I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by QuertyThoughts.com concerning my books, writing journey and upcoming projects. You can check out the link here or read on below for a transcript of that dialogue.
Q. How would you describe yourself?
I always like to jump into this question by saying I’m a believer, a husband, a father, and an artist. More than anything, those things drive who I am. Beyond that I’d say that I’m curious at heart. I have always been driven to look deeply at those topics that interest me, to dig deep into the technical details behind a given subject, and I suppose also to at times push against the boundaries and limitations that had previously been established there.
Q. Tell us something about the books that you have written and the story behind them.
Well, my first book, “Remnants of Eden: Evolution, Deep-Time, & the Antediluvian World,” was written as a means of sharing my spiritual journey with others by providing a rational investigation of how and where science, history, and faith all intersect. It looks deeper into the various topics than I believe most people outside of those fields have ever ventured, peeling back what is widely promoted and revealing the truth beneath them. All along the way, my artwork – sometimes straightforward, other times more abstract – is meant to enhance the experience. That artwork is the backbone of my second book, “The Official Art of Remnants of Eden,” in which all of the major pieces have been compiled and are presented in vivid color, each along with a reflection on the piece.
Q. What place does writing hold in your life, how has been your writing journey so far?
I was relativity new to writing when I began my first book back in 2012, but now it has become quite important indeed. At this point everything in my life seems to have been impacted in some way by writing. The journey thus far has been interesting, but not without its hurdles. Writing opens my mind to powerful considerations and it takes me to fantastic places, yet that sometimes comes at the cost of living life and all that comes with it. After several years, I still struggle with finding balance, but I have hope that will not always escape me.
Q. What is your writing process, a typical writing day routine?
For me, a typical day of writing is filled with prayer and lots of coffee and hot tea. I will find a quiet place to settle into – often my office or bedroom – and just begin writing, allowing the material to organically take shape before me.
Q. What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
So far, I haven’t had much success with anything beyond simply getting out and self-promoting my work. I’ve tried a few social media campaigns, but ultimately they took more out of my pocket than they brought in.
Q. What do you think makes a book sell, or makes a reader buy it?
For me, the deciding factor in such things always came down to the novelty of the work. I would look to see if it offered different angles or perspectives on topics that I was interested in. Compelling artwork – being an artist myself – was something I often weighed too. Having been swayed many times myself by these matters, I relied upon them in my own writing, bringing in diverse views on a wide range of matters and enhancing the whole experience with compelling artwork and figures.
Q. What’s the most moving or affecting thing a reader has said to you?
The most moving thing I have head from a reader actually came from a skeptic of my positions. In an early dialogue, he told me that my book made some bold claims that he just really didn’t feel he could support. Even so, he said he was going to keep reading to see where it was going. I received a message from him some time afterwards saying, “I see your point,” after which he went on to say that – though he initially saw no way to agree with me – the information presented in my book was nothing short of paradigm-shifting, and he was left with no defense for his initial position. That really touched me because that was the goal the whole time: to get us out of the way of the truth and see it for what it is. In doing so, everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – comes into proper focus.
Q. What are your favourite three books, and why?
Narrowing it down to three is quite difficult because so many have moved me and inspired me over the years. I suppose, if forced to pick just three, I’d have to say that my favorite books are “Beowulf,” “H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction,” and finally, as a born-again believer and minister, the “Holy Bible.” I love the richness of the language in Beowulf and the epic quality of the story and characters it presents. I am a huge fan of Lovecraft’s short stories and the mythology he established across so many of those. With the Bible I suppose I’m cheating a bit being that it is actually composed of sixty-six separate books. Of those sixty-six however my favorite is probably the first of them, Genesis.
Q. Who are your favourite three authors and what do you like the most about them?
My favorite authors are probably H.P. Lovecraft, Michael Crichton, and Dr. Chuck Missler. With Lovecraft, I love how he can create vivid scenes in his work with relatively sparse details. The way he sets the stage leaves the reader to construct it for themselves, and in that I think each reader’s experience is somewhat different. At the other end of the spectrum is Crichton, who paints rich worlds and scenarios with a great many details. There is a certain clarity in that which can’t be dismissed, and adding to it is his frequent use of technical material and real science, grounding the whole experience in the shadowy realm of possibility. Finally there is Missler. His work, unlike the others, is non-fiction, and I have been a fan of his books – and truthfully more so his presentations – since I first came across him. His specialty was in peering deep into the Scriptures and demonstrating the truth within in not only on a personal level, but also through the lens of both history and high technology. Fascinating stuff!
Q. Tell us about the books that you are currently writing and their progress.
I am actually at various stages of development on several more books at this point. One of them, a children’s story about the Gospel, written by my wife and illustrated by me, is ready for publication now. I have two more that are essentially finished (one is a detailed look at the history and composition of the Bible, and the other is a graphic narrative version of the the creation account of Genesis) with all that remains is for me to complete the art and format it all together. Beyond those, I have extensive outlines prepared for books on (a) the reality of biblical giants, angels, and shadowy ancient cultures (b) how dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures fit in with a Biblical worldview, (c) the historical authenticity of the Noahic Flood, (d) a commentary on Biblical prehistory, and several others.
Q. What challenges do you think are faced by writers, what’s the worst thing about the book industry according to you?
I think that one of the biggest challenges to writers – especially today – comes in the form of distraction. We live in a culture intoxicated with instant gratification, and that is simply not happening with writing. It takes time, diligence, and focus to see success. If one isn’t careful about maintaining their momentum, then every distraction will take them further away from telling their story. As far as the worst thing about the writing industry, so far the biggest problem I’ve seen comes with traditional publishing and how limiting it is, both in terms of the quantity of opportunities it offers to new writers and also in terms of the amount of creative and financial control it demands over those opportunities.
Q. Apart from writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life?
I hope to one day be in a position to professionally teach others about the authenticity and historicity of the Bible, especially how it relates to the Creation account of Genesis. My background is in biology, and for many years I was an atheist possessing no interest in God or the Bible. That all changed in 2010 when I came to see just how relevant the Bible was from a scientific and historic perspective. That changed everything for me. I ultimately gave my life to Christ in 2011 and now I’m now an ordained minister serving at a Southern Baptist church, and I’m a member of the Creation Science League, the Creation Research Society, the Associates for Biblical Research, and the International Association for Creation. I have spent countless hours digging into the topic of creation and the authority of the Bible, topics which I write about weekly on my blog (FOUNDRY4.com), and one day hope to teach on those very subjects to those who want to cut through the misdirection of the mainstream and get to the truth beneath it all.
Q. What message do you want to share with budding writers?
The most important piece of advice I can give to push forward. Things will happen that may discourage you or throw you off course, but no matter what, dust yourself off and press on. You have a story to tell that is entirely unique to you, and the world needs to hear it. Press on. Persevere.
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