Writing is all about entertainment for novelist Bonnie Calhoun.
Through her stories, she loves to show readers they don’t live in this crazy world alone. An expert blogger, small business owner and Christian fiction advocate, somehow Calhoun also finds time to run the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance network and its sister e-zine. “It has given me access to a ton of literature and people who love our industry,” she says.
She didn’t set out to be an author, but in 2006 Calhoun started blogging about books with author T.L. Hines, and soon her own stories were demanding to be told. “My brain is like my office,” Calhoun says, “Chaotic and stuffed to the hilt with books and ideas.” Writing was a natural progression.
Cooking the Books (Abingdon Press) is her first mystery novel. Featuring Sloane Templeton, Calhoun describes the character as a cleaner version of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. Sloane’s just inherited a bookstore she doesn’t want, and if dealing with the quirky cast haunting the place isn’t enough, she starts receiving ominous cyber threats. Is her abusive ex-boyfriend sending them, or could they have something to do with the strange rare book Histoire de la Magie? A former member of a cyber-forensics team, Sloane has the brains and the guts to find out, but even she can’t foresee the twists and turns ahead.
“We have to be able to show real life [in our novels] or the average Christian won’t be able to identify with our books,” Calhoun says. “For the majority of Christians, their everyday life is not filled with quoting Bible verses, especially outside of church. Sometimes subtle messages are better when you try to reach a fallen world. After all, the book of Esther never mentions God, yet we can see God all over the place.”