Here’s draft #6.
• a photo of you – I’ll attached a photo.
• the cover of your book – I’ll attache a photo.
• any blog links – none
• social media links – https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1234518235
• and the link where people can purchase your book – tinyurl.com/BoyClosedSky
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I taught English at colleges in Michigan and California.
Delphine, my wife of 39 years, died of cancer in 2000, and I miss her every day.
Two years later, I married Vickie. Every day I thank the Lord for Vickie.
2002-2010, we taught English at universities in China then retired ten miles from the Alabama Coast.
2. Tell us about your current release.
The Boy Who Closed the Sky starts with Elijah trying to rescue a slave girl. A few years later he challenges the king: “Neither dew nor rain until I say so.”
He thinks anger motivates him, so the Lord’s “Hide at the Brook” must mean he’s hearing things. Not until Moloch thugs have him hiding under a thorn bush does he pay attention to the Lord’s voice. The story follows the Biblical outline, ending with a chariot of fire and the mantle falling on Elisha.
Here’s the link: tinyurl.com/BoyClosedSky
3. What inspired you to start writing?
The Holy Land inspired me.
At Greenville College, in 1962, I took a class on the Geography of the Holy Land. For years after, I studied that text and other books on the region.
In 1964, my wife and I toured the Holy Land for three weeks and in 1984-85, we worked at an archaeology dig in Oboth, the Rift Valley oasis where Moses headquartered in 1293 BC. When we weren’t digging, we led busloads of tourists around Israel, introducing them to the Biblical sites. Plus, we made personal jaunts exploring Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan.
So, the topography of the Bible hovered in me with its songbirds, rock badgers, Absalom oaks, and the usual rain shower at 1 p.m.—waiting for me to write.
4. Did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper?
The idea dripped in during the summer of 2016.
In 1st and 2nd Kings, I noticed Omri, Ahab, and Jehu. With them came Elijah, Obadiah, and Elisha. During June I read and reread of their ambitions, successes, and failures.
5. How did you make the initial step into writing your first novel?
As July opened, I remembered James 5:17 says Elijah was an ordinary person like the rest of us. A normal guy with feelings and affections.
I thought I knew a lot about this individual. I had looked around his neighborhood in Gilead and climbed Mt. Carmel, where the Lord sent him fire. From the coast of Sidon, I had gazed at Mt. Hermon like he did. And for two years I drank from a spring where he may have quenched his thirst. (I found no “Elijah was here” inscription.)
Yet, how did it work for him to be a regular guy?
6. Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when you started this story?
I was sitting in a rocking chair on our back porch stroking the neighbor’s cat.
What kind of family did Elijah come from? What did he do for a living? Did this “man of like passions” notice the ladies? Have a temper? How old was he? How did he talk, walk? What color was his beard?
This could be fun. I put the cat down, opened the laptop, and wrote my first fiction.
7. Do you write your books for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read?
The Ghost of Average Writer greets me. “You’re no C.S. Lewis. Your character descriptions can’t equal ‘Chuchundra, the musk-rat, who never comes out into the middle of the floor, but always creeps round by the wall.’”
I shrug. “This is fun, remember? Last year, I was curious about a regular guy named Elijah. Today I’m helping Obadiah hide the good guys from Jezebel. If I enjoy the story, maybe others will.”
The ghost backs into the corner. “We’ll see.”
8. What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write?
I groan, “I don’t know what these people should do here, Lord. Help me, please.” Usually next morning I see them in action. So, I thank the Lord, tell Vickie, and jot down a few notes.
9. Which of your characters most reflects your personality?
For instance, right after his father rescued him from a slave trader:
Dad rested his hand on Elijah’s shoulder.
Elijah pushed the hand away. “We can take that guy. Chase him down and make him let those girls go.”
Months after I wrote those words I realized they describe my own short-sighted, impetuous behavior at age 10. And at age 79.