Interview with James Rubart
As a blogger, I sometimes wonder what people want to read in warm weather months. Heavy topics and hot temperatures don't seem to go together. What sounded right to me? A series of interviews with authors that I love. Today, I am excited to welcome bestselling and award-winning Christian fiction author James L. Rubart.
Beyond being an amazing writer, he is a stellar human being and a marketing whiz. One of the first luminaries that I met when beginning my author journey, Jim encouraged me to get going, find my niche and unleash myself on God's world. So, it is with great pleasure, I present author James Rubart.
Latest book: The Man He Never Was
Bio: James L. Rubart is 28 years old but lives trapped in an older man’s body. He's the best-selling, Christy BOOK of the YEAR, CAROL, INSPY and RT Book Reviews award winning author of nine novels, co-host of The Novel Marketing podcast, and co-founder of the Rubart Writing Academy.
DLW: Thanks for joining us. Tell our readers what state you currently call home and any other places that have special significance in your past.
JLR: Thanks for having me, David. I lived in the Seattle area all my life till three years ago when my wife and I moved to eastern Washington state. I grew up camping with my family up and down the Oregon coast and still have great affection for that area.
DLW: Very interesting. My family were great campers too. Perhaps the outdoors feeds the author gene in some of us. For our audience, what genre or genres do you like to write?
JLR: My agent and publisher tell me I’ve invented my own genre which is a bit of a challenge to define! But let’s try: I write contemporary stories with fantastical elements sprinkled in, a bit of suspense, some psychological underpinnings along with a splash of romance.
DLW: A powerful combination. Tell us about your most recent book and the message(s) behind it?
JLR: The Man He Never Was is my latest novel and it looks at the dark side of our souls. I was inspired by a sermon I heard that talked about how the novella Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was influenced by Romans Chapter 7. I attempted to write a modern reimagining, but with a Christian twist thrown in.
DLW: Like the other books of yours that I've read, the Man He Never Was really spoke to me. I found myself asking questions similar to those the main character faced. What authors do you like to read?
JLR: C.S. Lewis, Ted Dekker, Karen Hancock, Harlan Coben ... and so many others.
DLW: Other than the Bible, which we all can agree is a must-read, what books affected your life and how did they make an impact?
JLR: The book(s) that had the biggest impact on my life were The Chronicles of Narnia. They inspired me to become an author, have shaped my theology, drawn me to God in a way no other books have, and I still re-read them even as an adult. I’ve been reading The Last Battle to my wife this summer.
DLW: Definitely, CS Lewis left a footprint on many of us. Tell us about a memorable reader or fan. Perhaps a story about a personal encounter or some kind of email or message you received.
JLR: I got an email from a gentleman who said my novel was part of his journey away from suicide. I was stunned. If he were the only person who ever read one of my novels, it would have all been worth it.
DLW: That must have been amazing. I doubt that readers understand the impact and encouragement they can bring with a few words or a short email to an author. So powerful. Do you have any unique writing habits or rituals that you go through before sitting down at the computer?
JLR: I typically go through a complex set of exercises called, “Mind Blowing Ways to Procrastinate.” They have never failed to work. When I do finally sit down I have one strange quirk. When I’m writing a first draft, I have to have a bag of jumbo sunflower seeds next to me.
DLW: As a bird owner, the sunflower seeds might be problematic for me. Apart from writing, what hobbies or past-times do you enjoy?
JLR: Playing guitar. Sleight of hand. Kayaking with my wife. Playing golf. Water skiing. Hiking. Dirt bike riding. Taking photos. I don’t get bored too easily!
DLW: You are an active guy indeed. Do you have a life motto or Bible verse that guides you?
JLR: I have many, but I’ll choose just one for this moment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Do that, and everything else falls into place.
DLW: Jim, I love your Novel Marketing Podcast. It has taught me a bunch about promoting the messages God places on my mind. Tell us about what’s next for you? Any appearances, forthcoming releases, etc.?
JLR: My next novel, The Pages of Her Life, releases in January. It’s the first time my main protagonist has been female, so I’m excited about it. Also, I’m working on a series of stories with Susan May Warren and her son, David about a time traveling detective who solves cold cases by going into the past.
DLW: Jim, that all sounds very interesting. I can't wait to read your next book. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your encouragement to Christian writers.
JLR: Thanks much for having me, David!