"So you're a writer, eh? What do you write?

Uh, er, ahem...novels and, you know, things.

That's the short answer.

One reviewer gave a flattering answer: "Author Scott Philip Stewart writes in the best tradition of southern novelists. His characters are witty, lovable and a 'hair off the bubble.' And readers love his work because he never hits them over the head with a Bible to make a point instead keeping his message simple yet meaningful."

Why, ahm flattuhed, Ma'am.

My longer answer is that I write mainstream character-driven "Christian" fiction...set in the South (but really set in the human heart) in our own day (but timeless because the big themes of love and loss and sin and redemption and faith and folly are intrinisically human). I try to write the kind of books I like to read (I say "try" because as the author I have to rely on others who like the kind of books I like to tell me whether they think I have succeeded or not). I like to read books with believable characters who are sympathetic in the best sense (i.e., I don't want to feel sorry for them; I want to care enough to make it through two- or three-hundred pages—rooting all the way—to find out if they make it...not just make it out alive but more importantly redeemed).

As a Christian novelist, I take my work seriously. It is a serious business to tell the truth. As a consumer of "Christian fiction" I find myself often disappointed. If it can be said that we Christians sometimes assume an anti-intellectual stance toward the sciences, I fear it may also be true that we take an anti-artistic approach to literature. Books are worth more than their entertainment value, which is not to say they should preach. We had best leave that to the professionals. But inspirational fiction should inspire, engage the mind and stir the passions to bring out the very best in our readers.

The Healing of Ryne O'Casey has a special place in my heart. It is the story of a little boy with AIDS in search of the Christ among us who was not—and is not—afraid to touch and be touched by the most "dangerous" among us.

Writing this book took a century. I began working on it in 1991 during my first year as a doc student at the University of Georgia. It was therapy for me. Reared in a solid evangelical home, my world was rocked when word came in 1986 that my two older brothers had been diagnosed with HIV. At the time I was a second-year student at a distinguished theological seminary in the northeast. During the course of their illness, my family and I experienced heartache and grief but also grace and humor and hope beyond measure! I tried to capture this in the story of Ryne O'Casey.... I hope you love Ryne a fraction as much as I do.

The Calling of Jujubee Forthright was inspired by some real people I have known who seem to have a more lively dialogue with our Lord than I do, people who tuned in and turned on to the Lord's voice. Jujubee is the kind of friend all of us need. This is my take on Jesus' parable of the Sinner and the Pharisee if it were a "southern thing" set in the mountains of north Georgia.


Copyright © 2015 Scott Philip Stewart