Laura Grace and Moriah Jane are on the blog today talking about Finding God in Anime, a new devotion for Christian anime enthusiasts.
Welcome, Laura Grace and Moriah Jane! Glad to have you two here. Tell us a bit about Finding God in Anime.
LG & MJ:
Thanks so much for letting us chat with you about our latest release! :D We are so excited to be here and we’re thrilled to share our first ever devotional! While we’re not the only contributors as there are more than fifteen of us, we are the organizers too.
LG & MJ:
Being a Christian can be tough. Being an otaku can be tough. But being both at once? Sometimes it seems easier to become Hokage rather than explaining your faith and passions to others. That is why we otaku have united in this devotional: To encourage otaku like you spiritually and through a medium we all cherish.
In this devotional, you will find God in the animes you know and love. Each devotional presents spiritual lessons found in animes ranging from the world-famous Attack on Titan to fan-favorite Haikyu!! to beloved classics like Cowboy Bebop. Each piece will feature a different theme such as:
—Human Will vs. The Holy Spirit in Yona of the Dawn
—Choosing to be Free in Free! Swim Club
—Not by My Might in My Hero Academia
…and many others! We believe that God can be seen throughout His creation—even in places where people might not intend! So pull out your cosplay and snuggle close with your plushies as you join us in Finding God in Anime.
How did the idea for your devotional come about?
My friend Moriah (now co-partner) and I were sharing one day that we really wanted an anime-inspired devotional. It wasn’t the first time, but on this random day she voiced she still really wanted one and a week prior I had been thinking the same thing! :o
So, I asked her a crazy question: “What about if we did one?”
And so began the creation of Finding God in Anime: A Devotional for Otakus!
Exactly what Laura said, haha! I had been praying for a way to use my love of anime for God, but I didn’t know how to go about it. When I mentioned to Laura my thoughts on an anime-inspired devotional, she was ecstatic and told me she had been contemplating a devotional too! It was pretty cool and totally a God thing.
What sort of research went into writing this devotional; did you venture into any new areas or topics?
Surprisingly, there wasn’t much research involved in the devotional itself, but more of how to handle the “business” side of things. This was Moriah and I’s first time overseeing a project like this and we wanted to do things the smoothest way possible for the contributors and ourselves. I asked a friend who had formed a few anthologies of how she handled editing, disturbing paperbacks, and overall marketing. It was a great learning experience and I think it was a testimony to me that the writer community really does have a willingness to help other writers.
It was definitely more business research than anything. We wanted to find a way to keep costs low, if not practically non-existent, for the devotional. But that became tricky as we still wanted a professional cover and needed help with formatting and edits. So we did a lot of research into how to create a devotional without all the costs.
The only other research I can think of is anime-wise. Some shows Laura and I were unfamiliar with, so we had to look them up to ensure the content fit our guidelines and rules.
What’s the most interesting discovery you made writing this story?
Writing a press release! LOL! Granted, my co-partner wrote our press release, but neither one of us had written one before. While that might sound boring as an interesting discovery, it was exciting to be able to research and learn how to do one! (Psst. Moriah is a pro!)
100% writing a press release, LOL! I was on my phone one morning when Laura messages me, “Hey, have you ever written a press release?” My answer was, “A what?” LOL! But it all turned out great, I think. Laura was super helpful in pulling together the information needed. It was crazy but super fun to take on that adventure together! (Thanks Laura! <3 )
Any hidden references or tidbits readers should keep an eye out for?
SO many! I think Moriah and I did our best to make sure that all the pieces are fairly spoiler free, but I know I was beyond excited to be able to feature one of my favorite animes of all time: Haikyu!!
All the chapter pictures in the book are references to either animes or anime tropes! Laura and I laughed and generally had an absolute blast thinking up the different chapter pictures. I think the glinting glasses are my favorite, hahaha!
Is there anything you didn’t already mention that would be of interest to readers?
There will be a second volume! While this was definitely a learning experience, it was also a very moving one. So many pieces made me tear up and all of them moved my heart. There is something powerful knowing we are not alone in our love for multiple fandoms or a certain style of storytelling.
Volume two!!! Woot woot! There aren’t many details yet, but we’re considering a dual theme of shounen and shoujo ;) Nothing is official, but that’s the direction we’re considering taking for volume two! I’m super excited to see what amazing devotionals we’ll—Lord willing—get to see for the next installment!
Thanks, Laura and Moriah, for sharing about your journey to publish Finding God in Anime!
About Laura Grace and Moriah Jane
Laura and Moriah’s life consists of giving each other manga recommendations until they see whose TBR pile will fall on them first. Rest assured they’re both still safe…until another manga releases. In the meantime, they enjoy sharing beautiful pictures of Japan and trying to make each other laugh with anime memes. They both have an appreciation for cute stickers, samurai, and pins. If they’re not chatting about all things otaku, you can find them trying to write their next story or surviving on ramen and pocky after their latest manga order.
Blog Tour Schedule
Wednesday, June 2nd
Book Spotlight, The Clean Fiction Blog
Thursday, June 3rd
Book Spotlight, Author Hannah Carter
Friday, June 4th
Book Spotlight, Deeply Shallow
Saturday, June 5th
Book Review, SJ Barnard
Tuesday, June 8th
Book Spotlight, Tabitha Caplinger
Wednesday, June 9th
Book Review, Piper Bee Blog
Thursday, June 10th
Book Review, Erudessa Gentian Blog
Friday, June 11th
Special Feature & Review, Bigger on the Inside
Saturday, June 12th
Blog Tour Wrap-Up, Laura A. Grace
*** View past interviews and guest posts here. ***