Interview with Creston Mapes
Kingdom living requires us to loosen our grip on the things of this world, earthly treasures that rot and mold, and in Creston Mapes’ newest thriller, NOBODY, we get a vivid picture of what that may look like . . . a parable of sorts. For me, the character I learned the most from and the one who impacted me the most, Chester Holte, was found dead in the first scene. A homeless man with a substantial checkbook balance, Chester embodies what Jesus meant when he told the rich young ruler to sell everything and follow Him. The question I asked myself and each of us is urged to ask ourselves after reading NOBODY is: Are we willing to give up everything for the cause of Christ? What kind of impact could we have on this world if we weren’t bound by the material things of this world?
Another notable theme is that of walking in someone else’s shoes, identifying with them to reach them. Jesus associated himself with the downtrodden, the rebels, the outcasts, the hated so that he could reach those people. Do I tend to view those dirtier, badder, less-educated than myself as mere “nobodies”? I sincerely hope not. What a shame that would be. We are all created in God’s image and precious to Him. We would do well to look outside the four walls of our homes and churches and see the field ripe for harvest.
NOBODY is certainly worth the time spent reading it. It is a thought-provoking novel and very well-written. My hat’s off to Creston on this one.
Recently, I had a chance to ask Creston a few questions and he was very kind in answering them.
1) What is your writing schedule like? Do you write every day? Do you have a set schedule you write by?
Because I’m a freelance writer, my writing schedule runs much like a regular business. I get in my home office about 8, do email, plan goals for the day, and start writing any freelance projects I have in-house. Then, after I’m done with all of my “paying” work, I write novels as time permits. By 6 p.m. I am tapped out, creatively. So I’m not one of those who writes all night long.
If I have the luxury of working on a book on a mostly full-time basis, things run the same. I write from 8 or 8:30 a.m. to about 5 or 6 p.m. and I’m done. Weekends and evenings are set aside for family, church, and rest.
2) What is your biggest challenge when writing a new book?
I’m finding it takes me much longer than publishers and fans would like to come up with a really unique, deep concept for each new book. Publishers, agents, and fans want to see a new book every 6 or 9 months, or at least one a year. However, the reality of this business is, unless you have a spouse providing the lion’s share of your income, which I don’t , writing novels is a “side” gig. Sure, I hope and pray my books become best-sellers, giving me the luxury to write one or two a year. But God has to pull that trigger. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t do it in the flesh. If He wants me writing more novels than one every year or three, He’ll have to do something financially for us to enable me to do that.
Do you like my candor? I attribute that to my friend, author Eric Wilson (Shred of Truth). By example, Eric has taught me to be straight up with readers. No use pretending I’m some best-selling author when I’m not. I FEEL if more people would get their hands on my books, we would take-off in popularity. However, again, that’s up to the One in control of all that.
3) Who are some authors who have influenced you the most?
This changes all the time: JD Salinger. GK Chesterton. Dennis LeHane. Elizabeth Musser. James Scott Bell. Dalton Trumbo. Irwin Shaw. Frank Peretti.
4) In a sentence, what do you want the reader to walk away from NOBODY with?
A new desire to reach out to those outside the doors of the church.