This is an interview with a very good and very funny Facebook friend and a fellow blogger! Thank you for taking the time to fill out these questions, Nathan.
1. Tell me about your childhood and family.
I’m the oldest of four kids. I have two brothers and a sister. My parents are wonderful people, but they’re quite “normal” compared to most of their kids. My sister is the closest to “normal” out of all of us. I’m a crazy creative type. One of my brothers has mild autism and is a brilliant artist.That sometimes led to some conflict, but they’ve been mostly supportive. I was homeschooled starting
in first grade because public school kindergarten was horrendous. My teacher hated me. I’d get my work done first and get bored, so I’d try to talk to the kid next to me. Instead of giving me more work to do like a good teacher should do, she made me stand in the corner. Eventually, I was given my own little desk separate from the class. She never told my parents about my “problem” until the end of the school year. Mom took me out and started homeschooling me at a time when that wasn’t popular. I can’t thank her enough.
2. What evidence can you give for God’s existence?
Look at the stars. The universe is vast, complex, and breathtaking. It couldn’t have happened by accident. Matter is not eternal. It had a Creator. The more non-Christian scientists try to move away from Intelligent Design and Creationism, the wackier they sound (and they call Christians the crazy ones!) 😛 I also like C.S. Lewis’ argument in Mere Christianity about how murder has been universally condemned by all cultures in history, indicating evidence of a God-given morality.
3. What is your favorite biblical verse and why?
I have several: Isaiah 40:31, Matthew 22:37-39, and Ecclesiastes 3:11. The first because I love the imagery (eagles are a favorite animal of mine); the second because it summarizes the entire Christian faith in a few sentences; and the third because it shows that all humans have an inkling of the Truth, that they know how things were and should be, even if they can’t explain it. It testifies to the image of God we bear.
4. Who is your favorite biblical figure besides Jesus?
That changes from time to time. I like several for different reasons, but currently it’s Job. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind to God and dare to question him. He also put the smackdown on his so-called friends for spewing well-meaning but inaccurate philosophies at him. I find that my faith is much like his.
5. Tell me about your blog.
A: It’s only a “blog” in the sense that it’s a WordPress site. Regardless, I use it to promote my books, writings, and videos, and to connect with my readers/fans. I post news updates, unpublished short stories, and musings on writing and creativity. I also have a Youtube Vlog called “But I Digress”.
6. Is there a specific book that inspired you to write?
I’m not quite sure. I’ve always been a storyteller by nature, even as a kid. Reading and studying a “fanciful story” in sixth grade led to the writing bug. If I had to pick a book that has inspired my writing the most, it’d be The Lord of the Rings. I wish every Christian writer could create something that beautiful, powerful, and lasting. If I can write half that cool, I’d die a happy man.
7. Who are your favorite writers?
J.R.R. Tolkien (obviously), C.S. Lewis, Robert Heinlein, John Eldredge, Frank Peretti, Orson Scott Card, Geoff Johns, Stan Lee, William Shakespeare.
8. Is there anyone in your life who inspires you to be a better person? Who and why?
I could probably give several answers to that, but I’ll go with Pastor Steve Pulley. He’s been mentoring me for several years, and he’s not afraid to call me out when he thinks I’m doing something wrong and remind me to get on the ball about my goals in life.
9. What other things have you written besides your blog?
Want to see my resume? A published novel (Pandora’s Box), several collaborative self-published titles (Destroyer, The Day After, the Children of the Wells serial); countless articles for various publications (most recently for Examiner.com and GIGA Geek Magazine). I once worked as a journalist, I have a finished but unpublished fantasy/comedy novel, and I’m currently writing a sequel to my first novel.
10. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Be tenacious! Contact publishers and ask them where your manuscript stands with them. Do it so much that the publisher says to answer or put on a restraining order on you. It worked for me!