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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Author Interview - Carole Towriss, Author of IN THE SHADOW OF SINAI

Anne: Today's interview is with Carole Towriss, author of In the Shadow of Sinai. Carole and I belong to the same critique group, Scribes, from the American Christian Fiction Writers.

My first curiosity is a burning desire to know what inspired the story. 

Carole: The idea for Sinai first came to me as I was reading in Exodus. God says to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills…” I wondered, how does a slave learn to make all the beautiful pieces that were in the tabernacle? Did God just say, “Poof! Now you know!”? Sometimes he works that way, but not very often, and it’s not as fun that way, so I made up a story to explain it.

Anne: Are you also talented with gemstone and metal fabrication? You seemed so knowledgeable in the book.

Carole: Wow, I’m so glad it came across that way. No. I just did a lot a research.

Anne: You must have done a lot of research--what was your main source of info?

Carole: Most of it was online—I think I spent more time researching than writing. A lot of books are out of print, but I can find them online. It’s hard to find information about the Israelites in Egypt. The Egyptians don’t want to admit they were there, and the Scripture didn’t say anything. They weren’t the Jewish people yet—the law hadn’t been given. The best we assume is they lived like the Egyptians around them, and/or the other nomadic peoples of the time.

Anne: Ahmose, one of the main characters, is such a lovable boy—is he patterned after any kids you know?

Carole: He is. He is a lot like my son. My son is very outgoing and he loves everyone, especially other kids—which actually comes out more in book two—and he is remarkably optimistic. He was seven when I started writing again, and I made Ahmose eight.

Anne: Do you think you resemble any of the characters?

Carole: Not really. I wish!

Anne: I like the spiritual growth of Bezalel, Meri, and Kahmose. Why is it important to you to include the religious element?

Carole: I think that’s the reason I was called to write. The message of Sinai is the sovereignty of God. Bezalel has to learn to accept what God has done in his life, good and bad, and there are some pretty bad things. But the trials in our lives often have a purpose, even when we can’t see it. Bezalel’s grandfather, Hur, tells him, “You can trust God, or be blown about like a leaf in the wind.”

Anne: Will there be a sequel?

Carole: Yes, I’m almost finished and hopefully it will come out next fall.

Anne: I figured so and I'm so glad to hear it! Would you like to give us a glimpse of your next book?

Carole: It’s called By the Waters of Kadesh. It follows the spies as they journey though Canaan, and Kamose is a main character. In Sinai, Kamose is the captain of the guard in Ramses’s palace and his personal guard. Originally he was to die in Egypt, but so many of my critique partners loved him, I kept him alive and brought him along in the escape from Egypt! Now he is the hero in Book Two.

Anne: Tell me five things about yourself that might surprise your readers.

Carole: I love to watch weird movies. I’m short. I love Mexican food and chocolate. I love the beach and vacation there every summer. I have four children—three are adopted from Kazakhstan.
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