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Behind the Story with Biblical Novelist Elaine Kelly

Who are the forgotten followers?

Such a fun discussion with Behindthestorywithnaomiandlisa on YouTube.

Yes, I reveal some surprises about me!

Where to find it: Minute

9:18 Introduce biblical novelist Elaine Kelly

10:51 debut novel Forgotten Followers: What caught your interest, why are you writing about woman in the Gospels, and how did you research them?

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Elaine Kelly: Guest on Behind the Story!

13:15 Who is Mara (Mary) of Clopas? She is mentioned in the Bible in various ways but seems present throughout his ministry and at the cross and burial and resurrection. Church historians identify Clopas as the brother of Joseph, making his wife the sister/sister-in-law of Mary of Nazareth.

13:42 (Naomi) Mara is portrayed as Jesus's aunt and she very skeptical about him being a Prophet; it is striking but it is exactly what the Bible says: Jesus is a Prophet without honour in his own hometown. Using fiction I imagined what made Mara skeptical, afraid, slow to trust or believe in Jesus.

14:50 (Lisa) With fiction, readers can experience or can relate to those who have doubts or questions as they go through hard times or find that God did not miraculously heal them. Rather than hiding that people are thinking these things, or pretending these things aren't happening, your novel brings them out to address them.

15:38 (Naomi) Introduce us to Mara. For the purpose of the fictional character development, I use Mara to explore how authoritarian parents, purity culture, abuse or trauma as a youth can impact you as an adult. Mara is learning steps she can take to overcome her trauma.

Excerpt from Sheila Wray Gregoire Endorsement

16:28 What is the story behind securing that fantastic endorsement from Sheila Wray Gregoire? She is a minor celebrity in the world of advocacy for Christian equality. I leaned into some of her BareMarriage interviews when developing Mara's character because her guests are often overcoming the same kinds of trauma as my character, Mara. Mara's trauma affects her self-image, marriage, and sex life in ways similar to the way trauma affects women today.

19:32 What drew your attention to these ladies in particular? The story tells about 12 woman disciples but takes the point of view of just two. I wanted to explore Mary of Clopas for a long time. Ever since my daughters were small, and I read to them a picture book with Clopas and another disciple on the road to Emmaus, I have thought the other disciple was likely a woman. I wanted my daughters to see themselves in the Bible story. I colored over the beard and added a headscarf and pink bag and put a woman in that picture book. I have since discovered some theologians who agree that it may have been Clopas's wife, Mary of Clopas, on the road home with him.

20:29 My other main character is Joanna. I really related to Joanna because I worked as a financial advisor for 30 years and Joanna is one of the ones named in Luke 8 as a patron or financial advisor for Jesus. I felt like she was the model for me as a financial advisor. I wanted to explore where Joanna might have got her money, to know where her money is from and where it is going, and look at female patrons in the first century. I also use Joanna as a way of exploring how Jesus reached out to biracial people, foreigners and immigrants because I feel that's a very relevant theme for today. There are other novels about Joanna, and there are other novels about Bathsheba and Rahab. At the end of my novel, I outline what is biblical and what is fictional.

21:52 Let's talk about your writing routine or process. Hear about my writing journey, research, and my approach to plot and character development. I started with what biblical events may have had women present as eyewitnesses and apostles. I looked at bibilcal and church traditions about these woman disciples, as well as biblical interpretations on the Gospels. I also spent time editing and re-writing to ensure plot tension and character development as they overcome obstacles as they strive for healing, wholeness, freedom, and new life. Going forward, I am relying on a spreadsheet lining up rows for biblical events, historic dates, and columns for each character, their age and location.

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Why tune in to the video

24:59 Let's talk about yourself and what is something people might be surprised to learn about you?

25:48 If you were to compete at the Olympics, what would you compete in? What are your strengths?

26:32 What writing project is next for you?

27:30 What about putting a romance in the story? What romance will be kindled in #ForgottenApostles From Broken to Bold (Book 2)?

28:51 Where can readers find you?


Let me know if there is a show where I may be a guest:

Info Sheet for Podcasters or YouTubers
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Elaine Ricker Kelly uses her experiences as a woman in business to inspire and empower women at home, church and society. She was an investment and insurance advisor for thirty years, has three grown daughters, and is passionate about writing to encourage girls and women in leadership. Elaine R. Kelly lives near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with her husband and lap dog. She and her husband have hiked the 900 km Bruce Trail and enjoy hiking, nature, tennis, music, history and culture.

Books by Elaine Ricker Kelly:

Forgotten Followers from Broken to Bold - biblical fiction offering hope and healing to anyone who feels forgotten, belittled, or out of place.

The Sword: A Fun Way to Engage in Healthy Debate on What the Bible Says About a Woman's Role - provides 104 flashcards with an objective, memorable look at the rationale for diverse views on gender roles.

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