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and get to know him a little better here!
What appeals to you most about writing fiction?
Other than being able to make up stories and worlds and characters, getting to hang out with amazing author friends, and getting paid to do something I’d do anyway? Nothing. Actually, those parts are fab, but the greatest part is getting e-mails and notes from readers who say my novels have utterly changed their life. It’s surreal and humbling and inspiring all at the same time. I got an e-mail from a German reader the other day telling what a massive impact ROOMS had on her and it was very wonderful and very strange to realize someone is reading my novels half a world away and Jesus is using them to draw people into more freedom and hope.
Why Christian fiction?
What is Christian fiction? I don’t mean that as a joke. There’s an old adage about a writer who is asked if he’s a Christian author. He says, no, I’m an author who happens to be a Christian. I resonate with that. I’m not trying to write Christian fiction or non-Christian fiction. I’m simply writing the stories I’m passionate about. Yes, since I’m a hard-core follower of Jesus, the odds are extremely high the content of my stories will have Christian content, but it isn’t intentional. I’m simply writing the kind of stories I like to read.
Name five things you can’t live without
Darci (wife), Taylor (son), Micah (son), Cream Brule creamer for my morning coffee, and being able to see the stunning artistry and overwhelming beauty and wonder of God throughout nature.
Book- The Chronicles of Narnia
Movie- The Matrix. (Best post-modern film depiction of the Christian life out there.)
Show- LOST (although the ending almost tanked that opinion for me)
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
I’m going with the first place that popped into my mind: In the early 90s, Darci and went to Australia for two weeks. The cliché about the people there being laid back, and having open arms, and full of fun? All true. It didn’t hurt that Australia is stocked with staggering beauty such as the Great Barrier reef—I’m a scuba diver so you can see the appeal.
Always knew I liked you, Jim ;-D You and Darci should come back some time and make sure Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road are on your itinerary! I know a good Aussie tour guide – hehe!
What did you want to be when you grew up?
By 7th grade I knew I wanted to be three things: 1. A novelist (no, I’m not kidding) 2. An NFL football player (hasn’t happened yet and I don’t think the odds are in my favor at this point) and, 3. Movie maker (that one is looking more possible all the time but that’s all I can say at the moment.)
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m an introvert. When people meet me in person they see a gregarious personality that loves people and loves hearing their stories and loves a good party. But at the same time, those things drain me. I need massive amount of alone time to recharge. Some people would recoil at the idea of spending four days completely alone interacting with no one. I try to do that at least once a year and I love it.
That I’m scared of heights. When they hear I like to jump off cliffs into water, climbed the tallest trees available when I was a kid, and have gone skydiving they assume I’m pretty comfortable up high. Nope. But there the thrill seeker slice of my brain is just a slice bigger than the fear, so most of the time I give into the adrenaline junkie side.
What if you could travel inside another person’s soul? To battle for them. To be part of Jesus healing their deepest wounds. To help set them free to step boldly into their divinely designed future.
Thirty years ago that’s exactly what Reece Roth did. Until tragedy shattered his life and ripped away his future.
Now God has drawn Reece out of the shadows to fulfill a prophecy spoken over him three decades ago. A prophecy about four warriors with the potential to change the world . . . if Reece will face his deepest regret and teach them what he has learned.
They gather at a secluded and mysterious ranch deep in the mountains of Colorado, where they will learn to see the spiritual world around them with stunning clarity—and how to step into the supernatural.
Their training is only the beginning. The four have a destiny to pursue a freedom even Reece doesn’t fully fathom. But they have an enemy hell-bent on destroying them and he’ll stop at nothing to keep them from their quest for true freedom and the coming battle of souls.
What was your favourite scene to write in Soul’s Gate or share your favourite paragraph
There’s a scene halfway through the novel where my protagonists go to a church service and the eyes of one of them are opened wide to the spiritual realms. Very wide. He sees the destructive power of the religious spirit at work right the middle of the service. Telling any more would be giving too much away, but suffice it to say I think many readers will resonate with the scene and maybe see some chains they’ve allowed religion to place in their own lives.
Which character did you connect to the most?
Wow, tough question since I have four main characters and I connect with each of them on a deep level. But if I had to choose I’d say Brandon, a million selling musician. He’s successful, but struggles with deep wounds from childhood that cause him to feel worthless and prevent him from stepping strongly into everything God has called him to be.
Which character was the most difficult to write?
Probably Dana simply because she’s female and I’m pretty sure I’m not.
I’m doing first round edits right now on Memory’s Door, the sequel to Soul’s Gate, and just got the cover. It’s awesome!
And I’m starting to brainstorm on a non-fiction book with a co-author that will help writers live with more freedom so they can be set free to write the deepest stories of their hearts.
And I’m starting to brainstorm on the third novel in the Well Spring series. Yes, busy! But I love it.
Always over the top great to be with you, Rel. Thanks for having me,
Always fabulous to have you here, Jim ~ thanks, mate