February 10th, 2012

Literary_Equine_02

Seven Questions For The Horse - Michael Duncan


1) Tell us about yourself.

Where to begin… I have spent more than 20 years preaching and teaching God's Word. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, I entered into public ministry and has served in four churches. I currently reside in a quiet mountain community in Washington State with my wife and three children where I serve as pastor.

When I’m not preaching or teaching God's word, I spend my time writing. My first novel, Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One, was released in October, 2011 with the sequel, Revelation: Book of Aleth, Part Two due to release in the summer of 2012. I am an apprentice-level alumnus of the Christian Writer's Guild. I am a member of the Northwest Christian Writers Association and serve as a board member and a critique group facilitator.

I also serve on the executive board of the Northwest Baptist Convention and as an associate producer and Bible commentator on the Alive in Christ radio network.

Given the opportunity, I enjoy time on the golf course.

2) Is Shadows: Book of Aleth your first book?

No… my first book was a self-published Bible study called – Starting Out: A Study Guide for New Believers. It is an eight week workbook to help new and struggling Christians grow in their knowledge of God’s word.

3) Why did you chose the fantasy genre?

I chose the fantasy genre because it allowed me more freedom to share in an allegorical way. I grew up reading fantasy books from the likes of David Eddings, Piers Anthony, J.R.R. Tolkien and Elizabeth Boyer. I find that there is great power in good story-telling and that much truth can be woven into such tales.

4) What advice can you give to new writers?

The first thing I would advise new writers to do is hone your craft. Proverbs says, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, much strength is needed. But skill will bring success.” Unless you hone your craft, you will find the road far more difficult than it needs to be. It is hard enough to break into the publishing world; there is no need to make it nearly impossible.

The second piece of advice I would share is: never give up! Opportunity might knock, but it takes perseverance to open the door. You may receive a score of rejections from agents and editors, but there will be that one who sees the same potential in your work that you do – and that one will only be found if you will press your way to them.

5) What sequels to Shadows: Book of Aleth is in the works?

The second book – Revelation: Book of Aleth, Part Two, is due to be released this summer, though the exact date is still to be revealed. J

6) Do you have any upcoming writing projects other than Shadows: Book of Aleth?

Yes, I do! I’ve kept it “close to the chest” as it were, not sharing too much about it. Suffice it to say, it is a Christian political suspense novel and it is nearly done. I hope to have it to a publisher before the spring.

7) Shadows: Book of Aleth is a work of Christian fiction. How did you weave the Christian worldview into the story?

This is a great question! There are many “hints” at the Christian worldview. First, in the terminology – I use several words that are derivatives of Greek words from the Scriptures. The term “Aleth” is the Greek word for “truth.” So, in essence, the main character (Aaron) has taken on the quest to search for the “Book of Truth.”

The main villain is Therion the Usurper who has assumed the role of emperor over the nation. He is the incarnation of evil and uses deception and fear to maintain control of the population. The Book of Aleth is the only means that exists to destroy his web of lies and so he fears the book more than any artifact.

There are incidents of divine intervention and encounters with races that understand the reality of the Creator. Aaron realizes that more than chance or happenstance guides his journey and he begins to believe that he has a providential destiny—one that is linked to the history of the book.

And, ultimately, there is the great inner battle of good-vs.-evil that plague all mankind. Aaron struggles in his heart to decide his course. But the hunger for truth wins out and he pursues the Book of Aleth no matter the cost.

Links:

For more information about Michael, or to purchase his debut novel, Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One, you can go to:

Literary_Equine_02

Why I LOVE To Write (And My Apologia)


First, for those of you who think I have made a typo in the title:

Apologia: n. A formal defense or justification.

Some years ago I wrote two short stories for friends that included the character of Molly Ladanyi. My three friends (Austin, Jeff, and Joshua) and I, made up the other actors in the two tales. Remember that. It's important to the essay you are going to read.

In these two stories Molly assists us four who are investigators into the paranormal (and this was in 1991 before that was cool).

In A Very Strange House and The Chupacabra, Molly acted as my comedic foil, a young lady who wanted to be the ultimate professional reporter who always found herself in unspeakably embarrassing situations. Even though the stories were pure comedy, these were my first attempts at serious writing and it was a heady situation where I could take characters, put them into situations of my own devising, and entertain people with my tales.

I loved it!

The conversations I had with my friends on the power of writing were sheer delight. And out of those conversations I wrote an essay in story form on why I love to write stories even though I will never make a decent living at it.

(One note of explanation that needs to be made: In one of my conversations, I had a moment of serious self doubt concerning my first forays into writing fiction. Joshua responded with, "I could just slap your face." Remember that.

So Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the biggest star in my tales. Whether slapstick humor as in the stories mentioned above, or in a serious role such as Coventry House, Molly Ladanyi has been a real trooper.

May I introduce my favorite literary creation. Ladies and gentlemen, the always delightful, the beautiful, the unflappable Molly Ladanyi:

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