Saturday, November 21, 2009
I write the kind of fiction that I enjoy reading: mystery, action, thriller, drama; but mainly I want to get the Gospel of Christ before people that otherwise may not hear it. Feedback from readers encourages me that that has been accomplished to some degree.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
It may seem cliché-ish, but there is no question that it was the day that Vicki said “Yes” when I asked her to marry me.
How has being published changed your life?
My life has been changed through the joy that I have received from the feedback that my writing has changed other people’s lives.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny; and Grisham’s The Appeal.
What is your current work in progress?
The Beginning of Sorrows is at the publisher. I am currently writing Denial of Power.
What would be your dream vacation?
I have taken it many times over. My wife is a travel agent, and we travel as much as we can. We have had a fabulous trip to Israel, two great weeks in Europe (Italy, Greece, Turkey), the Bahamas, Jamaica, and many trips to many cities in Mexico.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Besides traveling with my wife, my work has taken me to England, Japan, China and Taiwan. I observe, take notes and lots of photos. The main venue, however, which occurs in my books is my hometown Spring, Texas; a suburb of Houston, because I know it best. I have sat many times in the spot that I am describing. It seems to add dimension, like painting on location rather than from your head.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I would choose President George W. Bush. I would like to interview him. I think he got a bad rap.
I so agree with you on that. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I paint with oils and acrylics, and I have enjoyed photography for many years. I find there is a correlation between painting and writing. You start with a blank page/canvas and you don’t know what the final result is going to be, just a glimmer of an idea. You learn to recognize serendipity when it comes knocking.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
It is still the obstacle of having the discipline to make time to write. I am still overcoming it.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Read as much as you can. Write, write, write – and then re-write. Never settle. Don’t quit. Let others read your work and be open to their feedback.
Tell us about the featured book?
Please give us the first page of the book.
The first page is the Prologue.
The Visitors first appeared on a bright Saturday morning in early May of 2002. Benjamin Marcus Tiny, a black man of forty-two, could not remember the exact date but knew that he could find it if necessary, because it was definitely on a Saturday. He always watered his vegetable garden early Saturday mornings. Benjamin delighted in his okra, cucumber, turnips, collards and tomato crop; delighted as well in watering them, losing himself in the process; and further delighted in giving his produce away in brown paper bagsful to friends and neighbors. Benjamin had no known relatives nearby. He had only a cousin Lois Jewel Carver in South Carolina, much too far from Houston, Texas, to grant a portion of his produce.
Tiny, who lived alone, having never married, was surprised by the sudden appearance of the Visitors in his backyard. He had not heard them approach, attributing his lack of awareness to the fact that he was engrossed in watering and to the reality that it was not reasonable or probable for someone to simply appear in his backyard. It had never happened before.
The Visitors looked remarkably similar in every way. They were fair-haired men, fair-skinned, of medium build, with sparkling blue eyes and charitable smiles. They each were dressed in khaki trousers, white pullover shirts, and oxblood loafers. They stood somewhat stiffly with arms to sides, looking at Benjamin intently.
Although the intruders had startled Benjamin, he was not afraid. The Visitors were not threatening in any way. He released the trigger on his nozzle, shutting the stream of water off.
“Ah, can I help you gentlemen?”
“Mr. Tiny,” the one on the left said, motioning toward the small freshly painted frame house. “Let us go inside where we can speak in private, please.”
“Of course,” Benjamin Tiny said, laying the watering hose on the ground. “My pleasure.”
Had Benjamin Marcus Tiny known the enormity of this visit, he would have most certainly felt some trepidation, if not downright terror. As it was, there were no warning signals, no red flags, nothing in his gut to indicate that anything was amiss. Benjamin had no way of knowing that this meeting had the potential of altering the framework of history, the entire course of mankind, and would ultimately lead to his own, early demise.
“Would you gentlemen like some iced tea?” Mr. Tiny asked as he escorted the Visitors to the small oak dining table.
Thank you, E. R., for spending this time with us. Your book sounds really intriguing.
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