Please give a warm welcome to author Michael Duncan!
E.A.: Tell us a little about yourself.
Michael: Ah, where to begin? Well, I’m a born-again Christian who loves the Lord and wishes to be able to walk closer to Him than I do. I love and am blessed with a very patient and beautiful wife, who has endured me these past 18+ years and together we have three amazing children – all of whom are starting to try their hand at storytelling.
I serve as a pastor of a small church in the state of Washington. I have been in ministry for over twenty years, having served in four different churches in three states. We also home-school our children and have been adopted by two cats. And, given the opportunity, you might find me lost somewhere on the back nine of a local golf course.
That’s a “little” about myself – the really good stuff I’m saving for my autobiography. 🙂
E.A.: You must be proud that your kids want to follow in your footsteps. I wish them all the best in their storytelling adventures! Please tell us about your book.
Michael: It is called Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One.
“If history is written by the victorious, what if the victors lied?” This is the question that weaves its way through the heart of this story. Shadows is an allegorical fantasy about Aaron, a captain in the Royal Guard, who discovers that all he’s ever known to be true is a lie. He sets out on a quest to find the one book—the Book of Aleth—(Aleth is the Greek word for truth) that will unlock the swirling mysteries that haunt his life and plague his thoughts. Accompanied by unlikely companions, Aaron is beset by difficulties and betrayals.
E.A.: Please tell us about the series this book is part of.
Michael: This first book is a part of a larger series where Aaron must recover the Book of Aleth and rescue the nation of Celedon from the deceptive dominion of the usurper, Emperor Therion. The prophetic time of restoration looms and the Book of Aleth is the key. Aided by elves and dwarves, and all those loyal to the truth, Aaron embraces his role as the Protector of Celedon and sets out to restore the nation he has sworn to protect.
E.A.: Ooh, the series sounds great! Where can readers purchase copies of your books?
Michael: This book is available at online retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. It is in both print and e-book formats. This first book, Shadows, released on October 1st, and the second in the series, Revelation, will be available in the Summer of 2012. For more information, you can go to Harbourlight Books at: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/browse-by-imprint/harbourlight. You can also find it at my own personal website: http://www.michael-duncan.net.
E.A.: What made you want to be a writer?
Michael: God did. I loved the fantasy worlds of the likes of Tolkien, Eddings, Brooks and Anthony. I lived in them as a youth, and found my heart disappearing into the words on the pages as if I were transported into those worlds. I tried to write my own stories, but life took a turn and I was discouraged by some who saw no benefit to such “trivialities.”
When I became a Christian at the ripe old age of 19, I put aside those fantasy stories and aimed my eyes upon the tomes of theological studies. However, I longed for the adventure that I enjoyed as a youth. I realized, many years later, that the things people remembered from messages I had preached were not the theological points but the stories that illuminated them.
That’s when I began to put my thoughts back to the power of a good story. I saw, even in the Scriptures, that God uses stories to convey His wisdom and love, His power and salvation. So I began to write. And, as if carried on the wings of angels, I found myself enrapt and enjoying the zest of my youth molded by the wisdom of experience as I sought to convey a message through allegorical fiction.
E.A.: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Michael: My advice is never, never, never stop learning. God gives us wisdom in the Scriptures, and one such nugget goes like this: “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Hone your craft until it sings like an Irish Tenor and is as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. It may seem like you’ll never get there, but realize that there is no such thing as a perfect manuscript and that all writers, no matter how much they have mastered the art, are still learning and growing in their potential.
Another thing: don’t let discouragement drag you away from God’s purpose. It took me over seven years from the beginning of writing Shadows to it’s acceptance by Harbourlight Books. But God had a plan and a purpose, and though I must admit that the rejection letters were hard to read, when the right connection came God opened the door.
E.A.: Great advice, Michael! It is so easy to get discouraged, but perseverance is the only way to get your book in front of the right editor. Where can readers learn more about you and your books?
Michael: You can learn more about me at my website: www.michael-duncan.net where you will find a link to my blog, previous sermons that you can listen to and information about my current books available. It is a constant work in progress so come back often! You can also learn more at my publisher’s website: http://www.pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/.
E.A.: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Michael: Just one thing – trust the Lord. My book is allegorical, about a man’s quest to find the truth. He experiences circumstances and situations that are inexplicable, but comes to understand them when the truth is made known. We go forward by faith and then it seems that circumstances take turns that are nowhere near the mark that we had hoped. Trust the Lord. He leads you not only beside still waters, but also through the valley of the shadow of death.
Proverbs 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” Let this wisdom – and all the wisdom of God – be the guiding voice in your life and your writing.
And one more thing, I want to thank E.A. for being so gracious to invite me to meet you and share a little about myself. You are a blessing!
E.A.: Aw, thank you, Michael! It’s been great having you here. Thank you for allowing me to interview you. Congratulations on the release of Shadows! May you have many sales and happy readers.
Title: Shadows: Book of Aleth, Part One
Author: Michael Duncan
Publisher: Harbourlight Books
A stolen text…When the Book of Aleth is stolen, Aaron, captain of the Royal Guard, is ordered by Emperor Therion to reclaim the ancient tome. The mission thrusts Aaron into a world he’s never known–a world of elves and dwarves, races long thought extinct; a world where everything he has known and believed is a lie. A secret past… Forced to challenge his long-held beliefs, Aaron and his companions, two soldiers of the Royal Guard and two men of the Dwarvish kingdom of Brekken-Dahl, set out on a quest to recover the Book. Aaron resolves to discover the truth, and rescue the empire he is sworn to protect.