"So you're a writer, eh? What do you write?"
er, ahem...novels and, you know, things.
the short answer.
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."
ahm flattuhed, Ma'am.
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 pagesrooting
all the wayto find out if they make it...not just
make it out alive but more importantly redeemed).
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.
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 notand is
notafraid to touch and be touched by the most "dangerous"
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.
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.