Introducing 2018 Keynote: H. Michael Brewer
Some folks write to feel better. Some folks write to help others feel better. Some folks write to remember. Some folks write to help them forget.
For H. Michael Brewer, the 2018 Kentucky Christian Writers Conference Keynote speaker, writing is simply good stewardship of what the Lord has given him. “It’s part of me,” Brewer says. “I believe in using one’s gifts and I think I’m good at this. So, to not use this gift from God, and to not work to improve it, is wasteful.”
Brewer’s first published story came out in a Sunday School magazine called Venture when Brewer was just 13.
“Seeing my story and my name in print, not to mention the $15 check, made me long to do more,” Brewer laughs.
After years of writing book reviews and what Brewer calls ‘odds and ends’, he began to write for the Presbyterian Church, USA, focusing on Sunday School curriculum, men’s Bible studies, stand alone studies, and seasonal activities.
“I really had as much writing as I could keep up with and I am very grateful for those years. But, it began to get boring, to be honest. Writing curriculum is fun until it’s not,” Brewer admits.
It was then that he chose to look into other types of writing.
“One day, it occurred to me that if I was going to realize my dream of writing books, I had to quit writing the other stuff. I’m a pastor and a dad and a husband and have all the stuff that everyone else has going on. There is only so much time and energy,” he says.
Around 1985, he started attending Christian writers conferences around the country. Along the way, he met Cecil Murphey, who gave a one-day writing workshop at the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. That divine appointment led to the two men being in a writing group together. Once a month, Brewer made the 100 mile drive to Louisville. It’s a time he says was invaluable.
Eventually, Brewer took on a project Murphey recommended that led to publication. With that publishing credit under his belt, Brewer pitched a book he had been shopping for several years.
“Agents can do stuff you just can’t do on your own,” he explains. “Agents have relationships with publishers, so when an agent brings a book, the publisher is willing to look at that.”
Who Needs A Superhero? Finding Virtue, Vice and What’s Holy in the Comics (Baker Books) was the result of the Brewer-agent relationship in 2004. From there, a multitude of other books came from his hand, but not all in the same genre, or for the same audience.
Brewer’s books run an eclectic gamut with his nonfiction book Lessons from the Carpenter, An Apprentice Learns from Jesus (WaterBrook Press/Random House, 2006), an adventure series for kids called Time Crashers (Rosekidz), a series of devotional books for boys called Gotta Have God (Rosekidz/Legacy Press), and an endearing biography of space shuttle Challenger astronaut entitled In The Spirit of Ronald E. McNair Astronaut: An American Hero (MAP Publishing, 2011) .
“I am a man of broad interests. Things just grab me. To borrow a phrase from my Kentucky upbringing, I was in hog heaven,” he says and laughs. “I love learning, I love research and I love just flitting around like that. It is wonderful. Diversity is one of God’s best things. I am endlessly fascinated with life and the world and I like to indulge in that. I really believe we praise our creator when we explore and celebrate the world he has created.”
Brewer will present keynote addresses June 21-23, 2018 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. For more information, or to register for the conference, visit www.kychristianwriters.com. Learn more about Brewer and hear some of his sermons at www.blueashpresby.church.
–By Kristy Horine
KCWC Planning Committee