For me, writing is an experience. It's an exercise in which I want to discover myself by taking my characters to the edges of human experience, to the edges of themselves and then, asking certain questions - about love, what does it mean to love? What's beauty? What is true beauty? What does it mean to be insane - crazy?
My journey is so similar to everyone else's journey, because we all are human. We all have been defeated by the powers of darkness, and we all find redemption in the light of Christ.
For me, writing is an experience. It's an exercise in which I want to discover myself by taking my characters to the edges of human experience, to the edges of themselves and then, asking certain questions - about love, what does it mean to love? What's beauty? What is true beauty?
If readers, young and old, would take even a moment to reflect on our rapidly shifting culture and ideology, I would be happy. Many leaders of the older generation dismiss emerging culture. Those leaders are at risk of becoming a feeble voice-piece without followers. Most of the younger generation is going deaf to the truth.
What matters is discovering myself under the veneer, under the layers that are wrapped around me. There are two 'yous'; there's 'you', the real you, and then there's the image.
If you could find a way to peel back the skin of this world so to speak, would you really see this supernatural reality that is greater? Is it true that we fight not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers? Every young person wants to know.
The good news is that even though we walk through this valley of death, we don't have to fear, at least not for ourselves! Unfortunately, there is no way to skip over the valley altogether, we must face death and the evidence of evil all around us. But there will come a day... And what a day that will be!
My first seven novels were contemporary spiritual novels, my next nine had strong elements of fantasy, and now I'm writing thrillers, more as a choice to spread my wings than anything. Writers, like good wine, should mature with age.
While the older generation is content to sit around and critique culture, that culture is moving beyond them. At some point the traditional church and all of the expressions of that church will become essentially irrelevant.
Thrillers provide the reader with a safe escape into a dangerous world where the stakes are as high as can be imagined with unpredictable outcomes. It's a perfect genre in which to explore hard issues of good and evil, a mirror that allows the reader to see both the good and not so good in themselves.
It's critical that we use a very dark brush to paint evil. When you bring the light into that darkness as characterized in John 1, that light is very vivid. When it dispels the darkness, we see the brilliance that's there.
Most believers struggle to really believe in the supernatural as a meaningful, deterministic reality except during moments when they are drawn to it, perhaps during a worship service or while reading a novel like 'Adam.' Being drawn to this truth is the first step to living a life in accordance to this truth.
I never write my stories as a wake-up call as such. I simply explore the kinds of situations that I find personally challenging by placing characters into situations that challenge them in similar ways.
It is critical that writers who embrace the light of Christ's redemptive love characterize the darkness arrayed against us in a way that is consistent with its true nature.
I studied philosophy, religious studies, and English. My training was writing four full-length novels and hiring an editor to tear them apart. I had enough money to do that, and then rewriting and rewriting and rewriting.
My stories are not Christianized at all. I don't even have any Christians in my stories. What they are, are stories about ordinary people going through extraordinary circumstances in which I'm exploring truth. How light overcomes darkness in a way that's unmistakable to anyone who has any kind of faith.
All my books are very spiritual. I started out writing what was most natural to me, many years ago, which is religious, because I grew up in the jungle, the son of missionaries. I want to know, is God real? What's a priest's role?
I always managed to get in trouble, like every kid. But I had to learn a lot of hard lessons on my own, without parents who would nurture me and guard me through that part of life, at a very young age.
My writing is a very authentic journey of discovery. I'm going out there to learn who I am. My readers, consequently, take the same journey as my protagonist.
My research for 'Adam' affected me profoundly, particularly the research into evil's underbelly. We tend not to think about evil until it pokes its head out of the air about us and then it tends to scare us silly. As well it should.