A detour through the park leads Cooper, Gordy, Hiro, and Lunk straight into a trap, and Gordy is abducted! For the kidnapper, it's all a game, a way to settle an old score, with no one getting hurt. But evil has a way of escalating, and once his identity is discovered, the rules change. Despite the best of police efforts, the hours tick by without a clue or a ransom call, leaving everyone to their own fears. Gordy is gone. Cooper descends deeper into a living nightmare, imagining the worst for his best friend and cousin. Hours stretch into days, and talks of a memorial service begin to surface. But Cooper still feels his cousin is alive and develops a reckless plan, changing all the rules. Now the one who set out to rescue his friend needs to be rescued himself. Sometimes rescuing a friend from darkness means going in after them.
Author Interview1. Hey there! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
I’ve been happily married over 33 years, have three grown sons, and two-daughter-in-laws. I worked all my life in the photo industry up until 2004, when I closed our one-hour photo and studio lab. I’ve been writing and speaking ever since. My wife and I still do volunteer work with youth and are very active in our church. I have a deep desire to help kids grow to be men and women of character and integrity.
2. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Ooohhh, don’t tempt me. I suppose it would depend on the season, but right now—at this minute—I’d like to go to Disneyworld and bring a bunch of family and friends with me. I know, you may not think it sounds exotic enough. But there’s something magical about walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. It sounds like a wonderful vacation to me after a busy winter. And someday I’d like to travel parts of Europe with my wife—and maybe even the Holy Land.
3. Peanut Butter or Nutella?
Definitely peanut butter. Not the kind with the nuts—just give the creamy stuff. And spread it on really thick. Skippy is still the brand of choice for me. Sometimes I pull out the jar… and grab a spoon. It’s that good.
4. If you could jump into any book and live in that world, which book would you choose?
Lots and lots of book worlds I’d like to visit—but the more I think about it—none I’d actually want to live in. Not for long, anyway. I’ve often read portions of the Bible and wished I could see events happen for real, but then again I don’t think I’d like to find myself standing between David and Goliath. I guess I like my life pretty much right where I’m at.
5. What is the most enjoyable part about writing a book?
It’s hard to pick one thing and say it’s the most enjoyable, so I’ll give you a bunch of things. I love working out the first chapter of the book—setting the pace for the book. And the cliffhangers—I love working out those last couple of lines in a chapter. I love when a portion of the writing moves me to laugh—or to cry. I love it when I know I’m in the right zone with a sentence or a paragraph—and then I finally nail it. I love working on the climax as the momentum builds.
I love getting back to work on the book after setting it aside overnight just to see how it’s all going to work out. I love it when I pray for help with some aspect of the book—and the solutions come.
I love going to a fast food place to write—a place where I can sip on some sweet tea and get lost in the story. I love it when I’m done with the story—and I turn in the manuscript.
And I really, really love it when I hear from readers who gush over the story or tell how it moved them somehow. I guess it’s obvious… I love a lot of things about writing a book!
6. Who are your favorite authors to read?
It’s always changing. I generally enjoy reading tons of authors. Almost every author teaches me something—and many amaze me in some way with their writing.
7. If you could choose one fictional character to be real who would you choose?
How about Mr. Smith? (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) I know, he’s from a movie, but wouldn’t you love it if we had more men with character and integrity like that in politics today? But why limit it to one? How about Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher? We could use more heroes in our world, too.
8. What is your favorite smell?
I’ve narrowed it down to three. The smell of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove. The smell of almost anything on the grill. And the smell of my wife’s hair—especially after she’s baked chocolate chip cookies! But if I really had to narrow it down to one… I’d go with my wife every time.
9. Night Owl or Early Bird?
I think it’s a really good idea to go to bed at the same time as my wife—and Cheryl isn’t a night owl. In my heart, I’m a night owl. But practicality has made me an early bird. And too often, I try to be both.
10. When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I was a dad with three boys who loved to hear stories. I loved reading to them, or making stories up to tell them. At their urging, eventually I started writing them down. Going to writing conferences. Learning the craft.
The idea of writing became a dream to me. I hoped I’d be really successful in my business so I could work less hours at the store and dedicate more time to write. That didn’t happen. Business got really tough for a one-hour photo guy. That was when digital cameras surged and everything changed. I saw people keeping pictures on their computers or camera cards—but not bringing them in for printing. Instead of the business doing better, it did worse.
In 2004 I felt God’s nudge to close the store and go into writing full time. It was a big jump. Huge. But I don’t regret it, and I’m so grateful for how things worked out!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!
My pleasure! Thanks for inviting me.
Elder Chairman in my church and high school small group leader
Full time speaker and author since 2004
Living in the greater Chicago area
Grateful for God’s incredible grace and mercy to me in countless ways.
Giveawaya Rafflecopter giveaway