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Whether writing youth or adult fiction, Sigmund Brouwer is a best-selling author of more than 40 fast-paced novels.  When a professor in his undergraduate English course encouraged him to write, Sigmund did. He received a degree in journalism from Carleton College in Ottawa. After publishing several articles for U.S. and Canadian magazines, he turned to writing books for kids reluctant to read. In 1993, he co-founded The Young Writers' Institute with home education expert and author Debra Bell and conducts writing camps and seminars for more than 10,000 children every year. His commitment to his faith is an integral part of his creative goals, and Sigmund cites C. S. Lewis as one of his greatest writing influences.

Favorite Verse: John 3:16 (NIV) - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

 

 Our Interview with Sigmund Brouwer


 

How did you come up with the concept for Broken Angel?

 

The concept arrived after the two main characters -- Caitlyn and Jordan -- which may seem surprising, given the setting of the novel. Once I knew who they were, and what had happened to Caitlyn before her birth and how Jordan had been responsible, I began to wonder when and where they would be fugitives. That lead to Appalachia, a state run by literalist, controlling fundamentalists.

 

How closely is Broken Angel based on your life experiences?

 

Because it is set in the future, in one way, not at all. But if there is one thing that has transformed my adult life the most, it is in becoming a father to my girls. It is me speaking, when, Jordan, in the novel, says to his daughter: “Holding you in your first moments outside the womb, I was overwhelmed by protective love.” Because the novel is about Jordan trying to set Caitlyn free, I identify with him as closely as with any other character in my writings.

 

 How long did Broken Angel take you to complete?

 

Much longer than most of my other novels, and much of the time was in thinking and wondering about Appalachia and what kind of life people would have inside it, where Christian faith is forced upon them.

 

How did your wife become involved in the novel?

 

 All during the writing of this story, it felt like I was reaching to express a spirit so elusive that I’m reluctant to try to describe it here.  Novels are just as much a journey for me as for the characters, and just after the wind had lifted Caitlyn out of Appalachia on that moonless night, I heard a song that expressed everything I’d felt and that I had wanted readers to

feel during Caitlyn’s story. As if the songwriter had been behind my shoulder throughout the entire writing of the novel, keenly aware of Caitlyn’s instinctive yearnings for the freedom of flight.

 

In a way, the songwriter truly had been there, for she’s my best friend, the woman I love, my wife. She’d been putting together her album Beautiful Bird while I was immersed in Caitlyn’s story; because we both prefer to wait until something is complete to share with the other, neither of us had been aware of what the other was trying to accomplish at the same time. This unspoken synchronicity made the song of the same name even more special for me. Her song and the subsequent video has the emotional impact that I hope readers would take away from Broken Angel. (You can see the video at www.brokenangelsong.com.)

 

 Do you have a favorite character in Broken Angel?  Why?

 

Caitlyn would be the obvious choice, as she is the daughter that Jordan loves and wants to protect. But I have weak spot for a bumbling kid named Theo, who can’t see ten feet beyond, can’t stop talking, and will endure anything to escape. Billy too, a gentle giant who is much smarter than he thinks he is. And Pierce, my Harrison Ford tough guy, and even Mason Lee, the psycho. And. . .I guess I can’t really choose one.

 

 

 

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

I love having completed the story! Strangely, I enjoy when it’s time to edit, both at a story level and at a words level. (But not for grammar or punctuation!) I really love visiting schools to talk to kids about reading. Most of all, I love having an office at home where my little girls can wander in at any time and interupt me with questions. 

Is this book the beginning of a series?  If so, what is the name of the series? Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

There will be a sequel; not sure of the title yet.

 

What message would you like your readers to take away from Broken Angel?

No one has the right to force us to believe; nor do we have the right to force others to believe.

 

More books by Sigmund Brouwer
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