My most recent novel, The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living, came in a strong blast of inspirational lightning from above. At least, the bulk of it did.
In a very vague way, the idea started to take root when I read Oliver Twist a couple of years ago. I’m a big Dickens fan and I loved the book, but my favorite aspect was probably the Narrator. He was sarcastic, witty, and sometimes even exasperating. He made me laugh out loud even as he took the readers to task for their treatment of the poor. I began to wonder if a Christian novel with a similarly sarcastic tone would even be possible.
And that’s when the idea struck like lightning: a drunk demon who is so bored with his job because of the apathy of Christians he is assigned to that he decides to visit the pastor and tell him exactly what he’s doing wrong. All I know was that and that the Narrator would be a bit on the smarmy side, and I think these things came directly from the Holy Spirit. I write all my stories for the Lord and He gets all the glory.
What makes this book special among others of its type?
Honestly, I’ve never read a book like this. Because of the demon, it gets compared to The Screwtape Letters a fair amount—and you’ll hear no complaints from me because Lewis is great company to be in—but I think that’s largely because it’s often satirical and it has a demon for a character. But Melchior, the demon in Savvy Demon’s Guide, isn’t even a main character when the book is taken as a whole. I’m not saying that there aren’t other books like this out there, only that I’ve never read them. I certainly don’t consider all my books to be entirely unique, but I think this one is.
Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan but grew up mostly in the Battle Creek area after my Dad accepted a pastorate in the village of Bellevue just north of there. Right now, home is Radcliff, Kentucky. My wife received a job offer for the US Government, working for the VA at Fort Knox, which yes means that she is currently at home, on furlough, while the guys still getting paid in Washington play political chicken. Since I can write from anywhere, we follow her career.
Tell us about something that has just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.
I’ve been excited recently because I received an offer from the local newspaper to be featured about my latest book. The feature is about to come out and it’s very exciting, especially given that we’re pretty new to the community! I can’t wait to see how God uses this.
Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
Ooh. Good question. I don’t necessarily want to name my favorite author because I feel like so many of my questions are already answered by his books. I’m going to go with CS Lewis. I think it would be pretty wonderful to pick his brain on a variety of issues.
Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks or hardcover?
I love the feel of a physical book...but a few years ago we shoved everything we really needed into a minivan and roamed around the country with a drama ministry. That meant “real” books had to go. Now, the vast majority of reading I do is on my Kindle. Well, okay, I actually use my wife’s Kindle Paperwhite because it has a built-in light that enables me to read in bed. Plus, I’ve found that reading primarily on an e-reader has gotten me to start supporting my favorite authors by buying their books instead of just borrowing them from a library.
Are you a self-published (Indie) Author?
I am indeed. Several readers have told me how much my most recent book has touched them, some even calling it life-changing, and yet I doubt a traditional publisher would take two looks at it. I need to write what God wants me to write, not what a publisher is willing to publish, so that means indie for now.
What book would you like to read again?
Just recently, I’ve been really wanting to reread Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness. I need to do that!
Who designed the cover of your book?
The cover of The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living was designed by a Ukrainian designer named Arthur Chayka. He was my favorite entrant in a Freelancer contest I held to design the cover.
So do you like to cook?
Indeed I do. I’m the primary cook in our house. I get inspired sometimes by cooking shows but, alas, my meals are never that grand.
Do you have a favorite food?
Probably steak fajitas, with onions and a variety of colorful bell peppers. Mmmmm!
Do you prefer vanilla or chocolate ice cream?
These are m y two options? I have friends who once encountered Stephen King getting ice cream in a Maine corner store. He got chocolate and they were very disappointed. It seemed so boring for him. I guess, if I had to choose between the two, I’d go with vanilla.
Do you use a laptop or desktop for writing?
I use a laptop, but I have an external keyboard and mouse hooked up to it. It helps.
Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I have an “office” in our current house where I work. I used to try to squeeze writing time in anywhere, but in May 2012 I started being in daily pain that would keep me up at night. I decided to use the time to write and now that’s my regular schedule. I work when the house is quiet until 1 am or so. It gives me at least two hours a day, sometimes more.
List three books you just recently read and would recommend?
Absolutely. The Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry is an amazing story set in and around North Korea about a young girl who struggles to keep her faith while she feels God has abandoned her in a prison camp.
I really enjoyed the mystery The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, the pen name adopted by Harry Potter creator JK Rowling. I love Rowling as a writer anyway and also love mysteries. For me, this one was a no brainer.
Also, I recently discovered Christian author Davis Bunn. My introduction to his work was through one of his earliest novels, a story set in the world of antiques called Florian’s Gate. That doesn’t actually sound interesting to me much at all, but it’s much deeper than simply people buying and selling old stuff, and the characters drew me in. Bunn is a great storyteller and I’m actually currently reading the follow-up, The Amber Room.
Where can your readers stalk you?
If they park themselves on the tree outside my bedroom window with a pair of binoculars...oh, wait, that’s probably not what you meant.
I don’t update my blog as often as I should, but readers can learn more about any of my books, keep up with my world, and get my thoughts on redemptive themes in all sorts of fiction at my blog: http://christfictionandvideogames.blogspot.com/
They are certainly welcome to:
Like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authorbradfrancis
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hammolaw
Or check me out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brad-Francis/e/B007DN9G8Y
Is your book in Print, ebook or both?
My books are in both print and e-book form. The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living is currently exclusive to Kindle (and in paperback through Amazon) but is scheduled to expand out to other e-readers by the end of the year.