Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wayne Batson Interview--Day 2

The Rise of the Wyrm Lord by Wayne Thomas Batson is the book featured on DAY 2 of our interview with Mr. Batson.
Don't forget to visit Waynes website, and his blog at
Now on to the second part of our interview!
7.) Have you found the process of "getting published" to be difficult and do you think that it's getting harder to break into the industry as a Christian fiction writer?
Getting published IS hard, and is probably getting harder. But, here’s the thing: if you write a great book, you will get published—but only if you persist. It’s daunting to pile up rejections. But you’ve got to work at your craft all the time, making your product harder and harder to resist. Timing is important also. Pay attention to where the entertainment market is going, not just books, but all media. If you know that winter 2008 Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit will come out, you may have a better chance selling a fantasy title. The Door Within took 13 years to get published, and I needed every one of them. God put me through the fire, taught me to write all over again, and allowed me to learn about the business side of publishing. Now, I’m better prepared than I ever would have been years back.

8.) Christian fiction is such a new genre, what do you predict might happen for it; growth or do you see it struggling for acceptance?
I’m an eternal optimist. That said, I see Christian Fiction having HUGE growth over the next 5-10 years. We’re starting to see Hollywood make more “family friendly” or “wholesome” movies, and I think the reason is that the heartland of America still yearns for that which is noble and good. And I think we will see more and more Christian publishers sign and promote more “crossover” titles—books with Christian themes versus preachy tomes. Our society seems to be welcoming to crossover titles so long as they don’t hit people over the head with the Jesus Stick. I’m a firm believer in the gradual evangelism approach. You write a story that makes the reader ask questions that ONLY Jesus can answer.

9.) Your Door Within trilogy has been compared to C.S. Lewis' Narnia. Do you find this sort of "profiling" to be a good thing or are writers being expected to fill shoes they never intended to fill?
To have my name in the same sentence as C.S. Lewis is humbling to say the least. I don’t really see it so much as profiling as it is a way for people to get a handle on the type of tale I tell. Readers do it all the time when they shop for a new book. “I’ve read all Tom Clancy’s work. You have anything like it?” The Door Within Trilogy certainly has some similarities to Lewis’s work, but there are enough HUGE differences. It’s not derivative. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ve still never read The Chronicles of Narnia all the way through.

10.) Which of your trilogy books has been the most popular and why do you suppose that is?
A little hard to say at this point because all three titles have not had the same time on the market, but The Final Storm took off the fastest. I think the reason for this is that it’s the series finale, and uh, well…I left readers with an evil cliffhanger in The Rise of the Wyrm Lord. ;-)

11.) As a Christian, have you found it more difficult to write in the realm of fantasy and stay true to your faith?
Not really. Criticisms of my work have been about minor things, but not my theology. I think the fantasy genre, by its very nature, allows a writer to explore unique ways of expressing your faith.


Becky said...

Wayne said "I think the fantasy genre, by its very nature, allows a writer to explore unique ways of expressing your faith."

I couldn't agree more!


Gene Curtis said...

Great interview James. I'll definately be back tomorrow to read the rest of it!

Katya said...

#9 is a very good question, and one I've often thought about. I think that if I was ever to write, I would be afraid to have my books compared to such epic successes as CS Lewis or Tolkien. Batson makes a good point - we compare everything, and it often helps to "get the book out there". I recommend books to a lot of friends, and they always say "I like this" and I can say, well such and such a title is similar, or whatever.

chrisd said...

You did an excellent job on this interview. Very good questions--nice job, James!