MTL Newsletter | January 3, 2022
How would you describe your writing in general to someone who hasn’t read any of your books?
The marketing for my novel, Brimstone 1, says: “If you love the Lord, and you’re a fan of Twilight Zone and James Bond, blast off with the first Christian rocket—Brimstone 1!” Twilight Zone and James Bond in the name of Jesus is also evident in my next novel, The Deliverer.
What inspired you to write Brimstone 1?
Writing and speaking in the name of the Lord came upon my heart. I teach marketing, freelance writing, and public speaking at Christian universities, so I decided to turn that background into a ministry. Science Fiction has always been my first love among genres. I worried about “being commercial,” but people I trust and love all told me the same basic thing: “Shut up and write!” So, I decided to write Christian sci-fi. We are in a new space race driven by billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. With that, the question came to mind, “What would Christians do with a rocket?”
How did you research or plan your book?
I built a network of subject matter experts in space travel, engineering, aerospace, robotics, radio science, and oil exploration—the scientific disciplines present in Brimstone 1. I consume a great deal of media on tech, science, and space flight. I love history, and there is a major historical arc in Brimstone 1 going back to the Manhattan Project, America’s secret program to build the first atomic bomb during World War II.
Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
My intended audience is Christians who love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and other sci-fi and action tales. They can be the age of my college students, 18-24, who enjoy the latest blockbusters and series. Or they can be my contemporaries, age 40+, who grew up on the original comics, movies, and TV series that drive today’s blockbusters.
Do you relate best to any one of your characters?
I relate to protagonist Elijah Lindstrom, trying to make a name for himself with his intellectual gifts, leaving himself exposed to the unforeseen in the process.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the lead role?
Timothée Chalamet, the young star of Dune, in a mustache and goatee.
How much of your own life goes into your books?
I grew up in the entertainment industry. I was a child actor and a screenwriter as a young adult. My mother was a successful screenwriter. I strive to put a cinematic sense of spectacle and pacing into all my books.
How has technology changed your writing?
Technology has changed my writing by giving me the tools of research, marketing, and retail. As I teach in marketing courses, the barriers to entry have been lowered for authors. We no longer need big publishers with big budgets to build an audience. We no longer need to battle for finite shelf space with produced “units,” meaning physical books. This gives today’s authors much greater opportunity to find their audiences.
What’s your next project?
My next book will be The Deliverer. In 2038, Civil War II has torn America apart. Rich consumers pay armed delivery drivers to bring special purchases to their doors, pitting them against the murderous porch pirates of tomorrow. The e-commerce bloodsport is streamed constantly, with the top drivers becoming celebrities akin to ancient Roman gladiators or modern sports stars. Bren Van Allen is one of the best, an evangelical Christian nicknamed The Deliverer who succeeds with smarts and mercy over body count. A mysterious woman in a fortified, luxury community becomes Bren’s newest customer, embroiling him in a plot to develop a terrifying new technology.
What’s one unusual fact about you?
I am a four-time Jeopardy champion.
If money was no issue, what would you be doing right now? Where would you be?
I would be doing exactly what I’m doing now, writing stories that excite me in the name of Jesus Christ. If money was no issue, that would mean my books were selling!
How have you changed or grown as a writer?
I turn 60 in 2022. I am writing with more skill and joy than ever. This is due to the experience that comes with age and the strength that comes from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Billionaire Baxter Moore and his family have broadcast scripture into space for 80 years. Now, a UFO heads to Earth in response. Brimstone 1—the first Christian rocket—will intercept, piloted by NASA veteran Jana McAlister. A young engineer, Elijah Lindstrom, unravels the secrets and falls in love with the beautiful astronaut. As the countdown approaches, an anti-Christian militia plots the annihilation of Brimstone 1 to end the extraterrestrial evangelism.