Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reverend Michael Duncan shares about Shadows: Book of Aleth and his outlook on publishing

Christian author and pastor, Michael Duncan has served the Lord and the church for nearly 25 years preaching and teaching God's Word. He has shared God’s message across the U.S. and beyond and is currently the pastor of his church in the Pacific Northwest and a co-host on the Alive in Christ radio network. He is also on the executive board of the Northwest Baptist Convention and a board member of the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association. Given the opportunity, he may be found on the golf course! Michael has been married to his wonderful wife, Patty, for almost 20 years and they have three amazing children – all in their teens (which is the reason for the greying hair).
I have three novels in print, and two non-fiction books. All my books can be purchased through my website.
My latest novel is called Shadow Remnant.
(ISBN 9781480168268)
When truth is lost, liberty dies.
For a hundred years the United States has been gripped by martial law, with freedom and faith a forgotten memory. In the summer of 2132, Peter Sheridan learns this the hard way when he finds himself on the wrong side of the government–but the right side of freedom.
All he wants to do is escape the notorious education center and find his parents. But when he is shot and left for dead, he is rescued by a mysterious recluse and finds himself drawn into a world of chaos and intrigue.
Racing against time and the government to try and complete his father’s mission—Peter must reignite the call for freedom. To do so, he turns to the last hope for America, the mysterious group known as the Shadow Remnant.

Michael, What do you love about this book?

I think that this book (Shadow Remnant) is my favorite one I’ve written. It speaks to the nation today about the world that we might have tomorrow. It takes courage and determination to stand up for what is true, and often it is those who linger in obscurity that begin to make the most difference. It might be that just one voice is all it takes to turn a nation back to the truth.

What have you learned about writing and yourself since you started this book?

I learned that I am far more politically minded than I ever imagined. Being a political suspense/adventure book, Shadow Remnant became my effort to speak to a nation. I also learned that I am deeply troubled by the amoral direction our country is taking. The deeper I delved into writing the book, and the more I spoke with people around the nation, the more I realized that there is a fatigue in many conservative-minded people. Several I spoke with are at the point of simply giving up – not believing that their voice or vote makes a difference. I needed to write something that would encourage God-fearing, truth-believing people that it’s not too late.

Tell about your latest release.

You’re reading about it. J It is called, Shadow Remnant. The premise of the book – “When truth is lost, liberty dies.”

What three things do you know now about the publishing world that you wish you knew when you first started?

I have learned that patience, being a virtue, is an absolute necessity in trying to get a book published. Editors, agents, and the like are so overwhelmed with work that to actually make it to the eyes of a publisher is a time-draining reality. I have also learned that “dull is dead.” That is to say, a story that plods along, says little and only barely scratches the surface of intrigue will never see the light of day in the market. Finally, I have learned that I like to write far more than I like to edit – so I am deeply grateful for the editors who have looked at my works and given them such deep attention.

What are the five best things writers can do to meet the challenges of the 21st century?

Five best thing – here they are:

1. Hone your craft! If you’re a writer then, as much as it is possible with you, be the best—and get better.

2. Learn your audience. They are real people who read your words and you must reach them. Too many authors live in the analytics of sales—and forget that there are hearts to be touched not just books to be sold.

3. Find your audience. Now that you have learned about them – go and find them! They are out there, waiting to hear from you. Where do they hang out? Are they social insiders or outcasts? Find them.

4. Love your readers! You will never become a best-selling author without people buying your books. It is not you who is great. You didn’t make your audience… they made you. Be humble and know that your readers have loved you – so be grateful to them.

5. Remember reality. Yes, I said it… don’t live in your fictional worlds! Use your gift of writing to speak to the world at large, but you must not lose yourself. You have family, loved ones, spouses, children, parents… all who love you and still need you. Becoming an author can dominate a life, to the point of decimating that life. Walk away from the keyboard once in a while and walk hand-in-hand with real people.

Getting to know you:

What’s been a favorite work experience you’ve had so far in life?

Being the pastor of my church. I love to share God’s word with them and to see them grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

If you could do anything you want, what would it be?

I would be a pastor and an author (and be able to make a living at both J).

What’s the most exotic place you’ve traveled?

That would have to be South Korea. I spent a year there in the military (USAF) and traveled all over the country, hiking through the mountains and enjoying the hospitality of the Korean people.

What do you see outside the closest window right now?

Whitehorse Mountain – it stands at about 7,000 feet.

What do you tell people when they ask “and what do you do?”

I tell them that I’m the “Doctor Who” of the body of Christ.

Where’s your favorite place to grocery shop?

OOO... wrong question! I hate shopping – but if I MUST go, it would be Safeway.

What, to you, is worship?

The yielding up my life in obedience to Christ for the praise and glory of God.

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