Q&A With Author Jack Cavanaugh
- Monday, October 10, 2005
Q: Why do you use several publishers?
A: To make a living. In order to make ends meet I have to write three to four books a year. Most publishers are reluctant to release more than two books a year per author. And unless you’re a superstar author, two books a year isn’t enough to feed and clothe a family in Southern California.
Another factor in the decision to use multiple publishers is that, unlike earlier days when publishers were looking to establish a well-rounded line of fiction, they are specializing in genres. For example, "Death Watch," a supernatural suspense novel, is a good fit for Zondervan but not for Bethany House. "Dear Enemy" is a good fit for Bethany House, but not for Zondervan.
Personally, I would love to find a home with a single publisher and editor, but now that I’m writing both historical fiction and suspense fiction, that’s not likely.
Q: I know that you are a great supporter of new authors, who do you think is the strongest new fiction author?
A: Oh goodness, I can’t answer that. There are so many and they’re all friends. Alton Gansky, who has established himself as a quality suspense novelist, and I have been friends for about 20 years. Lisa Samson is an incredible woman with an incredible talent. Although she lives on the other side of the nation, we’ve become close friends. Randy Ingermanson is a physicist whose manuscript I reviewed in a parking lot at a local writers conference. We’ve been friends ever since and I’ve been thrilled to watch his publishing career take off. I pray God’s best for all of them.
Q: "Proof" is co-authored by Bill Bright. Didn’t Bill Bright pass away in 2003?
A: When we started we knew that he would be probably be in heaven before the books came out unless God intervened in a miraculous way. We got together for a couple of intensive sessions which resulted in four storylines set in four different historical periods. He signed off on them and left me to do the actual writing.
Q: How did you come up with the basis for the plot in "Proof"?
A: Dr. Bright had a strong desire for revival in America. It’s something we had in common. So that’s where we began. We prayed that God would sweep our nation with his Spirit as He has done in the past. Then we identified times in our nation’s history when God did a miraculous work through His Spirit. Using my historical fiction background we decided to re-tell these incidents in novel form, hoping to prime the pump by encouraging Christians to begin praying that God would do it again.
I became involved with the project when Dr. Bright began to see the possibilities of fiction to communicate spiritual truth. It’s something I’ve been doing full-time for 10 years. During our sessions together, at one point Dr. Bright said to me, “Jack, if I knew what fiction could do to communicate God’s Word I would have started writing fiction early in my ministry.” It warmed my heart that he discovered what so many people are discovering, that novels have the ability to communicate biblical truth in very powerful way.
There will be four books all together. It’s called "The Great Awakening" series. The series is topical. Each book is a stand-alone story and they’re not chronological in order. In fact, "Proof," the first book to be released, is the most recent time period. "Fire" will come out in September. I’m currently writing "Storm" which will be released in the spring of next year and then "Fury" will be released in the fall of next year.
Q: Do you have a favorite genre or book?
A: I enjoy reading suspense books. Couple that with biblical mysteries and you really have me. That’s why I enjoyed so much writing "Death Watch." It gave me a chance to dabble in a genre and a theme that both fascinate me. In fact, the whole concept of supernatural fiction has gripped my imagination. It’s been there for years, but now I have a chance to do something about it. My idea file has started to bulge with contemporary suspense ideas and now I have a two book contract to give a couple of those ideas life.
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