What do you consider the essential qualities for a leading lady and a leading man in a romance?

michelle lindo riceLINDO-RICE: Both the leading lady and leading man need to have their own story. A romance cannot be just about how they fall in love. Each character has to come into their own and overcome their own weaknesses; find their strengths, that makes for a much stronger read.

What do you find to be the challenges (or benefits) of writing “romances” from a biblical worldview?

LINDO-RICE: For me, my greatest challenge is keeping the intimacy appropriate for the readership. I tend to write with a little heat but fortunately, I have a great spiritual editor in the form of the Holy Spirit and a wonderful writing partner to help temper certain situations.

STIMPSON: I’m always careful to not send the message that finding a husband will solve all your problems. It’s a tricky thing! Both characters must have a life and a growing faith outside of each other.

This is also a work of suspense. What are the challenges of writing about crime, danger, and violence from a biblical perspective?

LINDO-RICE: I don’t think there is a challenge. The Bible is filled with so many histories involving crime, passion, danger and violence and shows what happens when the ‘character’ fails to repent and even better, when they do repent. I think that just the Bible, a story like this one, has to have a redemptive quality.

STIMPSON: I’ll add that we use ”fade to black” a few times in this book because, while we both appreciate the fact that the Bible is full of dangerous encounters, we don’t want to trigger readers who may have traumatic histories. Some people read Christian fiction in order to minimize the risk of exposure to triggers and temptations they are trying to overcome. We don’t want to be a stumbling block for believers. Again, it’s a tricky balance.

You’re co-writing the Lovetown series. What did each of your bring to the story? What are the pros and cons of writing a novel with someone else instead of on your own?

LINDO-RICE: When co-writing, there has to be mutual respect and appreciation for each other as a writer. The pros are that you have an immediate brainstorming partner and where you may be weak, the other person may be strong so it’s a nice balance. Of course, as you write each scene, then you get immediate feedback. It is a wonderful experience. I think one con can be time management. If something happens either of the writer’s lives, the completion is impacted.

STIMPSON: I’ve co-authored so many books at this point, I’m spoiled! The collaborative process provides such an opportunity to grow and learn from one another. It also brings a level of accountability that helps both writers. To date, I haven’t had a bad experience with another author, so I’m all for it.

Can you share some examples of how your faith impacts your storytelling?

LINDO-RICE: My faith and value system are evident in every story that I tell. I also think that as I have grown and matured, my writing has as well. I see your faith like writing; the more you write, the better you get. And, so, the more you exercise your faith, the stronger it becomes. Michelle and I are prayerful as we plot the story. There are certain points where we have to stop and ask God to lead the character.

Why is storytelling such a powerful way to communicate truth?

Michelle Stimpson

STIMPSON: Christ shared truths through parables (stories). He recognized the power of stories to help people form analogies and see themselves, their relationships, and their circumstances in light of the Kingdom. He took the disciples aside and explained the deeper meaning in closed conversation. Christian fiction provides that analogy so that people can ( in book clubs or in their private time alone with God) explore His truths more deeply. Christian fiction is a set-up for growth.

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Small Town Faith
Lovetown Series #2
Michelle Stimpson and Michelle Lindo-Rice
Buy the book here (affiliate link)

An inadequate vigilante. A daring detective. The dangerous man between them.

Jazmin “Jazzy” Thompson will stop at nothing to avenge her brother’s death, even if it means using herself as bait. Ignoring her twin sister’s warnings, Jazzy goes undercover by befriending her brother’s killer. But will love thwart her mission?

Detective Travis “the Tease” Gonzalez, has been pursuing Jazzy since their teens but his reputation as a flirt supersedes him. When they are united on a case, will Travis finally get his chance to prove that what he feels for her is the real deal?

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About The Author

Michelle Lindo-Rice is an award-winning, bestselling author who enjoys crafting fiction centered about the four "F" words: Faith, Friendship, Family and Forgiveness. Her debut novel, Sing A New Song, was a Black Expressions Bestseller and Editor's Choice Feature Selection. She is the 2015 winner of the Black Writers And Book Clubs Rocks Female Author of the Year Award.