Q & A with Author Joan Wolf
A Reluctant Queen, Thomas Nelson, June 2011
What draws you to historical/biblical fiction?
I have always adored history, a love I inherited from my father. He used to discuss people from history as if they were people in the current newspapers. I think almost 90% of my books must have an historical setting.
You’ve had a successful career writing for the ABA, why start writing for the CBA now?
A few years ago I had an extraordinary experience where God touched my life. This encounter stirred my interest in writing about other people who had experienced the presence of God in their lives and the CBA seemed to be the best place for me to do that.
What is it about the historical account of Esther that led you to write a romance story about her?
When I was a girl Esther fascinated me. It seemed wonderful that God had chosen a woman to be the person who would save His people. And, since I am a romantic soul, I also thought that there must have been a great love between her and the king for him to have done as she asked.
Why did you move away from the traditional interpretation of King Ahasuerus’ conduct?
I always thought that Ahasuerus must have loved Esther deeply because he listened to her and revoked the edict that Haman had sent out. A king who not only allows his wife to break into his religious feast without punishment, but also comes to have dinner with her the following day, must care for her very much indeed. And such a man must be a much nicer person than the king traditionally portrayed by Xerses/ Ahasuerus.
You love animals. Do you ever incorporate them into your books?
Do I not ever incorporate animals into my books? I am famous for my horses, but dogs play their part as well. Unfortunately, I couldn’t put Esther on a horse, but I did make Ahasuerus a fanatical horseman.
What is your favorite historical era to write about?
I love to go way back in time, to periods where the records are mostly archeological. I actually did three books set in the Upper Paleolithic, the period of the last ice age. My next book is about Rahab, and I’m having such fun reading about pottery and stone remains from the late Bronze Age.