Spiritual warfare is real. This story is about a fictional take on spiritual warfare.
Julie Hall is the author of the “Life After” trilogy. Book One, “Huntress,” was released in Nov. 2015. Book Two, “Warfare,” will be released in fall 2016.
(A PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH JULIE HALL IS AVAILABLE ON SPREAKER: http://www.spreaker.com/user/followersofthecross/young-adult-take-on-spiritual-warfare)
Hall, who used to work in youth ministry, said her series is in the young adult fiction category and should appeal to both the Christian and secular markets. The series draws upon biblical themes but is not a biblical description of Heaven, Hall told me.
“Life After” follows the adventures of Audrey. “Huntress” focuses on Audrey’s death, which is only the beginning of her adventures. God gives her the assignment to go into training to learn how to fight the devil and demons. Audrey makes mistakes along the way, which a person in Heaven would not do.
Each book in the trilogy focuses on Audrey’s interaction with each of the three identities of God in the Trinity: Book One focuses on God the Father; Book Two, The Holy Spirit; and Book Three, Jesus.
“Huntress” is full of action, adventure and romance, Hall said. Audrey must face her doubts about God’s love. That is something that many people, especially teens, go through, she said.
Hall said that she had the most trouble in writing the theological aspects of “Huntress.” She wanted to write a story that would appeal to both Christians and non-Christians.
She said she did have doubts, however, about the books cross-over appeal to both markets. She thought the Christians who read the book early would hate it for not being truly biblical. She thought non-Christians would feel they were being preached at. She gave copies to Christians and non-Christians to endorse and was pleasantly surprised by the positive responses.
“The Christians understood it is a work of fiction and that I took creative license,” she said.
Hall said that Audrey’s relationship with God and her struggles with her faith is built on biblical truth. Meanwhile, non-Christians will enjoy the book’s action and fast pace and not feel like “I’m trying to shove Christianity down their throats.”
Hall said she wants her readers to take away the message that God cares about them and He does have a plan and purpose for their lives, even when they do not understand His plan.
“God is still there and God is still good. And that’s really what my protagonist struggles with, just feeling like she’s been forgotten or that God doesn’t understand her or God doesn’t know her. God is in control. And you can count on that and you can hang on to that when it feels like life is spiraling out of control.”
While she struggled with the theological issues, Hall said she thoroughly enjoyed writing the action sequences. She and her husband even took sword fighting classes together so she could write about that topic more accurately. (Hall is no stranger to an active lifestyle: She took kickboxing classes for years.)
Hall said one purpose in writing “”Huntress” is that she feels the young adult selection for Christians is lacking in quantity. The young adult fiction market in the secular world has exploded over the past decade. Christians need to champion the faith-based young adult fiction books that are out there — they need to look for them and support them.
Hall is doing her part in that. “Warfare” is in the editing stages. She is focusing on writing Book Three.
In “Warfare,” God will tell Audrey to stay in Heaven even while the devil attacks her family on earth. Audrey goes against God’s command to try to protect her family, and she must deal with the consequences of her disobedience.
More information on Hall and her “Life After” trilogy is at http://www.juliehallauthor.com/.
— Jason Reynolds