Today, please join me in welcoming author C. Kevin Thompson to Interviews & Reviews. Kevin is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a kid at heart. Often referred to as “crazy” by his grandchildren, it’s only because he is. He’s a writer. Need he say more? He is an award-winning author, having his debut novel, THE SERPENT'S GRASP, win the prestigious Selah Award in 2013. His second novel, 30 DAYS HATH REVENGE, earned a Silver Medal in the Reader's Favorite Awards in 2013, too.
Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. He's also a fan of the British shows Broadchurch, Shetland, Hinterland, and Wallander. He loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too. With him, the game is always afoot, but you'll never catch him in a deerstalker. Ever. You can follow Kevin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CKevinThompson or check out his website at https://ckevinthompson.com/
Kevin is also giving away one print copy of his latest book, The Letters, to anyone in the States and one eBook to all those outside the States.
Kevin, welcome to Interviews & Reviews!
What is the hardest thing about writing for you?
For me, I don’t have enough time to write. If I did, I could probably produce three to four books a year, easy. Writer’s block is not an issue. I have so many ideas in my idea book, yet so little time to get them down on paper because I have a day job. I like my day job, don’t get me wrong. But I also like writing. And I’m getting to an age where I’d like for Plan B to be Plan A, I think. My wife says I need to write shorter books. Ha!
Do you travel to the places you write about?
Sometimes. It depends on what I’m writing and where the story takes place. I’d love to be able to visit them all, of course. Google Earth is great for those times when you can’t hop a jet to Hong Kong or New York City. It’s amazing how much you see on Google Earth, street level, clicking your way down a street. I’ll never forget the dirt road I saw and used in my Blake Meyer series in the area of Kameras, Albania. The little girl looked so innocent, playing soccer in the street, in front of a house, with a sister or a friend. It added so much realism to a scene, wherein I was able to describe the house with its rebar jutting from the damaged wall, an apparent casualty of a war long-forgotten.
Which do you enjoy more, the research part for a book, or the writing?
Yes. ☺ I enjoy learning about people, places, and things. Yet, I enjoy putting it all together into a believable story as well. I even take some of the research I use—and think readers will like or find interesting—and put it on my website in the “In The News” section. I not only think they’ll like it, but I also want readers to know I didn’t just dream all this up and create a bunch of fake scenes from fake news. There is science or history backing what I put in the book. There are current events happening all the time that also help prove the premise of each story.
What is the central theme of your most recent book?
The Letters combines two central themes into one story. First, does the physical world we see, taste, touch, feel, and hear ever intersect with the spiritual world at all? And if so, how much? Second, how far does God go to redeem someone? Is anyone too far gone? Any sin too repulsive to forgive? Does God pursue those people or only the “less heinous” sinners? It is these two themes that intertwine themselves into the personal story told by Rachel Hamar.
Wow! That sounds interesting. Which leads me to ask - how were you saved?
For years leading up to my nineteenth birthday, I wrestled with the question, “Is this all there is to life? Work hard, make a lot of money, die, and leave it all to your offspring?” I had watched my dad work hard and sacrifice a great many things to provide for us, including his health to some degree. So, the living embodiment of that question was always before me. Then, one evening, a youth pastor and a guy we went to high school with showed up on our doorstep (Cindy and I were married for three months by this time). They were looking for a house down the street but couldn’t read the house numbers. While there, they asked me if I knew for sure I was going to heaven if I died that night. I admitted I did not. It was that evening I surrendered my heart to Christ for the first time (but that is a daily thing, isn’t it? – see Luke 9:23 for cross-reference…no pun intended). “Can’t read the house numbers…” God was definitely dimming the streetlamps that night! And I thank Him for it every day.
Which do you enjoy more – reading or writing?
That’s a tough question. I really enjoy writing, as I stated above. The creative aspect just feeds my soul. Reading does too. However, I’m a painfully slow reader. I tell students that if education had intensive reading classes in school when I was trudging through those years, I would have been in those classes. I didn’t read much until I was thirteen. The book, Jaws, by Peter Benchley, opened my eyes up to what was possible (Probably why my first award-winning book was in that genre – The Serpent’s Grasp). I envy those folks who can sit down and read a book “over the weekend.” It takes me considerably longer to finish a book. I don’t consider it a disability either. I consider reading a gift (I can read!). Anywho, I think I turned out okay, one Bachelors degree and two Masters degrees later.
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Yes. Yard work and filing (papers, documents, etc.). As a result (before we hired a yard guy), my yard was in a constant state of disarray as is my desk. I often hear people say they love working in their yards, their flowerbeds, their gardens. They say it’s therapy for them. When I work in the yard, I need therapy. Physical. Emotional. Psychological. Sometimes even a little spiritual. As for filing papers, I thought computers were supposed to cut down on the use of paper? The need for paper? The demand for paper copies? It’s a lie, I tell you. A lie.
What is your favourite Scripture verse, and why?
Romans 12:1-2. We often hear about the “Roman Road” and how Paul spells out the need for a salvific experience at the feet of Jesus. But the Roman Road doesn’t end at Chapter 11. Paul says, “Therefore, I urge you, brethren, in view of God’s mercy, offer yourselves…” In other words, “I just told you how God has been at work in the lives of people, including you, orchestrating salvation for millennia for any human who wishes it, but that’s not the end of the road. That’s not the destination. That’s the doorway. That’s the entrance into the family. There’s so much more to this life and the one yet to come than simply obtaining “fire insurance.” If you become a sacrifice unto God, then you will begin to understand God’s will for your life and all humans. You will begin to understand true worship. You will begin to understand what a transformative life in the presence of God looks like. And if you’re wondering what a sacrifice looks like exactly, on a daily basis, read on to the end of this book.”
Amen to that! Thank you for stopping by, Kevin!
The winners of The Letters are