Moments like these are rare and precious for me...an informal email chat with an author friend that turns into an informal interview...how cool is THAT?!?! So, with David's permission, here is our informal chat about "Danny Gospel", David's future novel, and our general philosophy of life, "Danny" style:-)
I loved the fact that the family was so well known for their singing that they became known as the Gospel family. I hadn't really thought about it till you mentioned it, but that WAS a lot of pressure, wasn't it??
In one way, I would love to have the last name Gospel. It’s certainly one of the most beautiful words in the world. And yet who among us can be “good news” day and night? I thought it was interesting that a family with so many real problems would have to suffer the word Gospel, while also loving it.
I think you book illustrates very well the pressure we as believers tend to put on people to "be" a certain way. The expectation of the Gospel family was so high, and yet they were so unable to meet it.
Amen. All they could do was be themselves, oftentimes very weak, and yet they were able, through Grace and the blessings of music, to touch people’s hearts and help them to have “normal happy lives”, even though nobody really gets to have a normal happy life. At least I don’t know anyone like that. But I do think some families are close to that ideal, and I think everyone should pray for that and keep striving.
That, combined with his own family's dysfunction, was what tortured Danny the most. And, quite honestly, I just loved the name because that's my brother's name, and it flowed.
Daniel is one of the best names in the Bible, along with David. **grin**
Danny is both a dreamer and an interpreter of dreams. While I didn’t draw any straight lines between the Old Testament prophet and Danny Gospel, there are some connections. But I can’t give away too many hints. I wrote the book so that every reading will reveal more, and more…
In everyday service to God, we face the same thing Danny faced, don't we? Pastor's families face this especially, but so do other families in service to Christ. Just think of carrying the name of Graham, Swindoll, or Stanley!!
Or Hispanic families that name their sons Jesus! Yikes.
Maybe if Danny's "real name" had been revealed earlier on in the story I might have tied it to a Biblical character. But to me, Danny Gospel read like "everyman" carrying a huge burden. It killed me every time he and his brother were recognized and instead of asking how they were, they were commanded and begged to sing a little something.
Good point. On the human level, it was sort of inconsiderate of people to expect the brothers to sing, considering that most of the band members had died. But on the spiritual level, I think God might have been trying to use people like Dot the waitress to help reunite the brothers. I’m thinking that sometimes when people are “bugging” us, they might actually be working for God. That’s really hard to see in the moment. I usually get cranky and fail to see the mystery of Love at work in the bustles of the day.
When will we realize that people are so much more than just what they do? I mean, who would meet you, knowing you are now a published and successful author (which you will be) and say, "David, tell me a story...come on, you know you wanna!"?
“Successful author”. From your keypad to the Big Screen of Providence!
Actually, what happens sometimes is that people want me to help them write their life stories! I don’t even have time to write my own life story. **grin**
And yet, we tend to do that with our authors as well, don't we? Once your book hits shelves, it will be about "What's next, David? What are you cooking up for your next story?" Except with me, that is.
I have about 80 pages finished on the next novel. It’s called “Garbage Man in Paradise.” It’s about a guy in Minnesota who suffers a tragedy, becomes homeless in Florida, climbs into a dumpster to avoid a hurricane, and then the dumpster gets emptied into a garbage truck and he gets squished, 6 times, until he’s dead. But he’s not quite dead. He comes out of the coma… saying a prayer. And… **grin**
I mean, I'll always wonder what you're working on, because I've really grown attached (hate that word...so hard to spell correctly:-) to your writing and see great potential in you as a unique storyteller. But you will first and foremost now be counted as my friend.
I appreciate your good words. Bless you. And Danny Gospel says, “Hi.”
Hmm, does that mean he’s alive?
Thanks, David! And yes, you gave him life and made me hope for a better future for Danny once I closed the book. It's always weird when you find yourself praying for fictional characters, trust me:-)
Keep watching this author, reading buddies...he's one worth watching!!
To read my review of David's debut novel, click here.
To pre-order your copy, click here.