Monday, October 11, 2010

Interview With Bill Myers

I first met Bill Myers when we were on the faculty of the writer’s conference at Mount Hermon, California. Bill is an award-winning writer, but that’s just one of his accomplishments. In addition to all that, he’s a nice guy and fun to be around. He’s graciously agreed to answer a few questions so my readers can get to know him. I think you’ll like what you find here.

RM: I understand that your spiritual life owes a lot to being dumped by a girl. What’s the story behind that?

BM:  I was an egotistical jerk and after three years she got tired of it. I was so distraught that I was either going to kill myself or give God 100% control. In a sense they were both death options, only the one I chose replaced my life with His . . . not a bad trade off.

RM: I believe you started out in movie making, but you’ve also written a truckload of books of various types. In addition to all that, you’ve been a pastor. Can you sketch your creative journey for us?

BM: My life goal is to always say yes to God. So . . . whenever a situation arises (regardless of whether I feel qualified or not) and I think He wants me to, I say yes. It’s one incredible ride that’s anything but boring!

RM: I’ve heard you say in one interview that you’ve learned to candy-coat the message so people think they’re being entertained instead of being preached to. Can you amplify a bit?

BM: It’s a tricky thing, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually fun. First, I determine what I want to say, then I think up plot and characters that allow me to say it without appearing preachy. Often the message comes out of the character’s journey. The trick is not to make the characters puppets you manipulate, but design them so they organically follow the path you want them to follow. Then there’s humor, suspense, intrigue . . . and the fact that I have ADD. If it keeps my attention, it will keep anybody’s.  Three of my 5 rules in writing are, entertain, entertain, entertain.

RM: Bill, your description of your adult books is “supernatural suspense.” What do you mean by that?

BM: Contrary to Hollywood and even some of my peers, the supernatural does not have to be gory and creepy. Yes, you can use it as an antagonist, but there’s a much bigger supernatural force that’s far more interesting. Basically, I love to explore the mysteries of God. And with an infinite God, there’s plenty to explore!

RM: In addition to adult fiction you’ve written some great children’s books. We have given copies of the Bug Parables series to our grandkids, and they love them. Is it hard to go from one end of the spectrum to the other, from deep writing for adults to books that speak to kids?

BM: No, it actually allows me to write 50 weeks out of the year. I work on an adult book until I’m dead tired, then I turn around and write a children’s book to clean out the pipes and have fun. Going back and forth keeps me fresh and alive.
RM: Tell us about your latest novel, The God Hater.

BM: It would be best to go to my web site and read the synopsis . . . plus all the other cool reviews, samples, and resources available. You can find all that here.

RM: That's a great web site, by the way. And, as I always ask, any last words for my readers?

BM: Keep saying yes to God no matter how scary it feels. You’ve only got one life, why waste it living it your way. Being a Christian is not about getting your admission ticket so you can sit in the stands. It’s about getting to go onto the field and play for the Coach.

Bill, thanks for joining us. To my readers, I hope you’ll check out The God Hater, and if you have children or grandchildren look into his Elijah Project and Bug Parables books.

3 comments:

Maria I. Morgan said...

Great interview! Especially appreciate Bill's final insight: "Keep saying yes to God no matter how scary it feels. You’ve only got one life, why waste it living it your way. Being a Christian is not about getting your admission ticket so you can sit in the stands. It’s about getting to go onto the field and play for the Coach." Fantastic perspective.

Just out of curiosity, will either of you be at this year's Mount Hermon Writer's Conference? This is one conference I'm seriously thinking about attending.

Richard Mabry said...

Maria, Bill and I were both on the faculty at MH this past spring. I can't speak for Bill, but I won't be there next year. However, they always have a great faculty. MH is absolutely one of my most favorite Christian writer's conferences. I hope you'll still keep it in mind.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Fascinating title for your book, Bill! I'll have to check it our on your site.