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Ariel AllisonAriel Allison - Although she speaks and writes, Ariel Allison is first and foremost the wife of Ashley, and mother of London, Parker, Marshall, and Colby. She has a penchant for adrenaline-infused madness such as rock climbing, running marathons, and jumping off bridges – as if raising four preschool boys were not adventure enough. Her first novel, Eye of the God, released in October 2009, from Abingdon Press. She is the co-author of Daddy Do You Love Me: a Daughter’s Journey of Faith and Restoration (New Leaf Press, 2006), Jesus: Dead or Alive (Regal Books, 2009), and the Justin Case series of children’s books (Harvest House, 2010). In addition, Ariel is also the assistant director of the nationwide book club, She Reads. When not immersed in a book, changing a diaper, or rescuing her dog from the death-grip of a toddler, you can find Ariel loitering in her little corner of cyberspace at www.arielallison.com. She also ponders on life and literature at www.shereads.org. She and her family make their home in Texas, which is, according to her husband, the greatest state in the union.

Favorite verse : 2nd Corinthians 6:18:  And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.

 Our Interview with Ariel Allison


 

What is your favorite Bible verse?

2nd Corinthians 6:18  And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty.

How did you get started as a Christian fiction writer?

I knew from the time I was five years old that I wanted to be a writer. My pursuit of Christian fiction is just the natural extension of my faith. This is what I’m supposed to do. Not that the journey has been easy by any stretch, but I’ve never wavered in my desire to tell stories and impact the world through the written word.

What inspired the concept for eye of the god?
 
In the Spring of 1995, I stumbled across an article in Life Magazine on the Hope Diamond.  The two-page spread showed Michelle Pheiffer wearing the jewel and gave a brief history of the legendary curse.  I knew instantly that it should to be a novel. Being the curious gal that I am, I dug around and was surprised to find that although most people were familiar with the curse, no one had done anything with the concept.  So I began researching and writing and the novel was born.

Is any part of eye of the god factual?
  
The vast majority of this novel is factual, with the major exception of the diamond getting stolen from the Smithsonian. I’m happy to report that it is safe and sound. However, the rest of the book was painstakingly researched and pieced together to form a framework for the novel.

 

How long did eye of the god take you to complete?
 
The most time consuming part of this project was the research. It took years unearth the stories of real people who owned the Hope Diamond in the past.  The writing of the novel itself occurred over a three year span during the ebb and flow of raising four very small children.  But from the moment I found that original article in Life Magazine, to the publication date was just over fourteen years.

How did you come up with the title: and font for eye of the god?

The title was mine, but the font was chosen by the design company that created the book cover.

eye of the god was the nickname given to the Hope Diamond years ago. According to legend, the Hope Diamond was once the eye of a Hindu idol named Rama Sita. When it was stolen in the 17th century, it is said that the idol cursed all those who would possess it.
 
Do you have a favorite character in eye of the god?

Abby Mitchell, the main character, is my favorite. She’s a strong, intelligent woman, but she wrestles deeply with her faith and her relationship with her dad.  Like many women, Abby struggles with the propensity to manipulate her circumstances to bring about my desired results.  That is something that plays out on many levels in eye of the god.

How much research did eye of the god take?

Oh my. I easily spent as much time researching as I did writing.  Years.  Because I tell four different stories in one novel, I basically had to do four times the research.  On one had I had to understand security procedures at the Smithsonian Institute and on the other I had to delve into the intricacies of the French Revolution.  Then I’d thumb through books on 17th century India and 1920’s Washington D.C.  It was both exhausting and rewarding.

What was the most interesting fact that you learned while writing eye of the god?

There were several so I’ll give you a few of my favorites:

The Hope Diamond was pawned by Evelyn Walsh McLean in order to pay the ransom in the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.

Jackie Kennedy petitioned the Smithsonian to allow the Hope Diamond to visit the Louvre in Paris just months before her husband was assassinated.

The Hope Diamond was confiscated from the possession of Louis XVI a short while before he was beheaded during the French Revolution.

 

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 
Time is my biggest challenge. My husband and I have four boys ages six and under. We also homeschool the two oldest, so my spare time is often measured in moments, not hours.  Once we had our fourth child it became increasingly difficult to keep a consistent writing schedule.  So these days I give it to God in the morning and ask that He provide the moments I need.  And he always does.  I keep my laptop open on the island in my kitchen so it’s always there when I need to jot down a thought, a snipit of dialogue, or a quick scene.  It has become part of the ebb and flow of my daily life instead of something I set apart at certain times.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I love telling stories. Or, as my husband says, I love “making stuff up!” Every writer portrays themselves on paper whether consciously or not. There are bits and pieces of me in each character: hopes, dreams, struggles, sin, fear.  As creative people, writers mimic God in the way he created.  I write fiction because it gives me a chance to create and I feel God’s pleasure when I do.

What is your writing style?   (Do you outline?  Write “by-the-seat-of-your-pants?   Or somewhere in-between?)

I am a serious outline kinda gal. It may be because I’m a control freak, but I like to know where the story is going before I start. I plot my books right down to chapters and scenes. I interview my characters. I outline my subplots. And then I weave it all together. It sounds strict, but I have found that the story comes together best when it isn’t left up to chance. And since I have limited time to write each day, I have to know what needs to happen as soon as touch my fingers to the keyboard.

Do your characters begin to take on a life of their own as you write?

Always. Even though I spend a lot of time interviewing my characters in advance, I am always surprised at how they come alive once I start writing. They surprise me. They make me angry. They make me laugh. And they usually become different people than the ones I created in the first place. That’s the joy of writing for me.

 

What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
  
I have finally made peace with the fact that I will stop writing when I die.  At the moment there are fifteen novels in various stages of development novels tucked away on my hard drive.  The two that I am concentrating on at the moment both involve mysteries: one from Shakespeare and one from 1930’s New York.  But you’ll have to wait for details.


What message would you like your readers to take from eye of the god?


When all is said and done, and the dust has finally settled over the last great adventure of the Hope Diamond, I hope my readers understand that the “curse” that has haunted its legacy is nothing more than the greed of evil men who bring destruction upon themselves.  No god chiseled from stone can direct the fates of men, nor can it change the course of His-story.
 
What is your greatest achievement?

It’s a tie between my husband and my kids.  I’ve been married for almost ten years and I still adore my husband.  We have been through a lot over the last decade: six moves, four children, death of parents, buying and selling four houses.  But we’re learning to hold on tight to Jesus and each other.  And our kids are the brightest, funniest, most energetic little boys on earth.  I still can’t believe that I had a part in making them and that I get the pleasure of raising them.

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

To write words that point to Jesus. When I was a child my mother read the Narnia tales to me and I knew that Aslan was Jesus.  At five years old I knew that even though she never explained it to me.  Those are powerful words and I hope and pray that mine are just as strong.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Honestly? I’m a big fan of sleep! There isn’t much rest or relaxation in my season of life so I try and take little escapes: a warm cup of coffee, a nap on a rainy day, getting lost in a good book, or snuggling with my children.

 


 
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