Gene Everett Weatherly
Why I Started Writing:
To be perfectly honest, it was the invention of ‘Spell Check’. My English teachers always seemed to have a problem with me spelling words the way they sounded.
But the real motivating factor over the years of my ministry, the real ‘bug’ was the fact that what I wanted or needed had not yet been written. My writing began in earnest about twelve years ago, soon after my wife of many years passed away. I suddenly became ‘single’. After being in the church’s singles group for about six months, I kept observing relationships bud then die slow, agonizing deaths. Listening to their woes, the obvious reason was the emotional scars each brought with them from previous relationships. I offered to lead a six-week seminar on, “The Baggage We Bring”. Not being able to find suitable material, I sat down and wrote it. The six-week seminar ballooned into six months and had singles driving fifty miles to attend. So, the best reason this reluctant scribe can give is, ‘It needed writing’.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
Reading Faith Based ‘How To’ books was the main staple throughout my years as a pastor. Interesting, helpful, but not very exciting. Not long after my present wife and I married, she gave me a John Stanford detective mystery, Mind Prey. Following a somewhat flawed hero search through twist and turns and leaving me dangling over the edge at the end of each chapter hooked me. After reading every book of that series, I found Lee Child. Again, an imperfect hero facing overwhelming odds. I identify with the improbable and less than perfect individual being called to solve problems way above their pay grade.
Books I Have Written:
The first taste of seeing my work in book form came with Yvonne Lehman’s collection of short stories titled, Divine Moments. Two years later, I was able to follow in her second collection, Spoken Moments. I understand these collections have added substantially to the work of Samaritan’s Purse.
As alluded to in why I started writing, I wrote Joanna because it needed to be written. Though only mentioned three times in the New Testament, Joanna played an important and necessary role in Jesus’ ministry. Mary Magdalene always seems to dominate the spotlight when it comes to the women who followed and financially supported Jesus’ ministry. But Joanna comes as a far more unlikely candidate. Her husband, Cuza, managed the palace for King Herod Antipas. The intrigue of that connection could not be ignored. Her story had to be told.
What I'm Working On Now:
I am working on a sequel to Joanna. As the early church struggles to find its way, James is again, in his normal chauvinistic way, trying to down-play the role of the many capable female leaders. Mary Lois (of the Upper Room) implores Joanna to return to Jerusalem and help right the listing ship.