Congratulations to Jo who won Joi Copeland’s book from last week’s interview.
This week we get write to the point with R.L. Copple.
Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fiction in earnest since October 2005. I’ve written non-fiction prior to that, not a lot published, but devotionals, sermons, and bible studies mostly (not counting research papers in college). In high school I did a little writing. A couple of short stories, a Shakespearean comedy, and several comic books, including the drawing.
I graduated from college in 1984 with a BA in religion, and pastored two different churches back in the 90s. Mostly worked in bookkeeping/finance for the last several years. Been married to the love of my life since May 15, 1982. I have three children, all out of high school. Oldest is my daughter who we just married off. The other two are boys, one of which is going to the Universityof Texasthis fall.
How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?
My dad was a Baptist pastor in my early years, but eventually our family drifted away from God, and we didn’t go to church or talk about God or Jesus from about 8 years old and on. But in 1976, I began to get interested in what was in the Bible, thanks to a classmate I overheard talking about giant scorpions that would be stinging all the non-Christians on the last day. I ended up reading the New Testament and realized I needed a church where I could be helped to understand it better, so I started praying to God. In what would otherwise appear to be purely circumstantial, He arranged for a pastor to come by our house, stop, and invite me and my brothers to vacation bible school. So here I was, a 16 year-old, attending vacation bible school with all these kids. But that Friday after a brief homily, I gave my life to Christ and asked him to forgive my sins. And that turned my whole life into a new direction. Been learning and growing in that direction ever since.
Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?
My last book completed “The Reality Chronicles” trilogy and is titled Reality’s Fire. The first two are Reality’s Dawn and Reality’s Ascent. It is a fairytale fantasy in a parallel world with a Medieval feel. Being a parallel world, there are similarities with ours, but also differences. Some events have progressed at different rates than our world has.
The book details the adventures of Sisko, his wife Gabrielle, and his children Kaylee and Nathan, along with several friends and characters over the course of the series, in relation to a ring that attaches to the wearer and enables them to do miracles to help others, but will be a curse if one uses it for selfish purposes. Written on the ring is the verse, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The story begins with the entrance of the ring into the world in Reality’s Dawn and ends at its final destination in Reality’s Fire.
This last book focuses on two points-of-view, Gabrielle, and her daughter, Kaylee. Romance is involved in this book more than the previous two, but becomes the battle ground for not only the ring, but Kaylee’s soul as she struggles between her moral beliefs and the temptation to break them.
The meaning that binds these stories together is how the presence of God reveals the character of the individual, and how God’s presence can use even one who has sinned to accomplish great feats, but the most powerful of this world are defeated by it. It is the revelation of God’s reality into the world. Which should give us hope who depend on His grace to redeem us and enable us to “do all things through Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?
I probably break the rules a bit in that I don’t have a set schedule, some post are on the longer side, and I don’t always use pictures. But it also gives me the freedom to put up how-to articles, like the recent one about how to use Open Office Writer and Calibre to create ebooks. I’ve also done a few book reviews, some opinion pieces on various writerly topics, as well as some writer tip pieces, like the one titled “7 Common Pitfalls of Critiquers.”
I also do a monthly blog column at the review site, Grasping for the Wind, usually comes out the 16th of each month. Also, I’ve done several guest blog posts here and there.
Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?
One of my favorites, in large part because it is the book that sent me down the path of reading speculative fiction, is The Runaway Robot by Lester Del Ray. It sent my imagination into overdrive. Because of that book, I also read the likes of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. But I absorbed the science fiction books in my high school library and my only regret is that there didn’t seem to be much Christian oriented literature among science fiction writers. That has changed some since the 70s, but there is still a lot of good territory to cover.
Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life
During my last job as a city financial officer, the political climate changed so that the controlling group sought to get rid of everyone with the previous administration. False accusations were made against me that never stuck (because they were false) and I had to literally watch my back. Doing what was right got me in trouble. They finally got rid of me last July. At first, I was worried about our financial situation, but God has blessed us and it has ended up giving me more time to focus on writing as well as searching out new avenues that I might not have considered before. And my stress level is now a hundred times less than it was while on that job. I don’t know what the future holds, but as the saying goes, I know who holds the future. And I’m not worried. They ended up actually freeing me to live again.
Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?
Yes. Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first thekingdomofGod, and all these things will be added to you as well.”
Where can we find you on the web?
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?
Yes. Do I have any links to articles or posts that would let you know more about the books? Why yes. I’m glad you asked.
I have two character interviews I’ve posted on my blog. One is an interview with undoubtedly the most eccentric and interesting character in these books, Joel.
I think your readers would not only find them entertaining, but informative.
And thanks for having me. I enjoyed it.
Thanks so much for taking the time to share with my readers.
Readers, enter to win an e-book of Reality’s Fire. Just leave a comment by July 17 at 5:00 and you will be entered.