Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sisters of the Last Straw author Karen Kelly Boyce: Avoiding the Preachy and Boring

Posted in this week's Trenton Monitor:
“When I read the books I was buying for my grandchildren, they were preachy and boring,” Boyce said. “I wanted to make them laugh. People have faults. I wanted to teach the kids to forgive.” In response and recalling the Sisters of Mercy who schooled her as a child, she created the Sisters of the Last Straw series of mysteries for children ages six to 12.

...“With hindsight, I now realize the wonderful education and faith that the Sisters of Mercy gifted me. Most of the sisters were kind, hard-working and faithful. I remember them with great delight and I am grateful for them,” Boyce wrote. “I realize now the sacrifices they made… As an adult, I understand that nuns are human beings with virtues and flaws. Perhaps that is why God inspired me to create characters who work hard to overcome their human failings. In Sisters of the Last Straw,…all of [the nuns] are good, all of them human. I can present the sisters and the faith with truth, humor and gratitude. It goes to show that what they taught me must be rubbing off.”

As described in the book synopsis, the fictitious order of nuns in the series is so named by their bishop because they had been dismissed from other convents for their bad personal habits. All have strong faith…. and foibles. Mother Mercy is a born leader who struggles to control her temper; Sister Krumbles loves all God’s creatures, but is disorganized and clumsy; Sister Shiny is vain but keeps the convent spotless; Sister Lovely struggles with cigarette smoking but is kind and generous; Sister Lacey is rough-and-tumble who fights her impulse to curse with silly rhymes and exclamations, and Sister Wanda is always getting lost but never loses her gentle personality.

The series, published by Chesterton Press, details the nuns’ exploits in three novels thus far: The Case of the Haunted Chapel, The Case of the Missing Novice and the The Case of the Stolen Rosaries book which garnered the CPA award.

Read More...