Today is the official release of the new Christian football fiction book, “Passing Toward The Prize”. In this blog entry, I am going to do a self-interview of this self-published book.
Briefly tell us what your new book is about.
The book is the story of Colton Preston. He is a teenager at a small town high school in Georgia. His father is a minister at a church in town. Colton has lots of friends, a sweet girlfriend and has a promising chance to become the starting quarterback on the football team. His world changes when his father decides to accept an appointment to a new church hundreds of miles away. The story is set in about the early 1980s when we didn’t have the luxury of smartphones, texting or even email. The book follows the challenges that Colton faces in his life. If you liked “Facing The Giants” or “Remember The Titans” I think you will like this book.
What was the inspiration for the book?
It is a combination of a lot of things. I would say it’s foundation came from my own life’s experiences. I would say that it is loosely based upon my life because I was never a football star and I never had the relationships that Colton has in the book. I might go as far as saying it came from an inspiration about how things could have been.
The book deals with some serious issues such as racism, premarital sex and depression. What do you want your readers to come away with on these issues?
You are right to say there are some serious issues, but they are real issues that young people deal with. I want them to see that, if they hang in there, things can get better and not give up when everything seems to be against you. The racism in the book is what some would call “reverse racism” but racism is racism regardless of who you are. I was raised to respect everyone. We should never judge people based on their differences but work together for a common purpose. The issue of premarital sex in the book might be a difficult topic for the church folks; however, it is a very real issue and not one we should hide from. Sometimes there are moments of weakness but we must remember that forgiveness can heal. Teen depression is also another subject that I think adults take lightly. Colton goes through all of these things and shows that you can be a winner in your own life.
You have made Colton a preacher’s kid in the book. Why add that into the mix?
That part is based upon my own experience and I think it adds the additional pressures that a preacher’s kid faces in the desire to please everyone because they live their lives in a fish bowl for everyone to see. I think we can learn that when we do things to please everyone that it is a frustrating pursuit. We have to be the best person we can be and just let people deal with their own expectations of us. Ultimately, we are going to disappoint people. That’s just a sad reality of life but we can rise above whatever label people put on us because of who are parents are.
In the book you depict a strained relationship between Colton and his father. Is this something you experienced personally?
Yes, but I think you will see in the book that sometimes a strained relationship such as a father-son relationship is about the lack of communication and not understanding each other. It seems that when each side doesn’t understand the other and that creates the strain in the relationship. We tend to have unreasonable expectations and not enough information about why we do the things we do.
Colton is depicted as a talented football player in the book. Were you also gifted in football ability?
Absolutely not. I had the desire but I lacked in physical ability. I did try to play in high school but I took a beating. I would come home bruised and battered. I think what I enjoyed the most was being on the team.
Who do you think this book will appeal to?
While it is a story about a teenager, I believe this book will appeal to any age group. The issues that Colton deals with are issues that we all face regardless of our age. I think the subject of forgiveness transcends any age group. Some people get so caught up in casting stones that they ignore their own need for forgiveness.
You can get your copy of “Passing Toward The Prize” today on Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle format.