Back To Detail Page

Ted Dekker is one of the hottest authors in the Christian fiction market. His books are different from the normal Christian fare and have really created quite a stir among fiction readers. Ted grew up as a missionary kid in the jungles of Indonesia and now lives with his family in the mountains of Colorado. His upbringing had a definite influence on his writing. You can visit his web site at www.teddekker.com to learn more.

 
Have you always wanted to be a writer?

For me it was a definite calling. Iím not one who says, ďGod spoke to me and told me this,Ē because generally speaking, thatís not how my life operates. But I was in a time of prayer and I had a very clear impression that I was to write a particular novel. It wasnít just that one experienceóI had several experiences over the course of six months that really cemented within my own spirit the knowledge that God had called me out of a unique background to do thisóto tell stories that expose His character.

You grew up in the jungles of Indonesia. How did your experiences there shape you and impact your writing?

I couldnít be a writer today, at least not the kind of writer I am, without having grown up in the jungles of Indonesia for two primary reasons. One is a writer is first and foremost an observer. You have to understand and see things uniquely and well in order to write about them. Itís not really a matter of learning to observeóyou are an observer. As a young child, I was what they call a ďthird cultureĒ kid. I wasnít part of the Indonesian culture although I spoke Indonesian, because I was a Caucasian missionary kid. I also wasnít part of the American culture. I was outside the ďbubbleĒ of both cultures, so I learned to be an astute observer. I peered in, watched, became a chameleon, and adapted. I traveled around the world with my parents, and in the process learned to be all things to all people in a certain sense. So through that I learned to be a great observer. That definitely finds its way into my writing.

The second thing about growing up in that environment that was very important was going to boarding school when I was six years old. It caused me to become very comfortable with being on my own. Being on your own and living within the worlds you create is very important for a novelist. You have to learn how to do that effectively and comfortably. Itís a strange existenceóyou live in these fictitious worlds for big blocks of time and no one knows about them. You canít go up to people and tell them whatís happening, because it goes right over their heads. They have no clue until they sit down and read your novel.

When youíre a writer who is a Christian and you're revealing salvation history, Godís character and this ultimate struggle between good and evil through fiction, you do yourself a great injustice by not being able to describe evil as well as love. It's like trying to paint beautiful landscapes with tall towering majestic mountains while leaving out the valleys. You canít have mountains without valleys.

You have a reputation of writing ďadrenaline-laced stories packed with unexpected plot twists and incredible confrontations between good and evil,Ē to quote your bio. Is that who you want to be as a writer? Do you think youíll ever delve into a different kind of fiction?

I donít know if I want to be known as anything other than someone who writes stories that are breathtaking, whether because of their intensity or because of their beauty. Black, in my mind, is just staggering. So I want my novels to be breathtaking in one way or another. I really want someone who picks up a Ted Dekker novel to know that theyíre going to go on a rideóa very intense experience.

Iíd also like to think that each book I write kind of supercedes the previous one and delves into whole new territory. I donít want to write genre fiction. Some of the novels I have coming up are quite different from what Iíve done, but they have my voice in them, and thematically theyíre very similar. I want people to think, Okay, what will he think of next?

Your writing career has really taken off in the past few years. Have you been surprised at all by the success of your books?

I really donít pay that much attention to it. Success is a very strange thing for me. Iím a missionary kid who I grew up overseas. Iím admittedly quite intense in whatever I tackle, but in this case, I feel like Iíve finally found my home. Iíve been writing for about the last twelve years now, but Iíve only been writing full time for about seven years. It was three years before I had anything published. I was successful enough in business to have put aside enough money to move myself, my wife, and our four children out into the mountains of Colorado and begin writing.

Of all the books youíve written, which is your favorite?

Black. Itís very special. No oneís ever done one like this.

What do you hope to accomplish through your writing?

I want to do stories that no oneís done before. I want people to wonder what Iíll do next. I donít want to write ďChristianĒ fiction. What I want to do is write stories that reveal Godís character and get us to ask the right questions about what life is really all about.

I use a lot of bright colors on the landscape of my stories and I want to fill Christiansí minds with new images. I want to challenge them and spark their imaginations and really encourage them to revive those old passions from when they first fell in love with God.