Archive for the ‘Author Q&A’ Category

Reader Questions: Will There be a Sequel?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Windofella writes:

Will there be a sequel to Prayers of a Stranger? It was wonderful. As a believer in the Lord Jesus as the Christ and wanting to serve him, starting in my home, the prayers became mine. Thank you.

Dear Windofella,

I’m thrilled to learn that you enjoyed the Christmas story. At present there is not plans for a sequel, though I have been working on a new Christmas novella.

 Onolee writes:

I am a great fan of yours, I have enjoyed most of the books you have written. Two of my favourites (I’m Canadian) are The Book of Hours and All Through the Night. I really like mystery/suspense books and even more I love those that have a little humour and interesting characters. Any chance of your doing another book along the same lines, particularly of the characters of All Through the Night? I loved the group in that book.

Dear Onolee,

 It has been some time since I have worked in this area of faith-based romantic suspense, but just last week I delivered a new manuscript to Bethany House, due for release in November, which is entitled The Patmos Deception. There are different characters and the story takes place in Greece, but I hope and pray the fans of Hours will find this to be a happy fit.

Maggie writes:

I just finished reading The Black Madonna and have fallen in love with the Storm series. After checking your website I cannot locate Book 3. I read the last couple of pages of Book 2 and came to the conclusion that the Raphael/Storm saga was left hanging. Can you please enlighten me as to whether there is indeed a Book 3 and the name of the book please? Thank you very much.

 Dear Maggie,

 Yes, it has been far too long, and yes, I would very much like to do a third and final book in that series. But work on two film projects kept me from returning to the story, and now, well, perhaps it’s too late, or perhaps one day. In any case, I will tell you that the handsome rogue does pull through, and he and Storm enter into a relationship that is worthy of her name. At least, that is how I had planned it up to now.

Publishers Weekly Interview: The Discipline of Attentiveness

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Friends,

Thought you might be interested in this article in Publishers Weekly in which Kimberly Winston and I discussed the discipline of listening to God.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share in the Comments.

 

Reader Mailbag: Marc Royce in ‘Strait of Hormuz’ – Will he be lonely forever?

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Larry writes:

Ouch!! We’ve just gotten into Strait of Hormuz, and you go and release another hot one—The Turning!

Despite the added pressure on us to catch up with you, congratulations on the great reviews.

We’ve have just begun chapter 8, and I wouldn’t want you to spoil the ending of the Marc Royce trilogy for me, but I’m telling you, if things don’t improve rapidly between Marc and Kitra, you’re going to have to spin off two separate—and very lonely—story lines. Sad!

Dear Larry,

I’m glad that you feel pressure, as it means you’re still caught up with the stories on offer. Do so hope the pleasure-meter continues to run in the green as you race to catch up. And by now you’ve hopefully discovered that Marc and Kitra have managed a fairly solid end to this trial.

Gary writes:

Just finished reading Strait of Hormuz for the fourth time. The reason I read it this time: we are moving to South Africa to help in a missions work there. We are excited about it. It has been a desire for 15 years, but now (at 65 years of age) the door is open for us to go.

Of course, I am feeling overwhelmed: we are taking very little with us, so we need to sell everything, we need to raise monthly support, and we need to get tickets and pay for the little we are shipping over — some books and household items.

That is where Marc Royce comes in. In the Strait book, I have always seen him as not knowing what to do, but knowing how to lean on the Holy Spirit as his go-to man. Out of nothing, he comes up with ideas and plans. And though you never say how, I know that he is quite adept at listening to the spirit within him and obeying blindly, but in faith. So I re-read the book for encouragement in my situation. Trusting the Lord one day at a time, even one hour at a time. We just made the decision two weeks ago, and it is amazing how the Lord is putting things together.

I say again, Davis. I think you have no idea the effect that your writing has on your readers. The deeper insights that run between the lines, the constant cascade of spiritual revelation. Your life with God is deeper than you think, and it shows up on every page of your writing. Please keep writing, no matter what!

Dear Gary,

Your lovely words mean more than I can say. I have completed work on my first non-fiction project, an online devotional intended to assist readers in learning what I have termed the discipline of listening. It is available at theturningbook.com.

The project is tied to my latest novel, The Turning, which released from Moody April 1. I have also at their invitation taped 40 radio lessons on this same subject, which will be available as podcasts on moody radio’s website beginning around the middle of next month.

Your comments regarding the Spirit moving in Royce’s decision-making process was remarkable, as this forms the moral of the new novel.

In the meantime, I wish you every blessing in this new phase of your own ministry, and every success in your sojourn and service.

Reader Question: Can Godly Characters Dabble in Deception?

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

FloriansGateCoverBrad writes:

I’ve been reading Florian’s Gate, which I realize you released over a decade ago, and have been greatly enjoying it.

Last night, I was reading Gregor’s story about how he was able to get back into Poland after the death of his wife. Obviously, it involved deception—which I’m sure would be very realistic in an unlikely situation like that.

I’d like to ask whether you hesitated at all about having one of your godliest characters dabble in deception? He doesn’t seem to regret having lied to the officials at all when he tells the story to Jeffrey. Did the circumstances justify the lies?

I’m an indie author and I’m currently working on the second book in my Christian fantasy series. The protags are godly characters who are really defined by their relationship with God. The story has been working up to two of the magi going undercover amongst the enemy. Some people have shared their opinion that it is impossible for a Christian to go undercover without sinning (again, deception).

While I can cite a handful of passages in which people were commended for lying—the midwives in Egypt, Rahab—and even point to a prophet in 1 Kings 20 that God apparently instructed to flat-out lie to King Ahab to prove a point, I’m not sure how persuasive this evidence is.

So when I came across Gregor’s story last night, it reminded me a bit of this portion of mine. I wondered if you had any insight you’d be willing to share. I realize that this is a reference to a random paragraph in a book you wrote long ago, but any thoughts you have on the subject would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Brad,

 It is great to connect with readers on a level like this, where we’re discussing a substantive issue like the one you raised.

There is no cut and dry answer, for as you rightly pointed out, there are indeed times in the Scriptures where deception is apparently condoned. Doing the wrong thing for the right reason, is really what we’re talking about. In Gregor’s case, I justified this by the simple fact that he did it to save others besides himself. He was working for the benefit of others, in effect momentarily sacrificing the truth in order to keep them sheltered from the dark events threatening to overwhelm them.

As a rule of thumb, it would definitely be better if your characters representing the faithful adhere to the ‘rules of the road’. But sometimes this simply won’t work. In my case, I decided to write the scene in the manner that seemed most realistic, and in this particular case I was actually following real events that had been related to me by Baptist seminarians who had survived in East Germany under the Communists. In your case, working in fantasy…Pray hard, is basically what I would urge you to do.

P.S. All three books in The Priceless Collection were re-released last year. Click here to learn more about them.

Eagle-Eyed Readers Spot Errors in My Books

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Rare Earth by Davis BunnBrian writes: 

I recently read Rare Earth. Overall I enjoyed it, and it was great to read a strong Christian hero novel.

I have spent a great deal of time in Kenya, and am married to a Luo. I was a little surprised at some of the inaccuracies in giving the Luo stories, in some of the language confusion (Yebo of course being Zulu), and the overstatement of the dangers of Kenya, Nairobi, and even Kibera. Of course there is the chance of being robbed, but other than that, I and so many others love walking the streets of Nairobi, and have wonderful ministry in Kibera.

I run a disaster response organization, and have traveled fairly extensively. One of my great concerns is this fear, particularly within the Missions community. Over and over I meet missionaries that do live in this kind of fear, and in complete isolation from the culture, and particularly the genuine strength and beauty in so many local churches.

Thank you for the writing you are doing, and I hope to read other books of yours in the future. If you are ever back in Kenya and want to find the joy of the streets and in Kibera please let me know, and I can connect you with various in-laws and Christian Kenyans who can take you around the city and the slums.

Dear Brian,

It was great to hear from someone with your background, and to learn that despite the areas of disagreement you still enjoyed the tale. I realize that many people who travel, work, and serve in these areas do so with complete safety. But everything I used as action scenes were in fact taken from real-life incidences.

It is also important to remember that this was a suspense drama. Just like people do not expect to be attacked on the streets of Washington after seeing a film about espionage, so too is it important to understand the emotive structure of a novel.

 UnlimitedBookCover788x1200Pat writes: 

I am an avid fan of yours and have read almost every book you’ve written. Currently I’m reading Unlimited.

A little disappointed though that some Spanish words/customs were not checked and are incorrect. “Padron” is not a word in Spanish. It is Patrón ( with an accent on the “o”) and it means boss or chief.

Also, OJ as an abbreviation is awkward to say in Spanish but “Oji” would have been a good choice.

I will happily send along other ideas if you’re interested. Since I’m a native speaker and a Spanish teacher with a Ph.D., I’m well qualified!

As always, I’m enjoying your style and wit!

Dear Pat, 

While I’m indeed very glad that you enjoyed the story, I am so sorry to learn of the errors you discovered in the script. Because I do not speak Spanish (German, Italian, some French), I entrusted the manuscript to proofreaders.

As always we do still come across issues at the published state that we wish had been found earlier. But ‘patron’ will most certainly be altered.

As for the ‘OJ’ issue, on this point I can assure you that the locals do indeed refer to their home town in this manner, actually using the English way of saying the letters.

This entire project was a learning experience for me. I left the US and North America for Europe and then Africa when I was twenty, and have not traveled Mexico, Central or South America.  Everything you find in this story comes from people who have lived and worked there all their lives, including a number of amazing new friends who have managed to survive the current difficulties in Juarez.

In any case, I thank you for writing, and am grateful for the keen eye you showed to the text.

Reader Mailbag: Chinese Subject Matter in ‘The Great Divide’

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

The Great Divide by Davis BunnRosalina writes: 

Recently I borrowed The Great Divide from my local library in New Zealand. I was so hooked into reading it that I ended up purchasing a copy which I have re-read several times.

The Chinese subject matter interested me greatly as my mother grew up in China (we are not Chinese) and I also belong to a China Friendship Association in NZ and naturally I do have Chinese friends.

You handled the Chinese side of things beautifully and it was a topic that needed to be written about.

Dear Rosalina,

It is amazing and gratifying to know that my words have reached your distant corner of the globe, and even more so to learn the story resonated with someone who has this bond to China. My wife’s graduate thesis was based upon this issue, and her research is embedded in virtually every page.

Learning About Other Cultures Through Novels

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Hendrickson Publishers recently re-released the three books in The Priceless Collection series, which had been out of print for seven years.

This family epic blends mystery and romance and is set in the luxurious trappings of contemporary London and the turbulent economies of Eastern Europe.

The Priceless Collection

Florian's Gate by Davis Bunn The Amber Room by Davis Bunn Winter Palace by Davis Bunn

Here are two reader letters that reflect on the books in The Priceless Collection.

Vickie writes: 

I stayed up late last night to finish Florian’s Gate. What an amazing book. I read a lot of fiction, but I love fiction that includes history.

Like the main character, Jeffrey, my view of life beyond the Iron Curtain has always been limited by my own paradigms. It was eye-opening to see the people of this land through Jeffrey’s eyes as he experienced them first hand.

I was not surprised to find that many of the stories of the people in the book came from first-hand accounts of real people. This is a great book about the courage and strength of a nation that has endured so much.

Dear Vickie,

As you may have gathered from the dedication and acknowledgements, this story was based upon the experiences of my wife’s family, and so holds a very special significance for me. I’m thrilled that you connected with it.

Dave writes: 

I recently finished reading the three books of The Priceless Collection. Thank you so much–I learned a lot about what Poland has gone through, just in my lifetime. Also learned a bit about Russia while reading three very interesting stories.

Some of your books are hard to read as they describe working and living conditions in other countries that are so much different than what we have lived through. We had a chance to go to Germany on a work and Witness team in 2000 and spent a week working at the Nazarene church in Frankfurt and another week traveling around in Germany.

We spent three days in Berlin and got to see what the war did and where the city was divided for so many years. While it is now one city again a lot of evidence of what it was like is still there. At the time we were there they were refurbishing the building that used to house the German government before the Soviet Union divided the city.

The leader of our group grew up in Germany because his father was pastoring the church in Frankfurt while it was being built in the 1960s. As it turns out I was only a few miles away in Wiesbaden, in the army at the same time. Did not meet them until we met in a church in Meridian, Idaho many years later.

Because he grew up there he knew of a small museum in Frankfurt that he took us to. It was very small and the only thing I remember from it is the two display cases–one of what Frankfurt looked like before the war and the other what it looked like after we got through bombing it. Not much left standing.

Living in America tends to spoil us as far as our freedoms compared to a lot of other countries in the world.

Dear Dave,

It has been remarkable how these stories have connected with an entirely new audience, 15 years after they were first written. The wall has fallen, and so many people in these affected countries now consider it so far past that it holds no real importance.

They want to focus forward, join Europe, move into better homes and jobs and futures. I was therefore concerned when I heard the books were to be re-released. And yet still they connect, and in such lovely ways.

For details and purchasing information about the books in The Priceless Collection, visit:

Book 1: Florian’s Gate

Book 2: The Amber Room

Book 3: Winter Palace

Stop Making Me Get Choked Up When I Read Your Books Aloud to My Wife!

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Larry writes:   

While we wait for your next books to be released, my wife and I searched through all your works, and selected Rhineland Inheritance – book 1 in the Rendezvous With Destiny series.

Having been written 20 years ago, I figured your more recent Marc Royce series would reflect a definite improvement in your writing skills. Truth is, you were already a gifted writer then. The good stuff just keeps coming!

One suggestion, though. We read together, and the extremely personal, emotionally poignant passages can choke me up, which makes reading difficult. So, maybe hereafter, you could just write something like, “Moving tenderly toward her, he said, ‘Yada, yada, yada.’”

It would be a lot less emotional, and we could use our imagination, and I wouldn’t get all choked up!!  So now you know why I am not a writer.

Seriously, when Sally Anders opened up to Jake and described her fiancé, she was describing the godly man I want to be.

The man I want to be…?  As in, when I grow up??  But 63 is pretty much already grown up, isn’t it?  Fortunately, God is not finished with us until He calls us home.

It’s difficult to keep reading out loud to your spouse when the character in the book is “talking to you” about such monumental and eternal things.

So, when I say, “Thank you” for writing, you’ll understand that I mean a whole lot more.

Dear Larry,

As for my for my knowing you’re not a writer, sorry, I don’t get that at all. If this is related to your getting choked up, let me tell you, I just finished rereading a manuscript I’m in the process of completing, and I LOVED that I got choked up at a couple of points. This emotional bond to the characters is just vital.

Reader Question: Why Aren’t All Your Books on Nook?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Margaret writes:

I have read at least 26 of your books. Recently I downloaded The Great Divide and found that I had read it before — totally enjoyed it again! Why do you not put more of your books on Nook? That is my favorite medium and would love to find more recent selections of yours.

Dear Margaret,

I too wish more of my titles were available on Nook, as that was the first reader device I acquired. These decisions are taken by the company and not by me.

In case you are interested, we have just learned that Amazon intends to offer my entire backlist, stretching back 24 years, on Kindle. Hopefully Nook will follow suit.

Interviews and More Interviews

Monday, November 18th, 2013

SouthernWritersRadioShowNov2013ad

I’ve been honored to participate in three interviews lately.

Ann Byle did a Q&A with me about Strait of Hormuz on Novel Crossing.

Susie Larson, host of the Live the Promise show on Faith Radio, interviewed me during her Novel Talk segment.

We discussed the themes of suspense, wisdom, and redemption in my novel, Unlimited. Click here to listen to the show.

Southern Writers Radio Show interviewed me about Strait of Hormuz on their November 2013 show.

Click here to listen to the show.