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GIVE AWAY - NORA INTERVIEWS TOM PAWLIK



What inspires you to write? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?


TP: Just the joy of writing inspires me to write. But also the potential impact a story can make in someone’s life is also a great inspiration to me. I’ve gotten emails from readers in South Africa and Australia. The thought that God can use something I wrote to affect someone half way around the globe is both very humbling and yet very heady.

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. At least as far back as elementary school. I just never thought I’d ever be a published author.

Your books are thrilling, eye opening and very different to read--I didn't know where you were going in the story until the end. I Loved that!! Where did you come up for the idea for your first book Vanish? The premise was very unique and thought provoking. Wow!!



TP:The basic concept sprouted from a dream I had one night several years back shortly after the death of my father. He was a wonderful and humble Christian man and a great example to me—foibles and all. I guess I had been a little preoccupied with the subject of dying. After the dream, I kept turning the idea over in my head and over the next couple years developed the plot from there.


What was your favorite scene in Valley of the Shadow to write? What was the hardest scene to write in that book?


TP: My favorite scene was when Nathan takes Mitch up to the mountain top. And Mitch gets a new perspective of the Interworld. It was fun to just imagine what an amazing sight that would have been.

It was also the most difficult scene as I felt like I needed to create something special, memorable and unique. I’m sure I didn’t do justice to the real thing, but it was hardest work I ever enjoyed.

***NSL: I LOVED READING THIS PART!! I was there with Mitch and Nathan!! VERY IMAGINATIVE! WOW!! I don't want to say anymore and spoil it for others but it really moved me--readers will just have to get the book and read it for themselves! :D

Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you?

TP: It’s all still very new to me and so has not fully sunk in yet. It’s been something I’ve dreamed about for so long, I still have to pinch myself at times. It’s been a great thrill.

What was your favorite scene in Vanish to write? What was the hardest?

TP: Favorite scene was where Conner dreams of being back in his home again and hears all the sounds of his life with his family. It was to me, a very emotional scene as I thought of my own wife and children.

The hardest scenes were the death scenes with Mitch and his mother as well as Conner and his son. In some ways they were very easy to write due to the raw emotion there. And those scenes required almost no editing. What ended up in the book was essentially what I originally typed out. But it was difficult because they were in many ways very dark scenes for a Christian novel.

**NSL: I HAVE TO SAY THIS REALLY GOT ME TOO!!WOW-It was very powerful!!***

Can you tell me of TWO Wow moments you've experienced since being an author?



TP: Getting my first reader email from overseas was a great experience. It came from a young lady in South Africa, and set me back a moment, thinking what a cool thing to write this story on my laptop in Wisconsin and having it published so that someone half-way around the world could pick it up and read it.




The second was winning a Christy Award this summer. It was a great honor just to be nominated along with two very talented and tenured authors like John B. Olson and George Bryan Polivka.




*** NSL: CONGRATULATIONS TOM!! THAT IS DEFINATELY A SUPER WOW MOMENT!! I'M EXCITED FOR YOU!***


Valley of the Shadow is the sequel to Vanish again you took me on an unexpected journey. You gave a peek into the spiritual world that was illuminating. Where did you get your ideas for this book? They were fascinating.


TP: A lot of the material came from my original plot outline for Vanish which I had altered quite a bit. So it was nice to find a storyline for Valley that could include some of those scenes I to leave out. My original concept of the story was more of A Christmas Carol style of a story. So I was able to use Nathan as a kind of guide for Mitch through the Interworld.

***NSL: Now that you mention it I can so see that in your book!! Thanks for sharing! :D***

I haven't read any books that have pulled back the veil like you have to the spiritual battle and sites mentioned in both of your books Vanish and Valley of the Shadow since Frank Peretti. Have you read any of his books? Did they inspire you in your writing?


TP: Yes I read Frank’s books and appreciated how they blazed a trail for future authors trying to broaden the scope and offering within Christian fiction. However, I also wanted to strive for a unique vision of the spiritual realms and the activities taking place there.

**NSL: TOM YOU DEFINITELY ACHIEVED YOUR GOAL!! IT WAS NOT LIKE ANYTHING I'VE EVER READ--LOVED THAT PART***

Can you give us a sneak peek into the project you are working on now? How is this writing experience different than the last two?


TP: I’m currently working on a few different proposals for Tyndale. These have more of a sci-fi feel rather than dealing with the supernatural realm.

Any obstacles you had to overcome in writing Vanish and Valley of the Shadow? If so, what was it and how did you over come the obstacle?
(These are my kids and my wife and I at the Christy Awards this summer)











TP: The hardest part was writing while working a full time job and raising four kids (with a fifth on the way). I don’t want my writing to interfere with my family time, so I write after the kids go to bed. Needless to say, it makes for some late nights. It takes a toll after a while.

**NSL: WOW-TOM!!YOU SURE DO HAVE A LOT ON YOUR PLATE--YOU & YOUR FAMILY ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS FOR YOUR NEW ARRIVAL!! I'M SO GLAD THAT YOU'VE MANAGAED TO WRITE AND HAVE TIME WITH YOU FAMILY!! THANKS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK!! :D**

What three things are you most thankful for in your life that others might think silly?

TP: Well, the things I’m most thankful for aren’t silly at all. My salvation, my wife and my children. But if I had to choose some other, not-so-serious things, they would probably be:


1.) Creature Feature: a TV show on Saturday nights that ran some great sci-fi and horror movies when I was a kid. It’s where my love of weird and scary stories developed.



2.) The invention of the transistor without which modern computers may never have evolved




3.) Grape soda. No reason. I just like grape.






QUESTIONS I KNOW YOU REALLY WANTED TO ASK TOM, BUT WERE AFRAID TO SO I DID!!

If you had 48 hours to hang out with any TWO (2) people alive or dead in the history of the world who would you pick and what would you do?



TP: Well obviously Jesus for one. And probably Enoch for number two. After Jesus, everyone else pretty much leaves you cold—but I’d love to talk with Enoch about the ancient world and what it was like to be taken off the planet like that.


What movie most impacted you as a child? Why?



TP: I loved all kinds of sci-fi movies. But I remember watching a documentary on Alfred Hitchcock when I was ten years old. They showed the shower scene from Psycho. It wasn’t even the whole movie. Just that one scene in black and white but I didn’t bathe for several weeks after that!


There is a time machine you can use to witness TWO EVENTS in the history of the world? What would you witness? Why?



TP: I’d count the crucifixion and the resurrection as one event because it all happened over a weekend. But the other would have to be crossing the Red Sea.

If you had to be a super hero for 48 hours. Who would you pick and why? (You can mix and match the powers and costumes).





TP: That’s a no-brainer. Superman. He’s the strongest and fastest. And he can fly.




What is your favorite kind of pizza to eat? Favorite toppings?



TP: I like all kinds. I grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, home of movie stars like Orson Wells, Don Ameche, Al Molinaro, Daniel J. Travante and Mark Ruffolo. With the exception of Wells, all these celebrities are Italian. Needless to say, Kenosha has a very strong Italian influence and a number of great, local pizza places, like Ruffalo’s Pizza, Luigi’s Pizza, Villa de Carlo, Enfusino’s and Tenuta’s Pizza. You can’t get pizza anywhere else like you can in Kenosha. And I love all kinds of toppings—except fish or fruit. Those are just un-American.


What was the last movie you saw in the theatre? Did you like it? Eat any snacks? Do tell!!


TP: Well, I took my son to see the latest Harry Potter movie. I apologize if some Christians are offended by that, but I’d rather see it together so we can discuss it afterwards. We talk openly about how God views witchcraft etc, but I also try to pull out some spiritual lessons as well. For example, the latest episode showed Dumbledore having to drink a poisonous potion in order to get to a certain object that lay at the bottom of the bowl. I used that scene to talk about Jesus praying in the garden to the Father about the cup of judgment He would have to figuratively drink by going to the cross. I think it helped him understand what that meant.
**NSL: WE'VE DONE THE SAME THING WITH OUR KIDS!**



Food? I sent him for popcorn and a soda before the start of the movie. He came back lugging something that looked like a bushel basket filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts and 64 oz barrel of Coke. Needless to say we had enough to last the entire movie, but my son had to make two runs to the bathroom.
**NSL: WAY FUNNY!!**


You find yourself in a life-threatening situation, and you need someone to save you? Who do you call on? You can pick any book, movie, TV characters or anyone else. The sky is the limit.


TP: MacGyver. That guy could make an anti-aircraft missal with a 2-liter bottle of Diet Coke some duct tape and a roll of Mentos. If anyone could save me, he could. Or better yet, Jesus.




If money isn't an object what is your dream car to drive?


TP: A Ferrari F430 Spider.




What TV shows were you most passionate about when you were a kid, you know the ones you just couldn't miss each week?


TP: Gilligan’s Island reruns. The Six Million Dollar Man –that was a great show! And Creature Feature.


ANY FINAL COMMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO LEAVE MY READERS WITH???



TP: I always try to put in a plug for the Christian Writers Guild whenever I can. It is a top notch, first class ministry for aspiring writers. I can’t say enough good things about Jerry Jenkins’ work there and his great staff!


Thanks Tom for stopping by, it's great to get to know you and your books better. Blessings to you on your writing adventures and your new little bundle of joy that's on the way. All the best. Remember if you're ever in the Atlanta area we'll have to do book club. I can't wait to read your next book.

Sincerely,

Nora :D

LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT THE INTERVIEW for your chance to win a copy of Vanish. Contest Ends AUGUST 24th****

.****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants*****



CONGRATULATIONS to Linda at Desert Rose--You are going to be so surprised and marvel at how imaginative Tom can be. THANKS TO EVERYONE for leaving such encouraging comments.

11 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of Harry Potter, but it was a great move on your part to watch the movie with your son and explain it in relation to God's Word. Not too many parents do that, and let the kids think witchcraft is ok. I commend you both.
    Please enter me for Tom's book. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Enter me in the drawing also. spowell01(at)bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good Morning,
    I want to thank you for writing good Christian fiction. Please enter me in the drawing for the free book. I am a great reader.

    Blessings,

    Sharon

    Sharonstone452000@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am always amazed at people who have so much going on in their lives and still get it all done...writing, family, God, etc.
    Good interview!
    -Marlene Rauch-

    ReplyDelete
  5. The interview as always was great Nora! Thanks for all you do!

    Gail Mundy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Please enter me in the drawing! I love mystery and suspense! Thank you for the interview, its always interesting hearing about the authors and what influenced there writing.

    Blessings,
    Lucie

    lucieluvsca[at] yahoo [dot0 com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Please enter me in the drawing! I love mystery and suspense! Thank you for the interview, its always interesting hearing about the authors and what influenced there writing.

    Blessings,
    Lucie

    lucieluvsca[at] yahoo [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a thorough interview. You really give a good insight into the author you interview Nora. Sounds like a really good book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I agree with Cherie...a very good interview.
    And I'm pumped to read the books. Please enter me in the drawing;

    nathanpetrie@ymail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. This has to be one of the most interesting interviews I have ever read.

    You even through in the kitchen sink!! Great!

    ReplyDelete
  11. CONGRATULATIONS LINDA for winning a copy of Vanish. You will be pleasantly surprised by this book. It's very unique and throught provoking.

    THANKS to everyone else for leaving encouraging comments for Tom. I really appreciate you all taking the time to do that.

    Sincerely,

    Nora

    ReplyDelete