Interview with Novelist Douglas Kashorek
In Churches of Christ, I had never heard of a man who had a novel published. I am working on one, and didn’t expect I was the only one. I was happy to be led to Douglas Kashorek, who has his first novel coming out soon.
I contacted him and I am honored to have the opportunity to interview him. For a biography and to purchase his book, I direct you to his website. Thanks, Douglas for your cooperation!
1. How did you get started as a writer?
Even as a child, I would write little stories. It wasn’t until I was an exchange student in Japan at seventeen that I began to write seriously. After graduation from high school, I got a B.A. in English/Education 7-12 and was exposed to great works and teachers who helped shape my writing. I especially grew in my Biblical literature class.
2. What is your mission as a writer?
Glorifying God through showing how He can work in people’s lives if only they would choose Him has been my Colossians 3:17 mission. Kin of Cain, which is book one of The Chronicles of Nod, East of Eden, has an anti-heroine everywoman who struggles against a life seemingly laid out for her and chooses sin and death though she could have chosen life all along.
3. How important is writing to you?
Writing is life; it reaches into the deepest places of who we are and reveals that which God only knows. Through writing we even can surprise ourselves.
4. Did you have storytellers when you were growing up that influenced you?
In an airport bookstore when I was thirteen and not yet a Christian, I picked up a copy of Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara and was hooked on fantasy from then on. Stephen R. Lawhead’s Pendragon Cycle introduced me to the power of historical fiction. And, John Gardener’s Grendel fascinated me with the perspective of Beowulf’s monster.
5. Were you an avid reader as a child?
When I wasn’t fighting “alien robot” stumps in the woods with my brother or hurrying to unload a wood wagon with him before Indians attacked, I would be sitting all day on our porch with a stack of books, many of them that had been read before, and read!
6. What is the power of the written word?
Just as puppet plays help kids apply biblical principles, Christian historical fantasy brings the Bible stories to life and makes readers understand and apply lessons God wants us to learn. The one rule of historical fiction based on the Bible is that not one fact can be altered. God cursed Cain to be a wanderer on the earth, and then eldest brother builds Enoch, east of Eden. Why? How could he wander if settled down in a city? The power behind Christian historical fantasy is to connect the dots.
7. What lessons have you learned as a writer?
One lesson learned is that most of writing occurs in the pre-writing phase. The collecting of information through research and study, the character biographies and plot timelines, the time spent honing skills much like a painter paints can fill a filing cabinet drawer. Actually typing on the keyboard first before pre-writing is like taking off on a long trip outfirst consulting a map or packing a suitcase. Stories such as Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy are so much richer because of the miles of appendices.
8. What led you to this genre?
Google ‘Christian historical fantasy,’ and you won’t find much out there. Most of good Christian fiction is relegated to the pioneer romance story. Seeing Christian elements in Beowulf and knowing just how much the Bible and themes of sacrficing self for the benefit of others pervades our literature and movies, I wanted to reverse this and write a Christian sequel to Beowulf set in Genesis 4.
9. How important is a blog/website for a writer?
At some point I pictured that just because I wrote a book someday, that people would flock to buy it while I just wrote in front of a picturesque view. A college writing teacher shattered that idealism. In today’s market, where 1000 books may be fighting for readers’ attention, a good website that offers more than just an opportunity to purchase a book is essential. Writers need to be more accessible to their fans and must be teachers, publicists, and speakers as well.
10. What plans do you have as a writer?
Kin of Cain deals with the ugliness and consequences of sin. Two planned sequels will complete the trilogy. Blood of Abel will bring the readers back to the antidiluvean world of Genesis 5-6 and deal with the theme of sacrifice while salvation will be featured in Son of Seth as Adah will be confronted with love in the time of the Judges and at the foot of the cross.
11. Why do you think there are so few men in the church writing fiction?
Fiction deals with that which we have designated as more feminine traits: nurturing and relationships. But God is about nurturing and relationships and good leaders within the church must as well as shepherds of their flocks. Since we deal with truth, fiction has gotten a secondary-citizen status. But fiction was used to move David on at least two occasions: once when Nathan confronted the king after his sin with Bathsheba and another time when Joab used a woman to get David to see how he was wrong in not welcoming Absolom back. Both times fiction showed its power where a straight-forward non-fiction rebuking may have fallen short. Though many scholars believe that Jesus’ parables could have been real happenings, nothing is lost if they were hypothetical snippets of fiction that
still cause us to think. More men in the church ought to write fiction.