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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Interview with Matt Koceich!

Alright! Today we are honored with an interview with Matt Koceich!

Hey Mr. Koceich! Thanks so much for joining me with an interview today! For those that don’t know, Mr. Koceich has a brand spanking new title out with Marcher Lord Press, The Sending. A spiritual thriller. :D 

Check it out here! Now, on with the interview.

So right off the bat, why don’t you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

Blessed with a loving wife and four children, I am an elementary school teacher in Arlington, Texas. Back in 2008, I had the opportunity to complete a five-day writing residency with Jerry B. Jenkins as part of the first Christian Writers Guild Craftsman course. That was an amazing experience.

What are your other interests besides writing? Do you ride the range in your spare time?

By God’s grace, my wife and I had the chance to travel to Ethiopia where we adopted our son, Yakob. We fell in love with the people and culture in Addis Ababa and can’t wait to get back. I think about this whole journey and how we’re all adopted children of God.  

The Sending is your first published book I understand. I’ve also heard that you are working on your next book. Can you tell us a little bit about the first one, and perhaps a teaser for the second?

The Sending is a blend of suspense and fantasy. Mark Grant has the ability to see distant places and is paid a hefty sum to locate the Garden of Eden. Evil forces try to harness Mark’s power for their own plans. Namely, the armies of darkness want the fruit of the tree of life so they can live forever. Mark will become their first human host unless he learns how to channel his gift for the good of God’s kingdom.

The Breaking, Book 2 of my Soul Kingdom trilogy, focuses on a young lady who has the ability to hear people’s prayers. At first the pleas are overwhelming, bringing with them constant migraines and stressful dreams. Then in the midst of the chaos, she hears a certain victim’s plea for help. The woman can’t stop ‘breaking’ the prayers until she saves the victim. When she finally finds the victim, she realizes that the real nightmare has only begun.

How do you manage to juggle the position as a father, a husband, family leader and provider, while being a writer at the same time? What has seemed to work for you?

Up early. Up late. And write on my lunch break at work.

When did you first feel the urge to write? And how did it manifest itself. I remember when I was in first grade I would get a blank piece of paper and a pencil and copy sections of my picture books. Can you say plagiarism? Fast forward to college…I started reading a lot and wanted to make stories of my own.

Who was most instrumental in the decision for you to be a writer?

God. The Sending started off as a completely secular novel with the Garden of Eden as the only biblical piece. After I “surrendered all,” I felt the strong desire to turn the book into a story that would glorify God. I think it’s important that we write for Him and His glory.

As a Christian, is your writing more directly, or indirectly, influenced by your faith? Is it influenced?

Yes, my writing is faith-based. Take The Sending, for example. I was always interested in the Garden of Eden account. The Tree of Life is the Bible’s bookends appearing in both Genesis and Revelation. It sort of reached off the page and tugged at my thoughts. Writing Christian speculative fiction lets me explore my faith. It allows me experience God’s Word in new ways.

I know we have many would be published authors in our midst reading this, what tips can you give them?

This one is my favorite question. I say that because I’ve become a pro at learning things the hard way! Don’t look for your worth in the outcome. Enjoy the journey. As you write, remember that your real identity is who you are in Christ. His grace is enough. Not a “published” novel and God’s grace, but simply God’s grace. Write the story God has placed in you. Don’t try to write what you think a publishing house can sell. Let the rejection letters motivate instead of discourage.

As a first time published novelist yourself, what was the hardest part of the writing/editing/agent/publishing circle?

The hardest part for me came in two parts. First, all the years I spent trying to get my story published. The stamps, query letters, emails…those were the times I felt like a hamster running the proverbial wheel. The second part is coming now when I read reviews of my book that are less than stellar. I have to remember that we are writing for our Savior and not some earthly book award or prize.

I’ve seen a picture of you with your beard, do I get one too if I live in Texas?

Ah yes. Truth be told, my cheeks and chin are the only place on my head where hair feels free to grow! Our planet’s gravitational pull might just be a tad stronger under Texas.

Are there any last thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?

Thank you for spending some time reading this interview. I hope my writing journey helps people realize how much they are loved by the Lord. Thank you Millard for the chance to share my story. Blessings to you and your readers. Please come over to my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Matt-Koceich-Just-Past-the-Books/122172144504013 for more discussion forums on writing and faith.

Thanks for the interview, I really enjoyed it, and I hope you did too!

I'm definitely going to check out that Facebook page, I encourage you all to do the same! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of The Sending, The Breaking sounds mind blowing too! Again, find The Sending here, and read the sample below!


Adele Treskillard said...

How cool! This book looks interesting, and a great interview, too.


Jake said...

O_o Heh. Great interview! I now officially wish to read this book. :)

Millardthemk said...

Thanks! If you want to help him--and me out, tell a friend about the interview!