Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have the privilege of living in one of the greatest places in the world, Eugene, OR. Home of the University of Oregon Ducks! My wife and I pastor a great church in town (Joy Church) that helps lots and lots of people find hope, purpose, and a place to belong. I get the rare honor of getting to do for a living what I already live to do! We have three awesome kids: Evie, Jack, and Penny. I have written two books: Rocket Fuel and Reorthodox. I am also a musician and I have recorded four albums. Check them out on Spotify!
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called Rocket Fuel and it was inspired by a conversation I had with a lady one day about prayer. I casually mentioned the term daily devotions and she stopped me and said, “I don’t know how to pray.” I realized that there was a need for a practical guide to prayer and bible study for people who felt like they didn’t know how to have a relationship with God.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I jump from chapter to chapter and idea to idea a lot. This is weird because I’m usually a linear thinker but when it comes to writing my mind dances between ideas constantly. It’s frustrating because it makes it hard to track my progress but it’s just how I work. I remember when I finished my first book I was surprised because I wrapped up a few chapters at once and realized…oh I’m done! I finished!
What authors, or books have influenced you?
C.S. Lewis is one of my all time favorites. My son Jack’s middle name is actually Lewis and he’s named after my favorite author, C.S. Lewis. Lewis’ friends called him Jack so that’s there my son’s name comes from. I fell in love with fiction because of Tolkien. I remember my Mom trying to get me to read this book called The Hobbit for a few months when I was a kid. She said, “It’s about this little man with hairy feet!” Needless to say, that didn’t really catch my interest! Haha! I eventually ended up reading it and the rest was history. I loved it and devoured the Lord of the Rings trilogy soon after.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a practical guide to public speaking and preparation. Speaking is a big part of my job as a pastor and I want to share what I’ve learned over the years to help other people that speak regularly. It’s kind of a sneakily stressful thing as a pastor. You realize, there’s a Sunday every Sunday and it’s your job to encourage and inspire people every week while helping them grow spiritually. So, I just want to share the strategies I’ve learned for keeping it fresh and effective!
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am relatively new to the promotion side of things! I am starting to experiment with ams ads for my books on Amazon and I am excited to see if it pays off. The one thing I think is really important when it comes to promotion is staying in touch with your readers. I added a free audiobook version of one of my books in exchange for an email address. This helps me stay in touch with the people that have already read my book!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
This is probably cliche but here goes. Start small. Write short stories or short books based around one idea. Basically, if you can clearly communicate one idea at a time you’re off to a great start. I find that the larger the scope of a book or writing project the more complex it is. Complexity is usually exponential. When you bite off more than you can chew the temptation to quit is much stronger. Write something that you can and will finish. This will encourage you to keep writing!
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
A man I respect once told me that every person was made in the image of God and deserved to be treated with kindness and respect. That really impacted me at the time and I have remembered it ever since. I desire to live in a way that elevates the people around me and helps them realize their potential!
What are you reading now?
Oh gosh, a lot! I usually have 3-5 books I’m reading at a given time because my interests are so diverse and I get too excited to wait to start a new book. I am reading Multipliers by Liz Wiseman, a book about the Israelite Conquest of Canaan, Luther by Eric Metaxas, Riptide by Lee Child and Douglas Preston, and anything I can find about the Oregon Ducks!
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am writing a book about Church planting at the moment. It’s a really niche market but it’s my expertise and passion! I’m having a blast writing it and I can’t wait to share it with the people that will read it! It might not be a bestseller but I believe that it’s a book that will really help some people!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
The Bible (I know I know…safe answer), Mere Christianity, and probably the LOTR trilogy. This is by far the hardest question I’ve had to answer! There’s about 100 books I consider desert island ones.