Q. What were those strands that came together in your mind to start creating your fantasy world?
My fantasy world is different from many in fantasy literature. Since the story is contemporary, most of it takes place in the real world. I just added dragons to the mix and incorporated some of the King Arthur legend. I believe the contemporary setting allows young readers to identify with the characters more completely while still enjoying the fantasy elements.
Still, I had to build a world that included dragons. I had to figure out a way for humans to have dragon traits, and using Merlin, whom I portray as a Christian prophet, to transform dragons into humans worked like a charm.
Q. What role does faith have in your life, and in your writing?
I suppose I would turn part of that question around. “What role does writing have in my faith?” Faith is the paramount priority in my life, and writing is my calling to share that faith. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of my faith, and I am the author of books that I hope will propagate faith. As He preached the kingdom of God through stories, I follow His lead and tell redemptive stories that I hope will point readers to the source of redemption.
Q. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find the hours and hours of going over my work dozens of times to be tedious and tiring. I love to create new pages and feel the satisfaction of adding to a thrilling story. Still, even in the edits, sometimes I add something new that excites me, something that really makes the story shine. That makes all the tedium worth the effort.
Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
I don’t think I would change anything of substance. I believe God has guided me through this process very clearly. I wouldn’t even give back one of the two hundred rejection notices I’ve received. Those form letters goaded me to make my work better and better. If the original draft of Raising Dragons had been published, that would have been a tragedy. God knew best. Who am I to question His methods? He is so faithful!
Q. What are your current projects?
I am working on Tears of a Dragon, the fourth and final book of the Dragons in our Midst series. It’s exciting to bring all the elements of the series together in an exciting conclusion, but it’s also incredibly challenging and kind of sad. I’ll miss the characters. Maybe I’ll get to add to it someday, but I doubt that it will be a simple continuation, perhaps a prequel or a new book that takes place long afterward. We’ll see.
I’m also working on a new series that I’ve tentatively entitled, Time Prints. It’s a young adult adventure trilogy, but it’s not about time travel. It’s a little early to give details, but anyone who enjoys the Dragons series will love it.
Q. Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?
I believe young people need heroes they can look up to. So many “heroes” in Christian writing are severely flawed, readers’ minds aren’t challenged to step up to a higher plane of spiritual virtue. My vision is to call young people to follow Christ in a way that the world, and even the church, tells them is impossible. Obedience to God is not a fantasy. That’s why my characters seem so real and why my readers are telling me their lives are being transformed. The power to live for God fully is very real, and I’m shining a light toward the One who can give them that power.