Connie Almony is trained as a mental health therapist and likes to mix a little fun with the serious stuff of life. She was a 2012 semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest for Women’s Fiction and was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest. I asked her to give a little deeper insight into her newest book and this is what she had to say:
Around 20 years ago I watched Mel Gibson rescue his onscreen son from kidnappers when law enforcement could no longer help him. I’d just started reading Christian fiction and wondered how a Christian author might write this story. I’d also wondered how she could insert a little romance? I had no plans to be an author at the time, but the story of a pastor with a past swirled in my head—characters added, others subtracted, various settings—until I began to reveal bits to family. They marveled at the crazy churnings of my mind, but none of us believed I’d actually turn it into a book.
More than ten years later, after my daughter inspired me to get serious about writing, I still hadn’t planned to write this story. I published three completely new ones. Why? From a human perspective, I couldn’t tell you. From a Godly perspective, I believe He wanted it to marinate a little longer. Had I written it first, it would have been completely different, and missing many of the characters whose life experiences I’d yet to appreciate at a deeper level. The sweet, ten-year-old boy struggling with autism. The tattoo-laden, Harley-riding, elder of the church. The former dirt-track race car driver who, despite his hardened exterior, has stolen some reader’s hearts with his rarely-exposed kindnesses.
Though I’d planned to make the “pastor with a past” someone who’d grown up in a country-club lifestyle, I hadn’t planned to make his new best friend, and the man who brought him to Christ, his mechanic. Nor had I planned to make the church he led a “redneck church” until my cousin had affectionately given his own congregation that label, the one I’d come to see like home and family.
Flee from Evil is about forgiveness, redemption and the manifestation of Romans 8:28 where God can not only make bad things, that happen to a person, good. He can also use the bad things a person has done for His glory. It is also about the Body of Christ at work in all its vibrant colors, each different from the other, yet all necessary to form the whole.
Unlike the movie that inspired it, it is not just about a man who’d do anything for his child—as God has done for us. It’s about a God who can re-purpose the lowliest of lives and make them extraordinary!
Connie Almony is also the author of One Among Men and An Insignificant Life, about women who run dormitories at a major state university, and At the Edge of a Dark Forest, a modern-day re-telling of Beauty and the Beast about a war-vet, amputee struggling with PTSD. Watch out for more books in each of these series, as well as a multi-author book anthology coming Summer 2016.