If you've been following me very long, you know I usually only do one author interview per month, but y'all, this month something exciting happened--my father-in-law's new book released! When I fell in love with my husband, I had no idea the amazing family I was getting along with him, but I love them all so much. Today, I'm going to introduce you to my second dad, the one who is always good to bounce ideas off of and is an amazing Grandpa to my children. He's just published a book that will be an awesome resource for new Christians or anyone not familiar with the Bible already. But I'll let him tell you more as we chat.
David, have you always liked to write or is that something that has developed through the other occupations you've held over the years (preaching and teaching)?
As I advanced in school, I don’t recall ever being put off by writing assignments. I liked to read, and was encouraged to do so. My “wiring” was such as that, as I got older, I began to just naturally notice the way authors write, turn a phrase, etc., even as I learned their content. In college and grad school, I took on courses, even independent studies, that let me learn through research and writing. So, writing was first and probably influenced my career interests.
What would you say your biggest learning curve has been in becoming a published writer?
Trying to master the many details of the process. Preachers and teachers are always moving on to the next sermon or unit. I was writing all along, but typically didn’t have time to focus on the details of publishing which, like every profession, has its rules and details. Mastering them has been a challenge, not least because the details take me away from my study and writing!
If you had all the time and money in the world to do whatever you wanted, what is the biggest thing you'd love to achieve?
Well, the likelihood of that makes it a tough question! I’d set up my library and work area to maximize the writing I still want to do. But I’d also like to visit more of the historic sites I’ve read about, perhaps combining that with attending at least one game in every major-league baseball park. But I don’t want to be gone so much I can’t enjoy watching my grandkids grow!
This book you've just released is based on a Bible class you taught, correct? Who would you say the ideal audience would be for reading this material?
It’s actually more than one. Chapters on the makeup of the Bible and summaries of the different divisions of Bible history were originally notes developed in the mid-1980s for a Christian school course I was teaching to junior high students. The Intertestamental History chapter was a unit I taught in other school and church courses. The summary of the entire story came into focus about a year ago when I was asked to teach it as part of an adult Bible class series at church.
The book is a primer and will help both Bible study beginners and church-goers who have never heard or need a review of the big picture. Bible classes and sermons tend to zero in on small parts of a Bible book or topics. That’s not a bad thing, and I love those detailed studies. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to a greater appreciation of always keeping the big picture in view for study of both the whole story and individual Bible books. I find that the details often come alive when we see them in the larger context.
High school readers should be able to handle the material. But it doesn’t talk down to those readers, and I don’t think older readers will find its style to be juvenile in nature. My goal was articulated in a podcast interview with Eric Metaxes I heard a few weeks ago. To paraphrase, he said his aim when writing on subjects like Dietrich Bonhoeffer was to accurately tell the story in a way an academic would appreciate, but will help general readers learn what the academic knows. That was a “wish I had said that” moment for me.
Are you working on any other books right now? Can you tell us a little about them?
I have multiple projects laid out in outline form. Currently, I’m working on a study of the Gospel of Mark to learn from the way Jesus trained his first followers as they struggled with the challenges they faced as they struggled to learn to be committed disciples.
I know you also keep a website with various articles and lessons. Can you tell us more about what we could find there?
From about 2002 until 2015, my sermon notes, bulletin articles, and several class outlines were posted on the website of the church where I was pulpit minister. When the site was discontinued in 2015, I created my website (www.davidanguish.com) to keep some of that material available. I’ve added newer materials too. There are also links to Christian universities and sites I think people will benefit from exploring—including archaeology, church growth, and leadership.
I’m working on developing a new section where I plan to post writings on some of the subjects relating to Christian apologetics (or evidences).
Last but not least, I always ask my authors to give me one fun fact about themselves that hardly anyone knows. :-)
Having moved to Atlanta when I was 11 and to Memphis in my 40s, I’ve lived most of my life as a suburbanite. But before moving to Atlanta, we lived several years on one of two farms my grandfather owned in southeastern Ohio. He didn’t get his first tractor until I was 9. So, I’ve driven a team of horses—and at least been introduced to the task of milking a cow. Not things most suburban and city kids do.
I know a little boy who probably wishes his Grandpa still had a tractor to drive. He loves everything with wheels. Thanks so much for sharing with us today.
To read more about David and his book, keep reading.
The Bible can be a puzzle for first time readers. Why is it so different? Why study it? What is the nature of its different writings? What is its story, its plot? How do the individual books and parts fit in that story?
Getting Acquainted with the Bible is a primer that aims to introduce the Bible’s big picture, purpose, and parts. The book also presents an overview of the Bible’s complete story along with summaries of that story’s different parts.
Both first-time Bible readers and those who would like a review will find it useful.
Print available: http://amazon.com/author/davidanguish - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/getting-acquainted-with-the-bible-david-anguish/1131474020?ean=2940156558933
Ebook available at several sites-list is available here: http://books2read.com/u/mdLVJ5
David Anguish has worked as a minister, educator, and author. He has also taught in lecture programs, Bible teacher workshops, and retreats. He holds degrees in Bible from Freed-Hardeman and Lipscomb Universities. He and his late wife Carlynn were married for just under forty years. Their family includes two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.
I met Pam Harris almost a year ago, at the KenTen Writer's Retreat. Since then, I've gotten to read one of her books, and get to know her even better through social media. She's an interesting person, and has a variety of books to choose from. It's my privilege to help you get to know her a little better today, too.
Pam, I know you used to teach and were a middle school principal for a while. As the wife of a high school teacher, I know neither of those is an easy job. How do you think they helped prepare you for being an author?
My experiences as a teacher impact all of my writing in some way, either in character development, plot, or incident ideas. My first two books were mysteries targeted to girls ages eight to 12, and I relied upon my interactions with the middle school students to guide the behaviors and attitudes of my young characters in those books. Aimee, the heroine of my third book, was a teacher in a one-room school house in the 1895 wilderness of Arizona. And even in my novella that was part of Smoky Mountain Brides, the hero was a high school math teacher and coach. My fifth book has teachers, too, so you can see how my mind operates! Interactions with teenagers over the years (I was a Spanish, French, journalism, and theater arts teacher) gave me insights I wouldn’t have had otherwise. You haven’t lived until you’ve taken a group of teenagers on a long trip and into Mexico! Also, as a licensed high school English teacher, my knowledge of English grammar and writing structure has been a huge help.
You've written several books aimed at middle grades as well as several for adults. Which do you find easier, and why?
I enjoy writing for middle grades the most. It’s easier for me because adult books often have a romance element that, even though very innocent in Christian fiction, makes me a little uncomfortable to write. I live in a town of just over 10,000, and I think I have seen myself for so many years as a role model to middle and high school students and tried to be a role model in my church and community, I feel awkward showing that side of me. Also, because of my passion for education, I love to write books for older kids that entertain and educate at the same time. For example, in The Ghosts of Graceland, readers will learn things about Memphis that are educational in nature, and in Music City Mayhem, the sequel, they learn about Andrew Jackson and the Parthenon in Nashville.
I've read your book, The Ghosts of Graceland, and enjoyed it. Even though I lived in the Memphis area for a couple of years, I never ventured much into the part around Graceland. What made you decide to set your book there? Where did you get the idea?
I’m glad you liked it! When my youngest son, who is now 30, was ten years old, he and I went to Graceland while visiting my husband’s relatives in nearby Olive Branch, Mississippi. That visit turned my son into a huge Elvis fan. He was used to Elvis music because of me, but he had an early interest in history, and Graceland is like stepping back in time. After that, he wanted to go to Graceland every year for his birthday until he was a senior in high school. On one of those trips, he and I drove around the neighborhood behind Graceland, and I wondered if the residents there could hear the activity on the other side of that tall, white fence. And that’s how the idea was born. My son and I were even interviewed once on Sirius Elvis Radio by Elvis’s closest friend, so I had to incorporate that experience into the story!
I know you've also written a historical book and a contemporary book aimed for adults. Do you have a preference between historical or contemporary? Which is easier for you to write?
The historical required more research. I read all I could about the time period and the place, and I researched online and with phone calls to make sure I was as accurate as possible. The idea for that book came to me while visiting my niece and her family at their vacation home in the mountains in Strawberry, Arizona, so I took pictures and video to use as a reference. It was fun researching and learning, but it was definitely more work. A contemporary book is much easier to write, although you still have to do some research with those books as well.
What do you have in the works right now, writing-wise?
I am doing a rewrite of a romantic suspense set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My publisher hasn’t given me a date yet because they are waiting for me to get the finished product to them. I am also working on a more literary piece that deals with a young woman’s life and tragedy and how she overcomes it. Last year I received the Sandra Robbins Inspirational Award for it based upon the synopsis and sample chapters, so I guess I need to get busy and finish it!
Can you leave us with one fun little-known fact about you?
Wow, that’s a tough one! I don’t know if this is fun or not, and it is well known to my friends, but on
Dec. 1, 2018, at the age of 62, I completed my first (and probably last) half-marathon, the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis. I jogged/walked 13.1 miles in three hours and seventeen minutes. St. Jude is my favorite charity (my daughter-in-law works there), and I had wanted to do the half-marathon for years, so it was a bucket list sort of thing. I retired in May, 2018, but that half-marathon was the highlight of my year!
Thanks so much for joining us today, Pam.
To read more about one of Pam's books and her, keep scrolling.
When twelve-year-old Mandi Ferguson and her twin sister are sent across the country to stay with a great-aunt they barely know while their mother and her new husband go on an extended honeymoon, she has no idea of how her life will change. Aunt Trina lives on a street directly behind Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and a tourist destination in Memphis. Mysterious voices in the middle of the night, a stranger lurking around them, a cute, homeless teenage
boy, and family secrets over future detective Mandi plenty of opportunities to use her sleuth skills. What she discovers, however, impacts her life in a way she never could have imagined.
Pam Harris, also published as Pam Watts Harris, is a retired educator who writes fiction for females of all ages. A native Tennessean and former Arizona resident, she writes stories drawn from her own experiences, always being sure to use locales with which she is most familiar. Her desire to write began as a child, leading her to begin her college studies as an English major. She and her husband of thirty-eight years live in a small town in Tennessee, and they have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law, and two “grand-dogs.” In addition to writing fiction for females of all ages, she works as an editor for Mantle Rock Publishing and as a freelance editor. Her hobbies include listening to audio books, fitness walking, gardening, and traveling.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)