When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I don’t think I ever thought about it or considered myself a writer. When I was around 12 years old I started writing a sci-fi book. I wrote about ten pages and never thought about it again. I started writing songs when I was 15. I actually had a song recorded with my band, The Hallmarks, and released with Mercury Records in 1967. Dick Clark played it on American Bandstand, but it never got much further than that. It was pretty cool looking back on it, but a novelist? That just happened.
What made you decide to write a book about the book of Revelation? Like a lot of people I guess, it is a subject that always intrigued me. In 1994, after years of study, I was given the opportunity to begin teaching a course on Bible prophecy in my local church and from there, I was invited to share in other churches and Bible studies. I started thinking that it would be awesome if I could teach the book of Revelation by putting it in novel form. Years ago I had read a book called In the Twinkling of an Eye and loved it, so I wanted to give it a shot.
I read that some people compare your books to the Left Behind series. What do you think about that? I’ve heard that as well. I understand there are some similarities, but there would have to be in that we are using the Bible as our reference material. My main character, Jerry Westfield, is a reporter as well, so I can see why some would say that but, that is pretty much where it ends. On the Edge of Time is written from the Jewish perspective centering on Israel and the Mid-East.
Have you ever read the Left Behind series? No. I never have, but many of my friends have of course. Some years back I did see the first movie. It got a lot of people thinking about the Lord and that is always awesome.
Many people start writing a book but never finish. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? That is a great question. I was very fortunate to have help. In 1994 I started my book and like so many others I got 50 pages in and said to myself, “Who am I kidding? I’ll never finish this.” It lay dormant for two years and then I decided to show it to a friend of mine, Steve Mamchak, who I was writing a musical with at the time. He was polite, took it home, and said he would read it, but I thought he was just being nice. Well, a few hours later he called going on and on about how good he thought it was and how I should keep going. I asked him if he would work with me on it. He agreed and said “You write and I’ll smooth it out. As you finish each chapter, I’ll send it to five people to read so we can get instant feedback.” Looking back, I probably would never finished it if I hadn’t had people waiting for me to finish each chapter. If there was one tip I could give potential writers it would be set up some people who you know will read your book as you write it. You will know if it’s good and if it is, it will encourage you to keep going. Because of that inspiration I was able to write seven pages a day.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? I have received many wonderful reviews. The ones that interest me the most are the ones that mention the characters and how much they loved them. Characters are so important in a story. Even now, I feel an attachment to Jerry and Jacob and the other characters in the book. They become part of you and I think that a good thing.