Congratulations to Heather Marsten who won last week’s giveaway.
This week we get write to the point with Travis Perry.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
I’m Travis Perry, father of six children ages 21 to 13, married to my wife Tammie for 24 years. Both of us are originally from the state of Montana but have lived in Texas for about 11 years now. I started taking a serious interest in writing maybe twelve years ago or so. I started out writing short stories and got involved in some online writing critique groups and things have gradually developed from there.
It’s also noteworthy that I’m an Army Reserve Civil Affairs officer, prior enlisted medic, who deployed long ago for Operation Desert Storm and more recently to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
My parents attended a church that taught the Bible and how to know Christ. I prayed at an early age to receive Jesus as my Savior, but in truth I was just repeating words, not really understanding what I was doing. I prayed multiple times in fact, even though I’d been taught you only need to ask Jesus to save you once. Later, years after my parents divorced and stopped attending church, I was thinking over my childhood experience and wondering if I had really meant my prayers for salvation and how could I know if I were really saved. Then I realized that I had never really put my faith in Jesus Himself—I’d actually been counting on my ability to correctly pray to save me, as if the prayer were magical. I realized “faith” means not to know, but to decide to trust—which I did at that moment at age 14 in Whitefish, Montana.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
It’s Avenir Eclectia, Volume 1, which is a project that compiles flash fiction stories from my friend Grace Bridges’ site (www.avenireclectia.com) from multiple authors in such a way that these many little stories by many writers form a common narrative. The setting is a nearly-inhospitable world (Eclectia) settled by humans, orbiting 94 Ceti. Human beings have settled moons of this world, converted the multi-generation ship that got them there into an orbiting space station (called “Avenir”), travel through local interplanetary space, and even inhabit underwater colonies on harsh Eclectia. Aliens called “angels” and “demons” by the locals live under the seas and have mysterious powers and unknown motivations.
I liked the idea for the setting, so I submitted quite a number of stories to the site since its founding over a year ago now. After enough stories accumulated, Grace proposed making an anthology of the stories, but contributors to the site were divided between listing the stories by author or by the order they’d been posted. I suggested a third method—putting them together in such a way that the stories as a whole would reinforce one another and express what the story universe of Avenir Eclectia is like. Since it was my idea, I took the initiative to actually put the stories in the order I suggested, which my fellow AE authors had the opportunity to review and add input into. In the end we all accepted the final product and were surprised by how well it turned out, not because of the editing, but because of the quality of the stories. It also happens to be true that I wrote the plurality of the stories in the collection—25 stories—but that plurality was a long way from being a majority, since the work has 137 tales altogether. The other seventeen authors included in Avenir Eclectia, Volume 1 (Grace Bridges, Jeff C. Carter, Jeff Chapman, Frank Creed, Pauline Creeden, Karina Fabian, Joseph H. Ficor, Kat Heckenbach, Holly Heisey, Kaye Jeffreys, Greg Mitchell, Keven Newsome, Mary Ruth Purselley, J. L. Rowan, Walt Staples, H.A. Titus, and Fred Warren) produced most of the 222 pages that made up this work and crafted the stories that brought it to a conclusion in which the featured characters are literally thanking God.
I believe this ending of unexpected mercy through hardship and pain has the power to fill a soul with a sense of uplifting wonder. That’s what I hope readers take away as they turn the last page.
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
I blog about once a week and my blog (http://travissbigidea.blogspot.com) covers speculative fiction story ideas (mostly science fiction ideas to be honest) from my own Christian perspective.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
Hmmm. As much as I love reading and writing speculative fiction, I think one of my favorite books is Winston Churchill’s account of WWII. Churchill was both an amazing man and an amazing writer—and all the shocking twists and turns of events, all the stark view of humanity at its best and worst, all of it actually happened…
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life
I was in command of small Army Reserve unit in 2009 and as the part-time officer in charge I clashed with the full-time civilian who worked at the unit and managed its affairs between weekend drills. I think the basic issue was he expected me to be a figurehead of a leader while he ran the show behind the scenes, which I was not prepared to do. He organized a smear campaign against me at one point based on the fact I was friendlier with members of the unit than I should have been as their commander. The charges he raised were way overblown, but well-directed, and for a time I had a serious concern that I would have formal charges leveled against me or some other formal reprimand that would end my Army Reserve career, especially since the investigating officer never asked me a single question.
But in the end, those in charge of the investigation correctly perceived the situation and made recommendations that did no harm whatsoever to my military record and which also taught me in practice how being an officer is different from being enlisted (I’d been enlisted in the same unit). After that, I transferred to a different military career and unit, which I have liked better and in which I’ve received many accolades. So God took an attempt to ruin my career and made it into a blessing.
We love hearing that, God is so good at taking things that could hurt us and turn it into a blessing.
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
I don’t really. Probably the closest thing to that for me would be Isaiah 6:8: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Where can we find you on the web?
At both the Avenir Eclectia and the blog sites which I mentioned above. But also at the Splashdown Books site: www.splashdownbooks.com/our-authors/travis-perry
And also my Amazon.com author page: http://www.amazon.com/Travis-Perry/e/B005EREN66/
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
Thanks for listening to me talk. I appreciate it.
Thanks for sharing with my readers, Travis.
Readers, Travis is giving away an ebook copy of his book. Leave a comment by December 18 at 5:00 pm to be entered.