We are fan boys (and girls) of fiction books and we see that as we cheer as our favorite books came to life in movies. There are lots of book based movies recently, one of which is the highly acclaimed “Hunger Games” trilogy. We are clamoring for it ever since it was on its still in its book form. So it begs the question: why do we love fiction? We caught up with an up and coming author, David Anthony Chan to talk about fiction books, his favorite novels and his debut novel “The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds”.
Delighting Grace: Hi pastor! My first question is why should Christians read fiction?
David Anthony Chan: Well, I wouldn’t say “should.” I DO, however, encourage Christians to include fiction in their literary diet because it helps give them a good idea about the social and spiritual topography of their day. Of course, every reader should be discerning and vigilant in choosing books. There are some really good fiction books out there with wonderful values, and there are less-than-ideal books as well. Discernment is key.
Delighting Grace: All of us are fan of fiction books. So what is your favorite book?
David Anthony Chan: That is one of the hardest questions I’ve ever heard. Tolkien’s LOTR will always be in my fave-list. “This Present Darkness” and “Piercing The Darkness” by Frank Peretti are also very good. I thoroughly enjoyed “I Am Number Four” by Pittacus Lore, and still follow the series until now. There are so many good books that it’s really difficult to answer this question. There’s no one-good-book-to-rule-them-all, but if I were forced to choose, LOTR would take the cake.
Delighting Grace: For you what makes an unforgettable story?
David Anthony Chan: It must be out-of-this-world enough to tickle the imagination, while simultaneously addressing a human condition that everyone can relate to.
Delighting Grace: How about Christian fiction? Is the Pinoy reader ready for this kind of genre?
David Anthony Chan: Absolutely! Now more than ever. With the advent of Wattpad and so many reading devices, I think that Pinoys in general have become more appreciative of the written word, especially Christian fiction. In my opinion, Pinoys have become so influenced by so many different values and ideals that pull them toward opposing directions, that there is a kind of disconnect and anxiety that resides in the subconscious level. Christian fiction addresses this issue quite effectively because it promotes values that many people long for, even if they don’t admit it (initially).
Delighting Grace: What fiction books do you recommend to be read by Christians?
David Anthony Chan: “Lord of the Rings” by Tolkien! I would also recommend “This Present Darkness” and it’s sequel, “Piercing the Darkness” by Frank Peretti. I think that LOTR should be read at least once by every person who claims to be a fiction lover.
Delighting Grace: Do you believe that books, fiction or nonfiction; carry some sort of yearning for something spiritual? No matter how secular it is does it have this “search for God mode”?
David Anthony Chan: Yes I do. Books are simply words printed on paper. These words come from every author’s heart, and out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. In the heart of every person, every man, woman, and child, there is a brokenness. Deep down, we know that we are all broken vessels. No parents teaches his child to lie, steal, or cheat, because it is natural; but we constantly encourage each other to fight the uphill battle against evil, greed, deceit, and a host of other forms of wickedness. And this is the one common theme that you will find in every book: the longing for redemption from this broken state that we’re all in.
Delighting Grace: You wrote a book. Tell us what it is all about.
David Anthony Chan: At the heart of the story is Chris Sayther, revived from the dead multiple times thanks to his affiliation with Tironius, a member of a noble house of a race known as the Kindred. Complicating this relationship is the fact that Chris harbors a steadily growing love for Elline, Tironius’ daughter, who is obliged to be with another. The conflicts inherent in this odd triangle are only intensified by a looming war between man and kindred. As an epic conflict between two species and two worlds ramps up, the bonds between Chris and Elline run into potentially disastrous challenges.
Delighting Grace: Wow that is a great story. Can you share with us the process of writing and publishing your book?
David Anthony Chan: Writing and publishing are two different animals. For writers, the writing part is the easy part because it’s natural for them. Writers love to write. They love words, thoughts, and the process of transferring thoughts on paper. Each writer has a different process. Personally, I am a plotter, which means I think of an idea first, then build on it while taking notes. Then, I write everything, then I polish everything. Others prefer to write a few chapters, polish the chapters, then continue writing new chapters. Others prefer not to plot at all, and just sit in front of a keyboard and let the story “just happen.”
Publishing, on the other hand, is a completely different world. This had more to do with talking to publishers, checking out prices, and figuring out different marketing routes. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the process of publishing Between Two Worlds; considering the fact that I dreaded the thought to begin with.
Delighting Grace: What advice or tips can you give a budding writer who wants to write his own novel?
David Anthony Chan: I have three pieces of advice:
FIRST: Read “Writing Fiction for Dummies” by Ingermanson and Economy.
SECOND: Fall in love with what you plan to write. It can be a character, a concept, a story world, a scene… it doesn’t matter which one, as long as you fall in love with one. It is this love that will propel you to finish an entire novel.
THREE: Get it written before getting it right. In other words, accept that your first draft will be terrible. That is the point of the first draft.
Delighting Grace: Thank you for this opportunity to interview you, pastor . Please do invite our readers to check your book and also how do they get in touch with you.
David Anthony Chan: Thank you also for this opportunity to spread the word about my debut novel.
My book is available on Amazon under the title “The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds” and it has received good reviews (please take the time to go through them). It will also be available in National Bookstore by the end of this year. At the moment, you can order your copies by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Delighting Grace: Again thank you pastor. We hope and pray that you’ll be successful in your career.