I had the chance to talk with Erin Lorence and hear about her newly released book, Dove Strong!
About Dove Strong
Dove Strong loves God. She loves standing chin up and fists clenched when facing Satan’s attacks. But there’s one thing she doesn’t love—other people. So when this spiritually-gifted, antisocial teenager is chosen to join other believers in a trek across Satan’s territory, rattlesnakes and evil-intentioned Heathen aren’t her biggest challenges.
But failure isn’t an option. In a month, the Christian Councils will decide the Reclaim, a vote on whether there’ll be a war between Christ’s followers and Satan’s to take back America. It is up to Dove, God’s messenger for peace, to reach her Council in time. Because if she doesn’t, things could get bloody.
Pelican Book Group:
What Inspired You to Write this Story?
I sat on a church pew on the last day of a year-long Bible study. We’d studied Genesis, and the Bible study leader stood at the pulpit, reminding us of Joseph from the Bible. A favorite son. A hated brother. A servant, prisoner…and finally one of the richest, most powerful rulers of his time.
Wow, I thought. Being chosen by God is such an amazing thing!
Wow, I thought. Being chosen by God can sure lead to problems and persecution!
I gazed at the Bible study leader’s pulpit, at its engravings of vegetation in the wood. Within the etched leafiness, a couple of circular blobs—like small peas or grapes—were balanced up high on the foliage. A couple blobs were nestled low, half hidden in the vegetation.
A new thought hit. If I, as a Christian, was forced to hide to escape persecution, would I rather hunker down in the earth (in caves or tunnels)? Or would I go off the grid, making a treehouse-type shelter in some out-of-the-way forest, even if I were more likely to be discovered?
The ideas for Dove Strong started flowing. The trilogy takes place in a future American where Christians must hide—underground, in caves, in forests, and even camouflaged as nonbelievers in cities. But my main character, Dove, can’t stay hidden. She emerges from her secluded lifestyle in the treetops to journey across Enemy territory on a life-and-death mission, naïve and clueless about what the ‘real world’ is like… but determined to survive.
Did You Conduct Any Special Research for This Book?
My husband and I took an amazing hiking trip in Oregon, the setting of Dove Strong. We visited Mount Washington, Sisters, Mount Jefferson, Steins Pillar, and Prineville so I could make the story’s setting and the heroine’s struggles in the high desert and Cascade mountains as real as possible.
We entered one hiking area, expecting a spruce forest but encountered a desolate landscape of ankle-deep grey ash and charred trees from a recent forest fire. In another wooded area, we had to deal with a herd of roaming cattle that kept popping out of the trees, spooked by our presence, to share our trail. It was an adventure we’ll never forget!
Did You Have Any Quirks While Writing this Story?
I’m not sure how quirky (or interesting) this is, but I only write when I’m alone—as in no other humans are around. Animals are okay. So, I end up doing most of my creative writing at night. In general, I get some of my best work done between 10 pm and 2 am. This helps my story progression because I can really get into my characters and their dialogue without being interrupted.
What is Your Favorite Aspect of This Story?
My favorite is definitely the hiking/nature/survival aspect of this story. I also get a kick from my main character because she’s super blunt to the point of rudeness when she speaks. She also doesn’t care what others think about her. Since I care too much about what others think, it was fun to think and speak from her perspective.
Are You Working on Any Other Projects?
I’m currently working on another adventure for young adults. It’s an idea that’s been percolating in my brain for years. To sum the whole thing up:
Rani, a rebelling, sci-fi loving teen, is on a road trip and pauses at a reclusive ocean town. While shouting from a lonely clifftop at her deadbeat dad, she’s startled by a mysterious teenage guy. He’s intense and angry…and seems to possess an unusual, supernatural power. So, of course, she’s intrigued. A rash decision results in her entrapment in the very place she fears the most. To escape, Rani faces impossible obstacles. First, she must overcome her own ocean phobia. And second, she must choose to let go of her own anger that holds her hostage.
Fanatic Surviving, the second book of the Dove Strong trilogy is set to be released June 7. The last book, Sent Rising, comes out August 16.
Thank you so much, Erin! Be sure to check out Dove Strong and the upcoming sequels!