Why I Started Writing:
I had little interest in books or reading growing up. My interests lay more in the area of movies and television. And yet, I found myself writing short stories for my own enjoyment. Shortly after high school, I suddenly had the idea I could write a novel. My first attempt was a science fiction story based upon the premise of 1000 alien ships headed toward Earth for the sole purpose of destroying our world, and we had little chance of stopping them. I spent the next several months fleshing out the story. As you can imagine, my writing was pretty bad. For the next twenty-eight years, I worked on the novel off and on, honing and crafting the story until the novel was in publishable shape. My perseverance paid off, and I eventually found a publisher for When the Sky Fell in 2009.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
The writer whom I most identify with is Rod Serling. He was an amazing storyteller who wasn't afraid to tackle some tough issues when he produced his landmark series, The Twilight Zone, in the early 60s. His characters were often ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. I find that many of my stories follow a similar pattern—a person of common means who is forced into a situation that affects the lives of others. Another author I greatly identify with is Jack London. Not only was he an amazing writer, many of his books today are considered classics, but few people know he received over 600 rejection letters before selling his first story. He was truly a man who believed in what he wrote and was bound and determined to get his stories published. His example has helped encourage me during some low times.
Books I Have Written:
When it comes to writing novels, I'm all over the map. Rather than stick with one genre, I generally drift toward where a story is taking me, and then write in the genre that best fits the story.
My first novel, When the Sky Fell, came out in 2009. It’s a sci-fi story about the commander of a stellar cruiser—Earth's best hope against a malevolent race known as the Deravans who wish to destroy us. In actuality, the story is based on the life of Paul the Apostle, and much of what he experienced in the Book of Acts has been incorporated into the novel.
American Midnight came out after that. This is a political thriller about a young woman who has no direction in her life until she gets swept up in a new political party that promises to help eradicate many of the problems faced in our society. Sounds good until you challenge the party in some way and disappear. The main thrust of the story deals with persecution against the church, and the price many Christians face for standing up for their faith.
One of my favorite novels, After the Cross, is an archeological adventure story that starts at a dig in Istanbul where a letter is discovered that makes the astonishing claim the cross of Jesus still exists and has been hidden in an unknown location. The secret gets out and the race is on to see who will get to the prize first.
Love's Second Chance is a romance story that focuses on a young woman has faced a terrible loss in her life and moves to a small town in Connecticut where she hopes to start her life over again. There she becomes an assistant to the pastor at the local church. The townspeople have slowly turned their back on God, and it’s her job to bring them back into the fold, all the while fending off the advances of a suitor who won’t take no for an answer.
Returning to sci-fi once again, Arena Planet came out earlier this year. This is a story about a man who is abducted by a militaristic race of aliens and forced to fight in gladiatorial-type games. As long as he keeps winning, Earth survives. If he loses ...
And last but not least, Mind Writer. Co-authored with Lisa Godfrees and released by Elk Lake Publishing Inc., the novel came out in August. Born with a rare genetic mutation, eighteen-year-old Rinee Newburgh has been kept in a secret government facility all her life. Trained to enhance her skills as a Mind Writer, her unique talents give her the ability to transfer a person’s thoughts, memories, personality—their soul—into a clone created for those deemed vital to society’s continued survival.
What I'm Working On Now:
I've taken a break from writing novels and turned my attention to screenplays. Believing God has given me the ability to write as a means of reaching others for His namesake, I am working in a medium that could potentially reach hundreds of thousands of people or more. Starting with a story I knew very well, I converted After the Cross into a screenplay. I've also written another screenplay, Jason's Hope, the story of the prodigal son set in our time. I have had the good fortune of having both scripts optioned by production companies. If the producers get the backing they need to get the projects started, they could very well end up at your local movie theater.