Friday, September 02, 2011

THE CHAIR - James L Rubart - Free Book

So glad to have you back, Jim.God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
More books! J I’m not able to give details yet, but I recently signed a new contract for five more novels so I’m thrilled that’ll I’ll be playing in the writing arena for a while longer. Also, a year ago LifeWay/Serendipity Publishing approached me about doing a Small Group Study Guide Workbook based on the four major themes in my first novel ROOMS. We did a DVD as well where I’m teaching in the locations I write about in the book and we even hired actors to act out scenes from the book.

Tell us a little about your family.
Married 25 years to the world’s most amazing woman. Two sons, Micah and Taylor (I used their names for my protagonist in ROOMS.) Micah just turned 16 and is going into his sophomore year of high school. He’s athletic, straight A student, and a skilled speaker. Taylor is headed to college this fall and is a songwriter, honor student, videographer, photographer, and athlete. Darci and I are incredibly blessed with them. 

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Writing has ruined reading for me. As I’ve improved in the craft I see poor writing more easily and it yanks me out of the story. I try turning the editor off but it’s hard. So when I get a book that captures me with a combination of great story and great craft I’m thrilled.

What are you working on right now?
I’m right in the heart of my fourth novel, SWITCH. I’m about a quarter of the way into it and I’m writing it without an outline so it’s fun to watch it unfold in very unexpected ways.

What outside interests do you have?
Everything. I’m almost serious. Being an author and also having a day job makes room for little else. But some of the things I still squeeze in are: Backpacking (Taylor and my cousin and I went on a four day trip in August) dirt biking (Taylor, Micah and I went for a three-day trip in July) water skiing (any chance I can get) photography, and spending time with old friends.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
This sounds flippant but it’s not. I simply wait till the setting(s) introduce themselves and I go with it. With The Chair I didn’t get the setting until the book was 70 percent finished. With ROOMS and BOOK OF DAYS the setting appeared much earlier.

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
It would have to be (C.S.) Lewis. He blew my mind in both non-fiction and fiction when I was young and throughout my teens and early twenties. Reading The Chronicles of Narnia made me want to be a writer. Can’t wait to hang with him in heaven.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
How much I would love it. Yes, there are struggles and doubts and fear and long hours in being a novelist. But writing puts me at the heart of where God wants me to be, and where I want to be. So in retrospect I wish I’d started sooner. Those of you reading this that have always want to write—start now.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
How selfish I am. (Wow, was that vulnerable enough?) He’s reminding me this life isn’t about us, it’s about Him and what he wants us to do. And that He wants us to love his followers. To focus on them. To encourage them. To care for their hearts in big and small ways. He’s asking me to take seriously his truth that the one who wants to be the greatest in the kingdom has to be the servant of all.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
First, write books that people can’t put down and will tell others about. I’m serious. I know it sounds like that story about a famous track coach who was asked by a sprinter how to win more races and the coach answered, “Run faster.” But there are things you can do to write more compelling stories. Study story. Devour books that teach what makes certain novels stand out. Get critique partners who will be gut-level honest about your stories.

Second, I’d suggest they define success. Like the Cheshire cat said, if you don’t know where you want to go, any road will get you there. Success means different thing to different people. So figure out what it means for you. They might surprise themselves and find out they’re already farther down their personal road of success than they thought.

Third, forget about contracts and sales. I predict no one is going to care about those things in heaven. They’re going to care about changed lives. Do you think the woman in the New Testament who put two coins into the offering was “successful” in the Jewish culture of the day? Of course not. Would we celebrate a person who donated five cents to the building fund today? No. But Jesus noticed. And I think she’ll be celebrated in eternity in far greater measure than some Christian celebrities we laud at the moment for what we think they’ve accomplished.

Tell us about the featured book.

I was reading an article about how some of the plows Jesus made lasted well into the second century and I thought, “What if He made a something that lasted until today? And what if it was a chair? And what if it was a chair He sat in after He was resurrected? And what if that chair had healing powers? I started writing it from that premise and as I wrote I discovered a story of a man who longs to see the chair help him heal the person whose life he destroyed twelve years earlier. 

Sounds interesting. Please give us the first page of the book.

Chapter 1

On Tuesday afternoon at five thirty, an elderly lady strode into Corin’s antique store as if she owned it and said, “The next two months of your life will be either heaven or hell.”

The corners of her mouth turned up a fraction. It was almost a smile.

“Excuse me?” Corin Roscoe stared at her over the mound of bills in front of him and stifled a laugh.

White hair, deep smile lines etched into her high cheekbones—she had to be at least mid-seventies. Maybe eighty, but she moved like she was in her forties. She wore a dark tan coat that bounced off her calves as she strolled toward Corin, ice blue eyes full of laughter. She didn’t look crazy.

“I’ve brought you the chair, you see.” She stared at him as if that statement would explain everything.

Corin brushed his dark hair off his forehead and slid off the stool behind his sales counter. “What chair?”

The woman looked around the store like a schoolteacher evaluating a new classroom of students. Her eyes seemed to settle on the pile of precisely stacked books from the 1700s.

“I love books, you know.”

Something about her was familiar. “Do I know you?” He took a step toward the woman.

“No.” Her laugh had a tinge of music in it. “I hardly think so.”

“You’re sure?”


“You’re a fortune-teller, right? And think a little heaven and a little hell is coming my way. Can’t I just subscribe to your newsletter?”

She drew a circle in the air with her forefinger, cherry red nail polish flashing under the halogen lights of Corin’s antiques store. “Probably an interweaving of the two realms. And I believe you’ll discover the hope of restoration. The final outcome will, of course, be your choice.”

Wow! You hooked me. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My Web site is:
Facebook is: James L. Rubart and my Twitter account is: @jimrubart

So fun to be with you again, Lena. Thanks for having me!

My pleasure! Our visits are always interesting.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Megan said...

What an interesting idea for a story! I would love to read this book and to win a copy of it would be the best. Please enter me.

From Illinois

lovetoread205 [at] gmail [dot] com

Judy said...

Loved the interview with James. I like that he calls his wife amazing after 25 years of marriage. It is obvious he puts God first. The love of God and family is the greatest.

The Chair sounds like a great read and I would love to win a copy of it.

Judy B from Indiana

Wencl said...

Very interesting concept. I always loved the idea of chasing after relics (though not necessarily their powers). Would love to check it out.

From Indiana

Unknown said...

i loved Book of Days though it was out of my usual reading genre. The Chair sounds like another one. Would love to win it! Thanks Lena and James for the giveaway and super interview. i would love to know which fiction books James finds excellent enough to become immersed in. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com from Peace River Country, Alberta

Coolestmommy said...

What a great idea--I can see how the premise of a healing chair will make for an amazing read.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Charity U said...

Sounds fun...please enter me!

Charity, NE

James L. Rubart said...

She IS amazing, Judy!

Marianne, I recently read Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee and loved it. I read The Hunger Games and enjoyed that one too. Those are the only two books I've had time to read as of late.


Rebecca said...

Thanks for the chance to win this. This looks like an amazing book. I would love to read this. Thanks again.

I am from Oklahoma

Kristie said...

What a great plot!!! James sounds like such a great person to talk with and get advice from. His faith seems so strong. I admire that. I'm definitely going to read Rooms - soon. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

fredamans said...

I have read Rooms and Book of Days by James L. Rubart and would love a chance at Chairs. Please enter this gal from Ontario, Canada. Thanks so much.

James L. Rubart said...

Love it that some of you have read ROOMS and BOOK OF DAYS! I appreciate the support. :)

A number of people have said THE CHAIR is their favorite of the three so it'll be interesting to hear what others think.


Lorna Faith said...

Great story idea:) I love your unique style of writing James...I'll need to check out your other books. Thanks so much for sharing your comments about putting priorities into perspective for those of us who are aspiring authors:)

I would love to have my name entered for a chance to win your book!

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Hooked me, too. Count me in, please.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Cindy W. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pam K. said...

James Rubart's books aren't light entertainment. I've read Rooms and Book of Days. These books really stretch one's thinking. Towards the end of both books, I found myself crying. This wasn't because of anything sad but I felt the presence of God in a different way.
I would enjoy winning a copy of The Chair to read and share with my friends.
Thanks from a reader in Kansas,

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H

Unknown said...

this sounds like quite a unique book! One I'd love to read. Please enter me!

from Washington

Cindy W. said...

I absolutely loved ROOMS and BOOK OF DAYS and I've been patiently waiting for THE CHAIR to hit the shelves! I would really love to win a copy of Mr. Rubart's newest book. He is an awesome writer. He makes you think and I love it when a book makes me use my mind. Thank you so much Lena for having him as a guest on your blog.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


Wilma said...

After reading Rooms ( that I got for free on my Kindle) I was hooked as a big fan of James' writing and I have read all 3 books . I can't pick a favorite because they are all great books.I would love to win this one.
Wilma from Tennessee


CarlybirdK said...

This book sounds fabulous. I would love to win a copy. Thank you.
Carly in NC

Jo said...

What a great interview! This book sounds quite intriguing and would love to read it.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Rose McCauley said...

I loved Rooms, have Book of Days in my TBR pile, and after reading this intro, have to have this book. Jim has definitely taken his own advice to heart about studying craft to make each of his books a compelling read!

I live in the beautiful bluegrass state of KY! (When I typed that I felt like a Miss America entrant! LOL)

Anonymous said...

Another great book, thanks for the chance to win!

JoyAnne in TN

Amber Schamel said...

Sounds like a very interesting story! This is one boo I'd love to win since I write stories like this, kinda Biblical fiction.
Amber S.
Larkspur, CO

Michaela said...

I love this author!



Nathanael Richmond said...

Looks interesting! Please enter me in the drawing.
Nathanael Richmond

Nathanael Richmond said...

My sister would like to become an author. Her name is Abigail.
Nathanael Richmond

P.S. I am from Blanch N.C.

Ingrid said...

I enjoyed your Interview and would love to win your Book, please enter me in your drawing.
Thank you

I live in Southern Illinois


Jennifer Bogart said...

I loved Rooms, it was awesome. Please enter me from Alberta, Canada!

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks interesting. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks, and God Bless!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

It looks interesting.Please enter me in the drawing,Thanks,God Bless
Sarah Richmond Blanch,N.C.

Merry said...

I would love a chance to win The Chair, I know it will be amazing... I'm still in awe of Rooms.
Merry in TX

Sharon Richmond said...

Sounds interesting, Please enter me in the drawing.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Mark said...

I'd like to win a copy. Ohio here

James L. Rubart said...

You guys make me feel so good.

Appreciate all the support!


keri said...

I've actually got a copy of the book and love it, so you don't have to enter me in the drawing! But I do want to say this book is terrific. It's a fast-paced suspense novel, but at the heart of it, the story is really about healing--both inner and outer. It was a great blend of suspense, action and a story of someone whose life and heart is unexpectedly transformed.

Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds like a very interesting book, different than what I usually read.

I've lived in FL for 12 years.