Today’s interview features award-winning gospel songwriter, script writer and nationally best-selling author Evie Rhodes, discussing her timeless classic holiday novel The Forgotten Spirit – A Christmas Tale. A remarkable story filled with the traditions and the spirit of Christmas, just in time for the holiday season.
In The Forgotten Spirit, Rhodes introduces a special girl who is wise beyond her years and blessed with a unique and magical gift. Jamie is no ordinary nine-year-old, but a girl who has been chosen to bring back the love and remembrances that have long been forgotten amid the harsh realities of the world in which she lives…
This heart warming novel is about love, new beginnings, and the amazing power of hope. After all, Christmas is a time for miracles…
AG: I’ve read that you had a career as a Gospel Hip-Hop artist as Prophecy 1. You were also a songwriter and video scriptwriter. How did you move from music into the publishing field?
EV: It was a very natural path for me, because I considered making music and doing music videos a form of storytelling as well. So for me to move from there to being a novelist, just meant that I had a larger ground to tell stories.
AG: Were you always interested in writing fiction?
EV: I wasn’t, it’s not something I was conscious of for a very long time. Then when I did begin to do a lot of writing, many of the things I wrote just naturally seemed to gravitate to that arena.
AG: How would you describe The Forgotten Spirit? The story has been recently compared to a Christmas classic along the lines of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. How do you see the story?
EV: I see The Forgotten Spirit as a family story that can be embraced by everyone. A story that has warmth, that will have a very long life-span, because it has all the elements of humanity. It has all of the things that we all strive for and want in our lives everyday. The hope, the joy and the peace…those are elements that all people can relate to. Those are things we all, in one way or another, aspire to have in our lives.
AG: Who is the audience for The Forgotten Spirit? Is it more for young adults, or did you intend for it to be the same audience as your other novels?
EV: I didn’t write for a particular audience, it really is a family story than encompasses four generations. The young people, adults and elders are all together in this novel.
AG: What do you hope your readers get from The Forgotten Spirit?
EV: I really hope that my readers come away with something…whatever that something is…that they need to obtain. At the end of the day, only that reader knows what that something is. Something that is meant for them specifically. Overall I want them to enjoy the story and feel that they’ve been someplace different than their own lives.
AG: So far, what has been the reception from the public for the novel?
EV: Phenomenal. It’s truly a blessing. I’ve been getting letters from people in various parts of the country. People from all different backgrounds, tell me how inspired they are by the story. They tell me how the story brings back memories of Christmases past that they had forgotten.
AG: Now that the holiday season is upon us, what would you like people to take away from your novel?
EV: Giving. I consider The Forgotten Spirit the gift that keeps on giving. I hope that my readers will take a moment this season to just give one thing that they may not have given, or haven’t given in a long time. Just give one thing to someone else, or do something for someone else. Just because it’s a good thing to do. They will realize that sometimes, when we give to other people, it may enhance that person’s life, no matter how small it is.
Evie Rhodes began performing her combination of Gospel and Hip-Hop in churches in New York City. She wrote and performed as Prophecy 1 on the album Standing In Da Spirit, which received two awards from Real Blues Magazine for Best Gospel Album and Best Gospel Video for the song Changed. It was also awarded the Canadian Music Award for Best Gospel Album. Her other novels include ‘Street Vengeance‘, ‘Out “A” Order‘, ‘Expired‘ and ‘Criss Cross‘