|Do you teach college courses?
I teach writing all over the place, especially at writersí conferences. In fact, last week I was out all week teaching at elementary schools, but Iíve never taught at a college like Jordan did.
Would you please explain a novelís story arc?
Basically your main character has to establish a goal and overcome complications that prevent her from reaching that goal. As Jordan was writing Williamís story, she was demonstrating how to write a story arc, but at the same time she was living through one. Her goal was to write a book that would speak to her son, but dozens of complications almost kept her from doing that.
Writing The Novelist was almost like a three dimensional game of chess-- God would do something in my life, which made me do something in Jordanís life, which affected her handling of the people in Williamís world. Every little move influenced everything else on the three-dimensional chess board.
You seem to choose allegories, is that your signature style?
A few years ago, I was in my office and I had one of those moments when the Spirit speaks clearly. It was suddenly obvious to me that Jesus taught through parablesóstories that meant one thing on the surface and another thing for those with the ears to hear. Iíve always had a heart for reaching the world, but people outside the Christian community donít often pick up Christian novels.
So I thought that I could write stories that are entertaining and gripping on one level and have a spiritual meaning on another level. Not all people will understand every symbol or every spiritual nuance, but I can always bring out certain issues through discussion questions at the end of the book.
Would you classify The Novelist a contemporary or visionary book?
Probably contemporary. But itís really two books in one. The inner story is visionary.
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Staying fresh. I write about what the Lord is teaching me so I have to stay in a receptive mood. Itís too easy to get caught up in the routine of life.
How long did it take you to write The Novelist?
I took about five Ĺ months, which is a long time for me to spend on one book.
How much research did The Novelist take?
Since half of the book is visionary and the other half comes from my life, it didnít take as much research as you might expect, but I did have to research bi-polar disorder and slot machines.
Who was your favorite character in The Novelist?
Iím rather fond of the dittens.