Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bonnie Grove and Talking to the Dead!

Today I'd like to welcome author Bonnie Grove! You've probably already heard the buzz on her latest book, Talking to the Dead, as she is out promoting like a madwoman.

Fortunately, she had just enough time to answer one question for me in detail!

Thanks, Bonnie!

Why mainstream Christian fiction? Why was this your genre of choice? Why did you feel this was the best medium for expressing your story?

This is a good cluster of questions. I write Upmarket fiction – a blend of genre and literary writing that, while tricky to write, produces lush, fun to read books. (Examples of other writers who write Upmarket fiction would be Mary DeMuth, Sharon K. Souza, Kathleen Popa, Joy Jordan Lake, Patti Hill, Susan Meissner, Latayne C. Scott, and Debbie Fuller Thomas- for a start). My reason for writing this way is in part because these are the kinds of books I love the most – books that I can read in a rush or, take my time and savor as I choose, books that I revisit year after year and always find something new and fresh within their pages. And in part because the stories I tell lend themselves well to this type of writing. Stories about the inner lives of women who face daunting tasks requiring more from them than they believe they have in them.

Christian fiction? Well, I’m a Christian – and all writers, regardless of genre or if they are considered general market or Christian market, write from their worldview. All fiction is spiritual, no matter who writes it (which is why I find it slightly ironic that we have “Christian fiction” sections in our stores. What’s next? Buddhist fiction? Wiccan fiction? Hindu fiction? I understand why we categorize it separately, I just find it a bit funny). If I’m going to be true to my worldview, then I find myself planted in the world deemed Christian fiction.

Christian fiction is a good way to express my stories because they are about human beings bumping against the truth of God. His existence, His love, His grace. I’m fascinated with God’s grace and how it plays out in the world, how it plays out in individual life. I don’t like preaching in a book, and I avoid it, but more and more we are seeing that Christian fiction is not synonymous with “preachy fiction”. For me, I want the story to point to important truths, but I refuse to compromise the craft of storytelling in order to make an overstated point. I love story driven fiction, not message driven fiction.

Bonnie Grove is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Talking to the Dead.

You can find Bonnie online at: Bonnie Grove follow her on Twitter @BonnieGrove, and hang out on Facebook, too!

About Talking to the Dead: When a young widow’s husband speaks to her from beyond the grave, she consults a spiritualist, a shrink, and an exorcist before a warmhearted pastor helps her find the grace to forgive—and go on.

Publisher: David C. Cook
ISBN-10: 1434766411
ISBN-13: 978-1434766410

What people are saying about Talking to the Dead:

5.0 out of 5 stars This one deserves six stars--at least!
Kathi Macias “Not since Cry the Beloved Country have I labeled a book hauntingly beautiful, but Talking to the Dead deserves that description. Not only is the story poignant, moving, and even funny (appropriately and surprisingly so) at times, but it is exquisitely written. Bonnie Grove knows her topic--and knows how to write. I'm not easily impressed, but this book captivated me from the very beginning, and it did not let me down, even to the last bittersweet word. If this book doesn't become a bestseller, there's something seriously wrong with the reading public. Congratulations, Bonnie!”

Cathy Bryant “I'm just gonna say it up front and get it over with. There is absolutely no way that anything I say about this book is going to do it justice. There just aren't enough words to describe how awesome it is.
At various points in the story, other great works of literature and screen came to mind, including "Ordinary People", "Sixth Sense", and "Sybil."
This is a must-read for every fan of inspirational fiction! This book has Best Seller written all over it!”

Kim's Reviews Book Reviews Today : “Talking to the Dead is one of those books where it seems like you just turned the first page and then the book is finished. I melted into the story and became a part of it from the beginning. It has become one of my favorite books and I've started reading it again as one would watch a great movie for the second (or third) time. It's really that good.”Francine Rivers, bestselling author of Redeeming Love “It isn’t often that I get so hooked on the characters and story that I forget time and purpose. Talking to the Dead caught hold of my heart from page one. It takes a gifted and intuitive writer like Bonnie to bring humor into the middle of such a serious story. Call her the Jodi Piccoult of Christian fiction! Beautifully done! I can’t wait to read the next story she writes.”

Thanks again, Bonnie - may you be blessed with great success!


  1. I'm not usually influenced by reviews, but those are really great ones. Congratulations.


    Straight From Hel

  2. Great reviews, and bestg wishes for your writing career, Bonnie!

    The Old Silly

  3. I have to applaud Bonnie for her choice. I'll tell you confidentially (ha!) that I've read so many really bad books that strive to be "too Christian." I know that will anger people but if we think of it this way: If an author tries too hard to fit a genre to writing mold, her efforts may very well go against the nature of her character. Or they may result in a strained ending that tries to please an audience--and than can become trite.

    So, please, I hope this will be considered in the light of well-meant advice.


  4. Helen: I'm gobsmacked by people's amazing reviews for Talking. Just thrilled that the book is connecting with people in a meaningful way. Thanks for your comments!

    Marvin: Thank you so much!

    Carolyn: Best to write the story and let God take care of the rest! Thanks!