Happy Monday, Reader Friends!
Today I’m sharing an interview with author, Mike Garrett. He’s stopped by to talk about his book, Innocence Denied. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with us.
About the Book
He saved her from life in prison,
then freed her soul . . .
Toni: Welcome, Mike! Thank you so much for joining me here on my blog today to talk about your novel Innocence Denied. What would you like to say to encourage readers to add this book to their TBR pile??
Mike: It’s an unusual story that defies categorization. It poses such questions as, what would you do if you faced life in prison for something you didn’t do? How will you walk with Jesus at the end of your life? In your greatest time of need, where will your focus lie?
Toni: Such great questions! Innocence Denied mixes romance and suspense, but it seems like there is a greater story there. How has your relationship with Jesus effected your writing?
Mike: Yes, the underlying story is a man’s commitment to Christ and how it impacts his own, and another’s life. Jesus was my partner throughout the writing of Innocence Denied. I feel guilty taking any credit for it; it’s His, not mine. Christian fiction can represent modern day parables, leading unbelievers to God through a story just as Jesus did.
Toni: I completely agree. Tell us a little about Derrick Walton.
Mike: Derrick is a strong man of faith recovering from one life crisis as he faces a new, more challenging one. He has trouble forgiving himself for past sins even though God has forgiven him. His final mission in life is for someone else, not himself. Derrick personally represents, to me, a role model of the man I strive to someday become.
Toni: He sounds like a man we can all connect with. If you could pick a life verse for Larissa, what would it be and why?
Mike: That’s a tough one. Since Larissa is just beginning her spiritual journey, a theme verse for her doesn’t immediately come to mind. Derrick’s, on the other hand, is Matthew 5:16—“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.“ In fact, a working title for Innocence Denied was “One Good Deed.” Derrick faces the greatest challenge of his life, yet his focus remains on Larissa.
Toni: I like that. What kind of research did you have to do to lend authenticity to the story?
Mike: I actually did little research other than trace the cross-country route that the two travel at the beginning of the story. I’m a strong believer in “Write what you know!” I set the majority of the story at a lake house that I owned many years ago, so I know the area quite well. My recommendation to other writers is to set their stories where they live, or have lived, if possible. It eliminates unnecessary research and gives a novel more authenticity.
Toni: Thanks for sharing some advice. Would you choose suspense or romance?
Toni: Me too! Mountains or ocean?
Toni: Same. Tea or coffee?
Toni: Is there anything greater? Last but not least, what’s next on your writing journey?
Mike: Clearly, Larissa’s story isn’t over, so I suppose I’ll attempt a sequel someday. At the moment I’m just enjoying life and the countless blessings God has showered me with.
I invite readers to follow me on Twitter for a host of writing tips, including a series of tweets referencing Innocence Denied, pointing out what works about it and what doesn’t to help writers effectively shape their own novels. Instructions on how to mark up the book serve as a visible reference of effective characterization. It’s like a short writing course, and you only need a copy of Innocence Denied to participate.
Toni: Awesome! Readers, do you have any questions for Mike?
About the Author
MIKE GARRETT is a devout Christian and life-long resident of Alabama. His world revolves around God, his wife Sharon, two adult children, five grandchildren, and one granddog. He is an internationally respected book editor and previously published author. He served as an Editorial Associate for the Writer’s Digest School and taught writing workshops at colleges and universities across the nation. His secular novel, Keeper, sold out its first printing, was optioned for a movie, and still earns royalties thirty years after its original publication. Innocence Denied is his first Christian novel.