I suppose every author leaves a little of himself or herself on the page. I spend a lot of time thinking about my characters before I start writing and so I don’t think I consciously write myself into the characters. I’m sure some that occurs at the subconscious level. It’s hard to leave yourself completely out of the mix. I’ve been told by many of my readers, who know me personally, that they see elements of my personality in my characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My wife and I flew to
for a long weekend on very short notice. I bought my luggage the same day! Lol!
Sounds like fun. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I won a city-wide poetry contest when I was in the second or third grade. I realized that I loved words and putting them together.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
My reading and my musical tastes are extremely diverse. I love reading page-turning thrillers like James Patterson or legal dramas like Grisham. I also enjoy biographies and historical books. I also read a lot of non-fiction and business-related books like Good to Great by Jim Collins and The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin. I’m a lover of books. Leave me in a library all day, and I’ll be right at home!
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have a strategy called “letting the air out of the balloon” that I’ve practiced for many years now. When the 24-7 world starts to make me feel like a balloon that’s about to pop, I take a step back and let some of the air out. This typically means reordering my priorities, taking some time away from the noise or just extended quiet time alone. We think that we have no time to do this, but that’s a myth. The truth is that if we take a day off or if we put aside some time for reflection, the noise will be right there when we get back. I also take the time to enjoy life—whether it’s walking my dogs, a nice dinner with my wife, or reading a good book, I try not to be on all of the time. One thing I do is maintain a healthy sense of humor. I strive not to take life or myself too seriously. No matter how stressed I may feel, a good laugh cures a multitude of woes.
That is so true. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I plan my characters in advance and their names typically reveal something of their inner world.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being a husband and father.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be a dog because they are loyal, dependable, beautiful and courageous. I have two dogs and so I think they also have a sense a humor. I see so much human characteristics reflected in my dogs.
What is your favorite food?
I love a juicy steak and I have to confess that I have a major sweet-tooth. I can be easily bought with a box of good chocolates!
A large number of authors love chocolate, myself included. Maybe it feeds our creativity. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I once went to a writing seminar where the instructor shared that the difference between the unpublished participants of his seminar and published writers is that the published ones actually did something. I think that is the greatest roadblock to writing: getting started.
I overcame that problem by setting a writing schedule for myself and taking time off from work (and the world) to get the schedule internalized. I also developed a support system, consisting of my family members, who were authorized to apply the right amount of encouragement and accountability to keep me on task.
One big help to me was keeping a writing journal of the amount of time and the number of pages I wrote each day in any calendar month. Over time, this taught me a lot about optimal times to write, pacing, strategizing, and learning how to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Tell us about the featured book.
Please give us the first page of the book.
The first time Michael Knight heard God’s call he was in the end zone of
Ozark College in . His
team was down by three points and there was less than thirty seconds left in
the game. Todd McBride, the Ozark College Rams’ starting quarterback and
Michael’s best friend, hurled the ball deep toward the end zone. It was either
score or go home. Ozark
Already downfield, Michael could see the moment Todd cocked his arm backward to throw. He spun past his defender and locked his eye on the spiraling ball. The entire season now hung on his ability to make the grab. His abdominal muscles tightened into a knot. He sucked wind, long and hard. The entire crowd stood to its feet with anticipation. The visiting team counted out loud with the game clock, “Five, four, three . . .”
Michael dove. In an instant, his six foot two inch frame had crossed the goal line. Todd’s perfect spiral was in his hands. Victory! Michael had made the winning catch. The local fans exploded with shouts and cheers. The Rams were now in the Division Three Finals for the very first time. Michael’s closest family members embraced each other, jumped, whooped, and kissed. Some of them almost fell out of the stands. It was the Rams’ finest moment and their boy, Michael, was right at the heart of it.
Still holding the ball, he rolled over onto his knees. His defeated defender, now five feet or so to his left, was bent over clutching his knees. Michael could hear his slow, labored breathing. In the distance, the Rams’ bench had emptied and all of his teammates were running toward him. Michael bowed his head to thank God for the win before the impending pile-on when he clearly heard the words:
“Before I made you in the womb I knew you and I have called you to preach to thousands and to thousands times ten-thousands.”
A powerful opening. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I can be found at:
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