Please Welcome...Bill Myers
This month our interview guest is Christian speculative fiction novelist Bill Myers!
Bill writes all kinds of cool and creepy Christian speculative fiction, but I first heard his name in connection with a TV program.
Back in the days before Veggie Tales there was precious little Christian film or video entertainment worth watching. It was truly atrocious. But then I stumbled across this series called McGee & Me about this normal kid and his animated friend (who got him in and out of all kinds of trouble). The animation was great and, more importantly, the writing was intelligent and entertaining.
McGee & Me was truly best in class for a long time. As a film
school grad and recent seminary graduate, I thought my calling was to
go into Christian film. Consequently, I spent a lot of effort trying
to get hired by the people who produced McGee & Me. It never worked
out, but my respect for that product and its producers has never
Over the years I became aware of Bill's name again, this time as a
Blood of Heaven books and
The Presence (plus
several others) are great Christian speculative fiction. His novel The
Wager was made into a movie starring Randy Travis in the lead role.
But I think the thing that really wowed me was Bill's
series. This is a series of novels for teenagers. Each one covers a
different topic relating to the occult: Wicca, Tarot cards, ghosts,
seances, vampires, and curses. And the covers are brilliantly freaky.
When I saw those books I thought there might be hope for CBA after
all. I hoped they would begin a radical new conversation that would
throw open the (forbidden) doors for all kinds of Christian
speculative fiction. The books did well (indeed, Bill's books and
videos have sold over five million units), but CBA didn't budge as
much as I'd hoped.
WhereTheMapEnds: Catch us up with what's going on in your life.
Bill Myers: Still banging my head against the Hollyweird walls. We have 20 books optioned as motion pictures (a couple with some heavyweights and some in pre-production). I try to write a novel a year, a few kid’s books, and one or two screenplays for folks if they ask. My latest novel, The Voice, is coming out late April and I’m pretty jazzed about it.
[Editor's note: Check out the Special Features page this month. Bill has given us a sneak peek at the prologue to this not-yet-published novel!]
WhereTheMapEnds: What is your favorite speculative
novel of all time (Christian or secular) and why is that your
WhereTheMapEnds: Well, it may be weird, but it's hardly unusual! I
don't read fiction either. Not Christian fiction, not speculative
fiction. Nada. I read science books or psychology books or other
nonfiction books on topics I'm interested in. And the Bible, too, yes.
You're not alone in your weirdness! So Bill, what made you want to
write Christian speculative fiction?
Bill Myers: It seemed the best way to incorporate the truths of God in
a way that was fresh and provocative.
WhereTheMapEnds: How was your first idea for a Christian speculative
novel received (by anyone: spouse, friends, parents, agent, publisher,
readers, reviewers, etc.)?
Bill Myers: I’m trying to think. That would probably have been the
kids' series, McGee and Me.
I remember sitting in the board room at Focus on the Family being
asked if McGee was an angel or a demon. I thought, Huh? Then I figured
I was in a psychologist’s ministry so I better give them a
psychologist’s answer. So, on the spot, I said, “Neither, he’s the
boy’s alter ego.” And they bought it.
WhereTheMapEnds: You could probably write a book on that. You've done
more than your share of innovating and had more than your share of
resistance, no doubt. Thank you for what you've done over the years,
Bill. Now, I know you don't like to read fiction, but if you had
to...w hat is your favorite speculative genre to read? To write? If
they’re different, talk about that.
Bill Myers: I just like to find ways to convey the truths of God in
new and thought-provoking ways. If it’s spiritual warfare, fine, I’ve
got plenty of first-hand experience in that. If it’s mixing science
and religion as I have with Eli or my new novel, The Voice, fine, I’ve
got notebooks on that stuff. I just go for anything that explores some
thrilling, mind-staggering aspect of an infinite God.
WhereTheMapEnds: Awesome. What have you seen that encourages you
about Christian speculative fiction writing and/or publishing?
Bill Myers: If I can do it, anybody can.
WhereTheMapEnds: What have you seen that discourages or frustrates you
about Christian speculative fiction writing and/or publishing?
Bill Myers: It’s difficult to explain new concepts to folks who are
either threatened by or not used to thinking outside the box.
WhereTheMapEnds: What advice would you give to someone who aspires to
write and publish Christian speculative fiction?
Bill Myers: The same as I would give any writer. Read. Write every
day. Keep developing your craft. And keep throwing it against
publisher’s walls until something sticks. Oh, and keep the day job
until it does.
WhereTheMapEnds: Great advice, Bill. Day jobs are good things. What’s
the best book or seminar on fiction writing you know?
Bill Myers: I’m not a big fan of those things, though I love speaking
and teaching at seminars. But what I’ve always done to learn is to get
my hands on good writing and study it why it’s good.
WhereTheMapEnds: What’s the best part about writing and publishing
Christian speculative fiction?
Bill Myers: Getting paid to think, speculate, and explore the wonders
of God and His universe. It doesn’t come any better.
WhereTheMapEnds: Exactly. What writing project(s) are you working on
WhereTheMapEnds: What’s a cool speculative story idea you’ve had
Bill Myers: I’ll tell you after it’s written.
WhereTheMapEnds: Stinker. ;-) What’s the best speculative story
(Christian or secular, book or otherwise) you’ve encountered lately?
Bill Myers: Although I believe it’s more than just speculative, I’m
really enjoying the mystical elements, symbolism, and character
archetypes in Genesis.
WhereTheMapEnds: What else would you like to say to the readers of
Bill Myers: I think WhereTheMapEnds.com is an invaluable resource and
would encourage folks to track with it. I also think your publishing
company is a fantastic idea. Keep up the great work!
That's All for This Time
What a wonderful interview, huh? Thanks again to Bill Myers. Be sure to visit Bill online. And don't forget to check out the Special Features to get a sneak peek at the prologue from Bill's new novel, The Voice.
If you missed any of our previous interviews with other speculative authors, including Frank Peretti, Jerry Jenkins, Karen Hancock, Tosca Lee, and Ted Dekker, you can read them here.
Come back next month for an interview with another heavy hitter in the world of Christian speculative fiction.