I’ve interviewed Sheila Donald, author of Alpha Male, about her faith, her writing and Christian Chick Lit.
Throughout January, the Christian Bloggers UK Facebook Group have been guest posting and interviewing each other on our blogs. I’ve interviewed Sheila Donald who has basically achieved my own life’s ambition by having a novel published. Her blog is Journo Johnson where she blogs about writing and faith.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I became a Christian while at University although I had been brought up going to church. I was also baptised during this period. Later, I went on to work with the missionary organisation, Operation Mobilisation in their East Dulwich bookshop, the influence of Operation Mobilisation also helped to inspire my passion for outreach through the medium of the written word. I then went on to work at a Christian bookshop in Chelmsford, Essex, before I got married. Therefore I have some understanding of books from both the author and the bookseller’s point of view.
2. How did you become a Christian Writer?
I think I always wanted to write from when I was quite young. I started to explore this by starting a newspaper while still at school (it never got beyond one issue!) and then, as a teenager, writing poetry on a regular basis and regularly visiting a number of poetry societies. During my first years as a Christian I didn’t write a lot except my diary, or during my years with young children. I got back into writing once we moved to Cheltenham as a family and I didn’t have a job. I enrolled in a writing course instead for a while and then I went back to work for a bit in the local school as a midday supervisor before deciding that I wanted to pursue an earlier desire and train as a journalist. I did a diploma in Journalism in a shortened intense course two days a week in London and successfully joined the local Gloucestershire Media as a freelancer for a couple of years before progressing on to other publications. I wrote hundreds of articles during the next few years and still write regularly for CPO’s Inspire magazine and the Good News Newspaper. It was as the article writing began to dry up that I started to write my book, Alpha Male.
3. What’s Alpha Male all about?
The title ‘Alpha Male’ is a play on words. The hero, Craig Wilson, is an alpha male in the sense that he is a very masculine male and a womaniser who is very handsome and attracts women easily. He is quite worldly and used to getting his own way!
He is also an Alpha Male in the sense that he is a journalist on a local provincial paper who is asked to go along to the local church of St James and cover an Alpha Course e.g. join up with a group and explain week by week what the course is all about for the readers.
At the church he meets up with young, attractive blonde bombshell, Amy Castleton. Alone with no hope of any suitable suitors apart from Bill, an older, overweight, staid man with glasses, not at all Amy’s choice. She has also been disappointed in love by a similar type to Craig before. However, in spite of her best intentions, she is attracted to Craig as he is to her.
The story follows the conflict of their very different life styles and choices. Then tragedy intervenes…
4. Why did you choose to write Christian Chick Lit?
Alpha Male is basically Christian chick-lit. I love reading Chick-lit as well as historical and some political dramas. When I was on an Alpha Course, I could see the potential for it being an opportunity for people to meet one another and a possible romance to spark up. Being a bit of an evangelist, I could also see the potential to use the chick-lit medium to introduce people to Jesus and for them to discover just what an Alpha Course is as they enjoyed the development of the romance.
5. Where can I get hold of a copy?
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