The premise in a nutshell is – a small town hero, Michael Gavin, passes away, and wants a complete stranger to give his eulogy. The stranger, newspaper reporter Wes Watkins, has less than a week to interview the people who knew Michael and figure out why he was given this assignment. Ultimately there is a message of faith that will rock Wes to his core.
Where do you get your inspiration from? For “Hero’s Tribute,”
I got a lot of my inspiration from family and friends. I was born at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, while my dad was a captain in the 82nd Airborne. One of my best friends did a tour in Iraq with the 101st Airborne. There is a resiliency in soldiers and their families that I have always wanted to explore from the outside looking in. What makes them tick? What makes them heroes? How would that reflect to their neighbors?
What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?
The first word that comes to mind is “grace.” “Hero’s Tribute” is a story about grace and the heroes that surround us and I hope that comes through in the characters and the story, especially the twist at the end.
I know you are working on a sequel to it that Kregel is considering, what other projects do you have in progress?
Yes, I really hope the sequel gets a green light because there are still some more angles to cover in the characters and their backgrounds. I’ve also completed the first draft of a supernatural thriller and mapped out three more books in what would be a series. The series takes themes from the major and minor prophets in the Old Testament and drops them in the middle of America’s Civil War. Basically, the devil takes an active role in the demise of a nation, and the books would explore ways that God would respond, based off of how he has responded in the past with the likes of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Jonah, etc.
What is the best writing advice you ever got? The worst?
Best would have to be from a college professor – Conrad Fink. He was a former AP reporter and hammered home that you have to keep working at your craft. He had an archive full of stories he said the he wished he could have written a different way or taken a different angle and it was good to realize that early on that it’s a continual process.
The worst — well, I edit some magazines, and I’ve found that the better writers are actually the one’s less married to their prose. So, don’t make a fuss about tweaks and revisions. You have to understand that what you send to your editor won’t be exactly what you see on the printed page – it’ll be better.
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