Chris Coppernoll is the host of Soul2Soul Radio, an interviewer whose talks with people of faith are heard weekly in over 30 countries, an American novelist, and the author of four books. His most recent novel, A Beautiful Fall is available now from David C. Cook.
Chris writes with poignancy and emotion and his stories will touch your heart. Now read the interview and find out a little of the man behind the words!
Your first pet’s name?
Growing up, the first pet I remember was a cat named Beezy. It was an all white cat, slightly skittish of people, and growing up in a small house with 6 people, I can understand why. Today, we have two sister cats from the same litter named Lily and Bailey who are easy and relaxed animals. Someday I hope to live in the country and have lots of dogs.
Your best friend’s name in primary (elementary) school?
Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.
Yes, when I was quite young I carried a small, dull brown monkey with me on occasionally long trips. Once it fell in a lake, thrown by my brother, and forever afterwards smelled like a trout. There was nothing cool like Playstation in those days. I also had a box of sticks.
If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible)
What did Tom Hanks find useful in that movie? I’d probably want an automatic coconut opener, preferably one that doesn’t run on batteries. Or one of those thatch roof pedal cars Gilligan drove around his island. What other object? Fishing pole, pocket knife, wet suit and spear, 24 volume Encyclopedia Britannica? A satellite phone would come in handy, then again so would a boat.
What’s your favourite ice cream flavour?
Vanilla. It reminds me to live a simple life.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A Christian. It’s the only thing I still want to be every morning when I wake up, and each evening when I go to bed. I have it by faith, but I want each decision I make to be what a Christian is, even if I were the only one there was.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Australia! Honestly, that’s the one land I’d love to spend a month in. Rain forest, desert, city life, country, outback––
Bag of Bones by Stephen King. I’m not a fan of the genre, but the way he describes Mike Noonan’s relationship with his deceased wife in the book was especially moving and has stuck with me for years.
Probably About a Boy with Hugh Grant. It’s funny, and even though he’s dishonest throughout most of the film, there’s an honesty between the characters that intrigues and entertains me.
Heroes, Bones, Lost or The Brady Bunch?
Captain Jack Sparrow, Indiana Jones or Jason Bourne?
Where’s the most interesting place you have been?
I worked in untamed Montana one Summer after school let out. The crew I worked with hiked the mountain each day. Once we came upon a windy rock bowl in a great plain area. We each leaned over the edge of the bowl at such an angle you would normally fall, but with the wind blowing up, the pressure kept each of us from falling. It was a spectacular feeling.
Great Barrier Reef, Uluru (Ayers Rock) or Sydney Harbour Bridge?
Great Barrier Reef!
What’s your most fervent prayer?
Lord, make me more like You.
What is your favourite Bible verse (or “one” of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20
Besides God, who has influenced you the most?
That’s an interesting question. Probably a woman I met in college (funny, it’s always a woman, right?). She explained the Lord to me in both words and deeds. Her dad baptized me.
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
In light of what U.S. and Australian military personal do everyday, I’m not sure the word “bravery” applies. I think in every life though, people are put to the test often in very difficult circumstances. Our first instincts are toward self-preservation, and escaping those trials. But God sometimes asks us to stay where we are, even though it may feel like an impossible command. When we do as God asks us, we can safely say it’s faith, and a small amount of bravery that we exercise in our simple act of obedience.
What was your most embarrassing moment in Junior High School?
My 7th talent show and my music teacher, Mrs. VanConnet, had to tune my guitar for me – while I was on stage with my rock band – just prior to performing in the big talent show in front of the entire school. I’m fortunate to be able to function at all.
A Beautiful Fall
Why love stories?
Everyone in the world wants to be loved, by God and at least one other person, and so do I. I try to write life stories, rather than love stories, because the two are so closely connected. It’s transformational when a character in one of my books finds either kind of love. If my stories encourage a reader to seek after God, drawn by His Spirit, that’s the ultimate transformation.
Describe each of your main characters with one word
Michael – sacrificial
Emma – blessed
Christina – brilliant
Bo – callused
Samantha – friend
Jim – grounded
Noel – servant
Many female readers may think there are no more men like Michael around any more. What do you think?
I know lots of Michaels. That kind of man never seeks the spotlight, he’s never the center of attention. He may be someone you’ll unknowingly meet today, or someone you’ve already met. A Michael is any man who places the needs of another ahead of himself.
What do you hope readers take away from this story?
The message of A Beautiful Fall is so simple it’s easily missed: Home. Home is the place where we belong, where people know and accept us. It’s a larger idea than just a house with loved ones living in it. Home is as wide as a county, as deep as a lifetime, and as high as Heaven.
A Beautiful Fall is your second novel. What was easier/harder in the writing process than your debut story, Providence
Providence has 700 working parts that all had to be together to make the story snap open and shut for readers. A Beautiful Fall has 5 parts, and all I had to do was invite readers to slow down enough to enjoy that.
How does your faith impact your writing?
Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven as being like yeast that permeates all the dough for making bread. I hope my faith has permeated all of me to such an extent that whether I’m writing, working, or with friends, it’s something greater than me they see.
What is in your writing pipeline?
I’m writing my third novel. I’ve been working away at it for most of a year, and still have another two months to write before it has to be turned in. All I can say at this point is it centers on the premise of internet dating, but believe me, it won’t stay there long.
Thanks Chris for sharing with us ~ it is so appreciated Looking forward to reading your next book!