There are a few deals in the works, but none I can talk about right now. I’ll be keeping readers updated via my blog and website, though!

* * * * *

Thank you, Roseanna, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of A Stray Drop of Blood.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net). You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when the winners are announced each time.

This week, the contest is open to US/Canada residents only.

12 comments:

Roseanna M. White said...

Thanks for having me! I really appreciate the chance to meet your readers and had a ton of fun with the questions. =)

Readers, I'll be subscribing to comments, so if you have any questions for me, be sure I'll answer them!

Casey said...

Please enter me, this book looks really good!

caseymh18(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

this book is on the top of my 'wish list.' thank you for the opportunity to read it.

Roseanna, what project are you currently working on?

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Roseanna M. White said...

Good to see you here, Karen! I've actually got a few projects underway right now. I'm working on a 20s story that takes place on an archaeological dig in Egypt, a contemporary about a displaced Bedouin woman rescued from pirates by an ex-SEAL (that sounds so crazy, LOL), and I just got an idea for another Biblical fiction that would be around the story of Esther, but primarily from a fictitious character's point of view. And those are just what I'm writing--I've got lots of finished manuscripts my agent's shopping around!

Anonymous said...

I am so anxious to read this book.....please enter me! Thanks!!!
jackie.smith(at)dishmail(dot)net

Carole said...

I am very interested in reading Roseanna's book; it has been on my wish list since it first came out. Thank you for the interview and chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Edna said...

please enter me into the contest,

I am a follower

I have your button on my blog http://edna-myfavoritethings.blogspot.com/



mamat2730(at)charter(dot)net

Roseanna M. White said...

I love seeing some familiar names! It's good to see you all again. =)

Natalie said...

Oh, please enter me! Thanks.

natalie_mclean1@yahoo.com

cathikin said...

I don't know if it's too late to enter, but I would love to win this book. The concept really appeals to me. Nice artivle and interview!

Cathi H.
chassan2 (at) hotmail dot com

Martha A. said...

I need to look up this book! It sounds really good! I have always enjoyed biblical fiction and there has been a shortage of good ones! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:

CATHIKIN - CATHI H.

Congratulations! I have emailed you for your mailing address so Roseanna can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.