Kentucky Christian Writers Conference 2018 is just around the corner, and we are pleased to have H. Michael Brewer as our Keynote Speaker. Mike Brewer is both a pastor and a writer. His list of published titles is varied and his wealth of wisdom is both enjoyable and inspiring. We hope you enjoy Part 1 of this fun & eclectic interview with Mike Brewer on all things faith, reading & writing. Part 2 will post on Friday!
Q: What Scripture is speaking to you right now?
There is always a lot of Scripture ricocheting in my head. Right now I’m reading through 2 Samuel and Matthew and teaching a series on Ruth. One bit of gold (in Ruth) caught my attention.
In order to stave off starvation for herself and her mother-in-law, Ruth sets out to glean in the local fields. She is a stranger in Bethlehem, and the Bible says, “she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz.” (Ruth 2:3 ESV)
It just happened that she ended up in the field of a wealthy kinsman, a man who would look out for her and eventually marry her. It seemed like a random occurrence, but of course God caused it to “just happen.”
When we take a risk, it opens the door for things to happen. It looks like luck, but it’s really grace working alongside our own efforts.
Q: You’ve shared in earlier blog posts about your first publishing credit at the age of 13. How has your process changed since your early years of writing? What does your writing process look like now?
At thirteen, I doubt if I had a process beyond copying the writers I liked and piling up as many adjectives and adverbs as possible! To be honest, I had much more enthusiasm than discipline. I started many stories and finished very few.
Nowadays, I like to know where I’m going before I start writing. I spend a lot of time thinking before I put down any words. This is the percolation time, the gestation, the mapping of the trip. I’m very disciplined about creating a structure that flows from A to B to C in an orderly fashion. Writing and storytelling involve selecting the right pieces and arranging them in the right order. I love the surprises and discoveries along the way, but I need to have the end in mind.
These days, I rarely begin a piece without seeing it through; maybe knowing the destination keeps me from losing steam or getting lost.
Q: What books were on your 13 year-old reading list and what books are you enjoying now?
At thirteen, I was reading a lot of science fiction–Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke–wonderful story crafters and wordsmiths. It fired my imagination and instilled a deep sense of wonder. I also loved mythology, especially the Norse tales. As a Christian, I knew these weren’t real gods, but I was fascinated by the stories ancient people told in order to make sense of the world.
My adult reading, aside from professional books, is all over the place. I read a lot of mysteries with vivid characters, and I’m attracted to the quest for truth that drives all mystery novels. James Patterson brings interesting moral/ethical dilemmas into his Alex Cross series. The same for Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas novels. In fantasy and science fiction, I like the moral vision of Orson Scott Card. I also enjoy graphic novels. I think the fusion of art and words is a unique form of storytelling.
Want to hear Mike Brewer in person and jumpstart your writing? There’s still time to register for KCWC 2018: http://www.kychristianwriters.com/2018-registration/