A brief description of his book is a good way to start. This is from a review by Ron Berry, author of Laughs from Corn Country and Math for the Family:
The actual character in the book was inspired by watching an old homeless man panhandling. I wondered to myself, and this is the book’s blurb-
What if a homeless, smelly, ugly, unkempt old man had a hug so powerful it could cure cancer? Cause a prostitute to stop hooking, find happiness and seek true love? Shake the demons of addiction free from a junkie? Make a radical terrorist Muslim want to befriend and love a Christian and visa versa? But rare is the beneficiary of his divine embrace – nobody wants to come near him out of fear.Michele: When you begin a book like this, do you start with a Christian moral, a story you want to make fit a moral lesson, or a character with strong moral implications?
Marvin: Usually the book is inspired by a character who comes to mind. Someone who is unique in some way, yet someone we can all relate to in one way or another, be it through personal or vicarious experience. But for the plot I start with the ‘spiritual/inspirational’ message ideas(s)—not necessarily limited to ‘Christian’, there are messages drawn from all spiritual paths, the amount of overlap is greater than the amount of differences. Then I write an entertaining story wherein the characters learn and deliver to the reader moral/ethical/spiritual lessons.
Michele: Do you find giving your work such strong religious implications limits or broadens your audience and the reactions to your work?
Marvin: Neither I, nor any of my books, are ‘religious’. Spiritual, yes, inspirational, yes, delivering moral and ethical messages, affirmative. But I will have nothing to do with ‘religion’, which I believe is the very man-made, rule-oriented and limiting, opposite of true spiritual freedom found through the enlightened state of reunification with the One.
That being said, I believe my style of ‘cross-over’ writing expands my potential readership. People wanting a darn good entertaining story to read, be it a mystery/suspense, romance, intrigue, etc., as well as those looking for a book with some weight and message to it, will find my novels a worthy read. If anything, as far as losing any readers, I appeal probably least to those who are ‘religious’—my books would offend the stiff, narrow minded and prudish.
Michele: How much of yourself do you put into a book? If it is a lot, have you placed your own faults or your own victories in this one?
Marvin: I put a lot of myself in my books. Owen Fiddler, the main character in the book by that name, is a whole lot of me—both the lost man in the beginning and the loving, connected person in the end. In Beware the Devil’s Hug, one of the main characters is Christian Dean Wilson. He is really me, in terms of his spiritual and social outlooks, and is the author’s ‘voice’ throughout the book. I wrote him up as being much more conservative than I was as a young man when it comes to pre-marital sex, but ... other than that, Christian is Marvin. Well, Christian is already a household name best-selling author, so I exaggerated a bit there (wink), but my hope and prayer is that Hugs will catch me up in reality to my fictional counterpart, hmm?
Michele: How does this book differ from your other work? Is it continuing a thread in your writing and/or in your life?
Marvin: It is a continuing thread in that it is my style, my voice of appeal to everyone to, as Bob Marley so well sang it in,
“One Love, One Heart ...
Let’s get together and feel all right!”
How is it different? My last novel, Owen Fiddler, was a more straight forward and simpler story. Beware the Devil’s Hug is much more complex, with more sub-plots, genre crossover elements, red herrings and twists to it. It is definitely my most intricately woven work so far.
Michele, thanks for having me on today. These were thought-provoking questions, and I enjoyed the process of thinking them through and answering them. I will be stopping in today and early eve, so I would enjoy interacting with your readers if they would like to ask any questions and/or leave any comments that inspire a response in the comments gallery.
Thank you, Marvin, for stopping by! I wish you the best in book sales and future writing.
For more on Mr. Old Silly, check out his blog by that name, or his books, Beware the Devil's Hug and Owen Fiddler.
Tomorrow on Southern City Mysteries, we go back on tour! Jackee Alston joins us to show us what the Southwest US can bring to a book. And on Monday, writer/blogger Cold As Heaven brings exotic Winterland to this blog. Don't miss either of these great posts!