ABOUT AUTHOR: James L. Rubart is a professional marketer whose Jr2 Marketing company clientele has included ABC, AT&T/Cingular, and Clear Channel Radio. He is also a professional speaker, writes recurring columns for Christian Fiction Online Magazine and Christian Women Online, and is on the board of the Northwest Christian Writers Association. Jim and his wife and their two teenage sons live just outside Seattle, Washington.
How did you get the idea for The Chair?
From Chuck Colson. He had a commentary where told about a Jewish historian who said some of the plows Jesus made lasted until the second century. I thought, “Wow, how cool. What if He made something that lasted until today? What if it was a chair? And what if it had healing powers? And what if had been passed down from generation to generation by a secret society? After that I was off and sprinting.
In your book The Chair, what scenes were easy for you to write? Which ones were difficult? Why?
The Chair was different than writing Rooms or Book of Days because of time—or lack thereof. With The Chair I was on an extremely tight deadline so I just started writing whatever came into my head. It was a total brain dump and it was a mess. I’d write two paragraphs, get stuck and leave it and write something else. So from that perspective none of the scenes were hard to write, but wow, they all needed a lot of work. It wasn’t until I was 60,000 words in that I started to organize things by writing out each snippet on a 3 x 5 note card, sticking them on the wall of my writing room and then moving the scenes around till everything fit.
What research did you do in preparation for writing The Chair? Is there really an artifact that Jesus might have made out there? Or was this from your imagination?
Totally from my imagination. But as I was writing the novel I wanted to give credence to the idea an artifact like this could exist so started doing research and found there are have been a number of objects through the centuries that supposedly contain Christ’s healing power. Not ones He made, but ones that he touched or were part of His life. I touch on a few of them in the novel.
What do you hope the take away for readers is for your book The Chair?
Restoration. We are all broken and one of the areas we are most broken in are our relationships. As I explain in my reader letter, the heart of this story came from the restoration of a friendship with one of my best friends. We had a falling out and in a God restored the relationship in a blow your mind kind of way. So my hope is readers will find healing and forgiveness and restoration in their own relationships.
I saw at work the other day your book Rooms has been made into a bible study. What do you hope happens with the study?
I’d love to see two things happen:
First, it would be so cool to have small groups all over the country use the workbook and DVD to dive deeper in the themes in the novel. And the way we designed it you don’t have to have read Rooms to take part in the study.
Second, I love to speak. So I’m hoping to travel to churches around the country and do weekend retreats for them—take them through ROOMS: The Small Group Experience live from the author (me).
If people are curious, here’s a short YouTube video that gives a flavor of what it’s all about: http://tinyurl.com/3do2fyt And here’s a link to LifeWay’s Web site where people can order the kit if they’re interested: http://tinyurl.com/3ku4hxt
How did it come about that your book Rooms was made into a bible study? Did you always have plans to do this or was this a divine apt and stretch for you in your writing?
Divine appointment! I had no plans for doing it. A friend of mine said I should develop a retreat based on the book since I enjoy speaking, but I hadn’t ever done anything about it.
So when LifeWay/Serendipity called me late last year and said they’d like to do a Small Group Study based on ROOMS I was thrilled. We shot the DVD down in Cannon Beach in the exact spots where the story takes place and even hired actors to act out scenes from the book. So I’m pumped about the product. I think it turned out fantastic.
Can you give us a peek into what you are working on now and when it will be out on book shelves?
I’m stoked about my current project—my fourth novel—which I’m working on now. It will be out next fall. I’m hesitant to give you the current title as those often change but let’s just say if you have liked my books so far I think you’ll love this one.
Originally it was going to be a standalone book, but as the story has developed the first book will set the stage for the next three books that follow it. It won’t be a series per say but all four books will tie into each other with recurring characters and settings. Should be a lot of fun.
Any Fun Pictures to share?
|My sons and I doing what we Love!|
QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK
What were your three favorite books as a kid?
Where the Wild Things Are, Curious George, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
If you had the opportunity to hang out with any two people alive or dead for 48 hours, who would you pick and what would you do? (besides Jesus)
C.S. Lewis and Simon Peter. We would go for a long walk somewhere in a wooded part of the English countryside, then we’d head out for the ocean where Peter would teach us how to walk on water, then we’d have a long dinner together.
If you had an opportunity to go anywhere in the world, where would you got and what would you do?
I’d take my wife to an island in French Polynesia and hang out in those little huts that sit out over the water. I’d scuba dive every day and every night we’d try a different kind of food we’ve never had before. Then after three days our sons would join us and we’d zip line and sail and snorkel and swim and even try to sleep a little.
What three movies could you watch over and over again?
The Matrix, It’s a Wonderful Life, and The Shawshank Redemption .
ANY FINAL COMMENTS – THOUGHTS FOR MY READERS, JAMES?
A few things I’ve said before but they’ve worth repeating. (I know I need to hear them again and again.) I want people to know they are worth it. That God not only loves them but likes them. Delights in them and wants to see them more free today than they were yesterday. Thanks for having me, Nora! You're amazing. Thank you so much for the awesome job you do to promote Christian fiction.
THANKS for stopping by Jim. I appreciate your encouragement and support more than you know! Grin! It was a thrill to speak to you at the Finding Hope Book Club meetings this year. Reading your book Rooms and watching how it affected the two book clubs was the reason I do book club and read books like yours’. It touched all of us on so many levels. I feel that your book THE CHAIR does the same thing!!
I enjoyed reading The Chair, with it's action, adventure, suspense and a powerful, great message of hope! Loved it! I’m also excited about the book club event at TBCN on OCTOBER 17th at 9:30p.m. Hope you can be there!! THANKS to B and H for the book giveaway that night!
You can enter to win one book here today and then MARK YOU CALENDARS for OCTOBER 17th at 9p.m. for the "Live" event where B and H Publishers will be giving away 5 copies of The Chair!!
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DRAWING WILL BE - OCTOBER 20th
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