Hey there, readers! Today we’re privileged to have an interview with Christian author Vanessa Hall.
LB: Your Grace Sufficient series takes place in Russia, which I found to be very interesting for several reasons. Can you tell us why you chose modern-day Russia as your setting?
VH: First off, thank you so much for having me on your blog, Liz! I’m so honored.
And secondly … the setting is definitely a case of the weird brain of a writer, and moreover, God’s Will! A variety of factors contributed to the Russian setting, one of which being my affinity for ballet. That art form is extremely popular in Russia, and I really wanted to have a Russian ballerina to fulfill my childhood dreams of being a ballerina myself. 😊 And then there was the part of me that loves writing about espionage, and what better place to talk about spies than Russia? I’m also a big fan of the sport of armwrestling, which is also relatively popular in Russia. In the end, I guess it’s a variety of factors and the reality that Russia is such an interesting and vast country!
LB: It’s an honor to have you here! I’ve really enjoyed learning about ballerinas and armwrestling in your books. Suspense is plentiful in your series! We read about active persecution of Christians from the government, foreign spies, arrests, and gunshot wounds. All of this is in addition to internal battles that everyone can relate to, such as depression and second guessing whether we’re worthy of God’s grace. What prompted you to cover these big topics?
VH: Wow, what a good question. I’ve almost always felt called to write about big, hard topics—the kind that can rip your heart out but also make you think and hopefully help change your heart. I want my books to deal with the real world and the pain that we all have to face to some extent. But I don’t want to leave my characters—or my readers—there. I want to show that despite all of the pain and darkness and grief, there is so much hope. And the same is true in real life—there is so much hope in Jesus, and against the darkness of the world, He shines all the brighter to us.
LB: That is beautiful! You do a wonderful job with your characters. What is a main theme that you hope to impress upon your readers?
VH: My number one theme I hope readers come across is the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. That’s the most important thing I could ever tell anyone—that Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners. And for believers, I want to encourage them to keep following the Lord, to stand for the Lord in spite of suffering, persecution, fear, and all the other hosts of enemies we must fight in this world.
LB: Amen. What role do you think fiction plays in the life of a Christian?
VH: Ooh, excellent question! I think fiction, just like most things, can be an incredibly good thing or an incredibly bad thing. What we take in will affect us, and when we read quality, edifying, Christian fiction, we are taking in things that are good for us. We can be encouraged and built up by the truths portrayed in fictional scenarios. But on the other hand, if we’re reading fiction that’s full of sinful behavior and lies, we’re poisoning ourselves.
LB: Well said! Can you give us a preview of what you’re working on right now?
VH: Of course! I’m currently working on editing the fourth book in the series, Unforgiven, which follows the lives of Katya Voronova (she makes a small appearance in the third book, Untold), and Vladislav Genkin (who makes his dastardly appearance in Unworthy.) It’s a story of forgiveness, love, and sacrifice in the face of the darkest of sins. I’m hoping to release it sometime in 2023.
LB: Yay that the series will continue! Share one of your favorite quotes from any of your books 🙂
VH: Okay, like a very bad interviewer, I came up with two quotes that are near and dear to my heart. I wish they were more poetic and dramatic, but they both mean a lot to me and sum up Unworthy and Untold, respectively.
Gabe’s hand settled on his shoulder. “You were close to ending this physical life, and I’m so thankful God kept you from doing that. But you know, Evgeny … you were never close to ending that life Jesus gave you.”
“That your supposed weakness …” A smile quavered to her lips, at odds with her tears. “This weakness drives you into the Arms of Jesus, and there’s … there’s no better or safer or stronger place to be.”
LB: Poetic or not, they are powerful quotes! Where can readers find you?
VH: I post regularly on my blog and my monthly newsletter. I’m also on Goodreads, BookBub, and Pinterest.
It’s been wonderful to have you on my blog, Vanessa!
Readers, check out Vanessa’s Grace Sufficient series 🙂
Vanessa Hall is an author, musician, and homeschool graduate. Most days, she is reading, writing, or practicing the violin—or trying to find time for all three pursuits. Currently, she is working toward gaining a degree in instrumental music education. Unknown is her debut novel. Above all, she is a sinner saved and held fast by the abounding grace of Jesus Christ.