What are you writing now?
Earlier in the year, I wrote five short skits for my church’s summer VBS program. I also help edit and regularly contribute feature articles as well as shorter blurbs to the church’s monthly newsletter. These activities broaden my writing experience and serve as a continual wellspring of fresh material for my blog (http://dagreiner.wordpress.com).
My second novel is also underway. This work will further explore the struggle believers face in living out their faith in a secular world while incorporating much of the feedback received from Working It Out. Writing is a learning process, and I have so much to learn!
How does faith play into your writing?
At home, attending church or hanging out with members of the congregation, it is easy and safe for believers to profess their faith. It is much more difficult to take that faith into the workplace, public school or local sports complex, where it is often severely compromised or silenced altogether by policies and laws that force believers to make difficult decisions.
It also seems as though most believers are better at knowing God’s truth than they are at communicating it to a skeptical world.
These faith observations play directly into my writing. They provide a wealth of natural conflicts that make for an interesting story and engage the curiosity of readers who identify with similar struggles in their own lives.
What is your favorite book and why?
Without a doubt, my favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – a shocking admission since this novel was just one title in an agonizingly long list of assigned books from the dreaded high school English class experience. Upon graduating, I swore I would only read books I chose to enjoy (of course college and grad school influenced that proclamation!), and yet this book struck an undeniable chord, sticking with me well past that first, forced read.
Although it is not a Christian work, I believe “TKAM” (as we referred to the book in class) includes at least two strong faith themes: exhibiting true care for others and doing the right thing no matter the cost or what others might think of you. These concepts resonate deeply with me, and their influence is undeniable in my own writing.
What are your hobbies other than writing?
I enjoy reading classical fiction (e.g., Twain, Steinbeck, Austen, Hemingway), Christian fiction (e.g., Jerry Jenkins, Frank Peretti) and even some modern fiction (e.g., Dan Brown, Tom Clancy). I am also fond of non-fiction books about inventors and entrepreneurs because they inspire me to think and dream big.
When my children are older, I’d like to take cooking classes – not to become a professional chef, but just to learn more about how to prepare great meals for family and guests.
Do you have a blog or website?
Feature articles and short stories written for my church’s monthly newsletter are posted on my blog (http://dagreiner.wordpress.com). My author page is hosted by Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/D.-A.-Greiner/e/B006S6PUE6). Feel free to connect-up with me on Twitter (@DAGreiner68) or drop me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What is your favorite Bible verse?
My favorite Bible passage is Paul’s outline of the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22 and the accompanying statement that drives home the point in verse 23.
I like to imagine Thomas Jefferson had this sentiment in mind when he wrote this famous sentence into the United States Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Taking Paul’s lead, Jefferson listed specific absolutes about what should be expected out of life because they are God-given and readily apparent.
As a writer, I especially appreciate Paul thumbing his nose at the conventional wisdom that absolutes like “always” and “never” should be avoided. Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that any attempt to make a law against the always good attributes of God is utter foolishness.
What is the most important thing you hope your readers will take away from your book?
It is my prayer that readers will identify with other believers who struggle to live out their faith against the secular realities of life, and that they will learn to put their faith into action as a welcoming invitation into the arms of Jesus Christ rather than brandishing it as a blunt instrument of self-righteousness.
As a stretch goal, I hope skeptical non-believers will read the book and come away with the perspective that not all believers are quick to condemn and that many are deeply conflicted over how to communicate God’s truth in a loving manner.
Tell us your favorite part in your book Working It Out?
My favorite scenes in the book are those in which the main character (Jacob) interacts with the overtly sinful antagonist and unexpectedly begins to develop a genuine friendship. No spoilers given here – please read the book and let me know what you think!