One of the great things about taking a step into writing is getting to meet writers. I had the pleasure of sitting next to Alan in October at our local American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) meeting and hearing about his book. Then he sent it to me to read and I loved it. It’s a suspense/thriller and if you want to know more about what I thought of it, you can read my review here.
Now, for the fun part. Let’s get a little theological with Alan…
Do you consider yourself a Christian author or an author of Christian fiction? What do you think the difference is?
Some people define Christian fiction by what is omitted: sex, profanity, and graphic violence. Others say it includes a Christian worldview. My book meets all those criteria, and people who have read it consider it Christian fiction. But for me, that was a by-product, not the ultimate goal. I want to tell great stories that change lives for the better. I prefer to think of this book as a family-friendly wild ride with a message of hope and a challenge to anyone’s faith.
How is your theology (what you believe about God) reflected in your writing?
How can it not be? I mean, writing is an extension of who we are. I take seriously that St. Paul said we should concentrate on the things above, on what build us up, so why would I write something that would cause someone to stumble? So that’s one major way my beliefs are incorporated. But, I didn’t write a book on theology. The book doesn’t have all the answers. Neither do I.
What is one thing you’d like your readers to know?
God is in control.
The Q document is an actual theory about the source of the Synoptic Gospels: Mark, Matthew, and Luke. Scholars used to argue (and still do) about whether Mark or Matthew was written first. They also questioned why certain differences existed between the three Gospels, if they were mere copies of each other as others argued. In the mid-1800s, German theologians conjured up the theory that a pre-Gospel or source document led to all three Gospels to settle those issues. I intend to put more information about it on my website. The idea for the book started with a “What if” question when I was reading about the Q document. I wondered, What if the Q document, which has never been found, was discovered, but it wasn’t what anyone expected it to be. Then I came across an article on the Dead Sea Scrolls and was intrigued by their content, how they were found, and how they were evaluated. The story took off from there.
Have you been to all the places you wrote about?
Possibly, but that’s top-secret information. I’m planning fun contests for my website, and I intend that to be one of the things visitors try to figure out. And if a reader thinks I haven’t been somewhere, then they’ll have to determine which place and why.
What does your main character, Jay, believe about God?
He starts out pretty confused. He’s mad at a god that he’s not even sure exists. And like many people, including an earlier version of myself, he doesn’t care if God exists because he doesn’t think it matters. But, his experiences in the story cause him to think about it. It’s a multi-book series. We’ll both have to see where he ends up.
Thanks for stopping by, Alan. I’m looking forward to your next book. Let us know when we can play in your geographical contest. I’m willing to bet that you’ve been to Houston…
Want to know more about Alan? Check out his website: http://www.alanschleimer.com
Or you can find him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AlanSchleimer.Author