So, tell me a little about yourself. How did you and your parents make it to the United States from Honduras?
Well my mother moved here when I was just a young boy, and during that time I lived with my father and grandparents in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, my home town. My mother eventually returned once she had secured herself a stable lifestyle in the United States, and she brought me here to live with her and my stepfather when I was about six years old. It undoubtedly and needless to say changed the entire outcome of my life, and to her I am forever grateful for having the strength of spirit and faith to overcome the struggles of life in an impoverished country and conquering unimaginable hardships for the enduring dream of a better life. My mother is surely the strongest woman I have ever known. Her love and belief in me has touched every aspect of my life, and even the band at times has been able to continue because of blessings we have received through her, such as our very first van and donations to keep us afloat on the road.
Tell us a little bit about how you came to Christ?
My mother would teach me about Jesus very early on in my life, and so I grew up with a sense of who God was and what He was like, but even in those formative years, and through out my life, when I didn’t know much else about Him, I have always felt a spiritual voice calling me to God. In that sense, I have always been a believer, but it wasn’t until junior high and then High School, upon encountering real questions to the things that I believed that I really felt myself search for God in all His mysteries. I read and researched the validity of Scripture, and fell in love with Jesus Christ through the Gospels. It was then in those years that I also discovered that most people don’t have a problem with Jesus, but rather some institutionalized tradition that doesn’t sit well with them, or even more common, they’ve been treated very un-Christlike by Christians in their own life. I’d say it was in those early years that my thirst and hunger for ministry began.
What urged you to write this book?
In one word: love. The emotion and overall theme of this story is that authentic romance and authentic love are real and still abound in a world that very rarely leaves room for anything authentic. The world was a much different place when we were kids, I think, and somewhere along the lines of growing up, we lose that sense of urgency in our emotions, our convictions, our hopes and our dreams, and we so often give way to the complacency of mediocrity, while our passions and fires slowly dim and fade away. This story is about a love that threatens to withstand the test of time, if these two lovers, who love like so few ever could, would just dare to believe in each other. Sagewillow is about the enduring power of authentic love, and the undeniable importance of every choice we make.
Can you give us a synopsis of the book?
Sagewillow tells the story of Seth Loomis, a young man who must overcome the trauma of his childhood, understand the mistakes of his youth, and face the consequences of adulthood as he fights so desperately to reconnect to the love of his life and the only romance he has ever known, embodied in the beautiful Kate Collins. After breaking a promise to never leave her side, Seth Loomis finds himself struggling to make sense of his life, and undertakes the endeavor to make up for the choices that have served to widen the gap between him and the only woman he has ever loved. In this tale of broken hearts and the enduring power of authentic love, a young man takes a stand against all odds to fight the ever changing winds of destiny for the sake of his heart and the one woman to whom it has always belonged.
How does it correlate to you being in Before There Was Rosalyn?
I would think that the only real correlation would be that the book was written by the same person who writes the lyrics for the band, so in that sense, there may be someone who could perhaps find a similarity in the writing styles, but writing for Before There Was Rosalyn is a much different experience than writing for the novel. While both are a passion stoked in the fires of my heart, Before There Was Rosalyn is a shared passion, with my best friends, and even while the lyrics may be mine, the song is a collaboration between all of us. Lyrically there is always the task of making sure the words will fit the music, while I can ramble incessantly about things that may or may not matter to anyone but me through the voice of a character or two for pages and pages in novel form. The entire process then becomes a lot more personal and exclusive when writing prose. Writing is something I definitely enjoy, and it burns bright within me to pen my thoughts on the proverbial paper (even if it is a computer screen) so it’s definitely an outlet that I enjoy. I also imagine that as much as the lyrics in Before There Was Rosalyn define who I am, there is much of me littered in the debris of every word that Sagewillow carries. Perhaps more than anyone might know.
From what I know of the book, it is a contemporary romance that has some raw and uncensored language. How do you balance that with being a Christian?
It was definitely a topic that I gave some thought in the early stages of character developing and dialogue preparation. Ultimately, the reality of life is that (without giving too much away) people do behave the way that I wrote them down, and do say the kinds of things that you will find characters saying to one another. I felt that censoring actions and words would have taken away from the vital story, and that authenticity that I have already mentioned. I do not feel that it makes me less of a Christian to portray an accurate view of life as it is, and not as it should be. That being said, there may be things that certain people may find offensive, but again, it was my intention to portray the reality of life.
What is the point of the book and what mission do you hope to accomplish with it?
The point is love. From the very first word on the first line of the very first page to the last, the point is real, authentic, and enduring love. It’s a look into the hearts of two young lovers who very much like you, and very much like me, have a choice to follow their hearts and the novel catalogs the journeys they undertake. Sagewillow is about believing in your heart that two people can fall honestly in love in a bitter, cynical and patronizing world, and that love can conquer the universe.
Are there going to be more books coming from your pen?
There definitely other manuscripts that I am working on that I must see through, ha-ha. They are ideas that essentially beg me to finish them, and I must. As the band travels more and more, I am hoping to finish these manuscripts on the road and perhaps with the help of a literary agent, seek publishing on a second work.
How can we get our hands on the book?
You can find it anywhere that sells books online such as http://www.facebook.com/l/615f3;www.amazon.com, http://www.facebook.com/l/615f3;www.boarders.com, http://www.facebook.com/l/615f3;www.barnesandnoble.com or anywhere else you prefer.
I’d also like to thank you Steve, for taking the time out to do this, and to anyone and everyone who may read this, thank you as well.