I recently joined an online community for young writers. As I was newly launching my blog at the time, I decided it would be a good idea to interview other young writers to see how they viewed writing and following Christ.
Starting off this brand new series is an interview with Allie Jo Andersen. Everyone, meet Allie!
Allie Jo Andersen is a follower of Christ who loves weaving tales of adventure that entertain while instilling truth in her readers’ minds. If she’s not coming up with new worlds to explore, she’s probably playing with one of her bunnies, exploring someone else’s fictional world, or planning victory in the latest family game. Her work has been featured by Havok Publishing and The Young Writer blog as well as the anthology Imagine : A Collection Of Short Stories And Poems.
What genre do you write in and why?
I currently write in speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, etc) and mystery, though it wouldn’t be unusual for me to write in other genres too. 😉 I write these genres because they are genres I’ve grown up reading and love to this day. I love the intrigue of mystery, and how whatever crime has been committed eventually gets brought to light. Fantasy is special to me because there are so many opportunities to show truth through allegories (much like C.S. Lewis). I like sci-fi because I like exploring things that could happen in the future or what could have happened.
What genre do you read in and why?
I will read in virtually any genre, as long as it’s clean and God-honoring. I love contemporary (middle grade, usually), mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, etc. 🙂 I read those genres because… well, I’ve always read and enjoyed those genres! There are great things about each of them and I’m always up for a bit of variety every now and then.
What do you blog about?
I blog about writing and reading books that have messages that are clean and have messages that last. I also occasionally share some of my own writing, and you can also find back episodes of my podcast and blog serial Sci-Fi Fridays (which is currently on hiatus for an unknown amount of time).
Who or what inspired you to write?
What originally inspired me to write were the books that I was reading. I was about eight years old and decided that I wanted to write a book that I could read later on. After that I got hooked on the feeling of being in someone else’s shoes and dictating what happens while you’re writing about a character.
What inspires me to write now is the fact that I can reach other people through my writing and encourage them and give them hope. I love that I can let people know that they’re not alone, even if it may feel that way. <3
What is the biggest thing you've learned through your writing journey?
I would say the biggest thing I’ve learned through my writing journey is perseverance. Writers have a lot of areas where we have to persevere: while writing the first draft, while editing, while submitting for publication and receiving rejections. One of the recurring things that I continue to learn through my writing journey has been to persevere and trust God with the results.
How has being a Christian affected the way you write vs. the way you used to or probably would otherwise?
Being a Christian affects my writing in a huge way. My goal in my writing is to create stories that are both entertaining and point people to God’s Truth. My favorite thing about writing is how God can use it to touch people’s hearts and show them that they’re not alone. If I wasn’t a Christian, I think my writing would be… a lot emptier, and probably a lot more lost, too.
What do you want to accomplish with your writing?
I want to give my readers stories that are both encouraging and life-giving. Stories that show that dragons can be conquered and share the light of Jesus.
How do you define success, and do you think you've reached it yet?
For me, I’ve succeeded when I follow God’s leading and guiding in my writing. Right now I don’t have a lot of set-in-stone specific goals, but I know I’ve done well as a storyteller when I’ve written a story that tells the truths that God has laid on my heart.
What is one thing you want to tell other young writers?
There are so many things I would love to tell my fellow young writers! Don’t give up, no matter how hard it may seem. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask questions. Take a leap and step outside of your comfort zone–whether that means sending an email or hitting “submit” for a story submission. I’ve received a lot of rejection emails for my flash fiction over the past couple of years, but that has pushed me to keep working at it, and I learned so much in the process. Remember that success isn’t always the best teacher; but failure often teaches you a lot about life and yourself, if you let it. 🙂
That’s the end of the interview. If you want to check out the interview Allie did for me, check it out on her website.
My interview: https://allieandersen.com/young-writer-interview-with-kayla-naomi-wong
Allie’s website: https://allieandersen.com
Allie’s published works: https://allieandersen.com/published-works
If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to head over to Allie’s website and subscribe to her email list for updates from her.
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