I’m kicking off the week with an interview with Michele Chynoweth, author of The Runaway Prophet. I think you’ll like this modern-day tale of Jonah.
Let’s find out more!
About the Book
The Blurb: “From the author of the best-selling novels The Faithful Oneand The Peace Maker comes another captivating modern-day Bible story that will grip you and not let go.
Rory Justice leads a relatively normal life as a conservative, divorced, middle-aged ad agency account executive. He doesn’t like to rock the boat, but that’s just what happens when his retired FBI agent father, on his deathbed, asks Rory to hand-deliver a sealed letter to the Las Vegas sheriff’s department. The letter details plans by a new Islamic State mafia running the casinos to destroy the city with an underground nuclear bomb.
Instead of delivering the letter warning Vegas of its impending doom, Rory tries to run. He mails the letter and jumps onto a cruise ship, only to find himself entangled in a series of horrific misfortunes. Rory is eventually brought back to Vegas, where he ends up helping FBI and police investigators who have forty days to uproot the mafia and the bomb they’ve planted before it destroys Sin City. In the process, he finds himself confronting the very low-lifes he abhors―prostitutes, gamblers, drug addicts and thugs―and falls in love with police lieutenant Susan McAfree, a tough yet vulnerable officer on his team. But can this new-found love outweigh the hate he feels for the sinners she lives among and works to save?
Full of intrigue, suspense, and a little romance, The Runaway Prophet delivers the message that you can try to run from God’s call, but you can’t hide and that sometimes, by rescuing other people, God rescues you in the process.
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs…Salvation comes from the Lord.”
– Jonah 2:8-9 (NIV)”
Toni: Welcome, Michele! Thank you for joining me today to talk about The Runaway Prophet. I’m so intrigued. What made you choose Jonah as a basis for this story?
Michele: All of my books are contemporary suspense novels that “re-imagine” Old Testament stories in the Bible; I was called to write my first, The Faithful One based on the Book of Job, when I was going through a lot of Job-like trials and tribulations; a friend recommended I write about David and Abigail for my second novel which became The Peace Maker (because my first marriage was on the rocks, much like Abigail’s); and I was still questioning whether this genre truly was my calling when I did a Bible study on Jonah and felt God was putting that on my heart next. They say “write what you know” so all of my books have a little bit of me or my experience in them.
Toni: Las Vegas is the backdrop for this novel. Have you been there or did you have to use research to make the setting authentic?
Michele: I have been to Las Vegas – I was lucky to go with my company to a conference held at Caesar’s Palace in early 2011 (I was a marketing director for a commercial real estate firm at the time) and knew I wanted to set the novel in Vegas because it’s like the new Nineveh in Jonah…aka a modern-day “city of sin.” So I saw and absorbed as much as I could during my stay there.
Toni: Smart. What is the theme or verse that speaks to The Runaway Prophet?
Michele: Obviously it’s a story about so much more than a guy being swallowed by a whale (but a lot of people don’t know that!) It’s about the fact that you can run from God’s call but you can’t really hide – and when you do try to run you usually end up experiencing some negative consequences! It’s also a story about how when we try to help rescue others, God usually rescues us in the process. The verse from the book (which I quote in the beginning) that gets across this theme is: “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them… Salvation comes from the LORD.”
Toni: Great verse! What way do you hope to improve as a writer in 2018?
Michele: I’ve heard it said, “we teach what we need to learn.” I have been a college instructor teaching writing, publishing and marketing your first book to adults and this year I am doing more book coaching – helping other writers become authors through teaching writing skills and my editing services – so I hope to improve as a writer by helping others. I just finished my fourth book, The Jealous Son (based on the story of Cain and Abel), which is in the hands of a literary agent, and I plan on writing my fifth book by the end of this year – and hopefully I get better with each book by practicing the craft!
Toni: Happy writing! Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Michele: Show not tell. Learn by reading other good books. Be disciplined and have a plan to write. And get someone else, preferably a professional, to edit your work, preferably more than once.
Toni: Great advice! What is your favorite…
Book of the Bible?
Michele: Besides the Gospels, the Book of Genesis – I love the story of how God created the earth and all of us in it.
Toni: Worship song?
Michele: “Here I Am”
Toni: Fiction book?
Michele: Tie: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Husseini
Michele: Peaches in summer
Michele: Coffee – specifically cappuccino
Michele: Anything chocolate – cake, ice cream, fudge…the list goes on!
Toni: Thank you so much for joining me!
About the Author
Michele Chynoweth is the award winning author of The Faithful One, The Peace Maker and The Runaway Prophet, contemporary novels based on Old Testament stories filled with the same suspense, intrigue and romance found in the Bible yet written so that today’s readers can easily see themselves in the characters and understand what God is saying. Michele is also an inspirational speaker, book coach and writing instructor for the Continuing Education program at Cecil College in her hometown of North East, MD. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she and her husband have a blended family of five children.