Tuesday, August 16, 2011

with Roger Bruner

Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Roger!
People talk about life before children—what was your life before writing?

I don’t recall my life before writing. I’ve been writing all of my life—or so it seems—but I’ve only been writing novels the last six or seven years. And it’s been almost three years since I retired early to write full-time.

Although I’ve written some poetry, short plays, even an article or two, most of my pre-novel writing was Christian songs. I probably wrote a couple of hundred songs over a thirty-five year period. Nothing you’ve ever heard, but some of them aren’t bad (you can listen to a few of them at RogerBruner.com/ReadListen.shtml). Then when I discovered I have a talent for fiction, I gave up the music writing almost entirely for a while. Only recently have I gotten back into song writing.

What book have you recently enjoyed reading?
I just finished reading Tim Downs’ Nick of Time. He’s a fantastic writer. His Bug Man series is terrific suspense, and Tim has created a truly memorable character in Nick—the Bug Man. Right now I’m reading Stealing Jake. I don’t normally read historical novels, but this one’s pretty good.

If you were a dessert, what would you be?
In spite of being Caucasian, I’d have to be something chocolate. Maybe a humongous slice of chocolate silk pie or a gigantic chocolate chip cookie topped with ice cream (the ice cream can be vanilla, though). Of course, now that I know I’m diabetic, I would have more of a problem trying to be myself. *L*

If you were to find a purple polka-dotted monster in your kitchen one morning, how would you respond?
“Hello there. Do you mind if I call you Spot? Ah, good. Spot, I assume God sent you here to fix breakfast. I’ll settle for pancakes or waffles with turkey sausage. Can you handle that? You don’t do breakast? Don’t eat it or don’t fix it? Uh, okay, you don’t eat it. But I do. You want my car keys? Why? Yes, there’s a Shoney’s just up the road. But can’t you use your spaceship to get there? Oh, I see. You had a little accident trying to land it. Give me my keys back, please. Tell you what: I’ll just fix my usual weekday poached egg and toast while you tell me a little bit about yourself. But first, do you want me to get you some spot remover?”

Tell us about one of your favorite memories or moments in your life.
In 1970, I drove down to what was then called Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly to spend my fourth year on summer staff. Because of a conflict between my six-month-old moustache and an outdated rule about staffers having to be clean-shaven, I wasn’t going to be permitted to stay unless I shaved. I wasn’t a kid. I’d finished two years of teaching by then, and I refused to shave.

The manager was really nice, though. He let me stay free a couple of weeks as a guest and provided all of the resources needed for the staff choir to present a musical drama I had written. The staff was all for me. They loved the drama, and they admired me for sticking to my guns. Never have I felt so supported in any other effort.

So one of the most wonderful times in my life was the premiere of A Parable of Winning and Losing one Thursday evening with probably a couple of hundred of the other summer staff in attendance. I understand that the choir did Parable a couple of other times and that someone became a Christian as the result of it. That made it even more worthwhile even after my memorable evening.

Incidentally, the manager changed the “clean shaven” rule for the next summer—he couldn’t change it that summer because he’d already enforced it on other guys—so I returned for the summers of 1971 and 1972.

What's one of your dreaded things to do?
My father and I agreed on one very basic thing: Heaven isn’t going to have any telephones! I hate using them, and I will do anything I can to avoid using one. If the house phone rings, I either don’t answer or hand it to my wife. If my cell phone rings, it had better be somebody I know. I really dread having to call somebody else, though. Part of it may be handling the phone with my hearing aids, but I’ve always been this way—at least as an adult. I put off making simple calls—like scheduling a doctor appointment. I’m apt to let myself forget about more important calls; if it’s that important, let somebody call me—and hope I figure out who’s calling so I can decide whether to answer.

What is the Lord teaching you, or recently taught you?
One of the most important lessons He’s been teaching me is that I need to dwell more on who He is. Obvious, maybe. But the idea of the J.B. Phillips book Your God Is Too Small is SO true. I am learning to appreciate God more by focusing on how different He is from us human beings and how impossible He is to understand fully. If we could understand Him, He wouldn’t be worthy to be God. No matter how much I understand in my head that God is good and that God is love, I can never take in just how good and how loving He really is. If I’d been living in Jesus’ day, I’d like to think I’d have a more complete understanding. Even so, I wouldn’t begin to understand God completely.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My next book, the sequel to Found in Translation, came out August 1. Lost in Dreams—I still want to refer to it by my original title, Prancing on Pebbles—picks up where Found in Translation leaves off. Kim Hartlinger is still the protagonist/narrator of the story. She thought things were bad in Mexico at times, but her arrival home leads to her mother’s automobile death, which Kim feels responsible for. To learn how that affects her and how a mission trip to California relates to the story, I’ll refer you to the book itself. *grin* Whether the Altered Hearts series continues beyond Lost in Dreams depends on sales of the first two books.

You can purchase Lost in Dreams from Amazon.

Roger is giving away a copy of Lost in Dreams. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.


Judy said...

Enjoyed Roger's interview. His book Lost in Dreams sounds like it will be a good read. I haven't read anything by Roger yet. He is a new author to me. I'm looking forward to his books.


Anonymous said...

From one diabetic to another... Mr. Bruner, I enjoy some chocolate, too!!
Kelly Y. in Virginia

Dee Yoder said...

Great interview, Roger! I have the same trouble leaving chocolate alone, and I, too, am diabetic. *sigh*

Linda Glaz said...

When I told my daughter about the story's set up, she said she'd be devastated by that. So Roger, you're reaching a group of women who truly understand the protag's dilemma. Way to go!!!!

cjajsmommy said...

I, too, do not like telephones. I thought it was quite humorous ten years ago when the Lord gave me a job that, unknown to me when I was hired, required me to be the first person to answer the incoming calls. Just a little job responsibility they forgot to mention. I could just see God with a big smile on his face . . .
I would like to win this book.

Marianne said...

i would love to win Lost in Dreams. Thanks for the chance to win, but also for introducing me to a new author. i love it. mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com

Suzanne said...

Sounds like a great book. I'd love to win a copy. Thank you for hosting Roger!


lgm52 said...

Interesting interview..thanks for sharing..would love to read this book!

ann said...

I enjoyed your interview Roger and tho I have never read any of your books I would like to read this one it sounds like a good read to me.

amhengst at verizon dot net

Jo said...

My hubby is a diabetic and loves his chocolate.

This book sounds like a good read.


Cheryl Linn Martin said...

Enjoyed the mustache story, Roger! I was a theater major once upon a time, many moons ago, so enjoyed hearing about your drama.


Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

I would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win.


Tracy Smith said...

Would love the chance to read this story. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

countrysunset40 (at) aol dot com

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