Richard has offered a book (your choice) to everyone who comments and leaves their email address!!
Here are your choices:
HEART OF THE HIGHRIDERS (http://www.haxbooks.com/)
NEW AMERICA (http://www.rcleonard.com/)
- Make sure you leave your comment, email address, and which book you'd like, so that I can get ahold of you! Now on to the interview:
I have been writing since childhood.
- A while ago, sorting through some memorabilia, I found a little story I had written at age five or six that my mother had saved.
- In high school I won two local short story awards.
- I took a writing class in college and had stories published in the college literary magazine.
- Finally I decided to try my hand at novels, and have produced three (with another in progress).
As the above answer indicates, I have written in several genres. My fiction genres, all with a Christian perspective, have included family life, fantasy-adventure, and speculative.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
Because I am retired I have a wide range of interests including web site development, which involves writing descriptive copy such as material relating to locomotive photographs in my railroad hobby site, http://www.railarchive.com/.
Heart of the Highriders (http://www.hazbooks.com/) jointly with my daughter, sending files via email, and it took us about two years. I started New America in 1993 and worked on it intermittently, completing it in 2008.
Tell us about your new book. What is the spiritual message in it? What can readers expect to get from reading it? How and where can readers buy your book?
New America is a story set near the end of the twenty-first century in a Christian nation that had been established a generation earlier on the east coast of Siberia. The main character makes several trips to the United States, during when we witness the further development of today’s cultural trends.
There is a prominent romantic interest; the main character has to rescue a young woman, an abortion survivor whose life is endangered by the Fugitive Fetus Law. He is reluctant, because the way he has to do this jeopardizes his relationship with his New American girlfriend. I think one spiritual lesson here is to avoid postponing hard decisions — especially about things the Lord calls you to do — in the effort to protect yourself.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
It is tempting to give up, especially when it is difficult to interest an agent or publisher in your work because you don’t write to a current popular template. I finally decided to write fiction for my own satisfaction, and for posterity, and not to try to suit publishers’ ideas of what they think they can market. My writing is motivated by ideas, not by the need to sell what I write. In fiction, I am a reader of older novelists such as Elizabeth Goudge, Joseph C. Lincoln or Samuel Hopkins Adams. But I would not say that these fiction writers inspire me as much as do some current writers in biblical theology, especially N. T. Wright whose style is not only learned but lucid and witty.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
I am a published author through works for hire for which I was engaged by a book packager, Livingstone Corporation. I was the “ghost writer” of A Theological Miscellany (Nelson, 2005) and co-compiler of A Glimpse of Heaven (Simon & Schuster, 2007), and have contributed to other publications from Hendrickson, Tyndale House, Integrity and Broadman Holman. Thus I was never chosen by these publishers, who contracted with the book packager for the work that was assigned to me. The books I have authored on my own have been self-published through our own imprints, Laudemont Press and Lampstand Books, plus a few other outlets.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
- I am a big fan of classical symphonic music, especially from the first half of the twentieth century, and enjoy collecting CDs of works by composers who are not well known (Albéric Magnard, Franz Schmidt, Havergal Brian, Edmund Rubbra, Arnold Bax and Howard Hanson are not household words). I was a music major in college and have composed hymns, worship choruses and other pieces including a flute sonata which I performed.
- I also am a railroad fan with a large web site (http://www.railarchive.net/) of historic photos, especially steam locomotives, many of which I took in the 1950s.
- I enjoy working with computers (we own five) and have built or rebuilt a few. I host and manage the web sites for several churches and Christian organizations.
- I publish WestWard Quarterly (http://www.wwquarterly.com/), a poetry magazine edited by my wife, Shirley Anne.