Q:  Who are some of the authors you look to as role models? What are the best qualities you see in them – as persons or as writers?

A:  I have literary heroes like Steinbeck who don't make great role models, and there are some writers I admire as persons even if they aren't Steinbeck. One contemporary author who is both a wonderful writer and an admirable man is Wendell Berry.

The one quality I'd say great writers have in common is that they are doggedly determined and uncompromising. Single-minded.

Q:  How did you react when reviews began to sing your praises?

A:  Especially in the beginning, it was wonderful to get that kind of validation from professionals. It's all very flattering, but after a while you learn to file the praises of men in their proper place and get back to work.

Q:  What was your response to hearing that you are a Christy Award finalist?

A:  It's very gratifying, and humbling at the same time. Ten years ago I was an electrician who had never written anything, so seeing my name up there with the likes of Lisa Samson and Jamie Langston Turner is just astonishing. It still amazes me, the places God will take you if you let Him.

Randall Murphree, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is editor of AFA Journal, a monthly publication of the American Family Association.

© 2005 AgapePress.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.