Saturday, August 31, 2019

Saturday Good Reads

The humanities are in deep trouble at American colleges and universities. Some colleges are eliminating them altogether. At other schools, what is called humanities looks less like humanities and more like what pundits call grievance studies. John Gray, a political philosopher and author, argues that the humanities can’t be saved, and it’s better for people to discover great works of world literature, history, and philosophy on their own. (His article is published at UnHerd, which is an interesting site to investigate – it’s neither left nor right, liberal nor conservative, and one of its staff is Giles Fraser, an Anglican priest who used to write for The Guardian.)

Apostasy has been in the news; two recent announcements from well-known Christians have been reported, dissected, disparaged, or celebrated (their announcements were staged on Instagram with thoughtful illustrations; even apostasy is 21stcentury culture is performance art). Erik Raymond at The Gospel Coalition considers apostasy, and then describes what apostates don’t say.

An inconvenient truth: While The New York Times is busily reframing American history and developing a school curriculum about the “real” story, Susan Parker at the St. Augustine Record points out that slavery existed in America (Florida, to be specific) half a century before 1619. That complicates matters, for all kinds of reasons.

Speaking of American history, Wilfred McClay of the University of Oklahoma went totally countercultural and published a history textbook called Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story(think about a title about American history today that includes the words “hope” and “great;” the mind boggles). McClay believes there is wisdom to be discovered in American history. My mind is still boggling. 

And then there's NBC, giving The New York Times a good run in the race to see who can dump journalistic standards the fastest. NBC discovered Falun Gong, and convinced Facebook to remove ads from the Falun Gong-linked Epoch Times. I remember the days when NBC had anchors like Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, John Chancellor, and Tom Brokaw, and actually reported the news.

More Good Reads


Waiting – Zak Schmoll at Entering the Public Square.

Life and Culture

How to Delegitimatize a Nation – Rod Dreher at The American Conservative.

The Beehive Plan – Brad Kik at Front Porch Republic.

Campus conservatives aren't under siege — but there's more to the story – Matthew Woessner & Robert Maranto at NBC News Think.

The Nones: Education without Divinity or Selfhood – R.J. Snell at Public Discourse.

American Stuff

Did Frederick Douglass Influence “The Blind Memorandum”? – Sarah Kay Bierle at Emerging Civil War.

Five Great Books on Thomas Jefferson – Thomas Kidd at The Gospel Coalition.

British Stuff

Decline & fall in a Welsh town – Anthony Daniels at The New Criterion.

Forerunners of the Crystal Palace – Judith Taylor at English Historical Fiction Authors.


Three Poems – David Barber at The John Hopkins Review.

Listening to “Burnt Norton” – Dwight Longenecker at The Imaginative Conservative.

Silence and Song – A.F. Moritz at Literary Matters.

Writing and Literature

Going on Pilgrimage with Mark Twain: “The Innocents Abroad” – Michael De Sapio at The Imaginative Conservative.

Après Visuals and Timelapse Reel 

Painting: Portrait of a Woman Reading a Book on a Sofa, oil on canvas by Louise Williams Jackson (1872-1939)

Friday, August 30, 2019

The servant is served

After Philippians 1:1-2

A servant works to serve,
to provide, to do as directed,
do it well and with good heart.
And in this process of serving,
the servant in turn receives,
is served, because that’s how
it works, how it replicates
itself, because by serving,
the seed is watered,
the seed sprouts,
the seed grows.
The servant is both
the planter and the seed.

Photograph by Jeremy Yap via Unsplash. Used with permission.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

"Creatures of Dust" by Scott Hunter

It’s downright dangerous to be on the team of Detective Chief Inspector Brendan Moran of the Thames Valley Police. In Black December, one of his men experiences a gruesome kind of torture. In Creatures of Dust, policeman have heart attacks, are beaten almost to death by local villains, and even worse. 

Moran himself, having barely survived an automobile crash, is plagued by blackout periods and a noticeable limp. He’s seen his garage blown up (and people die) and he had barely escaped death at the hands of evildoers many times. 

Now he’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s seems to be targeting area Muslims. A young man is knifed to death; so is an IT consultant. Both are Muslims. And then a Catholic priest dies the same way in the confessional box. The killer isn’t just limiting himself to Muslims. The only anomaly was a killing that happened at the same time as the first – an undercover policewoman. And other departments want Moran well away from investigating her death, even to the point of taking over Moran’s murder investigations. Something smells fishy in the Thames Valley Police.

Scott Hunter
This is the second in the “Irish Detective” series by British author Scott HunterThe series includes Black DecemberCreatures of DustDeath Walks Behind YouA Crime for All Seasons (short stories), and Silent as the Dead. In addition to writing his crime fiction, Hunter is an IT consultant and musician. He lives with his family in England.

Criminal activity seems rampant in Thames Valley, both on the streets and in the police department. DCI Moran often finds his hands tied, but he always figures out a way to bring the guilty to justice. Even if a lot of his fellow police officers have to die along the way. Creatures of Dust is a fast-paced, anything-is-bound-to-happen-and-likely-will kind of story.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

"The One I Trust" by L.N. Cronk

Brafford Odell Reid carries a considerable amount of personal baggage. His marriage turned into something of a disaster before it turned tragic. His wife, with some serious mental health issues, killed herself and their son by drowning in the ocean. Their bodies were never found. She arranged their deaths to look like murder by Reid, and he was suspended from the Raleigh Police Department and investigated. He was cleared only through the efforts of his mother-in-law, who was able to describe her daughter’s serious mental problems. 

He’s been holed up for a year in the basement of his best friend’s house, mourning his son and what he’s lost. He gets by on unemployment, but that will eventually end. His friends keep trying to get him to date, but he’s not interested. When he does go out, he’s quiet and withdrawn. That’s how his first date with Emily goes, until there’s a second date. He’s shocked to learn she’s interested in him; shocked that she’s 10 years younger than he is; and shocked that he’s strongly attracted to her.

L.N. Cronk
Their marry, and for a short time, things are almost idyllic. And then Emily begins to act and react much like Reid’s first wife. And he has to answer a question – does Emily need to be under a doctor’s care, or perhaps even institutionalized?

The One I Trust by L.N. Cronk tells the story of Reid and Emily. It’s a story about romance, about love, and about trust – and then it turns into a story of suspense. Not all is at it seems in Reid’s world, and never was. She lives in the mountains of western North Carolina. 

Cronk, a middle-school teacher, is the author of the eight-book Chop, Chop fiction series, standalone novels, and a historical novel, The Pirate’s Revenge, co-authored with Heather Frey Blanton. 

The One I Trust is envisioned to be the first book in a new series. It’s a gripping story, surprising in that a romance turns so quickly into rather nail-biting suspense.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Poets and Poems: Ali Nuri and “Rain and Embers”

You begin your life in a provincial capital. When you’re three years old, the country’s leader attacks your city, which is the “wrong” variation of your region’s and family’s faith. The family debates – leave or stay? The brutality of the ruling regime makes the decision: leave. The next four years of your life are spent in a refugee camp, until the family is granted asylum in a new country. The family is safe; it’s survived. But you’re now a stranger in a strange land, with a new language, a new culture, and a new society. It’s a land where even the predominate skin color is not the same as yours.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Walter Duranty, The New York Times, and Fake News

Up-front: This is not a pro-Trump article. It’s not an anti-media article. In fact, it’s a pro-journalism article, from someone who was originally trained in journalism and worked with reporters for almost his entire professional career.

Fake news didn’t begin with the 2016 presidential election.

I suspect it goes back to the Garden of Eden, when the serpent told Eve that she surely wouldn’t die if she ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

Fake news is as old as humanity.

One of the most famous examples of fake news in modern American history involved a reporter for The New York Times named Walter Duranty. He was stationed in Moscow during the early years of Stalin’s rule. So was Malcolm Muggeridge, then a reporter for the Manchester Guardian

Muggeridge, without permission from the Soviet authorities, traveled to the Ukraine. He had heard reports of famine in the Soviet Union’s breadbasket, following the forced collectivization of the farms in 1930 and 1931. He indeed found famine, with whole families starving to death on a massive scale, and he reported on it (without his byline and in stories smuggled out via diplomatic pouch). 

Malcolm Muggeridge in 1929
Duranty of The New York Times looked into it as well. He was also given unprecedented access to Stalin himself. Duranty found a few deaths from “malnutrition” but no famine. He explained the famine reports as a diplomatic duel between Great Britain and the Soviet Union. A few months later, he said that any reports of famine in Russia were “an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” A few years later, he defended Stalin’s Show Trials of 1938.

Duranty’s reporting on the Ukraine won a Pulitzer Prize.

To be fair, Duranty was not alone in his apologetics work for the Soviet Union. Lots of reporters were right there as well. It was the Great Depression of the 1930s, and to many (including many reporters), it appeared that capitalism had failed and communism was the future.

Duranty’s report turned out to be fake news, or “propaganda masquerading as news.” There was horrible famine in the Ukraine, and Stalin’s policies had destroyed one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. Millions of people died. Muggeridge’s reporting had been exactly right.

Sixty years later, The New York Times acknowledged the bad reporting. Despite calls to revoke Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize posthumously (he died in 1957), the Pulitzer board decided to let the award stand. 

Now as then, fake news knows no political or intellectual boundaries. It’s the report of a pizza parlor covering as a front for pedophiles, the “fine people” hoax of Charlottesville, and the Covington boys allegedly ridiculing an elderly native American. Uninformed people fell for the pizza parlor trick; smart, intelligent, and informed people fell for the Charlottesville hoax and the slanted video that featured the Covington boys. Unfortunately, a number of those people were reporters, editors, news anchors, and others holding significant national media positions.

I knew something had gone seriously wrong with the news media long before the 2016 election. But in December of 2016, the latest iteration began. The Washington Post published a story, quoting an anonymous (Obama) administration source, that the Russians had hacked the U.S. electric grid. This was collateral evidence that the Russians had supposedly hacked the election to make sure Donald Trump won. 

Walter Duranty
As it turned out, the Russians had not hacked the electric grid. A utility worker’s laptop not connected to the grid had possibly been compromised via a Russian porn site. The original story had made all the public rounds. No one noticed how the Post gradually edited the story and the headline, dialing back the original sensational account. No one wondered why the reporter hadn’t even bothered to check with the utility, and only began to make changes to the story when the utility issued a press release clarifying the news report. The original report had been republished, tweeted, and shared countless times. The edited version wasn’t. 

Consider the implications of a company’s press release being more truthful and accurate than an article in the Washington Post.

The essential truthfulness of Russian collusion was accepted by virtually all of the major national news media and most of the rest of the media as well. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller was expected to uncover all of the evidence that would lead to President Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. 

Constantly buttressed by stories quoting anonymous sources, that was the media narrative we all read, watched, and heard for more than two years. That Trump constantly attacked the news media and “fake news” on Twitter and in press briefings added to the emotion powering the narrative. Trump had become an existential threat to freedom of the press.

Unfortunately, so had, and has, the behavior of the news media. Huge swaths of the American public do not trust the news that’s printed and broadcast. Cartoonist Scott Adams has gone so far as to say that national news media today are “just a manipulation tool for people with agendas.”

The narrative turned out to be wrong. Or, put another way, the narrative turned out to be wrongheaded. It’s now pointing in the opposite direction, although the media seem reluctant to go there. Instead, there’s been a media pivot from collusion to obstruction (“Trump would have been charged with obstruction were he not president, former prosecutors assert” – Washington Post, May 6, 2019).

In 2017, The New York Times and Washington Post shared a Pulitzer Prize for their efforts to uncover collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. 

The ghost of Walter Duranty walks. The media can’t wait 60 years to acknowledge the mistake they’ve made.


Sunday, August 25, 2019

A simple greeting

After Philippians 1:1-2

Just a simple greeting,
not much more than
a hello, a short salutation,
a few words, but a greeting
packed with meaning:
the sender, a servant,
a helper;
the receivers: servants
and overseers. The word
for both is stated
and implied: servant,
the people who serve
That is the story,
the point. That’s what
it was and is and will be.

Photograph by Rawpixel via Unsplash. Used with permission.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Saturday Good Reads

Andrew Socher was a professor at Oberlin College in Ohio for 18 years. He went back to return a more-than-slightly-overdue library book and discovered what happened during the Gibson’s Bakery controversy. It is an ugly picture of college administrators in the grip of progressive zeitgeist. Read O Oberlin, My Oberlin.

Art can always be interpreted politically, if we find enough things to read into it, even if the things aren’t there. But rarely has it been organized and managed in museums to fit a specific ideological perspective. The International Council on Museums wants to change that, with a “new definition” of what a museum should be, to include language about “social justice, global equality, and planetary wellbeing.” The new definition will be voted upon in September. Perhaps council representatives should read Art News this week, with a story on how museums and art were once “re-envisioned” – Hitler’s Silver Hammer: Inside the Rise of the Nazis’ ‘Church’ for Art. The impulse toward totalitarianism is the same, whether it comes from the left or the right.

Last week, I cited a link about the growth of “news deserts” – the growing number of towns and cities without a functioning newspaper. A different kind of news desert occurred this week. Rod Dreher at The American Conservative is a conservative; he’s also no fan of President Trump. He first questioned what was going on at The New York Times after Slate leaked a transcript of a NYT town hall. Then he followed up by doing what I’d been expecting for some time – he canceled his subscription. And the reason: the Times has abandoned any notion of professional journalism standards. It’s now going to consciously and deliberately be all about the chosen narrative. The New York Times! I suppose we can at least be thankful that the Times has dropped the pretense. However, the Times is also developing a 1619 curriculum for use in schools, and the promotion for it has already started

More Good Reads


Francis Schaeffer’s Call to End the Sacred-Secular Divide – Dr. Andrew Spencer at the Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics.

Off to College – Andree Seu Peterson at World Magazine.

British Stuff

Paper Theaters: The Home Entertainment of Yesteryear – Amelia Soth at JSTOR Daily. 

Crossword Panic of 1944 – Ben Johnson at Historic UK.


True story – Kathleen Everett at The Course of Our Seasons.

The Devil at Woodstock – Daniel Leach at The Imaginative Conservative.

Closed – Kelly Belmonte at All Nine.

What Happened Then – Paul Mariani via D.S. Martin at Kingdom Poets. 

American Stuff

The Great Land Robbery – Vann Newkirk II at The Atlantic.

Bellefontaine Cemetery, from Winter to Summer – Chris Naffziger at St. Louis Patina.

Writing and Literature

A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions – Ian Parker at The New Yorker.

5 Things to Do Before Hiring a Freelance Editor – Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent.

Davy Spillane - Caoineadh Cu Chulainn Uilleann Pipes

Painting: Man Reading a Book, oil on canvas by Parmigianino (1503-1540)

Friday, August 23, 2019

Image of the invisible

After Colossians 1:15-20

What does this look like,
this image of the invisible,
how can this be,
this contradiction of terms?
How does the invisible even 
cast a shadow, or possess
a shape, a presence? Yet
the invisible implies
existence, implies
a presence not seen
or touched. Our fingers
trace the contours 
of the invisible’s face,
our hands touch
the invisible’s skin, 
our senses taste, smell,
hear the invisible. And
we know it’s there,
always there.

Photograph by Ruben Marques via Unsplash. Used with permission.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

"Nowhere to Hide" by Stephen Puleston

Dawn Piper, a recovering drug addict, is making her way carefully through the Saturday night streets. She has a destination in mind, a friend’s house, but she wants to arrive there, and she’s watching for a black Audi that is likely following her. The friend’s house is within sight when she hears the voice, “Hello, Dawn.” Her body is found in her flat, but it’s clear she’s been killed somewhere else. 

Detective Inspector Ian Drake and Detective Sergeant Sara Morgan of the Wales Police Service investigate. And Drake has his hands full with non-investigation stuff – community meetings organized by a rabble-rousing politician; his boss retiring and a new superintendent arriving who seems distinctly cold and calculating; trying to balance time with his children and his new girlfriend (Drake is divorced). He also continues to obsess with neatness, coffee, and his Sudoku games.

Stephen Puleston
Drake and Morgan and their team gradually learn that Dawn’s death may be tied to local crime bosses and others running drugs into Wales. A second death occurs. Drake’s former wife, with the children in the car, is run off the road – a clear warning to the detective. Then there’s a third death, and the mysterious black Audi is playing a role again.

Nowhere to Hide by British author Stephen Puleston is the latest entry in the Detective Ian Drake detective series. Puleston publishes two series of Welsh police detective stories. Detective Inspector Ian Drake is with the North Wales Police Service, and Detective Inspector John Marco is with the South Wales Police Service. Nowhere to Hide is the seventh DI Ian Drake novel.

It’s a solid, fast-paced police procedural story, complete with drug kings, semi-civilized gangsters, departmental politics, and an ongoing romance. 


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

“Carnations in January” by Clare Revell

Grace Chadwick has inherited a house and a flower shop from her beloved aunt. The shop had been closed because of the aunt’s illness, and Grace isn’t sure if she’ll reopen it or not. She’s not even sure she’ll be staying in the town where her aunt lived. 

Her next-door neighbor of Elliott Wallac, a home builder and a deacon at the Baptist church her aunt attended. He goes out of his way, repeatedly, to help Grace with her house. And he repeatedly invites her to church, which she steadfastly wants nothing to do with. After a bad experience with a former boyfriend who said he was a Christian, Grace wants nothing to do with church. But Elliott persists.

Clare Revell
Despite her refusals to attend church, Grace finds herself attracted to Elliott. Elliott is attracted to Grace as well, as his twin brother Joel keeps reminding him. But Elliott carries his own baggage from the past, and it’s doubtful the past can be overcome to develop a relationship with Grace.

Carnations in January is the first book in the Flowers Can Be Fatal series by British author Clare Revell (and, yes, there are 12 in the series, one for each month). Revell is a prolific author, having published numerous books in the romance, crime fiction, and children’s genres. She lives with her family in a small town in England, and most of her books are set in the U.K. 

Carnations in January is a story about brokenness, and how two people with significant personal heartbreak can overcome what’s in their past and find a future together. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

“The Heart’s Necessities:” A Death, a Song, a Poem, and a Book

A songwriter and musician is having trouble with the lyrics for a song she’s trying to write for a friend, who recently died from breast cancer. From her bookshelf, she pulls a volume of poetry given to her by her father as a gift. She hadn’t previously looked at it. She begins to read, and the song lyrics begin to unfold before her eyes. 

The result is a song called “Tillery,” recorded by Becca Stevens and using the words from a poem entitled “Winter” by poet Jane Tyson Clement (1917-2000).

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Talking to Adam Blumer about “Kill Order”

Adam Blumer is the author of three Christian suspense novels: Fatal Illusions (Meaningful Suspense Press); its sequel, The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press); and Kill Order (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas). A print journalism major in college, he works full-time from home as a book editor after serving in editorial roles for more than 20 years (Adam was the editor for my first two novels, Dancing Priest and A Light Shining). He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia.

And he has a new book – Kill Order. Here’s the summary:

“When he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of the past come alive.

“Grammy-winning pianist Landon Jeffers’s brain cancer has given him only a few years to live. But when he sleeps, the forgotten terrors of his past torment him. When he wakes, shameful memories come rushing back. Desperate for answers, Jeffers discovers that a brain implant intended to treat his cancer is really a device to control him, forcing him to commit terrible crimes. Now he’s being manipulated by an evil crime syndicate and a crooked cop. 

“What if free will isn’t? What if your every move is predestined? If you kill, are you guilty of murder?”

Here’s what Adam has to say about his writing journey, writing fiction, his faith, and Kill Order.

Tell me about your writing journey. How did you get started?

I’ve loved to write stories since I was a kid and studied novel writing in college. I completed five unpublished novels, mostly for youth, before I began Fatal Illusions, my first published novel, in the spring of 2002 in conjunction with a Writer's Digest correspondence course on novel writing. In January 2006, literary agent Steve Laube, a well-known and respected voice in Christian fiction, responded enthusiastically to my book proposal and asked to see the entire manuscript. Of course, I was on cloud nine. Though he ultimately declined to represent me, he kindly gave me eight suggestions on how to make the novel publishable. 

Energized, I followed his advice and got to work, but I still couldn't find an agent or publisher. A year later, I contacted Kregel Publications, not about my novel but about opportunities to edit books from home. The managing editor noticed on my résuméthat I’d written several unpublished novels and asked to see my latest project. Kregel accepted it for publication in August 2007. God opened a door I never could have opened for myself.

What other novels have you written? 

My first novel is Fatal Illusions (Meaningful Suspense Press). The sequel is The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press). Both are available as paperbacks and e-books.

What inspired you to write Kill Order?

My dad, Larry, passed away from brain cancer in 2011, and several aspects of his cancer journey kicked off the initial story idea. One key detail involved a medical procedure. The doctors agreed to remove as much of my dad’s brain tumor as possible and replace it with medicinal wafers intended to fight the existing cancer. My mind began playing the what-if game. What if the doctor implanted something else, something that could monitor or even control my dad’s life? The story’s premise grew from there.

When did you realize your calling to create words on paper to share with the world?

Adam Blumer
When I was a child, I began writing wildly imaginative pirate and fantasy stories. My first handwritten story was a fantastical tale about Captain Kidd’s spyglass. In high school, I also wrote and finished an unpublished novel called Down with the Ship. It’s such an Agatha Christie copycat that I laugh whenever I peruse it, but emulation is how a lot of authors get to be where they are today. Those were the early projects that inspired me to take novel writing seriously. When I won a high school award for creative writing, I wondered if God wanted to do more with my love for fiction. In college I won more writing awards, and though I studied journalism, I took as many creative writing courses as possible. God opened doors from there, and I’ve never lost my love for fiction writing.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ESV). I’ve always loved this verse, and my wife and I included it in our wedding ceremony.

If you could, what advice would you give to your younger self?
Writing the story is only half of the project. The other half is finding out what readers like to read, crafting the story for them by following publishing standards, and writing the story to the best of your ability. Then remember that publishers can take a very long to decide whether they want your work. Don’t get discouraged. Just keep going and waiting.

What is the hardest part of the creative process of writing?

I rarely have difficulty coming up with story ideas and even an engaging premise, but getting from the beginning to the ending is a circuitous path that can sometimes come to dead ends. The hardest part of novel writing is choosing the right path that comes out at the right ending. There are so many moving pieces and critical decisions along the way that the writer can become paralyzed, overcome by too many choices. If you’re an indecisive person, you’ll never succeed as a novelist.

What do you read for fun?

Authors write what they like to read. When I was a kid, I devoured Hardy Boys books—yes, even my sister’s collection of Nancy Drew. While growing up, I read Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Brooks, Ray Bradbury, and Madeleine L’Engle. Eventually I gravitated to suspense fiction by authors like Frank Peretti, Terri Blackstock, and Mary Higgins Clark. I grew weary of whodunits and preferred suspense novels. I like novels that grab me around the throat, keep the pages turning, and never let go until the final period. Suspense novels filled with plenty of action and conflict captivate me like no other books I read, though I also have a fondness for good literature, fantasy, history, biography, true crime, and science fiction.

What was the hardest part about writing Kill Order? How long does it typically take you to write your novels?

The ending was tough to write. While I’m typically an organized plotter, I took off the training wheels on this one and let the story glide where it and the characters wanted to go. The journey became fun but scary. I had the premise and some plot developments in place, but how the story concluded took more work than I expected.

I typically take at least a couple of years of evenings and weekends for the actual writing of the book. But that doesn’t count the time needed to shop the novel around through my agent and then wait on a publisher before and after the contract; the publishing wheel turns much more slowly than most readers realize. I wish I could write more quickly than that, but that’s the reality for me, since this isn’t my full-time gig.

Your branding on your website is for “meaningful suspense.” What inspired you to write these kinds of thrillers and suspense novels? Also, what inspired your “clean fiction guarantee”?

I began reading Christian novels in junior high and soon gravitated to suspense. Back in the day, an inspirational thread was a staple in Christian fiction, and I believe a Christian novel can do more than simply entertain. These days many authors are leaning toward writing clean, moral stories but avoiding overt Christian content. I’m a believer that the inspirational content should stay (hence “meaningful suspense”). Books can encourage and even challenge readers’ thinking while taking them on a roller coaster of a ride. The “clean fiction guarantee” came about due to the rise of objectionable content in some Christian fiction. My fans were expressing disappointment to me due to content issues when they tried books by some Christian authors. I felt it was time to declare where I stood, and many readers have appreciated my guarantee.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful home office. Though I often like to write in other locations, this is by far my favorite place. I can close the door, shut out life’s distractions, pray, and become immersed in my story. Now and then, if I need a break, I can glance out the window and delight in God’s creation.

What are you reading at the moment, and who are a few of your favorite authors?

I’m currently enjoying Mind Games by Nancy Mehl. I especially enjoy a good thriller, whether Christian or secular. Some of my favorite authors are Steven James, Terri Blackstock, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, and Brandilyn Collins. I like how they weave story threads together and craft their scenes in ways that keeps the plot moving forward. Their books are great examples of what works in suspense writing. I learn so much simply by reading their novels.

What is the best part of your author’s life?

I love hearing from readers who went to work tired because they stayed up too late finishing one of my novels. If I kept them immersed in my story and entertained, that’s a score in my book.

Do you have any new writing projects on the horizon? 

I’m almost finished with the first draft of the sequel to Kill Order and hope to have something ready for my agent sometime this fall.

What’s one unusual fact about you?

When I was a kid, for a while I wanted to be a ventriloquist and had a “dummy” named Andy. But then I got braces and could no longer talk through my teeth like I used to. Andy sadly went into storage.

What are your three biggest frustrations about the writing business?

First, the amount of time each book requires from start to finish. Included in this is the long wait time from publishers. Second, the continually changing rules in writing and publishing. Just when you think you know what publishers are looking for, your agent tells you something else. Third, book marketing. One cannot guarantee sales. I wish a book release was like the movie Field of Dreams. “Build it, and they will come.” If only it were that easy. There is almost an equal amount of work in just promoting the book.

What excites you the most about the creative process?
I get most excited about the creative process when a plot development I never saw coming unexpectedly presents itself, taking the story in a new but stronger direction. This epiphany has happened to me several times.

Kill Order Paperback Giveaway

Adam has a Kill Order giveaway, hosted via Rafflecopter.  


My review of Fatal Illusions.

Talking about The Tenth Plague.

Adam Blumer's web site.

Kill Order publisher's web site.

Kill Order is available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and Barnes & Noble