Today, it is my pleasure to share an interview with the author of the Biblical historical novel, Flood, A Wife for Shem, Dr. Laurie Boulden, who has been writing since she was a child. Her favorite class in high school was Writing Science Fiction. Having moved recently, she found that she had a collection of three tubs of various sizes, each holding a variety of spirals. Spirals filled with stories, ideas, poetry, thoughts–all those things that make a writer who she is. Even with a love of writing and toying with stories off and on forever, she never really felt pulled to publish until a few years ago. She earned a Bachelor degree at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and taught elementary science for a decade at Barnard Elementary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She earned her Masters in Education from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Laurie moved to Florida and earned her PhD in Education from Walden University. Lots of education, both learning and teaching. It is what she loves to do. But stories still spin in her mind, and she can’t help but put words on a page. Wanting to see her name on a book in a bookstore. The desire led to a search for local writing opportunities. She found the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference, and attending that conference for several years has helped her to hone her craft. It has fed her spirit and lifted her heart. Flood is a result of the conference, as well as several other projects. You can learn more about Flood at Laurie’s website: website Get On the Ark (www.GetOnTheArk.com), which is set to house additional Flood stories.
Laurie resides in Lake Wales, Florida. When she is not creating stories in her head, she works as an Assistant Professor of Education at Warner University. Family and friends are an important part of her life, as is her church, Trinity Baptist.
Laurie, I want to tell the readers my own experience with this novel. This is one of the titles that I think of when I think of the “ones that got away.” I believed in this project, but publishers have lots of reasons for rejection. I’m a tough cookie when it comes to historical novels. Add Biblical to the title, and I’m even tougher. I was reading it for acquisition. I thought I knew a lot about the Old Testament, especially the stories of Genesis, but as I read, your work continually challenged me to go into Scripture to prove you wrong. Instead, I learned some very interesting truths that I think Christians tend to gloss over. Your study of Noah and your presentation of this fictional story of the woman that God would have for one of Noah’s sons, is one of the best pieces Biblical historical novels I’ve read.
So, Laurie, first question: what made you decide to write the fictional story that recounts the historical flood? It’s probably cliché, but I had a dream. I don’t remember much about it, but I do know I woke up wondering, what would it have been like? I wrote the short story pretty quickly, leading up to the flood. The challenge came imagining life on the ark and then the world they encountered after the flood.
In the novel, you create a unique premise about the protection of God, and it is one that makes me think about something that I didn’t before. In such a depraved society, how did God keep Noah safe? Since I learned so much truth from the stories when your words challenged me back to Scripture, I wondered if your research showed that God might have protected Noah in the way you recount or is this fictional license (that I clearly want to say does not violate any Scripture but does add something for the reader to ponder)? One of the things I found in my research of Genesis was the meaning of names.
|Mahalalel||The Blessed God|
|Jared||Shall come down|
|Methuselah||His death shall bring|
|Noah||Rest, or comfort.|
In order for God’s plan to commence, the line of Christ had to be established and protected. Up to Noah, the group believing in God seems to grow smaller and smaller. The ark preserves the group of believers, and the flood provides the drastic environmental changes necessary for shorter life spans. Do I know for sure? No. But it makes sense, and I find that God typically uses sense and order in his plans.
You create such a clear picture of each of the people readers will know from the Bible: Noah, his sons, and even Methuselah. Can you describe how you brought the Biblical stories to such depth of character? One of the Word weaver members I worked with during development of the story said I was the ninth presence. I’m not exactly sure how or why, they are simply in my mind. I read Genesis. I read Hebrews. I looked at commentary I could find. The characters developed from there.
What’s next for you? Will we be seeing any other stories of Noah’s after the flood or perhaps a new genre? I hadn’t planned on it, but Japheth and Ham (maybe even Noah) have stories that want to be told. I am currently outlining Japheth. The website Get On the Ark (www.GetOnTheArk.com) is set to house additional Flood stories.
On a much different note/genre, I am in the editing stage of a book of fairy tales with a twist called Cinderella Spell and Other Tales Retold. I am looking for publishing avenues for both book and screen.
More about Flood: A Wife for Shem:
Merial, of the village of Amon Ra, looks to the fields and forests to escape the wickedness that prevails in the lives of the villagers. What she finds there offers more than she could ever hope. But those she cares about remain trapped in the village, and Merial will have to choose to join with the protected family of Noah, leaving the others behind, or be destroyed with all who remain of her kin. A Wife for Shem takes readers on an incredible journey through a world condemned, aboard the rudderless ark upon the waters of a worldwide flood, and into a changed world where life begins anew. It’s more than the romance of Noah’s middle son, it’s the love of God for his creation and the path to redemption.
Flood: A Wife for Shem has received three novel awards from the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference (2013, 2012, and 2010).