Back in 1986, as a 14-year-old I read a book called This Present Darkness by some guy named Frank Peretti. I knew nothing of Frank, not much of Christian fiction, and wasn’t really into suspense at the time. As it did most readers, the book captivated my imagination. It was the first contemporary novel I read that I felt I couldn’t put down. Then came Piercing the Darkness, Prophet, The Oath, and The Visitation and I was a sold-out Peretti fan. A few years later came Monster and I wanted to move to the north country of Idaho. Now, after seven years, comes Illusion, another soul-stirring story of love and mystery.
Almost ten years ago, when I decided to dive into the fiction writing pool myself I was given the advice to find an author I admire and who inspires me and read his or her work, not for the enjoyment of it, but to learn from it.
I turned to Frank Peretti.
Now, with six of my own books under my belt, I still look to Frank as the role model I need to press on and strive to improve my storytelling with each book. I’m honored to be able to take part in the “Ask Frank Blog Tour.”
1. Why did you choose to use magic and Illusion as a framework for this book?
I chose magic and illusion for two reasons:
Obviously, magic would be interesting and highly visual, and would also afford plenty of opportunity for mystery.
Secondly, Mandy’s sudden, unexplainable ability to create and perform such mysterious effects works right into the whole interdimensional, time bending element, the“sci-fi bad guy” intrigue of the story.
2. What interests do you have outside of writing?
Music. I have played the 5 string banjo for over 20 years and now I’m seriously studying the guitar. I lead worship at my local church which means I lead a worship band including musicians and singers. That’s a lot of fun, and always a creative challenge. It’s also a marvelous environment for learning how to work with people. I love flying and still have a current pilot’s license, but alas, flying is getting too expensive and I don’t do much of it anymore. I also love motion pictures and I’ve done some video production, but I guess that’s going to remain at the level of a hobby. Well, okay.
3. What is the main idea you want people to take home after they read your books?
I’ll go ahead and sound religious: I would like to create stories that glorify God and the things He has created, in this case, steadfast love, devotion, the joy of having someone. I would like to convey truth, celebrate beauty, warn against evil, admonish and ennoble.
4. What authors do you like to read?
Any author I can learn from. I keep my eyes open for the good stuff that comes along. Francis Schaeffer, Ravi Zacharias, and CS Lewis have been strong influences in my intellectual life. Michael Crichton has been a favorite author of mine because of the way he can put together a technothriller. He’s always been a really great model for structuring a story. Besides these, I like to read other fiction authors to learn from them, to see how they craft their stories, develop their style, and work with words. You never stop learning, growing, getting better at what you do.
5. Which book that you have written has been the most influential for you personally?
Well, I guess I would speak in the present tense and in terms of where my heart is right now and say Illusion. I’m 61 years of age, I was writing this book just as I was turning 60, and at that time I was reflecting on my life and my love relationship of 40 years with Barbara Jean. Like any artist, I was trying to convey something from my heart, trying to paint with words some very deep feelings and reflections. Writing Illusion deepened all the more my love for my wife and illuminated all that our marriage and our love has meant.
Here’s what you can do:
Visit the Ask Frank landing page and check out the other blogs participating. There’s a wide array of bloggers.
Check out the book on Frank’s site and order a copy today.
To celebrate this latest offering from a true mentor of mine, I’m offering an advanced reader’s copy of Illusion. Just leave a comment on this post about anything Peretti-related or anything at all and you’ll be entered into the drawing. The winner will be announced Thursday morning.