I have been reading a great book these last couple of weeks (when Moe Man hasn't been stealing it from me). One Of The Few by Jason B. Ladd has been such a great book! I could go on about it, but that is for another post! Today I have the honor of sharing with you an interview with Jason himself!
- When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I never had that moment. I didn't become a writer because I wanted to. I became a writer because I had to. After deciding as an adult that the Christian worldview best explains life's biggest questions, I couldn't stop reading theology and apologetics. Then I needed an outlet. At the same time, I was becoming interested in sharing my story of transformation. A few years later, I'm a writer. Go figure.
- Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
My normal public countenance is rather stoic (befitting of one who bleeds Marine). But if you saw me with my kids, you might not recognize me. It gets pretty fun and crazy. There are performances involved.
- How long did it take you to write your book?
I started writing in February of 2012. I had the bulk of the first draft written in about a year. Then my work schedule picked up and it was put on the back burner. At one point I didn't know if I would end up publishing it. But in early 2015 I set a release date of November 10, 2015 coinciding with the Marine Corps birthday. We had just moved to Alaska. I spent launch day in our travel trailer surrounded by snow.
- What brought you to write this book?
I wanted to share my story with my kids. But soon after beginning the writing, I though my story might help others struggling to make sense of all the competing ideas out there.
- Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer. Have you seen my penmanship? I got a "C" in 3rd grade. My lowercase "a"s still don't connect at the top. It's terrible.
- What tactics do you have when writing? (For example: outline or just write)
I had an outline early on, but it was simple: Marine, fighter (pilot), father, son (as in son of God). I took that and ran with it. Most of the rest was writing on the fly and re-arranging later.
- What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
When I was shopping for literary agents, one was kind enough to accept a few sample chapters. He had been in Christian publishing a long time and was both friendly and frank. At the end of the day, his response was, "So you're a Marine and you became a Christian. So what?"
That was a bit hard to take at first. On the personal level, I disagreed. I believe everyone has a story worth sharing. On the book level he was right–being a Marine fighter pilot was my only Kardashian flare.
Seven months before publication, we lost a son when he was born. He had Trisomy 18. I added two new chapters to the book–the first and the last. Those chapters about Boone give the book the power to accomplish its purpose: to encourage people to develop the kind of faith that will carry them through life's most difficult circumstances.
- What has been the best compliment?
The reviews have all been extremely positive. One of the latest described it as "a life changer." That's pretty encouraging.
- What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
One reader left a review. She is a former Christian and heavily into Wicca. But she liked the book, calling it "actually pretty darn good."
- What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Many books have struck a deep chord, but as far as actually changing my life, I have to say the Bible. But that's more than just a book. If we're talking mere books, Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith was the first book I read about Christianity, and it was a great book for seekers and people with questions. I followed that with Frank Turek and Norman Geisler's I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist. That's a powerful one-two punch combination!
- Who is your favorite author?
I love reading Malcolm Gladwell.
- What is your advice to Indie Authors? On writing? Marketing?
If you want to be a writer, just start writing. About anything. About everything. Start a blog and force yourself to put out three posts per week. If you want your book to succeed, get in the marketing game early. You will be responsible for most if not all of it. For Indie authors, find out what works. I created IndieListers.com specifically to help authors find out which free and paid book promotions are worth the time and money.
- What's next for you? What are you working on now?
I've basically taken a whole year to learn how to market my book. But I've been toying with a few writing projects as well. I might put out a story on how my family and I moved to Alaska. Hilarity ensued.
- Where can we find you online?
A big thank you to Jason for spending the time answering these questions! I can't wait to tell you more about his book this week!!