Hi Sylvia! Thanks for joining us today. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Romania right after World War II ended, and lived several years in Germany, a Germany still reeling from the devastation of the war. When I was seven I relocated with my adopted military family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But even many years later, I could still visualize the devastation I saw in Germany where all that remained of many buildings was just a wall or two, and those memories and the fact that I was adopted began the “what if” questions that lead to my second novel, Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award and was a Christy Finalist.
Life as an “army brat” gave me the opportunity to live in several states, including Hawaii. Then came nursing school in New York after which I married and began my family. Raising two children and being the wife of a business executive made for an active life. So did working in marketing for a telecommunications company, then a medical software company.
I am the author of seven published novels, call sunny Florida home, have two grown children. I’ve been the guest speaker at Women’s Aglow and various church functions, am a Bible study teacher at my church, and am learning the guitar. (if only I would practice maybe I’d get somewhere!)
Overall, my desire as a novelist is to write stories that incorporate relevant issues, that inspire, and that reflect Judeo-Christian values. I also believe a novel must entertain.
Wow, your life is quite the story. :) Speaking of stories, congratulations on your new release! What is The Salt Covenants about?
The story is set in 1493 and involves a young Jewess, Isabel, who has become a sincere convert to Christianity. But when she is noticed by Friar Alonso at La Casa Santa, the Holy House, she is forced to flee the Inquisition by entering into a loveless marriage and sailing with Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World. But all too soon Isabel is forced to struggle alone in her new life and new faith. With all the risks and hardships her very survival is in question. And her acute loneliness makes her wonder if she’ll ever find love in this strange land. And then there’s the dangerous Enrique Vivar whose hidden agenda could cost her her life. The Salt Covenants garnered a starred review in the December 22, 2014 issue of Publishers Weekly.
That sounds like a great read. Where did you get the inspiration for your story? What made you decide on that century?
When I became aware of how hard the Spanish Inquisition was on believers, especially Jewish converts, and then began noticing the current trend of anti-Semitism, it made me want to explore, through story, how such a thing could happen.
What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
I’m hoping they’ll take away several things, not just one, but I’ll mention only two here: the first is the concept of forgiveness, us receiving it and us giving it. Next is that our spiritual life should be based on our relationship with Jesus and not on any denomination or specific church. Churches and denominations can disappoint or fail us, but Jesus never will.
Jesus never will. Amen! Such great truths to share, and since we're speaking of sharing, what do you plan to work on next?
Another historical for sure, but this time the setting will be in the US; Pennsylvania to be exact. The story involves sisters, love and danger. I must confess I’ve fallen in love with that state and have enjoyed the research and plotting.
Where can readers connect with you? Where can readers buy your book?
Here are a few URLs:
http://www.sylviabambola.com/books, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter,
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Booksamillion.
*NOTE: Most Christian bookstores, if they are not carrying my book, can order it for you.
Last but not least, apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet?
I’ve been trying to learn the guitar since I want to learn one musical instrument before I cross over to the other side. Only problem is, writing, editing, marketing, my family and life in general keep me so busy I don’t practice much. So what happens is this: I take out my guitar, learn a few notes, practice them, then put the guitar away. By the time I take it out again, I’ve forgotten all I learned last time so I have to start over. And so the cycle goes. One thing I’m looking forward to in heaven, after seeing Jesus and my loved ones, is that there will be all eternity for doing the things we found so little time to do here.