Q&A with Chris Fabry
Q: Tell me about your main character Jed King. What are his issues?
Jed is such a talented young man. Handsome. He runs deep. And he really loves God and wants to please him. But he struggles with finding himself in the midst of supposed failure and success. He wants wisdom, he wants to play his music to large crowds, but things just aren't happening like he thought they would.
Q: What does he find in Rose?
In Rose, he finds meaning and purpose and beauty and a new song. He runs after her as if she is the answer—and she’s part of the answer. But he makes some mistakes about her and about himself that really haunt and trouble their relationship.
Q: What lessons or truths will your readers find in the pages of this novel?
My hope is that they'll see themselves in Jed's story, in Rose's story, with Shelby and Rose's father, Shep. Each of them are flawed in some way, but each of them have strengths. What does it mean to be faithful to the gift God has given you? Is life just a series of meaningless, purposeless events? Is there a God who really cares? And what does abundant life look like? These are some of the questions we hope to discover through the story.
Q: How do you expect this story to resonate with your readers?
Everyone feels betrayed at some point in life. Everyone has temptations and they have to choose. Sometimes we make good decisions and at other times we fall. I pray people will resonate with the grace of God that runs through this story and that they'll be drawn to him.
Q: As a writer, what did you particularly enjoy about crafting this story?
This was the first book I've ever written where most, if not all, of the decisions had been made for me. The film was essentially finished by the time I came along, so all I had to do was find the connecting tissue around their stories, and I loved coming up with the backstory of Rose and Jed and what brought them together. I liked trying to answer some of the questions that came up as I watched the film—things that couldn't be shown in the film.
Q: What is your hope for this story?
My hope is that someone who has made mistakes will pick it up and see that there really is forgiveness and new life available. The abundant life is not one devoid of pain or struggle or wrong choices. The abundant life is found when we align our lives with the one who made us to be who we are.
Q: How difficult is it today for young people to have a biblically based relationship in our culture?
It's incredibly difficult because of all the social pressures. This is a tired, worn-out statement, but it's true. Everything in the culture screams at young people to do anything but maintain a God-honoring relationship. And after that, if you are married, there's really not a lot that lifts up a long-term, faithful relationship. So you have to decide early not just to "follow your heart," but to follow God and allow him to change your heart and your desires.
Q: Where do couples go off track in our world full of distractions and temptations?
We buy into the lie that our happiness is the chief end of every person. And if I'm not happy, I need to find someone who can fulfill me. There’s a lot less emphasis put on being the right person than finding the right person.
Q: How do we safeguard our relationships from these pitfalls?
Jerry Jenkins wrote about "Hedges" a long time ago. You have to intentionally construct ways that protect not only your marriage and your vows but your heart. You can see in this story how far Jed fell from that ideal.
Q: How do we come back from a fall from grace in our relationships?
I've never met a person who fell like Jed did and was forgiven who didn't come to the end of themselves. A fall like that will bring you face to face with the real you. It will either force you into a state of humility, or you'll move forward with pride. Those are really the only choices. And the person on the other side has a difficult road, too. They have to intentionally walk through all the pain of betrayal and abandonment authentically and not just brush it aside. It's not easy, but in the end, God provides a real opportunity to experience his grace.