First-Time Author Gives Insight in "Opportunities Knock"
- 2007 2 Jan
AgapePress interviewed Kevin Mangum regarding Mangum's first book, "Opportunities Knock," which was recently released by Xulon, a leader in the fast-growing field of publish-on-demand publishers. Mangum is teaching pastor at First Evangelical Church in Tupelo, Mississippi.
AgapePress: What factors led you to believe you needed to write "Opportunities Knock"?
Kevin Mangum: For some time I had been thinking that I should write a book using some of the unique stories in my life. In December of 2004 I felt that the Lord opened my mind and heart and gave me a flood of related thoughts, ideas, and stories that all revolve around the story and life of Joseph in the Bible. As I began to apply those truths to my life, I began to recognize principles that I believe will be relevant to every believer.
AP: Christian publishing has grown tremendously in recent years; what makes your book unique among others that address the same themes?
KM: The uniqueness comes from how the Lord allowed the eight principles or opportunities, my personal stories, and the life of Joseph all to come together. I believe those three strands weave together in a way that offers some practical insights for the reader.
AP: Is writing a book easier or harder than you anticipated? How so?
KM: Writing a book is easier than one might expect when the Lord is behind the thoughts and the outline. On the other hand, editing and re-writing are tedious work. And finally, getting the book published was harder than I could have anticipated.
AP: You used a publish-on-demand publisher; what is the advantage to this approach to publishing?
KM: The main advantage is that publish-on-demand publishers like Xulon give first-time authors a chance to get their thoughts published. Xulon doesn't print thousands of copies to store in a warehouse, but actually prints the books as orders come in -- and still ships them in a timely manner. Also, the author himself is able to keep as many books on hand as he needs to. The larger traditional publishing companies have almost all moved to a policy of not taking unsolicited manuscripts.
AP: What kind of routine and discipline did you develop in order to finish your manuscript?
KM: Actually, I carved out time early in the morning when it was quiet, so that I could focus and write undistracted by the busy-ness of ministry and the excitement of being a father to four children.
AP: You were writing the book in the middle of one of your own great challenges as a pastor. In hindsight, did you learn anything in the process that didn't make it into the book?
KM: I have learned that we must be patient as God's opportunities unfold for us. In this regard, Joseph is again a great example; he waited 13 years to see his dreams come true. Other biblical characters waited even longer than that. Patience is a must as we wait for His opportunities.
AP: In a nutshell, how do you hope "Opportunities Knock" will impact the lives of readers?
KM: I hope that readers will not see my life, but God's opportunities for them as they read through and interact with the material. My prayer is that it will help readers who have lost hope or direction see that God has great plans for them no matter how dismal their circumstances may appear. I hope the questions at the end of each chapter will be a catalyst to make the reader think about the book's principles and use them in their own Christian growth.
AP: Do you have plans for other books in the future? If so, can you give us any hints about them?
KM: I would love to write again. I feel that I would know better how to pace myself through the entire project. I don't have any specific ideas or plans. If God would like me to write again, I pray that He will infuse me with a clear outline and vision for another book.
© 2006 AgapePress. All rights reserved. Used with permission.