Monday, January 22, 2007

Wayne Thomas Batson - The Final Storm

It's my pleasure to welcome Wayne Thomas Batson to my blog today, as part of the Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy Blog Tour, to talk about his writing and his smash hit young people's fantasy novels.

The Door Within
Rise of the Wyrm Lord
The Final Storm.

Hi, Wayne!
I've been keeping an eye on your books on amazon, and your numbers look impressive. Congratulations!

Wayne: Thanks, Sharon. I’ve been kind of amazed. There was a kind of lull time after the holidays in 2005 when the numbers went down the tubes. I began to worry that my “run” was over. But since the release of Rise of the Wyrm and The Final Storm, the sales numbers have gone crazy. God is faithful.

Sharon: Yes He is. The books are beautiful, too. I love that Christian publishers are giving gorgeous art and beautiful construction to some of the CSFF releases.

Wayne: My everlasting thanks to Tommy Nelson for believing in the mission and potential enough to invest so heavily in the books. The cover art is breathtaking, the packaging is unique with art on the dust jacket and on the hard cover itself, and the colored inks are a first as far as I know. Dee Ann Grand, then a VP for Tommy Nelson told me that they wanted The Door Within books to stand out on the shelves. I think they succeeded.

Sharon: I've been visiting your blog, and enjoyed following your battle to meet your latest deadline. I relate to the whole "glue yourself to the chair and work" struggle.

Wayne: Thanks for visiting, prayers, and timely comments. I was really encouraged…you know, just to read that someone out there knows what it’s like. I laughed out loud when you posted, “Get back to work. NOW.” Too cool.

Sharon: Because I'm a writer, I like to think in metaphors. What metaphor would you use to describe your writing life and why?

Wayne: A simile, maybe? In my writing life, I am most like a hawk. Hawks are sharp-eyed and constantly on the lookout for prey. I continuously look for new story ideas—whether I’m finished my current project or not! Consequently, I almost never run out of material. Time to write it all…uh, well, that’s different. Like a hawk, being a creature of nature where the next meal is never guaranteed, I write whenever I can squeeze it in. I’ve heard of writers who do 10 pages a day or even 2000 words a day. My life makes that impossible. I am a full time middle school teacher and I have four young children of my own. Spare time is, well…spare. I seize time whenever I can find it. Finally, a hawk relies on the wind, the powerful thermal breaths that carry it and allow it to glide across the miles searching…
When I’m writing, I totally need God to lift me up with His strength. I’m such a rascal. I hem and haw. I have industrial strength ADD, and I love my leisure time. For me to sustain writing momentum requires God’s strength. I met my Isle of Swords deadline by basically doubling my regular writing speed. All things are possible.

Sharon: Great image . . . especially relying on the winds. Tell me what themes especially surprised you or spoke to you in the writing of your new release, The Final Storm.

Wayne: Part of The Final Storm was cathartic for me. I went through a period where, without being conscious of it, I began to doubt God’s good intentions for me. I wondered why certain things were happening and began to despair to some degree. I began to find comfort in Job, “Though He may slay me, yet will I trust Him.” That really comes out I think in a scene where Aidan, Antoinette, and Robby are all imprisoned by the enemy. They all face a dire choice. Aidan’s decision crystallizes in true Job fashion. But that’s all I’ll say, lest I spoil it. LOL

Sharon: Yep, don't give anything away. :-) I'm sure you get some terrific mail from readers. What are some of your favorite notes or comments you've received?

Wayne: Sharon, I get lots of fun comments like “Cool books!” and “I loved the part where…” Those are all nice, but, every once in a while, I get a correspondence that knocks me over. This was one of my favorites:
“I just needed to tell you my son finished the Door Within series last night. And at our night prayer he looked over to us and said these books have changed him. He had tears in his eyes. I asked him how and he couldn't quite find the right words but he said that the path between Jesus and he has become closer. What more could a parent want from a story. And we were worried he wouldn't find anything after reading Harry Potter!! My son is named Gabriel meaning strength of God. And I know these books have played an important part of his spiritual journey. Gabe is a 9 year old boy ready for the King's army. Thank you for opening a door for Gabe to some of heaven's mysteries that his father and I could never in a million words explain.”

Sharon: Wow! How affirming and encouraging. The hard work is worth it. I know you just faced a grueling deadline and had to work hard over the holidays. What are some of your tools that help you the most when writing gets to that extra level of toughness. Chocolate? Walks? Music? Kick-boxing?

Wayne: The Setting helps me. I need a silent room with nothing to distract me. The little private tutoring room at my local Eldersburg Branch of the library is just the ticket. Four white walls, one table, one window (shades down), a chair, and an electrical outlet. ;-) Besides that, when I write, I live on Eclipse Mints, bottled water, and protein bars! LOL

Sharon: Thanks so much for stopping by, and for pouring out effort in creating works of imagination and fantasy for young readers! God's blessings on your work!

Wayne: My pleasure, Sharon. Thanks for your encouragement. Never Alone!


Speaking of "never alone" below is a list of other blogs featuring Wayne and his books sometime during the next few days. Be sure to stop by and visit some new places. And we always love comments!

Also, on a non-CSFF blog topic, if you haven't heard about my "Fun Experiment" scroll down to my earlier post about RENOVATING BECKY MILLER to read about it. There's still time to join in. :-) And if you read this AFTER January 22nd, go ahead and participate anyway, if you'd like. Check back for my report next week.

Sharon Hinck

Other Bloggers:

Jim Black
Jackie Castle
Valerie Comer
Karri Compton
Frank Creed
CSFF Blog Tour
Gene Curtis
Chris Deanne
Janey DeMeo
Tessa Edwards
April Erwin
Linda Gilmore
Beth Goddard
Marcus Goodyear
Todd Michael Greene
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Joleen Howell
K. D. Kragen
Tina Kulesa
Lost Genre Guild
Kevin Lucia and The Bookshelf Reviews 2.0 - The Compendium
Rachel Marks
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Caleb Newell
Eve Nielsen
John Otte
Robin Parrish
Cheryl Russel
Hannah Sandvig
Mirtika Schultz
James Somers
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith
Daniel I. Weaver


Mark Goodyear said...

Sharon and Wayne, what a powerful interview. Wayne continues to amaze me with his generosity of spirit. The man is a working machine--and he does it all in love.

I especially liked this quote:
I began to doubt God’s good intentions for me. I wondered why certain things were happening and began to despair to some degree. I began to find comfort in Job, “Though He may slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

That's such a strong reminder for writers about how difficult the road will be. Even when God has plans to prosper us in ways that the world respects, we can despair and doubt.

That's encouraging because it is a reminder that God always prospers his people--even if he does so by slaying us.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Thanks, Sharon, for the fun interview and for being a strong part of the tour.

And, Marcus, God has an amazing knack for doing the unexpected, the incredible, the unimaginable--and doing so in ways that thwart our worldly perceptions of what "works." Thinking of Christ's sacrifice--He didn't have to do it that way. It doesn't make much sense from a human fatherly perspective--I mean, you're a dad. How easy would it be for you to let one of your own…

He is the great I AM. There is no one like Him.

Shannon said...

Sharon, thanks for doing this, and Wayne, thanks for sharing ... especially the passage that Mark just quoted. I needed to hear this today ... have really been struggling.

Blessings to both of you!

kc said...

Great post, Sharon. I can't wait for your book to come up on CSFF.
God bless,

WayneThomasBatson said...

Shannon, good word for it "struggle." That's exactly what life is. "In the world you will have trouble. But I have overcome the world." The One True King is with you and all who call His name.

Never alone!


Becky said...

Echoing the comments from the others. Great interview--most fitting responses in light of The Final Storm. Readers are in for a real treat!


Sharon Hinck said...

Hi, everyone!
Thanks SO much for stopping by and especially for leaving comments.
Wayne, I'm very blessed by your example. You use even a response to comments on this blog tour as yet another opportunity to encourage others in the truth of God's power and goodness.


Cheryl said...

Great interview Sharon and Wayne!

Mark Goodyear said...

Wayne, you're right. I'm a dad. And I can't imagine. In fact, it makes me a little trembly to even think of losing my kids.

Katya said...

Great interview. I am fairly amazed by how much time and effort Mr. Batson has put into this blog tour (while it is my first one, I didn't expect this much involvement from the author)!

I find there are little things in the Bible that we often forget about, that strike us in the most poignant way when reminded, like the "Though He may slay me" thing.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Katya, so true. You can read the Bible and just zoom right by truth. Then, one day, blam, someone points it out, and the lights come on. Romans 7 is like that…you know where Paul says I do not understand what I do...

It was the first verse of the Bible that made me think…uh, wow. This book is 2,000 years old and still hits me between the eyes? Hmmm...

nissa annakindt said...

Loved the interview. I really liked that the book has such a great look to it with the blue inks and all. And the content is great too.

pixydust said...

Your encouragement is wonderful, Wayne! God Bless you for your generosity!

Great interview Sharon!

WayneThomasBatson said...

Funny thing, Pixy. It doesn't feel like generosity. It's just a lot of FUN. Maybe that's what He meant when He said, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."