Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wayne Batson Interview--Day 1

The Door Within by Wayne Thomas Batson is our featured book for day one of our interview with Mr. Batson. I'm personally reading this book and have been enjoying it very much. Mr. Batson the physical and spiritual conflicts of the Christian life into a wonderous allegorical fantasy world that never ceases to thrill.
Don't forget to visit Wayne's website at and his blog at and now onto our interview with Mr. Batson!
1.)How long have you been writing and is the Door Within the first novel you tried to have published?
I’ve been writing since the 6th grade. Seriously, when I won a short story contest, and they gave me chocolate—I was hooked. The Door Within is the first novel I tried to get published. Initially though, I was very na├»ve about the business. I submitted my manuscript to dozens of publishing houses, before the story was really “there,” and I didn’t use an agent. So, I piled up the rejections.

Do you have a favorite scene in the trilogy? If so, what is it?
There are big action scenes or wild twists that gave me chills when I wrote them. Falon’s surprise in the Labyrinth or Captain Valithor’s return in The Door Within. The discovery of The Sepulcher and the epic battle in the Blackwood from Wyrm Lord. The fireworks display over the Blue Mountains and the huge battle in The Final Storm—they all mean a lot to me. But my favorite scene is a smaller, tenderer moment. It’s when Aidan, Antoinette and Robby find themselves locked away in the dungeon at the end of Final Storm. It is here that Aidan announces that if he must die, then so be it. He would rather die with the praises of his King on his lips, than to live while denying Him.

Why do you write for young readers in particular and do you find them to be more enthusiastic fans?
I’ve been a middle school reading/English teacher for sixteen years, so I’ve always loved the tween audience. Truthfully, there wouldn’t be a Door Within series if it wasn’t for my students. And they are enthusiastic. They are such a wonderful mix of cleverness, curiosity, and creativity—fantasy just works for them, perhaps more than any other age group.

What is your favorite fan comment or experience?
A young lady emailed me after she finished the Door Within Trilogy and had this to say, “I truly cried during this book. It all touched my heart so strongly! I couldn't stop crying. My sister asked me if I was upset. I answered her: "No, Maggie. No, far from it!" I knew in my head, I was certain at that point, and still so certain, that I loved God. I love God!!! And I know that he loves me. I am certain for the first real time in my whole life.

And that is what I have to thank you for. You brought me, not back to God, but fully to God. You are doing wonderful work by spreading God's messages, and I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks that. You set such an amazing role model to young Christians of what a child of God looks like. I would hug you now, if I could!”

I’m still astonished when I read it. God gets all the credit, but to be along for the ride is…well, a dream come true.

Have you done many book signings and were you surprised by the turnout one way or another?
There’s a Barnes and Nobles near the school where I teach. I did a signing there for The Door Within, and in about ten minutes into the event, the place was PACKED!! I signed 200 copies of The Door Within that night. Another special signing was at a local HisWay Christian Books. A wonderful young lady who works there, hand-painted four shields (four foot shields) based on The Door Within books. She had them arranged in the store for the signing, complete with broadswords, helms, and a rather interesting battle axe. How cool is that?

Are you a disciplined writer, utilizing rigid outlines or do you write when the mood hits and create as you go?
Definitely an outliner. But my outlines are fluid. I spend as much as a month outlining the story, and that’s where a lot of the coolest ideas hit me. Then, pounding the keyboard for the manuscript is much easier.


WayneThomasBatson said...

Thanks, James for the fun interview. Some very original questions--really made me think. Really kind of you to help promote my Door Within books. I appreciate all you are doing for CSFF. By the way, Chronicles of Soone rocks so far!

chrisd said...

Hi Mir--nice interview with Wayne. He is very gracious, isn't he?

So Mr. Batson outlines-what are your thoughts on that?

chrisd said...

Wayne is a very gracious author and interview, isn't he?

There is a sharp divide about using outlines. Terry Brooks uses them and talks about them in his book. Stephen King has never used one: neither has Anne McCaffrey.

Great job on the interview-

Becky said...

James, this is a great interview.

Wayne, that letter from your reader is VERY touching, but not surprising. That would be what I'd love to have someone say about my writing. LOL

Seriously, what higher goal could a Christian who writes books have?