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 Our Interview with Gary Parker


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m a former pastor but now enjoy work as a writer and as a CFP (Certified Financial Planner).

I have a Ph.D. from Baylor University.

I’ve ridden across four states on my bicycle and hope to ride across all 50 before I croak.

I love college football; if I could do one thing on a Saturday afternoon it would be watch the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Florida Gators with my wife and two daughters (UGA grads).

When I retire I plan to go to law school because I’ve always wanted to be a litigator in a court room.  Then who knows, maybe I’ll write a legal thriller (since no former lawyers have ever done that, right)?

How did you get started as a Christian fiction writer? 

I grew up reading tons of fiction.

After I wrote 4 non-fiction books and tons of articles, I decided I wanted to try my hand at fiction. My first novel was well-received by readers and critics and I’ve written fiction ever since. 

How did you come up with the concept for The Constantine Conspiracy? 

Since I enjoy politics, I keep a close eye on the American religious and political scene. In the last decade it seems to me that certain people, groups, etc. have systematically sought to push public expression of the Christian faith further and further into the closet. As I reflected on that, the idea came to me “what if these efforts resulted from an actual conspiracy?” If so, when did that conspiracy begin and how would it function in today’s world. Out of that came the idea and the development of the story.   

 

What is significant about The Constantine Conspiracy? 

It shows what could happen if people of faith don’t remain vigilant. Although this is fiction, it has the ring of potential truth to it. What if America continues to secularize our society? What will that mean for public proclamation of Christian faith? Will we always be able to communicate what we believe or not? It seems evident that now, more than ever, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.


Is any part of The Constantine Conspiracy factual?

Yes, the facts surrounding the victory of Constantine early in the 4th century is true. Constantine became emperor of Rome and, out of that, Christianity became the religion of the Roman state and, eventually, the de facto religion of Western culture. Other references to modern political events are also true. And other aspects of the novel are based on truth but have been changed to protect certain groups.

What is the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing The Constantine Conspiracy?

I learned about a group called the Sovereign Order of St. Malta. I changed the name in the book to Sovereign Order of St. John for a variety of reasons. But the Order of Malta exists and does a variety of good works (originating during the Crusades).

What other projects do you have on the horizon?

I have a sequel to The Constantine Conspiracy that I’ve tentatively titled THE LAST CRUSADE. I’m working on that now.

I’m also doing a screen play based on a murder mystery I wrote years ago. 

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Today it’s more and more of a challenge to find publishers to believe in your work. Today’s economy is difficult for publishers, writers and agents.

Also, the ongoing challenge of remaining disciplined to write is a constant every author deals with.


Who was the person who most influenced you in your writing journey?

I’ll name two: a high school English teacher named Mrs. Williams who first told me I had some talent in writing and second, a college professor named Mr. West, who encouraged me to take my writing to a new level of competence and focus.


What message would you like your readers to take from The Constantine Conspiracy?

I want readers to cherish the freedoms we have in the US to offer our faith in humble, loving ways to those who continue to seek God. I also hope readers realize that certain forces, groups, people, really do want to legally remove any expression of faith (Christian or otherwise) from public view. 

What is your goal or mission as a writer?

My goal is to write what I call faith-informed stories. These stories will be told through the lives of characters we pull for as they deal with day to day struggles and issues.


What do you do to get away from it all?

I work out on a regular basis at a local fitness center; I play golf; I read good books; and I spend time with my lovely wife and two wonderful daughters.

 

 

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