He's giving away a copy of his new book: I Called Him Dancer. Leave a comment and email address for a chance to win this fantastic book!
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
I hated writing until I realized I had something to say. Unfortunately, that was much later in life. My ‘real’ writing journey began around 1998. I was doing prison ministry and the inmates were asking for reading material. I thought it would be best to give them Bible studies based on what we were learning in our services. I began writing out my studies and giving them out each week. As my experience with writing grew, my work became more thorough and detailed.
I started an in-depth study at church on a requested topic. I spent weeks writing it out and then presented a 6 month 140 page study. When I handed it out, someone asked, “Wow, are you a writer?”
I responded, “No. I just put Bible studies together.” It would be more than a decade before I came out of denial. In those days, I had to force myself to write, but over time, I began to love writing. I kept asking God to show me what he wanted me to do as a ministry. For years I wrote while I sought direction. Finally, I opened my eyes and said, “You know, I feel led to write.” Brilliant deduction, Sir Watson!
LOL. Sometimes we humans can be a little "thick-headed." What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I spent most of my writing life working on non-fiction. Mostly Bible studies. The greatest compliment I ever received came from a prisoner who said, “Your studies are easy to read. Even my kids could understand this.” This is my writing goal – to produce meaningful work that takes what people assume to be complicated, and explain it in a way that is simple to understand.
I always thought my theological writing would be the first thing published, but that is yet to come. I’m hoping to have something in print by the end of the year. My first book is titled, ‘I Called Him Dancer.’ It’s inspirational fiction with a romantic element. The story originated from a song by the same title by Tralena Walker and Tom Webster. I met these two song writers in the fall of 2009. Their subject was about how to put a story into the limited space of lyrics. In their talk, Tralena said that she’d like to see this song made into a novel.
My head suddenly exploded. After re-assembling the pieces, I realized that I’d had an epiphany. I saw what happened to the dancer, how he came to his condition, and how the story would end. I partnered with Tralena and Tom, and the novel was born.
Wow. Impressing. 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?
I do things differently than most writers. I’d like to reach 5,000 words in each sitting, but I don’t make it a hard goal. I try to write something every day, but the amount varies. When I have time to just write, I’ve been known to bang out 10-12,000 words in a day. If there are no distractions or pressing issues, I’ll sit for twelve hours or more and write. I can only do this with fiction, though. Non-fiction is too mentally taxing because I have to stay focused on the point I’m making and the accuracy of my words. With fiction, I just let my mind wander through the plot and type what I see.
I’ve written two full length fiction manuscripts. Both took six weeks to write – but an eternity to finish. When the story is in my head, I can’t stop writing until I have it on paper. I’m not sure if it’s an obsession, or just the fear that I’ll forget something before I can write it out.
Oh, dear. Wish I could do that. You recently had a book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
My new book is, I Called Him Dancer.
For a moment, Michael danced on top of the world, but one bad choice turned his life upside down. The once promising Broadway star now washes windows for tips and lives among the homeless. When his former dance partner recognizes him behind the fray of whiskers, shame drives him away from her. Angry at God and the world, the Dancer refuses to allow anyone into his life. When everything is stripped away, three things remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.
I Called Him Dancer is a story about how one woman's enduring faith and unconditional love drives her to reach out to a homeless man who has given up on life.
The book should be available on most book retailers. For now, the ebook version is on sale for 99 cents. The printed version ranges between $7.83 and $10.88 depending on where it’s sold. I know, it’s a strange price structure, but who am I to question?
Your book sounds very interesting; definitely something to catch attention. What is the spiritual message in your book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
The underlying spiritual message of I Called Him Dancer is that love overcomes hopelessness. The man called Dancer appears hopeless, and though he expresses his hatred of God and blames him for all the pain of his past, he finds that love conquers all.
I expect readers to find hope. Whether the reader is struggling, or knows someone whose life is spiraling out of control, I want this book to be an encouragement. Perhaps this story will give hope to those who are in similar situations as the characters in this book.
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?
Writing encourages me because I feel energized by it. Editing is the scourge of heaven. When the first draft is done, the work really begins. I rewrote this book four times. I edited it more times than I can count. At one point, I named by manuscript ‘final’ because I only had a few minor edits to go. It wasn’t long before my saved file was named ‘final-29’, then I renamed it to something more realistic. After critiquing, editing, trimming, searching and destroying words, pov mistakes, and repetitions, I thought I had arrived. Then I got a marked up manuscript with needed corrections on what looked like every page.
I really wanted to throw my hands up and say, “I can’t do any better than this.” I had been editing for two years. Though it was frustrating, I look at my book and see how much better it shines over the first ‘final’ version and am encouraged.
The real encouragement comes from those who have read my book and said it really moved them. The story moves me, but I understand the character. In fact, a lot of myself is in him. But when someone else feels the same emotions I felt, it tells me that the work wasn’t in vain.
Who’s inspired you the most?
That’s a hard question. Inspiration comes from so many sources. Each trait from the personalities of my characters have been drawn from something or someone in real life. A lot of my inspiration comes from the Lord’s work in my own life. Books, testimonies, and life experiences play an equal part in my inspiration.
Would you explain how you “chose” (or were chosen by) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
I wish I could just sit back and relax, but the world will leave me behind. My wife said it best while we worked on preparing for this launch. She said, “You better hurry up and get the next book out there.”
She’s right. If someone likes a book, they are more likely to look at the next book that comes out. Authors can’t sit back and relish in success for long. A forgotten author has to be rediscovered by the reader again. It’s much easier to ride a wave than to locate a new one.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could?
I’d like to travel to Ireland. The countryside looks so picturesque and inviting. I would love to see that beauty in person.
My hobbies include gardening and wood working. I like fresh vegetables and I like creating with wood. I do most of my wood working on a lathe. My pieces have won 12 ribbons in competitions.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
- My website / blog is http://www.eddiesnipes.com/
- Readers can connect with me on twitter @eddiesnipes or on facebook.com/eddiesnipes
- Also, if any readers are in the Atlanta metro area, I serve as president of the Christian Authors Guild (www.christianauthorsguild.org). We are 80 members and growing, plus we host the largest writers conference in Georgia. Our goal is to encourage, equip, and connect with like-minded writers.
Readers, email addresses & comments for a chance to win his book.