Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Interview: Raev Gray part deux~ Test of Faith

And...we're back...

Amara:  Alright, we simply must talk about Test of Faith.  I have to tell you, one of my two favorite books…of all time.   I was left speechless.  Truly.  *sheepish grin*  That’s why I haven’t managed to finish a review .  You need words for that, and well, back to that speechless thing.   But…I have you here *giggles*  and that’s even better!   Tell me all about it.  I want to know everything! 

Raev:  Is that a coffee stain, or are you just happy to see me?

Ha! *looks down* uh... *grins* A bit of both.

Raev:  Seriously, I can't tell you how much it boggles my mind to see people saying that ToF is one of their favorite books. It's one of my favorites that I've ever written, so the fact that other people share my love for it is THRILLING.

Amara:  Oh honey, that baby was AWESOME! 

Ok.  First I have to say… I love the cover of this book.  Did I say that already?   I did, didn’t I.  Well…I have to say it again.  I love the book too, but this baby… beautiful!  Did you see mine?  My super special signed copy?  It’s all hanging over there on the side bar in a special shadow box.  I.love.my.book.  You did that cover also didn’t you?

Raev:  Yup! Sure did. That one was astonishingly easy to put together, sort of like the story. I almost believe in the fluffy woo-woo when stuff like that happens. :P

Amara:  I love it.  I do.  Now tell me about the book.  You co-wrote this one with Aleksandr Voinov, too?

Raev:  I did. It was the first thing we ever finished together, only a few months after we'd started talking for real.

Amara:   You guys make a great team.  Who’s idea was it?

Raev:  I don't even remember! Probably his, but we both loved the Crusades.

Amara:   Why that period? 

Raev:  Aleks is a Crusades-era scholar, and I've always been fascinated by it. There were fundamental social issues going on during that era, and they just begged to be written about, especially since those same issues are really relevant to what's going on in the world today, if I can get terribly pretentious for a second.

Amara:   The historical accuracy and detail was incredible.  How much research went into it?

Raev:  On my part? Not a whole lot. Aleks led the way on this one. His memory for detail and his ability to integrate it into a story is one of the things that makes him a) an amazing historical writer and b) an amazing co-writer.

Amara:  He is amazing with the historical stuff.  Who wrote which character?

Raev:  Aleks wrote Thierry, and I wrote Abdul. About the ending: BLAME HIM. (Actually, I wrote the final bit, so I share the blame.)

Amara:  Ha!  I say blame him whenever possible.  *wink* 

What was your favorite part of the book? 

Raev:  Even though I hate Plato, I had to sneak in the Allegory of the Cave. Abdul insisted. This was probably my favorite line


Abdul wanted to rage at him, cry, Why could you not simply show mercy? Not even to that man, who was better than me, better than so many of us? You would have liked him. You would have respected him.
Any time I can make myself cry, I consider my writing a personal success.

Amara:  You cried too?  I balled like a baby!  Honestly, it’s a difficult book, not your typical HEA/HFN. 

Raev:  No, and the necessity for that became evident not far into the story. I have to admit I was dreading it a little.

Amara:  Why did you write it that way?  Did you have difficulties from that?

Raev:  That was the only way it could be written for it to be satisfactory. There was no feasible happy ending when you have a captured Christian soldier at Hattin who won't betray his faith (damn him). We both cried at the end, and we had some trouble finding someone who would publish it—they all said, “Great idea, but can you change the ending?” No, there was really no way to do that and keep the integrity of the story.

Amara:  I agree.  Changing the ending, would have wrecked it.  Can you give me any dirt?  Something secret special about the book or characters?  Something no one else knows?

Raev:  Hmm, let me think...well, let's say that Abdul's conversion to Islam had as much to do with humanly love as it did love for God. :)

Amara:  Nice.  Will we see more?  Tell me we’ll see more.  *smiles REAL big* Pleeease…

Raev:  Absolutely. I'll be writing more of Abdul before Thierry, and possibly some post-ToF. This will likely happen next year.

Amara:  Awesome!   Do you think it will be a Gray/Voinov? 

Raev:  I'd have to ask Aleks, but I would love to work with him on those!  It wouldn't be the same without him.

Amara:  That…friggin’ excites me!  WhooWhoo, filled with awesome!  Uh… there I go again.

Thanks Raev for coming to hang out with me.  Can’t wait to read all your upcoming books.  *gets up and walks her out*  Careful of Bob… he bites.

*waves*  Bye!

*closes the door* 

Heehee…that was fun.

That's all for now.  Come back Thursday for a peak at the excerpt and a chance to win a copy of Test of Faith.

Later taters!



  1. OH my, a spoiler snippet. *gasp* Thanks so much! This was such a fun interview to read!

  2. Oh, Raev and Amara, great interview! I loved Test of Faith and like everyone else, was devastated by the ending. I agree it was necessary for the story, but, oh boy, it was tough.

    The characters stay with you, the sign of meaningful, well thought out characters.

    Thanks for that ride, as uncomfortable as it was, it was so worth it. Glad to hear there will be more!

  3. @Sweet: Nice little spoiler she gave. This book...like none I've other I've read. Glad you liked the interview. :) Raev totally rocks!

  4. @Brita: Thanks, glad you liked it. :) As soon as I can get a handle out here with the RL stuff, you're next babe.

    lol, I do believe the night I finished this book was the night we met wasn't it? Or at least the first time we really started talking. My colorful word choice for my brain... stutters... if I remember correctly.

    Still haven't figured out how to describe this one after all these months. Still leaves me with the same feeling after all this time.

    Awesome book!

  5. A little late to the party: I just love how much people love this book. :)

  6. @Raev: better late than never I always say ;)

  7. lol, of course... I'm always late so... there ya go. :D



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