Wednesday, December 07, 2016

JOSEPH: THE OTHER FATHER - Katheryn Maddox Haddad - One Free Book

Welcome back, Katheryn. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
In emotional scenes where the character goes through something that challenges his whole being, I put a lot of me in it. I go into slow motion and write each movement of the head, the eyes, the hands the way I think I would react. I also climb inside the character’s head and stir around in their confusion or stubbornness or whatever their mind is trying to comprehend.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Invented a man. The first time I drove 3,000 miles by myself, I stuffed my husband’s long-sleeved shirt with newspapers and propped him up in the passenger’s seat. I used a shower dolly stuck in “his” neck to put a ball cap on. He worked pretty good, but he was so big, he was in the way of my passenger-side window and I finally had to do away with my man.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Age 10 in 1950. My mother happened to buy a little book of poems at the grocery store (unusual in those days) and I loved it. So I began writing my own poems. That or the following year I showed my teacher my poem about Abraham Lincoln and she asked to borrow it. The following week she handed the newspaper to me and told me to look on page so-and-so. There was my poem. I was published!

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
History and mystery. I do not like science-ficition. I cannot pronounce their names and I can never figure out if they are running through a real meadow or someone’s brain.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
That is behind me. I am widowed and get up every morning around 6:00. I send out my morning inspirational thought to some 30,000 people around the world, then settle down to writing. It now takes me about two weeks of researching all day every day, then three weeks to write a 400-page novel. The last part of the day, I teach English over the internet using the Bible as a text book. I have taught some 6,000 Muslims and have converts in hiding in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Jordan, Somalia, Palestine, and Uzbekistan. I go to bed around 11:00 and start over again the next morning. Most days are the same except Sundays.

That is awesome, Katheryn. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I write historical novels, so the main characters’ names are already chosen for me. Since I write a lot of the periods 1000 BC to 100 AD, I use online dictionaries of names in various ancient kingdoms.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Converting Muslims to Christ.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would be a new-born animal of any kind. These little guys poke their noses into more things out of insatiable curiosity. They seem to fear nothing because they do not yet have the sense to fear.

What is your favorite food?
Applesauce or yogurt.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Oh, my. I never had a roadblock to writing. What I need to write next is always there in my head. My fingers cannot keep up.

Tell us about the featured book.
Imagine being told by God to guard His Son in a violent world until he is grown.

How does Joseph choose a city in strange Egypt to hide 2-year-old Jesus from Herod’s spies? Does he dare take 4-year-old Jesus to the temple where Herod’s son slaughters thousands?

How can Joseph protect Jesus with all the skirmishes and killing on roads everywhere by those vying to take over as king?

In what ways does Joseph handle the persecution in Nazareth by people who could count and knew Mary was pregnant before marrying Joseph?

What does Joseph do with Jesus in Nazareth, just three miles from Sepphoris, hotbed of zealot protesters, when Rome burns the city and crucifies 2000?

How Joseph teach Jesus to be a skilled carpenter in sometimes dangerous situations, and avoid being mauled in the mountains when they cut trees for lumber?

How many times, when Jesus was in danger did Joseph cry out, “God, help me protect our Son!”?

(NOTE: A year before Jesus’ death when he was rejected in Nazareth, they said, “Isn’t this the son of the carpenter?” In present tense.)

Please give us a peek inside your book.
Joseph reaches over and picks up four-year-old Jesus so Mary can crawl inside the tent and sleep before resuming their trip out of Egypt

He looks down at the innocent boy and cradles him in his big arms as he walks over to a nearby boulder. He sits and watches the boy in his slumber, taking smooth, even breaths.

“Oh, my son, my son,” Joseph says softly. “What is ahead for you where we are going? Will others rise up and try to kill you?”

He sways back and forth and looks up at the stars.

“What awaits you there, little boy? What challenges? How long will you be able to stay happy and carefree? How long will you be able to laugh easily and chase the squirrels and wiggle your little toes?”

He stares at an especially bright star and sways still.

“I feel so inadequate, Father. I do not think I will ever understand why you chose me. Help me. Never leave me. You promised you never would. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed.”

Silence as he watches Jesus’ little chest rise and fall, and his breathing come easy and soft and gentle.

“It is going to be dangerous for him again, I fear. Oh, I know you said King Herod is dead. But now the fight for power begins as people rise up to take his place. Will little Jesus be in on that fight? Don’t let him be, Father. He is still too young. Oh, I realize you know that. But, I have to talk to someone and explain what I am feeling.”

He looks off into the darkness.

“How will he do it? How will he rise up to be the beloved divine king of the world? I do not understand. But I do not guess I need to understand.” Joseph pauses momentarily, looking down at Jesus’ lovely little face.

“Does he know yet? That he is your words on earth? Sometimes I think he senses it, the way he is with animals—even the little ants and crickets and butterflies. He really loves them. Sometimes I think he feels he needs to protect them.”

Joseph rocks little Jesus awhile, then stands and walks in a large circle. He hums. Sometimes he draws the little boy close to his chest as though trying to protect him from the whole evil world, then goes back to rocking him.

“Sleep on, my little boy. Sleep and dream and grow up to be as good and innocent as you are now.”

Joseph sits back down and leans against the same boulder. He leans his head back and hums a song of strong tenderness. Then it is dawn.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Barnes and Noble:  

Thank you, Katheryn, for sharing this book with us. I have always been interested in Joseph.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Joseph: The Other Father (Intrepid Men of God) (Volume 5) - Paperback
Joseph: The Other Father (Intrepid Men of God Book 5) - Kindle

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Latayne C Scott said...

Lena, you are such a champ for always being willing to publicize the work of others. May God reward you for that.

Katheryn, I love your use of dialogue in your book. And the story about inventing a man!

Robin E. Mason said...

what a precious interview! I'm in South Carolina and I'd love a copy of Katheryn's book.

Katheryn said...

Latayne, I changed my sample to one where Jesus is now 4 years old and he is expressing his love for the boy while the boy sleeps.

Robin, Hi. People used to ask me what my favorite book was, and I didn't have a favorite, even among thirty books. But I do now. It is this one on Joseph.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I enjoy biblical fiction and this sounds like a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing.
Connie from KY

Katheryn said...

I had ancestors in Kentucky in 1790 around Mason County. Beautiful country. I would love for everyone to win this book.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Katheryn Maddox Haddad said...

Sharon, do you like biblical historical fiction?