Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

Write to the Point with Travis Perry December 12, 2012

Travis%20new%201Congratulations 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-perry24-Avenir1-250

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.

 

Write to the Point with Fred Warren October 17, 2012

Filed under: Author Interviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 11:33 am
Tags: , , ,

Today we get write to the point with Fred Warren.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

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 blog at http://frederation.wordpress.com, and I also write a weekly article at Speculative Faith, http://www.speculativefaith.com,on Tuesdays.

What are you working on right now?

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.