Posted by Literary Titan
Acts of the Women follows the women of the New Testament telling their story in the days after Jesus’s resurrection. What was the inspiration for telling this story?
When I published my first book, Second Born, reimagining the life of Jesus as he grew up with his brothers and sisters in a wealthy family in the capital city of Galilee, I realized I had given voice to his forgotten brothers but neglected his sisters and the countless other dynamic women who played crucial roles in the birth of Christianity. So, Acts of the Women starts right where Second Born left off. But this time it is narrated by the women, and it is not the story they taught us in Sunday School.
What drew you to the genera of historical or biblical fiction?
It’s odd, I usually write humor and satire. But I have a strong faith based in Christianity and have studied it for years, including biblical studies courses at Stanford University and other sources scattered around the country. I have always been bothered by some of the central notions held either consciously or unconsciously by so many Christians. For instance, that this exceptional man was not human but a god, THE God, for that matter. Or that he already knew everything that was going to happen, so he didn’t need to have the faith that we are expected to have, because he already knew the end result. Or that we humans are powerless to correct the wrongs we see in the world, that we must ask Jesus to wave his magic wand like Harry Potter to repair the evil around us. I am convinced that Jesus was a man, and that he had the same fears, joys, worries and victories that fill all our lives. I think he found a way to become one with God, and he was showing the rest of us that we can too.
So, this contradiction that faced me every Sunday when I went to church bothered me. What do I do when I get hot and bothered? I’m a writer. So, I started writing about it. Second Born and Acts of the Women are the results so far.
Was there anything that surprised you in your research for this novel?
As much as the male-dominated church has tried to suppress the history of women’s enrichment of the faith, a lot of evidence can still be found right out in the open. For instance, in the gospels you will find Jesus’ brothers identified by name, but his sisters are barely mentioned in passing. But in other places women are mentioned briefly for traveling with Jesus’ group and providing financial support. Well, it would be a scandal in that culture for a woman to travel with a group of men unless she was close kin or married to one of them. Read through the gospels from beginning to end and start identifying some of these women. And examine Acts of the Apostles and all of Paul’s letters. Watch for references to the women. You will find some real gems that you may have missed before.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
In this genre, I will complete the trilogy with a mystery surrounding the First Council of Nicaea, which occurred in 325. The council was called by Emperor Constantine to determine a universal (i.e., catholic in its non-capitalized definition) view of the nature of Christ. People with alternate views to those adopted at the Council were branded as heretics and, in many cases, excommunicated. I will treat the subject with my usual reverence for orthodoxy. That is, there will be little or none in evidence.
But I have an itch to get back to humor, so I am simultaneously working on a modern-day tale of love and romance on the Internet. When will these two books be available? (Glances at wristwatch while stroking his beard.) Hmm, it’s already 10am and I have an appointment at 1:30, so I won’t be able to finish them today. Maybe by November? And then there’s the lengthy publication process. (Comes out of his musings with an upward snap of his head and suddenly widening eyes.) I hope to have them out in 2023. And before you ask, no, I am not accepting pre-orders currently. But thank you for thinking of offering, as I am sure you were about to do.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
After Jesus’ crucifixion, the women in author Patrick W. Andersen’s cast of characters take center stage, influencing the plot and world history through their teaching, diplomacy, and public relations abilities. As a result, Acts of the Women is a different take on the Bible. As the author himself states, “In the decades after the crucifixion, men gave speeches and wrote history books about their own noble deeds. But women did most of the work.”
The book additionally begins with a “cast of characters” page that is very helpful for those with limited knowledge of the Bible. Those familiar with the Bible will recognize many of the characters and events. Still, Andersen’s well-developed plot and exciting spin on the material will keep even those religiously inclined engaged. I personally benefited from having this list of characters easily accessible to keep me oriented while reading.
The story opens with the crucifixion of Jesus and the aftermath from the perspective of the women who helped him. The disciples are also in disarray, having scattered after Jesus’ arrest. However, they soon reunite and begin to regroup. The women in the story, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Rachel, and Susanna, are instrumental in this process. The women themselves know this, often giving men the “Stare” and even stating, “The men did most of the talkin’, but the women did all of the work.” Andersen weaves together biblical events with his own flair and imagination, making the stories come alive. He has an effortless, fluid writing style that makes the book a quick read. The characters are well-developed and likable, making it more interesting to see how their faith sustains them through their hardships.
Andersen does an excellent job of making the material accessible and engaging. He brings new life to familiar characters and events. His writing style is clear and concise, with short chapters and an easy-to-follow plot.
Acts of the Women is an intriguing work of fiction based on historical events and biblical accounts. It provides a new perspective on Christianity and its origins. This well-written and enjoyable book is ideal for anyone interested in the Bible or history.
Pages: 264 | ASIN : B09PGRGKKP
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