Monday, October 3, 2011

Frederick Riddle interview

Please welcome Mr. Riddle, author of Perished: The World That Was (read my review)!

1. ) What drew you to write in the Historical Fiction genre?

A: First, let me thank you for this opportunity.  It is always nice to be able to talk about my book.

For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading history and, when I got saved, that carried over to Bible History.  I still love to read good historical fiction, so it was a natural fit for me.  In fact, my very first novel, Refuge, sprang from my daily Bible readings.

2.) What is unique in Perished: The World That Was compared to other Historical Fiction?

A: When compared to other Bible-based Historical Fiction, I guess the uniqueness would be my style.  I not only base the story on Biblical fact, but I incorporate King James Version quotes.  The manner in which the characters speak allows such Scripture to be incorporated without standing out.  By weaving them into the story, I encourage my readers to check out in the Bible what is fact and what is my imagination at work.

3.) As you look back on writing Perished: The World That Was, what challenged you the most, and how did you get through it?

A: There were actually two great challenges.  The first was remaining faithful to the Biblical accounts.  It is easy to get so wrapped up in your story that you forget the Biblical boundaries.  I was constantly checking the Bible for accuracy.

     The second was character development.  In the Bible accounts you had good and bad people with the same name.  This creates built-in confusion for the reader as to which character is being viewed at any one time.  (One such example is Enoch.)

     Not to sound too spiritual, but I turned to prayer and asked God to guide me.  I tried to create enough information surrounding the character that the reader would be able to discern which character was in view.  Of all the reviews I have received, only one had a problem with that, so I am very pleased. 

4.) Prayer is good! Which character was the hardest to write, and which was the easiest?

A: The hardest was God Himself.  Considering Who He is, I had to be true to Him.  The best way to do that was to use His own words whenever possible.  This required me to research the whole Bible for His words relating to these events.  But I also had to get His "voice."  By that I mean the God of my book had to sound like God.

     As for the easiest that would be Lucifer.  His wickedness and evil aspirations were readily apparent and easy to relate.

5.) If you could be any character in your book, who would it be?

A: That is a hard choice since a little bit of me goes into every character.  But I really identified with Adam after the Fall.  I say after because I wouldn't want to be responsible for sin entering the human race, but his faith in God afterward must have been tremendous.  Here was a man who fathered a race, who was probably a genius (as was Eve), and probably was actively involved in the human race's social, industrial, and religious development.  I see him as a man of faith, who watched all this with both pride and sorrow (because of the visible consequences of his initial sin).

6.) Do you have a particular fascination with any one Biblical event?

A:  I probably lean toward creation, but close behind is the Flood.  These two events coupled with the Confusion of Tongues at Babel have had a tremendous effect upon the world.

7.) Why did you choose to re-tell such a tale as Perished?

A:  Because that is where it all started.  The Book of Genesis is foundational to our understanding of God, the world we live in, and the necessity for a Saviour.  It seemed only right that my writings should begin there.

8.) Can you tell us three things about yourself we readers may not know?

A:  The first and most important thing would be that I received Christ as my Saviour at the age of thirty.  I wish I would have done so at a much earlier age, but I am glad that I finally realized that I am a sinner and need a Saviour.

     The second thing is that I served in a Baptist church in Michigan as the Financial Secretary for 15 years.  I am currently serving in the same capacity in a local Baptist church here in Port Charlotte, FL.

     The third thing would be Teresa, my wife, and I take care of her mother (alzheimers) 24/7.  This can be trying and certainly takes time, but she is such a godly woman you don't mind doing it.

9.) Do you have future book plans or ideas?

A:  Several actually.  I am currently writing a sequel to Perished that picks up where it left off and covers events before, during and after the Confusion of Tongues at Babel.  In addition to that I am working on a novel that takes place right here in America during and after the War of 1812.  I have also just returned from a trip to St. Augustine, Florida where I gathered information that could eventually lead to several novels.

10.) Do you have any advice to those wanting to write Biblical Historical Fiction?

A:  You could write books on this subject, but I think one of the most important would be to be faithful to the Bible.  It is not just a depository of historical information.  It is the Word of God and must be treated with the utmost respect.

     Furthermore, remember that the Bible was written to convey only what God wanted us to know so that we might know the need for a Saviour and to know that Saviour.  Because of this there is a great deal of room for "the rest of the story."  Your job is to create that story within the Biblical framework.  That is similar to staying within historical records in the secular world.  But it is different.  Never forget you are dealing with the Word of God.

11.) Thank you for your time! Do you have any final words for our readers?

A:   First, it's been a pleasure sharing my thoughts with you.  You asked some good and tough questions, which I hope I have answered to your satisfaction.  If your readers are interested in my views and/or advice on writing Christian Fiction, I encourage them to visit my blog athttp://blog.rfrederickriddle.com


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