Interview: “If We Survive” and Leadership

YouthWorker.com recently interviewed me on an off-beat topic: what my young adult novel If We Survive had to say about leadership. Here’s a bit of the exchange:

YWJ: Is there a common thread/theme that runs through your novels?

Klavan: I’ve always been interested in that place inside a person where moral decisions are made, that part of your mind that just somehow knows right from wrong. A lot of people say it’s cultural or psychological, that what’s right for one person might be wrong for another, and sure, there are occasional areas where that can be true; but at the core of human life, at the heart of individuals, I think there’s something different and mysterious: a place that is capable of making decisions for the good, even when your country or your church or your mom gets it wrong. How do you know when that’s real? How do you know when you’re being misled by your heart and when your heart is hearing the voices of the angels? Very tough question sometimes—it makes for great drama!

YWJ: Why is it important to you that faith be an integral part of the books you write?

Klavan: Really only one reason: because I’m a realist. I came to faith late, so I had a lot of time to think it over. In the end, I don’t think you can make any sense of the human experience without a belief in that mysterious moral heart in all of us—which, in turn, implies a loving Creator in whose image we’re made. Two philosophers sitting in an ivory tower can talk themselves out of it, but I’m a novelist. I have to create characters who live and breathe in something akin to the real world, and I can’t do that without putting them in a moral universe—our universe—a universe that faith understands better than atheism.

The full thing is here.

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  • Sabrena Fletcher

    I was blown away by this book and furthermore, the writing style was wonderful. I have wanted to write in a similar way before but, I always thought it sounded really bad– cheesy and/or childish. Andrew Klavan did a very good job at it though and has motivated me to try it once again.
    A very well written, organized, and overall just a fantastic read. Thank you very much for the fantastic novel, “If We Survive”.