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14 Christian Writer

Set the book up for us. What is Babes

Bible all about?
It's a novel - the ist of a tiilogy -
about the lives of oidinaiy women, all
spiiitually and emotionally wounded
and in seaich of healing. Some look
foi healing thiough poweiful men
they encountei but ultimately the book
shows that tiue healing only comes
thiough Jesus. e two main chaiacteis
aie Giace, a cuiate in an Anglican
chuich, and Chloe, a tioubled youth
woikei at the same chuich. e novel
is inteiwoven with exceipts fiom a
book that Giace is wiiting about two
ist-centuiy women living in and
aiound the ciicle of Jesus.
When did you rst see the
manuscript and how did it reach
I ist saw it in eaily 2011, I think.
Kaien Jones had been developing the
manusciipt with some advice fiom
the editoi [and ACW membei - ed.]
Alison Hull. I was impiessed with
Kaien's wiiting - the chaiacteiisation
seemed veiy natuial and the Bible-
times sections weie also well-wiitten
and engaging.
Was it easy to convince your DLT
colleagues to publish it?
I don't iemembei any aiguments! I'm
pleased they tiusted my judgement!
Actually, I pioposed it at a time when
we weie making signicant changes to
DLT's publishing piogiamme. Babes
Bible was fiesh and piovocative and a
little bit dangeious - the soits of things
that appeal to us at DLT.
In the rst 50 pages there are two
extra-marital aairs and a sexual
assault. Isnt that a bit dark for a
Christian novel?
What's the point of having a light to
shine if you don't step into the daik:
No, I don't have a pioblem with that
content at all - Babes Bible is about ieal
people living ieal lives and ieal life is
geneially complex and oen veiy sad
and damaging. Bad things happen. O
the top of my head I can easily think of
two extia-maiital aaiis and a sexual
assault in the Bible, so why should it
be o-limits to this novel: Just to be
cleai, Babes Bible doesn't condone
aaiis oi sexual assault - it is about
the wounding caused and the path to
Without giving anything away, how
overtly does the reader encounter
Christ in the book?
Pietty oveitly in that he appeais as an
actual chaiactei in the 'stoiies within
the stoiy' - Giace ie-tells stoiies fiom
the Gospels that ieadeis will iecognise.
We also encountei him in the 21st-
centuiy sections of the novel thiough
the piayeis of Giace and Chloe.
How do you, as a publisher, create
books that straddle the Christian
and secular markets?
at's dicult to answei simply. I
think that is simply down to having a
good undeistanding of what people in
both woilds aie likely to iespond to.
Wiiting honestly is the key, I think. If
youi Chiistian book is of inteiest to a
non-Chiistian ieadeiship then theie
shouldn't be any gieat need to wiite
as anyone othei than youiself. e
biggei challenge, in my expeiience,
is in sales and maiketing: how do we
biing the books to the attention of
people in both 'Chiistian' and 'seculai'
maikets: DLT's appioach is to use two
sepaiate sales teams: Lion Hudson
and Tuinaiound Publishing Seivices
iepiesent oui books to the ieligious
and non-ieligious tiades iespectively.
What is DLT looking for at the
Geneially speaking, if I'm looking foi a
paiticulai soit of book I will go out and
commission the iight peison to wiite
it. Howevei, we like to be suipiised!
DLT has a pioud tiadition of launching
fiesh voices, though at the moment
the maiket is ieally, ieally tough so
anything new has to absolutely shine.
We like to be piovocative, ielevant and
contempoiaiy, and I'm always pleased
to see someone tiying to wiite a book
that has nevei been wiitten befoie.
ink: what is it about youi book that
will tuin heads and make it stand out
fiom the ciowd:
Why we buy
Rob Chidley interviews David Moloney, the Editorial Director at Darton,
Longman & Todd, about why he bought Babes Bible by Karen Jones.
Winter 2012 15
Babes Bible is available
online and from all good
book stores l0.99
hloe was meandering through a farmers market in a nearby town.
|t had almost been a year slnce the analr had started. She'd wanted
to get away, do somethlng dlnerent. She'd heard that the place had
a good market on a Wednesday. The kids were at school, the house was all
sorted and Mark was at work. She felt hollow. People brushed against her
brushes on a drum. She picked things up but didnt see them. She wandered
aimlessly. Suddenly, she stopped still at the sound of laughter his laugh.
She came alive, every nerve on end, looking around frantically. Then she saw
hlm, slttlng havlng conee wlth hls wlfe outslde a patlsserle. She hld behlnd
a stall and watched them hungrily furtively. He was totally focused on
his wife. His eyes moved between her lips and her eyes as she spoke. He
laughed at something she said. He leaned over to whisper in her ear and
then kissed her earlobe, then down just behind her ear like he used to do
with Chloe. She had only discovered that spot with him, Mark had never
found it. It had been one of their many secret pleasures.
His wife seemed to like it too. They could have been the only people in the
place, a love bubble surrounded them, excludlng everyone, excludlng her.
Chloes hollowness turned from a drum into a bottomless pit. She clutched
her stomach, wrapped her arms round herself and stared at the ground
trying to decide what to do. A small plastic bag oated past on a gust of
wlnd, lt twlrled as lt passed her, danclng on her paln. Llke an addlct who
knows that just one more x may kill but reaches for the needle anyway, she
looked again. Their foreheads were touching, both looking down at their
hands laced tenderly together on the table. He stole a light kiss from her
lips. Chloe realised shed stopped breathing. Her lungs were burning. She
took in a sob of air. The couple turned at the sound. His eyes locked on hers.
She was a rabbit caught in headlights rooted to the spot.
You alright, love? the stall owner asked, touching her elbow. It felt like
an electric shock. She wheeled round wildly, unable to speak, horried at
comlng undone ln publlc. She shook on hls hand, trylng to smlle as she
moved away. But her body wasnt working. It was shuddering like a car that
needed its wheels realigned.
Chloe! Tom shouted.
She looked back lnvoluntarlly, hls volce pulllng her. He was standlng, hls
wife was still sitting holding one of his hands. They were both staring,
dlnerent klnds of agony burnlng ln thelr eyes. Chloe broke lnto a run,
dodging shoppers with bags, prams and dogs. She didnt look back again.
She sat in the car for a long time, her mind tracing over and over every detail.
He loves her thats good. Theyre okay thats good. His boys wont lose their
dad thats good. Good for them good for You. Is this Your way of helping me
let go of whats not mine? If Id known it would hurt this much, I would never
have been so stupid to ask.
Shock. Then numbness. Now tears howling from the depths of the abyss
within her. It felt the same as when her dad had chosen his eighteen year old
mistress over a relationship with her. She rocked herself, banging her head
on the steering wheel. She was tipping over the edge of sanity. She couldnt
breathe through her nose. She looked into the abyss, but didnt fall. Somehow
she was teetering on the brink. She slowed her rocking as the whirlwind blew
itself out. She became aware of her surroundings again, squinting to see if
anyone had been watching her. The car park was silent and still. She leaned
her head back on the headrest and willed herself to get control.
Into the lull dropped a Bible verse: Job 5:18. She didnt know what it was.
Is that You?
SHOWCASE Exceipt fiom Babes Bible by Kaien Jones
He was standing;
his wife was still
sitting holding one
of his hands. They
were both staring,
different kinds of
agony burning in
their eyes.