Saturday, April 27, 2013

THE RUNNER - A Wayne Gill - One Free Book

Today, we're featuring debut novelist A Wayne Gill. Welcome, Wayne. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
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 Amsterdam 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.
The Runner is my first novel and Book One in the Michael Knight series. The book is about many things, but it is principally focused on one young man’s journey to integrity. It explores family relationships, love relationships, and the spiritual dimensions of the characters’ lives. It is written in the style of a John Grisham or James Patterson thriller with several interwoven love stories.  

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 Ozark Falls, Missouri. 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.
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:

Thank you so much for this opportunity to share my story and my novel! Blessings, Wayne

It's my pleasure to meet you and hear about your story.

Readers, 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 Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Unknown said...

Dear Lena: Thank you so much for your wonderful interview. It is well appreciated! It's also great to connect with a fellow author and chocolate lover! Lol. God's richest blessings to you and your family. Wayne

KayM said...

Very exciting first page! Thank you for offering a copy of your book.

Ben Nelson said...

Sounds great - i will have to check it out. Good to have a Christian Novel from a man's persepctive. Thanks for highlighting this one!

Unknown said...

Great interview, Lena and Wayne. I look forward to reading this. Thanks for the chance to win

Marianne from Northern Alberta

sharon m said...

Your story sounds good and I enjoy Grisham legal thrillers, so I'd love to win this book. sharon, CA

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to get this book.
Lyndie Blevins
Duncanville, Tx

Shopgirl said...

Congratulations on your first novel! I'm excited to read it. I'm in MN.

Unknown said...

Thanks for all of the interest in The Runner! I would love to receive your feedback and comments once you've read it. This will be a long series and so I really want to encourage reader involvement. Blessings everyone. Wayne

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond

bonnie said...

Sounds like a good book - thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


Pam K. said...

It's always fun to discover authors I don't know about. I enjoy John Grisham's books so The Runner sounds like one I'd like as well. Thanks for introducing us to A. Wayne Gill and for the chance to win his book.


Patty said...

I am a John Grisham fan, but haven't read any of this type of book in a while. It would be a nice change.

Patty in SC

Mark said...

Sounds like a great read, enter me please. Ohio here

Merry said...

The Runner sounds intriguing and a book my DH would like also.
Merry in TX