By Kim Childress
The Threshold books by author Christa Kinde involve two settings and story lines. One is the contemporary world of Prissie, and the other is the spiritual realm around her. In The Blue Door, the series’ first installment and winner of the 2015 National Christian Association’s Lamplighter Award, Prissie Pomeroy discovers she can suddenly see angels everywhere—some she has known her whole life as humans! Why the sudden ability to see?
Not even the angels guarding her know why or what plans God has in store for Prissie. But the angels do know others are taking notice in Prissie and her large family. As we get to know Prissie, her five brothers, their family’s apple farm, and a crazy slew of characters, we learn of spiritual battles unfolding and meet more angels as protection increases around the Pomeroys. The story ties together slowly, brilliantly, as suspense builds over the series, especially when we get behind-the-scenes glimpses into the heavenly realms from the angels’ point of view, leading up to a surprise ending.
How long did it take you to work on the Threshold series, from the first idea to the completion of the final book?
Christa Kinde: I rustled around and started making early notes in 2007. Back then, all I had was a clear picture of a strange boy sitting in a tree. When a girl discovered him and they were both surprised, I liked the direction things were taking. I needed to write the rest of the series so Prissie and Koji could meet. When my proposal first landed on editor’s desks in fall of 2010, Book 1: The Blue Door was complete. By the time the series was contracted in 2011, Book 2: The Hidden Deep was also done. The fourth and final book released last winter, in January 2014, making the initial series a seven-year endeavor.
Where did you come up with the idea of the angelic world in the series?
Christa Kinde: Oh, there’s a mix of this and that. I began with what we know about angels from the Bible. It was interesting to peer through the eyes of sinless servants who benefit from an eternal perspective. Then I broke some longstanding traditions—no feathers, names that don’t end in “el.” Next, I embellished around the edges—mentors and apprentices, a rainbow of colors to surround God’s throne, the origins of manna. As with most storytelling, the world has grown to accommodate the needs of the story, and the story has been shaped by the rules of the world I created. This is what I do: make it up, then make it plausible.
You wanted to use a pen name but were told that wasn’t a good idea. How do you feel about having to stick with your own name?
Christa Kinde: I’m a behind-the-scenes kind of gal, so I didn’t like the idea of being shoved into the limelight. My books deserved the attention, not me. But it was “be me…or bye-bye.” So I put my best foot forward, and here I am. And really, all my little worries were for nothing. I’m pretty good at being me. Been doing it for years.
What are some traits in your writing you would describe as unique to your literary style?
Christa Kinde: Style is a tricky thing to pin down. So many little things play a part in the patter and flow of sentences. For instance, I’ve always been a word nerd. I think in big words. Since I don’t want my editors to scold me, I’m forever searching for simpler ways to say “intransigent” and “lugubrious.” I don’t do bleak or gritty. Foreshadowing is a must. Biblical allusions sneak in, and I’m a firm believer in plausible happily-ever-afters. I recognize my writing voice, but the emphasis changes with the story and its protagonist. Perhaps my most unique trait as a writer is the pleasure I take in short-form and serial storytelling.
You say you started writing on a whim. What do you mean by that?
Christa Kinde: Writing was a surprise God had waiting for me. While I thought it was a fine thing for Anne with an “e” and Miss Jo March to chase their literary ambitions, I had none of my own. The only reason I majored in English at college was because I liked to read. It never occurred to me that God might be able to use my nose-in-a-book tendencies down the road. Looking back, I blame goofy letters to a good friend for setting me on the path to authorship. In my efforts to brighten her day and make her laugh, she saw potential. Her name is Simone, and The Blue Door is dedicated to her.
What are your literary influences? Who were some of your favorite authors growing up?
Christa Kinde: Writing begins with reading, and for me that meant a wide range of classics, comics, fantasies, mysteries, science fiction, and coming-of-age stories. I read so many books that I developed a sense for story. And a distinct taste for what I consider good. Now, I write the kinds of books I love to read. Favorite authors run the gamut, everything from Shakespeare and C. S. Lewis to Anne McCaffrey and Max Lucado, every Encyclopedia Brown mystery, Janette Oke’s prairie romances, Mark Twain, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Orson Scott Card, Gail Carson Levine, Rick Riordan. And I’ll always love Sherlock Holmes, especially the Mary Russell books by Laurie R. King.
Author Christa Kinde kindly offers free downloads of short stories related to her Threshold series. Simply go to amazon.com, and search Angels All Around, Angels in Harmony, and Angels on Guard.
Reprinted with permission from childressinkcom.