“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.” Harper Lee
Today I want to introduce you to a fellow writer and published author, Greg M. Dodd. He has just completed his second work of fiction, and I am behind, having only read his first. A Seed of the Harvest clearly depicts a man determined to take his mainstream Christian life to the next level and to a higher calling. Greg was kind enough to lend us an artist’s inside perspective on his first novel.
Q: How did writing A Seed for the Harvest change your walk with the Lord?
Greg: As I developed the story about personal evangelism, I began to feel very convicted about it being purely fictional. I felt God leading me to get out and actually do what I was writing about. So I did. And through several faith conversations with real people, one of which led to a decision for Christ, I was able to write from experience rather than imagination. And it didn’t just enrich my story, it gave new purpose and meaning to my own faith and it still drives me today.
Q: What did you edit out of this book that you either wished you left in or are thankful no one ever saw?
Greg: One of my favorite scenes/chapters actually didn’t make it into the final manuscript. It involved a character named Amy, and this was her feature chapter, so to speak. But because it required a shift in story telling point of view, from Jon to Amy, I just couldn’t make it fit with the flow of the story. But I do have plans to include it in the sequel to A Seed for the Harvest, so maybe it will see the light of day at some point in the future.
Q: What was your hardest scene to write?
Greg: To write of the relationship struggles, missed opportunities, and mistakes the two main characters experienced, I had to dig into some of my own. And while I kept the story elements fictional, the emotion I drew from as I wrote was real and sometimes painful. But I wanted the Christian characters in the story to be relatable. And that meant they had to have flaws and regrets, as we all do. But I wanted to make clear that any redemption they may experience was not of their own doing, but that of Christ working in and through them. That made the pain of writing those hard scenes worthwhile and actually joyful in the end.
Q: Imagine you are at a relaxing lunch, the table has four chairs and you occupy one of them. Who will you invite to join you? Your answer may include anyone past or present, fiction or non-fiction. (Don’t worry if your guests will get along; this is about you! )
Greg: Pastor, author and evangelist Greg Laurie, actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise and atheist physicist Stephen Hawking. Should make for lively lunch conversation! I always enjoy a good debate.
Q: You wrote your most recent novel as a stage play. How was writing a play different from writing a standard novel?
Greg: I decided to write the The Gills Creek Five in stage play format to accentuate the dialog between the five characters. Because each chapter is a meeting of a men’s study group, the dialog tells the story. I found that weaving a story together in this way is a lot like writing music for five instruments. Each one – guitar, drums, base, violin, piano – has its own sound and feel, but when played together, they can produce a beautiful melody. It’s the same with the five characters in The Gills Creek Five. Each has a unique story to tell, different ways of communicating and different reasons for being there. Yet as the play unfolds, you see how they tell, what I hope you’ll find to be, a beautiful story.
Please visit the following links to follow Greg and find his books.