Friday, May 13, 2016

#Author #Interview. . .Jonathan's Shield

Proudly Presents. . .A Book Spotlight
Featuring Author, Channing Turner

Jonathan’s Shield

By Channing Turner

Genre: Biblical Historical

Beral's only goal is to serve loyally as Jonathan's shield bearer and protect his prince through whatever battles may come. But Jonathan needs a friend as well, a man he can trust while navigating the precarious footing of his father's court. Being that friend puts Beral's life in danger and stretches his loyalty to the breaking point. For what Jonathan wants is to do Yahweh's will, whether that be through defying his increasingly paranoid father, King Saul, or supporting the aspirations of young David, whom Jonathan believes is the rightful heir to the throne.

As he competes with David for the hand of the king's daughter, Beral struggles to hold true to his loyalties, even while he watches King Saul descend into madness. 

If Yahweh withdraws his protective hand, Beral and his men will be all that stand before their gathering enemies. Only one thing is certain: Beral's fate, as well as the future of Israel, is tied to the virtue of their king, and Saul's honor has long since fled.

Author Bio:

A son of the South, Channing Turner grew up in Arkansas and Louisiana before graduating from Louisiana State University in Psychology. He did graduate work in marine biology and became an estuarine biologist along the Texas coast. After retiring from the petrochemical industry where he worked in Louisiana and Montana as a laboratory analyst, he managed the 2010 US Census in Montana and northern Wyoming. He now lives in eastern Washington with his wife, Barb.

Channing served in the army and was discharged as an Armor captain. Reading and writing are his sedentary pursuits, but he also enjoys riding his Tennessee Walker in the Blue Mountains of Washington and Oregon.


1. How did you come to write Jonathan’s Shield?

I was in a Bible class on the Old Testament a long time ago—at least ten years or so. We came across this little-known story in 1st Samuel in which Prince Jonathan, King Saul's eldest son and heir to the throne, climbs a hill to attack a Philistine outpost. He routs the enemy and wins the battle for Israel. He was accompanied only by a loyal shield bearer who is never named and never heard about again. I couldn't get that anonymous shield bearer out of my head. I thought he deserved a name and a story. 

2. What do you lend to the literary world that other authors do not? 

Not so much. I am basically a blue collar guy with a little education. If I had to compare my life with those of some better known writers, I'd have to say I feel a kinship with Jack London or Louis L'Amour. They worked at a variety of jobs that had nothing to do with books before they turned to writing. Me too. 

3. What challenges did you face writing Jonathan’s Shield

Mostly the challenge was to take this seriously and not to just dabble at it. It’s hard to sit your butt down in a chair and stare at a computer screen every day, especially if you’re just thinking of it as a hobby. I recall that when I hit around 30,000 words it began to sink in that I was actually writing a novel. 

There was also a lot of research for this book. Sometimes I thought I was working on an anthropology thesis. 

Since I’m a believing Christian, Jonathan’s Shield presented a unique challenge for me. It would be R rated if it were a movie. I debated with myself about putting in some of the sex and violence, but I figured the Bible is already full of that kind of action. I only added detail. 

It’s been important to me that I follow the story accurately and with respect without going full blown graphic. I suppose readers will have the final say on whether or not I pulled it off. 

4. What type of books do you enjoy reading? 

I love historical fiction. And I still like westerns. The rest of my library would have some military stories, mysteries, thrillers, and a little bit of fantasy stuff. 

5. What steps do you take to prepare for the writing process? 

I can’t think of any zen-like procedure I go through to get ready to write. I did do a lot of reading on ancient times when I was writing Jonathan’s Shield. Sometimes I would look up and realize I had spent half the night reading about some aspect of Biblical times that had nothing to do with the story. It was just interesting. 

6. What is the hardest part about being an author? 

It’s a solitary pursuit. If you can join a writer’s group of some kind, that is a great help. 

Also the marketing. I never knew you had to do so much after a book is out. If you think finding a publisher/agent for your book is hard, wait until you start to market it. 

7. What is a typical day like for you? 

I’m retired so I can pretty much do what I like. My wife and I stay so busy with our various interests and grandkids that I often say that I should go back to work so I can get some rest. Five days a week I go to the Y in the morning to work out or do aerobics. Coffee with the boys on Wednesday (All of whom are amazed that I wrote something. They didn’t even know I could read.) I ride my horse about three times a week and sometimes do trail rides or mounted orienteering on the weekends. 

Most of my writing is done at night. I did shift work for years, and I have no trouble staying up late. 

8. What other interests do you have besides writing? 

Well I already mentioned my horse. I’ve had Eddie for fourteen years now. We still don’t like each other but we have a mutual toleration society. He threw me and put me in the hospital for three weeks about five years ago. He’s never apologized either. 

I like to read. I’m a little bit of a political junkie. 

9. How long did it take you to write Jonathan’s Shield

A little over a year including rewrites and editing. And that’s before Red Adept Publishing got ahold of it, and we did more editing and rewriting. That doesn’t count all the time I spent thinking about what a cool story it would be if I would only start writing it down. 

10. Tell our readers something interesting about you we would be surprised to learn? 

I usually talk slow and always with a deep South accent so I don’t make a good first impression. It’s a little bit of stereotyping, but I don’t mind. It’s always better to have people underestimate you. 

11. What are your guilty pleasures of TV shows you have to watch? 

Hands down, LSU football. Everything else is negotiable.  I used to watch Deadliest Catch, but it got old after a few seasons. 

12. If we were a guest in your home, what type of atmosphere would we encounter? 

I hope you would find us accommodating. My wife, Barb, is a gracious host, far better than me. We both love to talk though. My role is tour guide. I enjoy driving visitors around to see the sights, whether it’s downtown or the great outdoors. I suppose I have a lot of civic pride about where I live.


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Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

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