Welcome to the Blog Katherine! Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a homeschooling mom of two girls who should go to bed earlier but tends to watch Netflix after the kiddos are asleep. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, and I married a wonderful guy who supports my dream to the point of his own exhaustion. (Example: He isn’t a morning person. Our two year old is. When I was writing FORTUNE’S FALL, he would get up with her before the sun almost every day so I could write in peace.) I also love dark chocolate and coffee. My happy place is sitting in my office on a rainy day with coffee and chocolate.
Now, can you describe your story in 5 sentences or less?
In FORTUNE’S FALL, 17-year-old Nyssa Ardelone, dream interpreter to the president, learns that her mentor lied about the president’s latest dream to save the residents of Nyssa’s hometown, where the president ordered a gas attack to thwart a suspected rebellion. Nyssa’s parents are among the survivors.
Nyssa flees the security of her own well-planned life to bring the survivors an antidote as well as an interpretation of another dream only she can give. But the president launches a deadly pursuit, and Nyssa must evade him at all costs, learning on her journey that faith in God is the only thing that can save her.
What was the catalyst for your interest in writing?
Writing has always been my outlet. I love creating characters and other worlds. My first “published” story was in the fourth grade. The North Carolina Symphony sponsored a writing contest and I tied for first place with another student. It was so fun! I haven’t really stopped writing since then except during law school. I still remember sitting in the library attempting to read my Civil Procedure assignment and thinking, “This is going to suck all the creativity out of me for the rest of my life.” Thankfully that didn’t happen!
Do you have a day job? If so, how do you find time in your day to write?
My day job consists of homeschooling our oldest daughter and doing all the things stay-at-home moms do. How do I find the time to write? Great question, haha! I get up really, really early and hammer out as much as possible before our day begins. Then, I find little chunks of time during the rest of the day to write, too.
And is this the first book you have coming out with Anaiah Press?
Yes, it is.
What led you to publish with Anaiah Press?
I sent dozens of queries to agents and publishers and connected pretty quickly with Kara Leigh Miller at Anaiah. Her enthusiasm for Fortune’s Fall was so exciting that I knew I wanted to work with Anaiah immediately! The next few months were nerve-wracking as I awaited her final decision. It was a great day when she told me Anaiah wanted to publish Fortune’s Fall and the rest of the books in the trilogy!
Are you a night owl or morning person?
A morning person who tends to stay up too late.
Were there any surprises that came up as you wrote your story?
The faith element. I think about it now and have to smile at how awesome God is. I didn’t set out to write an overtly Christian novel, but then God showed up. Nyssa’s personal journey to faith became an intricate and necessary part of the overall story, and it just sort of fell into place as I was writing.
Who was your favorite character to create?
My favorite character to write was Nyssa’s best friend, Greer. His personality is kind of a blend of a few guy friends I’ve had over the years with sarcastic senses of humor. I loved putting those pieces of them into his story and creating a character that made me laugh. My editor really helped me develop his relationship with Nyssa, and there are a few scenes between them that I love, love, love.
Who was the first person you allowed to read your completed book?
I had a group of teenage girls and their moms serve as my beta readers. They were the first to read!
Congratulations on your debut novel, Katherine! Here’s your gorgeous cover and a brief excerpt:
About the book
While her classmates prepare for elite careers across America, Nyssa Ardelone trains for her secret job as the president’s dream interpreter. But when her mentor lies to the president about the prophecy in his latest dream, Nyssa must figure out why before the lie unravels. What she learns could destroy her own future.
Fearful of a rumored rebellion, the president has launched a gas attack on Nyssa’s hometown, and her mentor lied about the dream to protect the survivors from more harm. When Nyssa learns her parents were injured in the attack, she flees with a stranger sent to steal the antidote—a stranger who claims to know her.
Together, they race to deliver the cure as well as an interpretation of another prophetic dream only Nyssa can provide. But a devastating loss dulls her caution, and she learns too late that not everyone is trustworthy. To survive the president’s deadly pursuit, Nyssa must break every rule she’s ever followed, learning along the way that faith is the only thing that can save her.
A brief excerpt:
” What are my chances of actually making it to Fortune’s Fall? Not high. Then again, according to Pallas, there’s a network helping people get there. True, some people have been caught. But what if I’m not?
“Can I really do this?” I say aloud to my empty room. I scan the furniture. The walls. My messy bed. It’s all so familiar to me after seven years that I usually overlook the paisley on the quilt and the stain on the rug where an exhausted Ethelind tripped and dropped an entire pan of accidentally undercooked brownies one night. We ate them anyway. A mud puddle laced with carpet fibers, scooped up with spoons and laughed about later. I blink, and the memory is gone.
“I’m going to do this.” I turn toward my closet, grab a shirt, and pull it over my head.
“I have to do this for my family.” I zip my jeans.
“For Pallas.” I tie my shoes.
I’m a robot. Don’t think. Just act.
“I’m going to do this,” I repeat.
If I stop talking, if I stop moving, the likelihood of failure will paralyze me. I pull my hair into a ponytail and open the door, tiptoe across the common room and into the hall. The door closes behind me without a sound.”
So intriguing and I love the premise, reminiscent of the Book of Nehemiah! Here’s where you can grab yourself a copy:
About Katherine Barger
Katherine Barger writes stories about characters of faith in a world where faith is challenged. When she’s not wrangling kids alongside her forever-forbearing husband, she’s writing, eating Mexican food, or snuggling with her family’s two rescue pets: a dog named Queen Elsa and a cat named Princess Jasmine.
You can find Katherine online here:
Readers, do you enjoy biblical retellings set in dystopian or future times? What other biblical retellings do you think would suit a dystopian setting?