Today we get write to the point with Fred Warren.
I was born in Tacoma, Washington, but spent most of my formative years in California, where my parents pastored a couple of small churches. I graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983, and spent 24 years in the Air Force as a bomber navigator, flight-test navigator, and military educator. I retired from the Air Force in 2007 and now work as a government contractor in eastern Kansas, providing computer simulation support for Army training.
I’ve been married for 28 years to the girl who should have been my high school sweetheart, and have three kids, three dogs, and a mortgage. When I’m not writing or reading, I enjoy running, hiking, birdwatching, stargazing, and playing around with computers.
Writing has always been a big part of my life, but I kept it mostly private until a few years ago. Since then, I’ve written more than twenty short stories that have been published in a variety of print and online magazines, and a novel, The Muse, that debuted in November 2009 from Splashdown Books and was a finalist for the 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award for book of the year in the speculative genre (science fiction and fantasy). A collection of my short stories, Odd Little Miracles, was published in July 2011, and The Seer, a sequel to The Muse, followed in November 2011.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
My personal testimony is pretty simple. I invited Jesus into my heart at age 5, in a little church in Iowa, and I’ve never looked back.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
In The Muse, struggling author Stan Marino goes looking for inspiration, but finds instead an ancient evil that casts him, his friends, and his family into a battle for their souls in a realm of imagination where almost anything is possible.
Five years later, The Seerfinds Stan still picking up the pieces of his shattered life. Are his daughter’s disturbing visions of the future a lifesaving gift, or a curse that will draw him once again into the shadowy world of dreams and imagination, back into a war he can’t hope to win?
Odd Little Miracles is a collection of my short stories from the past several years, so it encompasses a mix of styles and voices. There’s science fiction, fantasy, and horror, mingled with humor, romance, adventure, and satire. Lost colonies, UFO investigators, circuses, magical beekeepers, and spacefaring nuns…all involve contact with the miraculous, in one form or another.
Expression of my own Christian faith in my stories is something I’ve experimented and struggled with since I began writing. I don’t typically set out to write “message” stories, though you can probably find a message or moral in quite a few of them. If a character happens to be a Christian, his or her faith will probably come up in the discussion at some point. In “Pilgrimage,” one of the short stories in Odd Little Miracles, an alien ambassador abruptly inquires about my heroine’s belief in God, and she stumbles through a brief summary of the Gospel as she tries to collect her wits. I hadn’t planned for this to happen, but sometimes characters take matters into their own hands. Perhaps it’s a form of divine inspiration. I hope so. Most of my stories are speculative, and by that, I mean that they involve ordinary people coping with extraordinary situations. If my readers can project themselves into those situations alongside my characters, feel their own emotions stirred, then ponder for awhile afterward how they might respond in like circumstances, and why, I think that’s mission accomplished.
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
I try to blog two or three times a week, depending on how busy real life is at the moment. I talk a lot about writing and writing-related topics, but the material covers a pretty broad swath, from family, to faith, to random observations about whatever is occupying my thoughts that day. Regardless of the subject matter, I try to have fun with it and keep things as lighthearted as possible.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
I think your readers might enjoy a book by Matt Mikalatos called Imaginary Jesus. It’s a humorous parable about our tendency to remake Jesus in our own image, but it also weaves in a story about God’s grace working in the author’s life through a personal tragedy. You can read my review of the book (in three parts) at http://frederation.wordpress.com/tag/imaginary-jesus/.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life?
Well, mine’s not as dramatic as Matt’s–my daughter had a little mishap a few months ago that seemed like a disaster at the time, but it’s reinforced for all of us the truth that God has a plan for us, and His timing is perfect. Bottom line, she was where she was supposed to be, and her experience erased all doubts in her mind about that, but the delay was necessary to fully equip her for the challenging road ahead. Long story, short version at http://frederation.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/speed-bump/
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
I find Jeremiah 9: 23-24 helps me keep things in perspective.
Where can we find you on the web?
I’m wrestling with the draft of the third book in my Muse series, which, as sometimes happens, is taking longer than I expected. I’m also writing some short science fiction as part of a collaborative shared-world story sponsored by my publisher, called Avenir Eclectia. You can read along as the adventure develops at http://www.avenireclectia.com, and the first collection of stories from this universe, with accompanying artwork, was published just last week. You can find more details about that at http://www.splashdownbooks.com/avenir-eclectia
Melissa, thanks so much for inviting me to spend some time here with you and your readers.
Fred, thank you for sharing with my readers, I know they appreciate your time.
Readers, Fred is giving away one of his books to you, your choice. Leave a comment for Fred by October 23 at 5:00 pm to be entered to win.