Saturday, October 19, 2013

Author Interview: JA Marx

I had the chance to chat with my friend, JA Marx, over the weekend, so kick back and enjoy the show!

J.A.: Jennifer, you just happen to be one of my favorite people—and we haven’t even met in person, YET. Thanks for inviting me for a chat. *pours tea into cup*

Jennifer: You define yourself as an “Embattled Spirit” author. *sips latte* What does that mean and what kind of fiction comes out of that?

J.A.: I have to give a double answer. First, it’s my own term for spiritual warfare, which, sadly, people tune out the second it’s spoken.

And second, Embattled Spirit represents the believer who is fervently seeking first God’s Kingdom and eager to be equipped for warfare. I’ll let pastor/author Bill Johnson sum it up:
“God is changing the way Christians think about the so-called impossible. He is teaching us to work hand-in-hand w/the Kingdom so the reality of heaven comes crashing into earthly problems and overwhelms them… A return to the authentic.”

Jennifer: Love that quote from Bill Johnson. I think we all need more Heaven in the midst of our earthly problems. 

I just met Frank Peretti at the last ACFW conference and I’m a huge fan of his stuff. I read your first book and while you have a style all your own, I couldn’t help but think of Peretti’s first couple books as I read. Lots of spiritual battles interlaced throughout the story. Destiny Defied released in April, 2013. Can you tell us a little bit about the story?

J.A.: Yes, but you must know I am extremely jealous of you because Peretti is the author who not only inspired me to write, but he was the pioneer of my genre. *living vicariously through Jennifer…*

Destiny Defied in less than 50 words:
18-year-old Riki will choose death over returning to captivity unless she finds a power truly great enough to overthrow Darkness. Lord VĂ©tis will stop at nothing to reclaim her. The underground will never allow Riki to live out her dreams of a normal life . . . something she has never known.

Jennifer: It's intense - but playful too. Can you tell us anything about books 2 and 3 of The Destiny Series?

J.A.:  Book 2, Destiny Delivered, will let the reader experience the bulk of Riki’s healing from her past (sex trafficking and occult influence). And book 3, Destiny Defended, will follow her journey in discovering who she truly is in Christ and her future calling, which is to pursue the underground that put her in bondage and bring the truth where no other human would dare to tread. (Fulfilling the “future calling” takes place in books 4 thru 9. Yes, I’m an ambitious author.)

Jennifer: Okay, 9 books? Wow! *takes BIG gulp of latte* Tell me, why did you choose to write a series? Is the series really one long story, or are there three separate stories to follow? What are some of the challenges to writing a series as opposed to a stand alone title?

J.A.: Great question, Jennifer. A series can be a challenge because you have to keep the characters consistent while giving them a transitional character arc. Also, by the time you get to the 3rd or 4th book, you might think, Uh oh, I should’ve set that scenario up back in book 1.

For me, Riki’s story just kept coming and coming, and I actually had to find logical stopping points, which created six of the nine books.

Jennifer: I'm so impressed with people who can write the sweeping epic stories. I can't wait for the rest of this series. 
Now let's have some fun. Name three of your favorite books of all time (because of course, you can’t pick just one).

J.A.: Oh, that’s easy. Tosca Lee’s Demon, A Memoir because of the spiritual depth and truth that Tosca so vividly illustrates. The Hunger Games (trilogy), which is so well written that it sucked me in so deeply that I emerged totally disoriented to the real world (I hope to write like S. Collins when I grow up).

I guess that’s 4 books, so I’ll stop.

Jennifer: If you could have dinner with a literary character “come to life,” who would it be?

J.A.: I don’t know. They’re all fake to me. LOL. But seriously, I think more than doing dinner with one, I’d like to sit invisibly in the Narnia setting and observe all the Chronicles of Narnia play out before me.

Okay…I might have to go snuggle Aslan once, or twice.

Jennifer: Oh, Narnia would be amazing! Great choice. We just quoted Mr. Tumnus last night at the dinner table. "He's not a tame lion . . ."

Thanks so much for joining us today. For readers who are new to J.A. Marx, check out the links below:

Destiny Defied is available for purchase on Amazon: If you want to learn more about J.A. Marx, you can find her online at or

Have you read any "Embattled Spirit" fiction lately? What's your favorite? 

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