Eric Landfried is my Interview of the Day. He’s a West Virginia native who currently lives in New Hampshire. He loves Jesus, his wife Kristen, his son Nathan, and lots of other people and things. He also loves to write and share his ideas with others, even if they hate his work, because that helps him become a better writer.
How or why did you become a writer?
When I was 13, I was visiting a cousin a couple of years older than me, and he showed me the comic book he was writing and drawing. I had the realization that I could create and write stories like he was doing. I got a spiral notebook, filled it with story ideas, and started writing them, one by one. I was young and inexperienced and therefore terrible, but I kept going, honing my craft over the next few decades until I finally got my “yes” from my publisher, Ambassador International. As to the why, I’ve discovered that once a viable story idea enters my head, I have to write it or it will haunt me. I currently have an idea in my head that’s over 20 years old that I just haven’t gotten around to yet, and every day it pokes me at some point, saying, “Remember me? When are you going to write me?”
Why do you write Christian Fiction?
I’ve never lived under the idea that all the stories I write have to be explicitly Christian. Solitary Man ended up being that way because of its premise and not necessarily out of a conviction I have. I will say that as a child of God, my faith is a massive part of who I am in Christ, and because of that, it holds an influence over the things I write, even when Christianity isn’t front and center. Out of the current crop of ideas competing for attention in my brain, only one, a science fiction satire, doesn’t fully proclaim the Gospel, though it will certainly hint at it. All the others, most of which are action thrillers like Solitary Man, have Christian characters working through their faith as they grapple with the circumstances before them.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
to play the drums so I could start a band with my friends. That band never happened, but a few others did, so I spent a chunk of the 90’s drumming in a few punk and indie rock bands that never went anywhere. In the meantime, I drifted into apathy regarding my faith. After a while, the rock and roll lifestyle wore on me, and the general dissatisfaction of it all eventually brought me to renew my faith in Christ. I haven’t been in an actual “band” for 20 years now, but I do put my gifts to use on my church’s worship team, providing a backbeat for the music.
Tell us a little about your books.
Solitary Man falls into the speculative category since it’s a post-apocalyptic action thriller with little touches of sci-fi thrown in. I’m wary of limiting myself to one genre or style of book, but there’s certainly a balance any author has to find. While I believe a good story deserves to be told regardless of its genre, I’m also aware of the importance of an author’s “brand” these days. I guess that’s why some authors use pen names, right?
Tell us a little about your current book.
Solitary Man is the story of two men navigating a post-apocalyptic world together. Jonathan, a Christian, desires to “restart” the church, traveling like a modern day apostle Paul to proclaim the Gospel, but thanks to the threat of voracious cannibals and a few evil opportunists, he needs help. Doyle, an unbeliever and a former Navy SEAL, needs supplies Jonathan has, so they strike a bargain that Doyle will transport and protect Jonathan and his family as they become missionaries. There’s plenty of action and adventure, but the book also explores the dichotomy of the two men’s different worldviews, bouncing Christian doctrine off secular philosophy and vice versa. I’m currently writing a sequel, tentatively titled Conflicted Man.
Why do you consider this book a modern-day parable?
Jesus used parables to teach, and amongst all the thrills and action in Solitary Man, Jonathan, as well as his family members, do plenty of teaching and proclaiming the Gospel. It’s a book full of biblical truth as well as some apologetics as Jonathan frequently debates his faith with unbelievers. I guess it teaches while it entertains, so it’s fair to say it falls at least near the category of parable.
Sounds like a great book, Eric. Thanks so much for being my guest today.