Monday, June 27, 2016

Inspy Award Interview

Happy Monday to you!

 For the second year in a row, I'm on the shortlist for an Inspy Award! They will be announced tomorrow.

Today, they posted a short interview with me on the Inspy website. I talk about what inspired The Last Con, the challenges of writing suspense, and what sort of stuff I'm reading, writing, and listening to at the moment.

 Click here to read it.

It sort of feels like a repeat of last year, in that I'm up against Ted Dekker, as well as Carrie and Ronie. Of course, that doesn't exactly bode well in that Ted won last year with an almost identically titled book. : )

Oh well. Either way, it's an honor to make it to the finals!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

These Go to 11!

I'm super-stoked to have been the guest on this week's episode of one of my favorite podcasts, "These Go to Eleven" with Greg Dutcher and Nathan Bell. 

It's an hour of great conversation, about writing, publishing, podcasting, cigars, and all sorts of other stuff. You can listen here:

But even if you don't have a full hour to listen, at least take five minutes to hear me fulfill my life's dream (meaning, something I've wanted for like a year) of being berated by the one and only, angry fundamentalist (and fully fictional) preacher, Rev. James King! 


Saturday, March 26, 2016

An Article for the Climax of Holy Week

Satan enjoyed that Friday intensely.
He perched on the cross, watching the Son of God suffering and dying, sin piled on his boney shoulders, occasionally crying out in pain.
He crept up beside him to mock and jeer. He made his way through the crowd, throwing fuel on the fire of hatred and spite in the men who mumbled, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself” and shouted with a laugh, “Come on down! Then we will worship you!”
He enjoyed sticking his sword through the heart of Jesus’ mother who was weeping in a heap a few yards from the cross, while Jesus writhed in agony, seemingly helpless to put a stop to it.
And he enjoyed stroking the egos of the religious leaders standing at a distance, stirring up an almost sexual glee in their flesh as they watched their enemy finally get what he deserved.
When Christ gave up and died (the first on the hill to cash it in, the demons pointed out with a scoff), the Devil laughed himself hoarse. The sight of the King of Kings, slumped against that pole, his eyes vacant, the birds of prey already swooping closer and closer, was too hilarious for words.
The Christ’s hold—or what had remained of it—on this wicked planet had finally been broken. Decisively. It was now the exclusive property of the Devil and his angels. If Satan had any doubt of that, it was put to rest when he heard the news that the curtain in the temple was split in two (so long, “holy place!”) and a surge of supernatural energy had caused hundreds of people to start seeing ghosts all over the city!
The age of evil—unfettered evil—was now beginning.
Saturday was a field day for Satan. He was usually in a foul mood on the Sabbath, but not today; not ever again! He attended a Roman orgy, the stoning of a young child, and several pagan temple services. And between each, he made a stop back at the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, where Jesus’ dead body lay at room temperature.
As for Jesus’ soul, it was in Hades with all the pitiful slaves of sin and objects of wrath who had died before him. How utterly stupid of God himself to become sin and tempt fate on a Roman cross. Didn’t he know that, to the Prince of Darkness, a cross was like a lyre in the hands of a skilled musician?
The Devil spent the evening curled up under the bloated body of Judas Isacriot, hanging dead from a tree. Treachery was a great dessert, and Satan lingered there, dreaming about what he would do to his slaves tomorrow.
Then came Sunday.
Satan first heard the report from a demonic foot soldier who had been skulking . . .

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Moon Landings and Bad Bible Interpretations

Today, I am reviewing an incredibly important and relevant book, which you have probably never heard of. It’s called The Bible and Rockets to the Moon by Edward Boone. First off, let me apologize; you won’t be able to find this work anywhere, nor can you borrow my copy. But that’s okay, because I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about this little volume. Strap in; we’re going to hit 5 Gs.

The book begins with the bold observation that, “Radio commentators, newspapers, and magazines have been talking in terms never before used in the history of the world.” This is conveyed as a bad thing, largely because recent achievements have been so far beyond the average citizen’s understanding that they “leave the human race groping in darkness like a blind man.” I know, sounds bad.

Oh, I should mention that this little booklet was written after Sputnik and Explorer, but before Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface. And the “relevant issue” at hand is whether or not landing on the moon would be a sinful rebellion against the Almighty. I inherited this short, saddle-stitched volume from my late grandmother, who had a whole shelf full of similar booklets and pamphlets—some of them full of solid Gospel material, and a few of them more or less cookoo for Cocoa Puffs. I have no idea where she got them or what she thought of this particular book. Seriously, though; stick with me. I promise it really is relevant.

Mr. Boone attempts to use the Bible to build. . .

Click here to read the rest.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Answers for week 3 of Con/Heist Movie Trivia

Here are the answers to the last set of Con/Heist Movie clues.

You can check out part 1, part 2, and part 3 by . . . ya know . . . clicking them.

1. The Sting
2. American Hustle
3. The Lady Eve
4. Matchstick Men
5. The Italian Job
6. Ocean's Eleven
7. Mercy Streets
8. The Parent Trap

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 3: Con/Heist Movie Trivia

Long before I wrote The Last Con, I was a huge fan of con and heist movies.  This is the last of three quizzes  to test your knowledge and griftiness (part 1 and part 2 are here). Eight clues for eight movies, each week.

Name the following movies based on the synopsis:

5. A remake. A team of thieves-with-hearts-of-gold seek revenge against a thief with no heart of gold and an evil, pencil-thin mustache. Starring two rappers, two Acadmy Award winners, a Transporter, a Monster, Jack Bauer's dad, and a bunch of MINIs.

6.Another remake. A team of thieves-with-hearts-of-gold seek revenge against a rich guy who doesn't seem all that bad, but isn't as cool as the thieves, so we want them to come out on top. Starring everyone who was cool in 2001. Followed by a crappy sequel and a good sequel.

7. A good "Christian film" (which is unusual). A con man must pretend to be his priest brother in order to dodge a dangerous criminal who is out to get him. The soundtrack is incredible, including Moby, Jennifer Knapp, and Sixpence!

8. Two reckless youths discover they are related while on a summer trip and plan an elaborate con with their parents as the marks. Both have pronounced British accents, despite allegedly being from Boston and California, hinting that a deeper con yet might be in play.