Please welcome Stephanie Landem to “My Times and Places.” I first met Stephanie at a critique group we were both a part of and soon recognized a sister in the Lord. She was unpublished at the time. It has been fun to see her grow as a writer. I loved her biblical fiction, especially The Tomb, the story of Martha of Bethany. She just released In A Far-Off Land. It’s still biblical fiction in a way—a retelling of one of Jesus’ most well-known parables, this time set in 1930s Hollywood. It’s a wonderful read with great characters you will really care about!
Stephanie, the idea for this book obviously came from Jesus’ parable of The Lost Son (sometimes called The Prodigal Son). What made you decide on 1930s Hollywood as the right setting for such a retelling?
Do you remember ignoring your parents’ announcement of "Lights out!" by continuing to read that new novel? And do you remember the next “reminder,” after you simply tried to get in a couple of paragraphs more? They finally turned out your light, but you were so desperate to know whether Darcy would ever return, or whether Gandalf, Sydney Carton, or Mitch McDeere would survive, that you reached under your bed and pulled out a flashlight. The plot you were so caught up in revolved around some kind of conflict that demanded resolution.
In a similar way, composers elicit responses from you, when, by skillfully using harmony and melody, they narrate a musical story of conflict and resolution, tension and release. The following is a brief attempt to describe some important ways Handel accomplishes this in Messiah.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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