Interview with author Steven James

Steven James’ The Knight is on the INSPYs shortlist for Thriller/Suspense/Crime Fiction.

Summary of The Knight (Goodreads)

In The Knight, the third installment in the bestselling series of thrillers featuring FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers, the stakes have never been higher. Agent Bowers is used to tracking the country’s most dangerous killers, but now it looks like a killer is tracking him. When he realizes the murderer is using clues from an ancient manuscript as a blueprint for his crimes, Bowers faces a race against time to decipher who the next victim will be and to stop the final shocking murder–which he’s beginning to believe might be his own. Gritty, chilling, and intense, this psychological thriller is guaranteed to keep readers up all night

INSPYs:  Why do you write suspense?

Steven:  I write suspense because it gives me a natural avenue for exploring deep moral and philosophical questions about good and evil, human nature, the meaning of life, our relationship with the Divine. After all, when you are working a murder investigation it’s natural to ask why this has happened, or if God really exists, why would he let this child get raped and then slaughtered? And of course, the question rises—what am I capable of? Is redemption possible? What makes me different from those who do the unthinkable? Suspense is the one genre where you can escalate both the external struggle and the internal questions about morality all the way to the limit.

INSPYs:  What are the challenges/benefits of incorporating faith into your story?

Steven:  I find that when I strive to tell a great story that asks big questions, I don’t have any trouble writing from a Christian worldview. My books are not agenda-driven. In other words, I don’t set out to make a point or teach a lesson, rather, I try to explore moral dilemmas, tell the truth about the world (both good and evil), and show that hope must come from something beyond ourselves. I also strive to celebrate the things God celebrates and abhor the things he abhors. This comes out in the way I deal with evil and violence—never glamorizing it, and never muting it. Instead, presenting evil as disturbing rather than alluring and showing how real it is in our world.

INSPYs:  Favourite book?

Steven:  Choosing favourites like this is always difficult for me. I loved the book Christianity for Modern Pagans by Peter Kreeft (nonfiction) and have started reading Thomas H. Cook’s crime novels, which I consider very well-written.

INSPYs:  How do you feel about blogging?

Steven:  I’m all for blogging when people have something to say.

INSPYs:  Do you have a blog?

Steven:  I do have a blog but I wouldn’t say I’m a blogger! I post infrequently, but enjoy the chance to share thoughts with my readers.

INSPYs:  Tell us about a book that epitomizes quality [Christian] faith-driven lit.

Steven:  I found Silence by Shusako Endo to be an engaging and, in a way, troubling read. He retells the story of two missionaries to Japan and the consequences of what happens when they are asked to deny their Savior and abandon their faith. The book makes you ask what it would take for you to do the same—the threat of physical harm or the lure of self-indulgence.

Critically-acclaimed author Steven James has penned 25+ books and appeared more than 2000 times since 1996 at conferences, special events, festivals and churches across the country.