Welcome, James. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
A lot. When I write, I become every one of my characters. For me, developing characters is akin to what a method actor does. I put myself into a character’s shoes when I write, so there’s a lot of overlap between my personality and that of my character. Those who know me well can spot a lot of those things.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmmmm. Probably taking up karate. I’m not particularly athletic, and I don’t really like sports. So studying karate (and earning a black belt) was definitely out of character for me.
When did you first discover you were a writer?
When I was in college and could start a research paper the day before it was due and still get an A on it. That wasn’t when I decided I wanted to be a writer, but it’s definitely when I knew I had some aptitude.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
As far as fiction goes, I enjoy reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, Ray Bradbury. I also enjoy reading popular science authors (e.g. Michio Kaku) and love reading about astronomy, relativity, and quantum theory. I love history, too. I’m listening to Shelby Foote’s The Civil War on audio right now.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Living in the country helps. It’s quiet around our home, and the only sound tends to be the mooing of the neighbor’s cows or the nighttime howl of coyotes. I’m busy when I need to be, but I don’t like the hustle and bustle of city life.
Sounds wonderful to me. How do you choose your characters’ names?
When I’m just starting a novel, I tend to give characters throwaway names—something to call the character until I’m ready to name her. Sometimes I don’t even do that much. I may just give a character a descriptive name. “Tall Dentist” or something like that. Occasionally, I’ll name a character after a friend or acquaintance. Several of the character names in Unseen are like that. I also have some character naming software. It throws out first and last names in various combinations, and sometimes I find one I like. When all else fails, I’ll pull out an old phone book and flip through it. That’s a particularly good resource for surnames.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I celebrated my 34th wedding anniversary to the most wonderful woman in the world on June 14th of this year. That, and together we raised two awesome children who are now grown and out on their own. We also have an awesome granddaughter, but I can’t take credit for that. J
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d probably be a golden retriever. Eat, play, sleep—do it all over again the next day. Yep. Works for me.
What is your favorite food?
Pizza. Definitely pizza.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
A serious lack of self-confidence. I found it difficult to believe that people actually liked my writing. To be honest, I haven’t overcome it—at least not completely. I’m still amazed that people like to read my writing, and when I’m in the process, I often think my work is junk. But one way I keep going is by having trusted friends—people who will be honest with me—read my material as I write. They’ve promised to tell me if I’m turning out junk, so if I don’t hear from them, I assume I’m okay.
Tell us about the featured book.
Unseen is the story of how a man who lost his wife and children in an auto accident, and who is angry with God, comes to grips with God’s goodness and sovereignty in his loss. When two children who are being pursued by a religious cult are dumped into his lap, he must rescue them and return them to their mother, who is in hiding. In doing so, he finds a reason to live.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Friday, December 6
Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain sight.
Sometimes the best place to hide is in plain sight.
Peter Bishop didn’t know whether or not that particular adage was true, but for his children’s sake, he hoped it was.
Their lives depended on it.
Standing in line at the EconoAir ticket counter, Peter muttered in frustration. Flight check-ins were always tedious. Yet every second that Micah and Michelle stood exposed, their danger increased.
Peter flicked his eyes back and forth, scanning the steady flow of pedestrian traffic. Four women in dark blue uniforms paraded along, pulling small suitcases behind them. A gray-bearded man trotted in the opposite direction. A suntanned young couple stood in front of him, gazing into each other’s eyes. The woman carried a bright yellow bag with “
printed on it.
Peter looked them over and wondered if they were also killers.
Something bumped his heels. Peter inhaled sharply, balled his hands into fists, and swung around to face a middle-aged brunette pushing a baby stroller.
She drew back, a flash of fear reflected in her eyes. “I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you?”
Peter mumbled a reply and an apology. He let out a quiet sigh and turned around, rubbing his eyes.
Got to relax.
But Peter knew he’d never relax until Micah and Michelle were safely on board EconoAir Flight 298, bound for
Dallas. He glanced toward the flight
information display screens.
Still on time.
Departure time. 5:55 p.m.
He glanced at his watch: 5:16 p.m.
Peter felt his right eyelid twitch. He raised a trembling hand and tried to rub away the annoying tic. He had been careful to the point of obsession in planning the children’s escape. He had even ordered the children’s tickets from a public-access computer. But Peter knew that Sawyer Wynne’s people would catch even the tiniest slip. And if that happened, they would dispatch a conversion team.
The hit would be efficient, untraceable—and merciless.
Conversion. Nothing but a sanitary term for murder.
Peter would not let that happen. Thus, he had to proceed on the assumption that someone had uncovered his plan and that somewhere in
a killer waited for them. Peter looked down at the two children standing beside
him. JFK Airport
I know that has hooked my readers. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Thank you, James, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here is the link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.Unseen
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