Meet Sandra Glahn
Lethal Harvest was released in April 2000 and by June placed 19th on the Christian Booksellers Association bestseller list. Sandra Glahn, who co-authored the novel with William Cutrer, M.D., studied Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology degree. She exemplifies the extraordinary diversity of gifts in today's authors.
Sandi arrived in Dallas in the early eighties as a young working student wife. When her husband Gary received his Th.M. from Dallas Seminary in '86 with no accompanying bundle of joy, the couple sought infertility treatment. The tears lasted through ten years of lost pregnancies and failed adoptions. The joy finally arrived with the adoption of Alexandra.
In 1990, having opened a freelance writing business and still grieving her childless home, Sandi enrolled in a Christian Journalism class at the seminary. She wanted professional companionship and development, not a degree. The journalism course led to a Creative Writing class, then another Advanced Creative Writing, and then three years as Dr. Reg Grant's teaching assistant for the writing courses. In the winter of 1998, she was approved as Adjunct Teacher for the journalism class that had started it all. By then, she had published two non-fiction works co-authored with Cutrer, When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden, and Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, and become editor of Kindred Spirit. And adopted Alexandra. And decided to earn a Th.M. "I realized that to gain credibility in Christian circles, I needed the languages. I wanted the skills to study for myself."
The jump to fiction came during a plane trip with Cutrer and his wife. "We had just contributed a chapter to Genetic Engineering: A Christian Response, a technical book that turned out to be a cure for insomnia. Bill was reading a medical mystery and said, 'I wish we could write a book someone would read!'" They discussed the fact that when Jesus wanted to communicate complex truth He told a story. Sandi remembered three chapters put away from the semester of Advanced Creative Writing, characters developed with the synergy of other students. "I could pull them out. It's an art heist, but it could be changed to a medical thriller." Within weeks, they had written a lengthy proposal to Kregel Publications. "We told them we would like to do a whole line of books on bio-ethics, teaching through fiction."
Lethal Harvest holds a reader's attention. Genetic research and cloning drive a plot straight from today's headlines. Ambition, jealousy, grief, and compassion make for very realistic characters. The story highlights the tension between the potential good and evil of cutting-edge research. Are risks inherent in true progress? Can a doctor's personal lust for status provide the needed dedication to propel his work? What degree of benefit for the many justifies sacrifice of lives or personal relationships? Is there a point at which man's dominion and God's authority overlap?
The novel raises such thought-provoking questions that professor Lanier Burns lists it in the recommended reading for his Anthropology class at Dallas Seminary. He feels that "today people are so accustomed to media that we can reach some of them better through fiction. Ten years ago, I would have written an academic book. Today I would consider fiction for certain subjects." Glahn agrees. "A novel can be an extended tract. It is not fact, but it is truth. And almost anybody will read a story." The sequel, Deadly Cure, deals with euthanasia. In her third and most recent book with Cutrer, False Positive, Sandra tackles the difficult subject of the abortion industry.
The ministry through the book continues to grow. "I never would have dreamed that we'd have an international ministry." However, the most gratifying result lies close to home. Some of Sandi's family members have expressed changes in their lives because of reading the story of Marnie and Ben and an infertility clinic.
"God has given me my greatest point of ministry through what was for me my greatest point of pain." Sandi is often heard to say "God makes beauty from ashes."
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, …to comfort all that mourn; To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.--Isaiah 61:1-3
Adapted from an article by Karen Gaye Giesen in the Dallas Seminary student newspaper. For more about the author visit: www.creeksidebible.org/aspire.
Updated 6/ 2003