I’m in the process of publishing Hurting in Hope, memoirs how a 19-year married romance came to an end through the sudden death of my wife, Charleen.What five words describe you?Laid-back, friendly, grateful, convictions, consistent.What are you working on at the minute? What is it about?
Kirk Cameron and Danielle Bisutti (from No Greater Love). Wouldn’t that be wonderful!Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
It would have to be Pilgrim’s Progress. John Bunyan’s book has been a powerful source of blessing to me from since childhood, and I have even studied it extensively as an adult, teaching more than 70 hours on it. It was Pilgrim’s Progress that God used to bring my grandfather to salvation, from a life of drunkenness. As far as actually being the author is concerned, if God used me as powerfully as He has used John Bunyan and his Pilgrim’s Progress over the centuries, I too, would consider 12 years in prison a worthwhile hardship. What a remarkable book; the best selling English book next to the Bible, of all time.
The hardest thing for me is to find a stretch of time long enough to write uninterrupted in the world I am creating with my words. It takes time to get in, but a second to be pulled out. This is a constant challenge.What is the hardest thing about writing?
I have a couple of remedies that I use when I just can’t write:Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I absolutely love the ocean. If I could write in the ideal place, it would be on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, South Africa, in a house overlooking the sea crashing on the rocks.1. I get up and walk away from my work. Take a walk outside, spend some time with other people. Deliberately forget about what I am writing. Come back later.2. I spend time in prayer, asking God to help me think clearly and understand the logic of my story so that it will grip me.3. I write something completely different for a while. Even if I don’t intend to publish it.4. What I have found most invigorating is the practise of opening my Bible to a chapter I am currently studying, get old-fashioned paper and pen, with computer off, and I look closely at the text and begin to write observations. I write everything I am thinking. I think of how the entire context fits together, how verses relate to each other. I think of the who, what, why, where, when, and how of the text. I think of the fallen condition focus of the text and spend time thinking through the redemptive focus. I continually ask questions of the text and write down my answers. In this way, the Word stirs my heart, thrilling it an exciting it. I can’t write quickly enough or contain the joy of how thrilling the Word of God is. This stretches my mind, engages my heart, and before I even realise what is happening, my mind is racing even faster than my pen, and I have forgotten that my mind was stuck in a sluggish mode from which I couldn’t write.Where would your dream location be for writing?
I seldom base characters on people I know. In my current work, because it is a true story, this does not apply, but in my fiction work, I like to imagine my characters and avoid writing them in as people I know. It destroys the sense that I am creating something truly original, mysterious and exciting.When creating characters, are they based on people in your life?
Yes, I read my reviews. I am encouraged by the kind reviews, yet have a two-stage method of dealing with the negative ones. I read bad reviews and consider what elements of the review are true of my work and to what degree. I do question what would have motivated a person to write a bad review. After I have turned these things over in my head, I learn from them, try to thank the critic for his/her scathing review, and move on. The second thing I do is remember that reviews are highly subjective and personal, and that it really only amounts to a personal opinion. I am just grateful that the majority of reviews are kind and not caustic. I can take negative reviews quite casually, they don’t bother me much.Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I love to write, but I also love my other major passion, pastoral work. So if I couldn’t be a writer, I would remain in the care of souls. I don’t believe there is a single greater calling or purpose for human life.If you couldn't be a writer, what would you be?
Read a greater variety of books, on a more regular basis. It doesn’t help to cram as much as you can in when it is desperately needed. I would stick to one of the rules I try to apply in these areas, “A little a lot, and not a lot a little.” A consistent diet of good and bad literature forms the mind to think from a mature literary mindset.What would you tell your younger self that would have helped you in your writing career?
Where can we buy your work?How can we keep up with you? Blog, Facebook, etc......All my connections are listed in the website above.