I was born in Philadelphia in 1957 (guys don't care if you know) to a mostly blue-collar, hard-working Irish family. My Dad was the first person on either side of the family to earn a college degree. It took him nine years, working during the day, going to college at night, using the GI Bill from his war days in Korea. In the mid-sixties, General Electric hired him as an engineer for the Apollo space program. We packed up and moved to Florida, which is really where I grew up.

I spent my childhood years playing basketball and surfing. In the spring of my senior year in high school I met the woman who would become my wife, Cindi. We dated for a brief period. I asked her to marry me and, to my great surprise, she said yes. We were married near the end of 1976. We have two children, now grown.

The desire to write novels first began in high school. But I didn't have the time to pursue this passion until 2007. To find out more, visit my website at

How did you come up with the idea for The Reunion, did you base your main character after anyone special?

 While researching an earlier novel set during World War II (The Homecoming), I came across an amazing story about a young man who had done some extraordinary, heroic things in battle; saving countless lives and almost losing his own. He received the Congressional Medal Of Honor, then went home after the war and lived in virtual obscurity, working as a janitor in an Air Force Academy. Decades later, one of the cadets was reading an account of World War II heroes and recognized the name of this same janitor he and his fellow cadets walked by everyday and never paid attention to. At the next graduation, the entire school honored this man for all he had done so many years before. Of course, life changed dramatically for this forgotten war hero after that.

I was deeply moved by your book The Reunion, did you have an encounter in your research that affected you deeply? Changed the way you thought about things?

Yes, I did. I had never spent any time researching the Vietnam War. And I was surprised to learn how different this war was from all the others, particularly for the average soldier. Even in WW2, a soldier might only experience 2-3 months of battle spread out over a year. In Vietnam, they lived in mortal danger every single day for a year. In this war, the enemy (the people trying to kill you) weren't men wearing uniforms. Often, they were civilians, even women and children. In other wars, the soldiers knew America was totally behind them. With Vietnam, they knew the country had turned against the war. And most of these young men were drafted, forced into service. So they were stuck, experiencing all these horrors, doing what their country had asked of them, only to return home to experience derision and scorn. I had a totally different outlook about Vietnam veterans as a result of learning these things.

What was your favorite scene to write in The Reunion? What was your hardest?

My favorite scene to write was also the hardest. It was the climactic reunion scene, which lasted for several chapters at the end. For the most part, it's an incredibly happy scene. But it's so filled with so much emotion, experienced by so many of the characters. At times, I had to stop writing and give myself a break. I was so emotionally invested in these characters that I felt everything they were going through as if it was happening to me. I cried many times, not just when I first wrote it, but through every edit as well.

After readers finish this your book what do you want them to remember—walk away feeling?

Besides experiencing a fresh appreciation and sense of honor for those who serve in our nation's military, maybe it's this. At the beginning of the book I quoted something Jesus said in Luke 13. He was talking about Judgment Day: “…Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who seem the greatest now will be least important then.” In one sense, I hope The Reunion stirs people's hearts to see others the way God sees them, because the way we measure each other's worth and value is radically different from God's perspective.

Jesus routinely stopped to take an interest in ordinary people. A woman at a well, a blind beggar, a nameless leper. I hope my readers will be thoroughly entertained as they read this book but, also, I hope it opens their eyes a bit to see people with more concern and compassion, the way Jesus did.

Which type of book club meeting do you prefer? Why?

I love visiting book clubs in person, although I know this is not practical most of the time. But when I get to, I always have the most wonderful time. I love interacting with people anyway, but in person I get to see their faces as we discuss the book. Often, I will meet a book club via speaker phone, which works pretty well. I usually ask the moderator to have members think of questions they'd like to ask in advance, and we’ll talk for 30-40 minutes. I haven't met with any groups using video yet, but I think that could work well also.

What was your most memorable reading group experience? What made it so special?

 I was meeting with a group near Melbourne, Florida, discussing my novel, The Deepest Waters. One of the main characters in this book is an old, illiterate Negro slave named Micah (he's my favorite character in the book). I worked very hard at capturing this man's heart, mind and even the way he talked. But let's face it, I'm a white guy who grew up in the suburbs with a mostly Leave It to Beaver childhood. One of the group members was a middle-aged African American woman. She absolutely loved the book, and especially Micah. She said I had nailed this character completely, and every time she read a scene with him it reminded her of listening to her great-grandfather when she was a child, who was a former slave.

Can you give us a peek into what you are working on right now and when it will be out?

I just finished my second novel with co-author Gary Smalley. It won't release until this time next year. But the first book in our 4-book series, The Dance, will be out this coming April. Fans of Karen Kingsbury might remember the Redemption series she wrote with Gary several years ago. Gary says he can already tell these books will impact people much the same way. It's been a joy to work with him. I've loved every minute of it. Here's a link for a sneak peek at The Dance:

 What about you do you think would surprise readers?

Here's something… I was a surfer throughout high school and didn't get a haircut for almost 4 years. Here’s something more recent… I love listening to and singing the old love song standards of the 40s, 50s and 60s. And if there was an American Idol for old geezers, I might even make it through the first few rounds.

        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?

It would definitely not be the cook, but after being a pastor for 25 years I'm a pretty good organizer. I could probably do a good job at getting everyone to work together to set up camp.

          You've been given 48 hours to hang out with any two people (alive or dead). Who would you pick and what would you do?

The apostle Paul – I’d ask him 100 questions about life in the early church and about his experiences. And maybe Charles Dickens. I think it would be fascinating to interview him as a writer.

           What three things would you rather not live without? (Besides friends and family)

 My dogs, my laptop and great books to read.

            As a young person, what movie impacted your life, a movie you’ll never forget? If you didn’t watch movies what book affected you most in your youth?

That's a hard one, so many come to mind. Probably, It's a Wonderful Life. It's my all-time favorite movie, and it's hard to forget because I've watched it every year since.

            Name three books you adored as a child?

I actually didn't read that many books as a child. I played outside a lot and was into sports. I do remember reading and enjoying Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

If you could be a super hero for a day, who would you pick and why? (you can mix and match powers if you’d like, your an author you can be creative! Grin!)

I'm sorry for not picking someone more creative, but I think it would have to be Superman. To me, he's got the whole package. I'd especially like to be able to fly.

A friend of yours has a time travel machine and will let you have it for awhile. What would you do with it? Where would you go and what would you do?

Hands down, I would travel back to the World War II era. I’d particularly like to see places like New York City and London during those years.


Just to add my thanks for taking this time with me here. Oh, and also talk me up to your book club and get one of my books on your schedule. I'd love to meet with your group soon for a chat.

Thanks Dan for stopping by and giving us a peek into your new book, you and your book club memories. Oh, I’ve already told my ladies and everyone at the book store about your new book. I really enjoyed reading The Reunion; I’ve put it on the voting list for Finding Hope Book Club later on this year. It’s my favorite book you’ve written so far. It touched my heart deeply.

Thanks Nora, for all you do to serve so many believers. I don't know how you manage it all.


Blessings to you and your writing. I'm looking forward to reading your next book.
Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

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    Thanks for stopping by.

    Nora St.LAurent