Is there a story behind your book Jude’s Gentle Giants?
I Came from a NON Christian home as a child. After asking the Lord Jesus Christ into my heart in 1993, I started to realize my sins and the sins of my upbringing. I also got involved with Percheron draft horses. I had many storylines created as a kid and an owner of Percherons. So I put my experiences together to form Jude’s Gentle Giants and show what a Christian young man can do with the love of his family and mentors as he and his Percherons come of age.
Sounds as if you have a lot of story plots there! What started you on your writing journey?
I had a burning desire to share childhood stories and stories of Percheron draft horses in a Christian setting. I felt young adults would like these real to life stories compared to stories of dragons and serpents. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could surmount the challenge of writing a novel.
Good idea. Do you have any personal connections with any of the characters in your book?
Yes, Pete and Joe are the Percheron draft horses in the story. They are the main characters after Jude Bonner. I personally own the real Pete and Joe. They grace the front cover and go to local book signings with me.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
My main character ‘Jude Bonner.’ It was a privilege to create a high school kid that was a Christian, raised in a Christian home. To have Jude persevere with his faith in God through all his trials, even though he lost many battles, was both a challenge and an honor. Thinking back I wish I had just a little of the integrity that Jude Bonner had, when I was in high school!
I tore down a Timberframe Barn in Ohio and moved it up to Minnesota and put it back up as my home.
I'm sure that was an experience to remember. Lol. What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
My Grandkids! Kathy and I are blest with six of the little stinkers. What their little minds think of is so prescious!
What is your favorite season of the year?
Fall, I write of that in my novels. Walking through the woods with leaves crunching under your feet and Red-Tailed hawks screeching above.
Love fall too. Such a beautiful time of the year. What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
Honey baked ham with sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, egg nog, and blueberry pie.
Oh, yum. This is making me hungry! Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Forgiveness or the lack thereof. As a child I was taught to hate anything that I thought was different, especially people. To take my main character through the process of forgiving one of his arch enemies was both exciting and helped me understand more about forgiveness.
Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
Kathy and I have ‘The Fireplace Room.’ It is in the corner of our Timberframe home along with our stuffed chairs, fireplace, and music.
:) Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
John 14:6 I’m the way and the truth and the light, no one comes to the Father except through me. This verse is so strong and to the point, Jesus is ALL! Jesus is TRUTH! There is no other way. Thank you Lord!
What has been the most rewarding part of writing? Having a young adult approach me and thanking me for writing the story and discussing with them the parts they liked best. Another reward is having many adults reading it and asking for more.
Ah, I love that too. It's such a privilege to have others enjoy our work. When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
‘Surrendering the Reins’ should be out March 2015. It is the sequel to Jude’s Gentle Giants and takes Jude and his Percherons, Pete and Joe to life after high school, marriage, home building, youth pastor. The bond that is built between Jude and his Percherons is STRONGLY portrayed at the end of ‘Surrendering the Reins!’
Thanks so much for joining us, Les! We've enjoyed the interview.
Buy the book here, readers:
Les Graham lives in rural Minnesota with his wife Kathy. Les and Kathy have been married 35 years and have three children and six grandchildren. They own and operate Radiant Outfitters and a floor heating company.
Les has owned Percherons since 1990 and has had many adventures with them including: weddings, funerals, proms, sleigh rides, logging, mowing hay, raking hay, snow removal, riding, training, and a few parades. Pete and Joe are his current team of Percherons and inspired Les to write ‘Jude’s Gentle Giants’ the first of a two part series.
His spare time is spent with grandkids, writing, some local theater, building timberframe structures, and his horses.
‘Surrendering the Reigns’ is the second book of the series by Britchin Books.
Connect with Les here:
Facebook Author Page
LES is giving away a copy of JUDE'S GENTLE GIANTS. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.