ABOUT AUTHOR: Davis Bunnis an American author. Bunn grew up in North Carolina. He became an international financial expert and worked in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Davis Bunn is the author of numerous national bestsellers in genres spanning historical sagas, contemporary thrillers, and inspirational gift books. He has received widespread critical acclaim, including three Christy Awards for excellence in fiction, and his books have sold more than six million copies in sixteen languages. Bunn and his wife live in now. He and his wife, Isabella, are affiliated with serves as writer in residence at Regent’s. He lectures internationally on the craft of writing.
In the first book of your new series, Lion of Babylon, you dedicated it to Anne Graham Lotz, you said, “Whose wisdom has inspired and challenged me through my entire writing career.” Have you ever met her in person? How has she inspired you most in your writing and personal life?
This is a really cool question. I met Anne Lotz about a year before my first book was released. Since then, we try to get together about once a year. Our conversations are never long enough. We share an intensity when we’re together, like two dynamos that crank each other up. I come away with all these amazing ideas, and I also feel so challenged. She lives her faith in a way that just humbles me. I think she would probably say that is how she would most like to be remembered. Anne Lotz lives her faith.
What inspired you to write Lion of Babylon and your new release Rare Earth?
I know this is supposed to be all about Rare Earth, but I’m going to answer this question using Lion. I worked in the Middle East and Africa for just under five years, back before I came to faith at age twenty-eight. I had long wanted to set stories in the Middle East, and in sub-Sahara Africa, but in both cases I needed people from these cultures and lands who would trust me to the point where they would try and show me, both in words and through opening their hearts, what their world looked like through their eyes. When this happened in the early days of researching Lion, I could only count this a gift from above. For the first time since starting my career, I knew it was time to revisit the Middle East. It was time. What a joy that moment was for me.
Nora: When I finished reading Lion of Babylon and then Rare Earth I felt that you had to have been there, lived there for a little while maybe.I felt like I was seeing through your eyes the things you experienced about their culture, people, atmosphere and felt the passion you had for the land and its people as I read your books. Thanks for sharing this!
Is being an author everything you thought it would be? If not, what has surprised you? If yes, what do you like the most?
There is this famous photograph of Mark Twain’s study, and in the foreground is a chaise-lounge, which is a fancy word for a chair that extends out like a bed, only you can sit up on it if you want. Like a sun-chair, only in leather and brass. I always thought being successful as an author meant I could basically create my own schedule. Find room in my life for a chaise-lounge.
I have been blessed with the chance to do work that I love, that I’m passionate about, and that I feel is my true calling. This is a gift. But it is also soooo intense. I once had a famous author tell me that the only people who can put up with this life are those who can’t imagine doing anything else. If they confess that even breathing without writing is tough, he said, for them, this life works. For everyone else, once they see what’s really inside the creative world, they’d say, you’d have to be nuts to do this, and walk away.
Actually, I think he’s gone a little overboard with that, but there is an element of truth to his words.
Let me just share with you one forty-eight hour sliver of what is pretty much my life.
This morning I completed work on a new story and sent it off to my publishers. I began work on this last spring, and have done it in bits because at the beginning I didn’t have a contract, and so I was fitting around what was basically a private passion around other work. So now it’s done, and I’m sitting on pins and needles hoping and praying all this work and sweat and some very real tears will turn into a worthwhile story.
I then had three conference calls, the first beginning about twelve minutes after my manuscript went off. Two are with film producers, and the third is regarding a national radio tour that starts on Thursday, in two days.
|JEANETTE OKE and DAVIS BUNN HARD @WORK|
Break for a swim.
Now I’m back, and I am loving these questions. Some interviews are basically a repeat of questions I’ve answered before. Every one of these are new. It’s so cool. Invite me back. This is FUN.
Finalizing appointments in New York, my first visit in two years. People have taken forever to get back to me. I’m flying straight from there to the Christian Bookseller’s Convention. Gone for eight days. The film’s rough cut is being shown to possible distributors while I’m away. Another talk with the producer, so we can calm each other down and pray. Pray hard.
Tomorrow on the trip to NYC I want to start playing around with a new story.
Nora : Wow, Davis! Never a dull moment on this day you described! I’m tired just reading all the things you do! Grin!
Have you had any thing surprise you through a book club meeting or book event? If so can you share it? If not, is there something you’ve wanted to experience at a book club meeting but haven’t yet? If so, please share what your hopes are.
I’m going to answer the testimony question and this one together, because I want to take my time on this. These are great questions, by the way.
I wrote for nine years and finished seven books before my first was accepted for publication. That book was entitled ‘The Presence’, a political drama set in North Carolina and Washington DC. My wife and I arrived at the Christian Bookseller’s Convention totally and utterly green. We were walking around this massive great hall like kids in a candy store. All these books and all these people and here I was, a part of it all, finally. I was not just a writer, I was an author. Finally.
And then the first afternoon of the convention, the book reviewer for Moody magazine started walking around saying that my little book was going to make history. We started hearing this from everywhere. It was an electric buzz, and I was at the center of this growing event.
So when it came time for me to do my very first book signing ever, I walked over to the booth, and the line was wrapped around the booth and out into the main aisle and down that aisle and all the way around the Bethany stand. All of these people waiting for me!
I entered the booth, and there was this really famous pastor there, a leader of the church. He was clearly exhausted. He had probably done two dozen interviews and shaken a hundred hands and he was whipped. He was hurrying to finish, because the signing booths are very carefully monitored for timing, and he wasn’t looking at anyone. He scrawled his signature and sent the book sliding across the table. Sign, whizz. Sign, whizz.
The last person in his line was this little lady in grey, a Mennonite, she could not have been more than four feet tall. She reached over and she gripped his hand. The pastor was shocked, and so was I.
The lady leaned in close to him, and she said very softly, “Is this a worthy book?”
Those quiet words absolutely blew me away. They shocked the pastor too. He stammered a bit and tried to say something cute, but the joke fell flat, because the woman shook her head and walked away. Without his book.
Next weekend I go to the bookseller’s convention. I will be signing Rare Earth. And I hope, I pray, with all my heart I pray, that if the little lady in grey comes up to me, now or with any future book, or at the gates of heaven itself, and she asks me that question, I will be able to meet her gaze and respond to every single book I have ever published, just one word.
Nora: Wow, what an amazing moment. Thanks for sharing this!
Did you learn more about your characters than what you had originally intended because of a book club meeting you attended? If so what?
This is the only question I’ll answer about book clubs, and I chose this one because this is perhaps the most beautiful reason for why I love meeting with book clubs. These people are readers. They get into the stories and they wrestle with the characters and they plumb the moral dilemmas and they come up with some questions that are just shocking in their profundity. Not every time, but more times than I would have ever expected, I walk away with ideas about what to do next. I have just last week agreed to do two more books in the Marc Royce series, and I really, really need to get in with some book club ladies and have them TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.
Nora: I know that Finding Hope Book Club would have lots of ideas for you about where to go with Marc Royce. They’ve been good at giving advise to other authors we’ve talked to!! I am amazed at how deep they dig into books and how strongly they feel about the characters they read about! Grin!
Can you give us a peek into what you are working on right now and when it will be out?
Last year I co-wrote the screenplay for a film that has just completed shooting. I am now writing the novel. Both have the working title of ‘Unlimited’, and they are based upon true events. Once this is done, I am to co-author the non-fiction book that will be released with the film. All of these fireworks are due to go up in September of next year. If you watch my website, hopefully you will see the first trailer appear in November.
Nora: This sounds fascinating. Here’s Davis Bunn’s website address so you can mark your calendars for November http://www.davisbunn.com/
What are you reading now?
Just this morning a new author sent me his first published book. Peter Leavell won this year’s first-book award at the Jerry Jenkins Christian Writers Guild conference in Denver, and his novel is going soon to be published by Worthy. Jerry says, ‘Don’t miss this stunning debut’. I echo Jerry’s advice.
FUN QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK
You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?
My wife says I’m the most intense person she’s ever known, and the most balanced. It’s not work-hard, play-hard for me. Rather, work-play-sport-prayer-study hard. And do everything at a level where I can turn around and do it all again the next day. I would probably slip into the hands-on supervisory role; working alongside them at whatever comes up, chiding some, telling others to down tools and go for a swim, then have a nap. Naps are very big in my book.
You've been given 48 hours to hang out with any two (alive or dead). Who would you pick and what would you do? (Besides Jesus)
Recently I lost a friend whom I admired very much, and whose life challenged me to do better with the days I have been gifted. His name was Chuck Colson. I would very much like to have him be one of these.
What three things would you rather not live without? (Besides friends and family)
These are really tough questions! Sports, music, books.
No, no, wait. Laughter, great food, the sea.
No, no, wait!!! Writing, writing, writing!!!
A friend of yours has a time machine and they are going to let you use it. Where would you go and what would you do?
I am working on a historical story, a big new work that I’m not supposed to talk about until the publishers make the formal announcement around Thanksgiving. Research has always been a vital component of my writing. I would love love love the chance to go back to this era, and see it for myself. Love it.
When you were young is there a movie that really affected your life? If so what was it? If you didn’t watch movies what book stood out to you when you were young?
Forget young. How about now! I’m affected by great movies all the time! Let’s see. Recent wows in my film world have included Blind Side and Avatar. Blind Side really rocked my boat. Avatar was fun, even with the greenie slant, mostly because it was my very first film premier ever. I was soooo bummed when all the limos started showing up, and no nine foot tall blue aliens got out!!!
Thanks Davis for stopping by and giving us a peek into your new book and letting us get to know you better. Thanks for the fun photo’s too.
I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series, you kind of left things unsettled and of course I wanted to know what happens next to Marc Royce! Grin!
THANKS to Bethany House for the 10 book giveaway of Rare Earth. You can Enter TODAY!! @TBCN Website www.bookfun.org
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