It's my pleasure to welcome back, Elizabeth Musser, to Ink Dots. We met a few months ago, and Elizabeth's back to share more writing news with the release of Two Destinies.
The Secrets of the Cross Trilogy by acclaimed author Elizabeth Musser, already a European bestseller, concludes with the debut of Two Destinies, as story of forbidden love, passionate faith, danger and intrigue. Now 1994, France faces unrest and rising poverty while neighbour Algeria is in the midst of a blood civil war. Rislene Namani, a French woman born to Algerian parents, converts to Christianity and falls in love with Eric Hoffman, a Christian, committing the unpardonable sin in the eyes of her Muslim family. Eric must find a way to rescue her - from a forced marriage in Algeria and even death. A powerful, relevant tale of social struggle, heartache, cultural conflict, and faith put to the ultimate test.
Welcome back to Ink Dots, Elizabeth. What's been happening since we last chatted? I want to tell you about a brand new wonderfully important person in my life right now—my grandson, Jesse Andrew Musser, born on July 16, 2012. I’ve had the immense privilege of getting to know him while I was back in the States for a few weeks. It is a delight to be a grandmother! Congratulations!! I'm thrilled to hear it. I can only imagine the fun you're having, and the inspiration a grandson brings to a writer- grandma.
Tell us what inspired you to write this book? When my husband and I were living in Montpellier, France in the 1990s, I became more aware of the persecuted church in Algeria. Also a young woman in our church, Rizlène, converted to Christianity from Islam and experienced some of the problems the fictional Rislène goes through in the novel. There are many true stories like this. I also became very aware of the homeless people in Montpellier and the Lord challenged me on my responses—always a good way to get inspiration!
How do you choose your characters’ names? For Two Destinies I wanted to be true to the cultures I was representing, so I researched Algerian names as well as choosing names of North Africans I either knew personally or knew of. The same is true for all the French names. I want my characters to feel authentic, so the names are very important to me.
Have you been to Australia? I have never been to Australia, but over the years, have made several Australian friends. What I would like is for one of them to take me on their ‘must see’ tour of Australia. I am sure a novel would be inspired by that trip! I'm putting my hand up! I'd love to be your tour guide.
What’s next for Elizabeth Musser? Besides being a grandmother, and traveling with my husband throughout Europe in our role of ‘Member Care’ for our mission’s workers, I am working on two new ideas for novels. One involves refugees escaping from a Middle Eastern country and the ministry in Austria which reaches out to these refugees. Another involves a part of Atlanta and Southern history which I have not yet explored. Can’t say any more yet! Very mysterious! Can't wait to hear more.
Where can we find you on the internet? www.elizabethmusser.com
If you'd like to win a copy of Two Destinies, please enter the draw by leaving a comment below. Tell us if you've ever been to France, or what would lure you there if you had the chance. For me... it would have to be the food! Especially the cheeses. Yum. I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday. Good luck.
It's been wonderful catching up with you again, Elizabeth. Thanks for being my special guest this week. Thanks so much, Dotti, for hosting me again on Ink Dots!