Bio: 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
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, Sylvia. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Christian fiction is a great non-threatening way to share spiritual truths. That’s how Jesus did it, with parables, stories. My desire is to write stories that both entertain and reveal these truths and in the process perhaps touch hearts for Jesus.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Marrying my husband, Vincent. But can’t stop there. Also the days my sons and daughter were born. Can’t beat them.
How has being published changed your life?
If I had never been published I would surely be holding some other kind of job. So being published has definitely kept me writing and pigeon-holed me as to what type of job I would be doing for years and years.
What are you reading right now?
Bill Salus’s Psalm 83-The Missing Prophecy Revealed has me hooked. It’s non-fiction. Because I am a Bible study teacher and student of end-time prophecy I find it fascinating.
What is your current work in progress?
My last two novels were both set outside the
US, so I decided to make the setting of my next
I must confess I’ve fallen in love with that state. The story line involves
three sisters, some suspense, and some romance.
What would be your dream vacation?
Without question, a trip to
Israel. For years I’ve longed to go
there, but never have. Maybe someday. It’s still a dream of mine.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
First I pray and ask God for direction. Then I allow Him to place in me or stir up already placed interests, and follow that trail. The end result is that I always have passion for the things I write about. And I think this is very necessary because if we don’t love what we’re writing about I don’t think we can expect our readers to love it either.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Aside from members of my family, I would have to say I’d love an evening with Carley Fiorina. Named by Forbes Magazine in 2001 as one of the 30 most powerful women in
she was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard for six years. Others call her the “worst
tech CEO of all times.”
Why Fiorina? Because she was successfully able to compete in a man’s world. Things I’d like to know would be 1) her faith and God’s role in her private and professional life 2) what was the cost in terms of family/husband/friends 3) what things would she do differently? And finally 4) would she do it all over again?
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I’m presently learning the guitar, but oh, so poorly. Someday when I have more time, I’d really like to put some effort into this.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Once I start a project I become laser focused, and it’s hard for me to take time out or take interest in house cleaning, cooking, etc. I overcome it by sheer willpower. I literally force myself to do all the extraneous things that need to be done.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
NEVER GIVE UP! But while you are waiting for that “break,” learn your craft, work hard, and get connected with other writers. Then trust God to open the doors He wants you to walk through.
Tell us about the featured book.
The setting is
Spain 1493. Isabel has broken her
mother’s heart by becoming a sincere convert to Christianity. But when she is
noticed by Friar Alonso at La Casa Santa, the Holy House, she is forced to flee
the Inquisition by entering into a loveless marriage and sailing with
Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the New World.
But all too soon Isabel is forced to struggle alone in her new life and new
faith. With all the risks and hardships her very survival is in question. And
what about love? Will she ever find such a thing in this strange land? And will
the dangerous Enrique Vivar’s hidden agenda cost her her life?
Please give us the first page of the book.
I have broken Mama’s heart.
That thought has festered a fortnight. Our physician, Hernando Diaz, would call it a lingering agitation, the kind that upsets the bodily humors. He is full of such vague assertions. I am not as vague. I picture sores, like the ones on Catalina’s legs, marring the fabric of my brain and robbing it of peace.
The soft shuffle of Mama’s feet pulls me from my thoughts, and I turn from the cupboard. Please . . . look at me. But she does not. Her eyes have not met mine in weeks. And the silence between us is as thick as the
Pillars of Hercules. It is strange, this silence, so
foreign to us who once discussed the writings of Maimonides and Rashi for
endless hours. I have the power to repair this breach but I will not. Even now
that knowledge overwhelms me, and I wonder at the wisdom of my confession. I
have learned too late that confessions are not always the satisfying exercise
one anticipates, unless they are made to God.
“I have checked the larder for mold, and bunched the sage.” I wait for Mama’s response, but she just raises her knife in the air. The metal glints as it catches the light coming through the small overhead windows. In one swift motion she drags the blade across the edge of her thumb nail. A sliver, like an almond chip, flies across the room and disappears. My heart flies with it, for I know she is testing to see that the knife conforms to halakah, to Jewish law.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Book buy links:
Thank you, Sylvia, for sharing part of your life and this book with us.
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