Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Sylvia Bambola--Stories to Entertain and Share Lessons from the Past--Day 2

Born in Romania in 1945, Sylvia Bambola lived her early years in Germany. At seven she relocated with her adopted family and saw the Statue of Liberty and America for the first time. But the memory of those years in Germany inspired her to write Refiner’s Fire, which won a Silver Angel Award, and was a Christy Finalist. Her frequent moves as an “army brat” gave her an opportunity to see America and fall in love with her new country. Bambola has authored seven novels, has two grown children, teaches women’s Bible studies, and is learning the guitar. 

Welcome back to Novel PASTimes today, Sylvia. What do you consider the best resources for historical research?

When possible I use scholarly sources or sources closest to the actually event. For example, in
The Salt Covenants, I relied heavily on Christopher Columbus’s own journals, testimonies of actual Inquisitional trials and charges, etc. In Rebekah’s Treasure, a story set in 70 A.D. Israel and involving the destruction of Herod’s Temple, I consulted the writings of Josephus, an eyewitness to the event.

What or who inspired you to write inspirational fiction? How does that keep you plodding ahead with your writing each day?

My sole motivation for all my writing (I’ve also written three contemporary novels) is to touch hearts for Jesus. That’s one of the reasons I love Christian fiction so much. It’s a non-threatening way to explore God’s Word and Biblical principles all wrapped in story. That’s how Jesus did it. He used story (parables) to illustrate spiritual truths.

I agree wholeheartedly, Sylvia.

What helps you maintain productivity as a writer? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?

When writing, I don’t wait for inspiration. I try to sit down at my desk every day, no matter how I feel and just start pounding something out. Inevitably, the excitement and story comes, but not always. Sometimes, it feels like I’m pushing wet concrete uphill.

The most challenging thing about writing is the marketing, which I have previously mentioned. I’m not a fan. But I do it. Still, I’d like to be like Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote, whose only responsibility (regarding writing) seemed to be to write novels while someone in the background handled all the p.r. and marketing for her. I guess one can dream.

Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?

I’m both. I want a strong plot to move the story forward, but I also strive for strong believable characters that will resonate with readers. That’s a big task. One I’m still learning how to do.

Would you like to share about what you are working on now?

Since my last two historical novels were not set in America, I’ve decided to change gears and have my next story take place in the USA. I’m really enjoying the research since I’m learning more about my country. The novel will incorporate my usual elements of suspense, love and faith.

Do you have any last words of wisdom to share with aspiring authors?

Yes. Be prepared for the long haul. It usually takes years to hone our craft and write something worth publishing. But never give up. And never stop learning. And as Christian writers, remember why and for Whom you are doing this. Don’t get sucked into the worldly trap of measuring your success by the world’s standards: the number of lists you are on, the number of books sold, your ranking. The truth is your books will touch lives and hearts of people you will never hear from until perhaps you cross over to the other side, where the greatest reward will be to hear our precious Jesus say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”

Thank you, Sylvia, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you.

Thank you. And the privilege was mine.

Contact Sylvia by email at, or learn more about Sylvia
Find The Salt Covenants on Amazon.

Readers, don’t forget to enter our Rafflecopter drawing below for your chance to win a copy of Sylvia Bambola’s latest novel, The Salt Covenants. (Paperback to available to US readers only. E-book available to all others.) Just click the button and answer Sylvia’s question. The drawing will be open until 12:00 a.m. Friday morning. Thanks for stopping by! 

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Amy C said...

That is a tough question. I think to be able to heal and overcome anything, you have to forgive.

Deanna Stevens said...

Yes, you have to forgive to move on..
Deanna S

Sylvia Bambola said...

Amy and Deanna, thanks for your comments. This morning I was thinking about this myself and since the Bible tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength and since we can't have real joy when we are angry or bitter, I wonder if this is why so many Christian are weak? My conclusion is that hate, etc saps our strength and the only one it hurts is US. Usually, the one who offended us doesn't even know or care how we feel. Another reason to forgive. I so want to live in the "joy of the Lord." :)

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thank you for stopping by and answering
Sylvia's question, Amy and Deanna.

It's not an easy one. I was just having a conversation about forgiveness
with a friend of mine this afternoon--
what it is and what it isn't. I need to ask
for God's grace and love for the person I need to forgive. That opens the way for God's healing. You're right, Sylvia. We hurt ourselves when we stay angry and bitter. But it isn't always easy to get where we need to be. It's impossible without
the Lord's help!

Thank you, Sylvia, for visiting us at Novel PASTimes this week and for sharing your

Sylvia Bambola said...

Kathleen, it was my pleasure. Thank you for having me. And blessings.