R. James Shupp
Why I Started Writing: My interest in becoming an author began while pastoring a small church in rural Oklahoma. One of the editors of the local newspaper who attended my church asked me to write a short article. After it was published, several people encouraged me to write more. That was over 25 years ago, and I've been writing ever since.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me: I'm a great fan of fantasy and science fiction. I've spent a great deal of time listening to Orson Scott Card and Brandon Sanderson while riding my bike through the vast network of trails in San Antonio. My interest in Christian literature usually leans towards the categories of church ministry and leadership. Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Francis Chan, and C.S. Lewis are among my favorites.
Books I Have Written: I wrote my first book, One Blinding Vision: The Quest to See Jesus, while pastoring a church in San Antonio. My goal was to inspire my congregation to capture a personal vision of Jesus Christ in their daily lives. In the New Testament book of Acts, the Apostle Paul experienced a revolutionary, life-changing vision of Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road. The shear force of that vision shaped World History. The Big Idea of One Blinding Vision is that every believer has the spiritual means to see our resurrected Lord. We are seated with Him in the heavenly realms. Each of us has the ability to build His kingdom and transform our culture.
Who Killed My Church? is a fictional book I wrote that explores the painful reality of dying churches. Fiction was the perfect vehicle, enabling me to enter into the lives of people who either lead or attend failing congregations. Readers have praised the novel for the familiar church-going characters, who at times, are able to make you both laugh and cry within the same moment. But most of all, Who Killed My Church? is a story of restoration and hope for anyone who wants to help their congregation jump out of the grave and come screaming back to life.
What I'm Working On Now: Who Killed My Church? is the first of a seven book series. The idea came while studying the seven churches that Jesus addressed (or took to the woodshed) in the New Testament book of Revelation. Each of the churches had a problem or a challenge. Jesus scolded Sardis for being a "dead church." His diagnosis inspired my modern-day fictionalization that became Who Killed My Church?
The next story I'm writing was inspired by the church of Pergamum, the place where Satan has his throne. The book will be titled, Warfare Dreams. I've written about one-third of the novel, and I'm really excited about the story line and the supernatural themes explored within. I hope to finish the manuscript sometime early next year.