What Every Christian Author Can Learn about Writing for God from Author, Larry W. Timm
Larry W. Timm is a husband, father, preacher, and writer who is passionate about communicating the truth of God’s love through his speaking and writing. You can learn more about his debut novel, Murder for Emily’s Sake by going to his website at: http://booksbylarrywtimm.com
Let’s welcome fellow LPC author, Larry Timm and learn how he commits his writing to the Lord as a ministry to others. I appreciate his desire to take a pro-life stand with his debut novel.
Larry, please tell us about your writing journey. How did it start?
My writing journey started way back in grade school. I was drawn to suspense fiction even then! I remember writing a story that scared my teacher enough that she thought my mom needed to see it. Ha! I’m not sure that would be considered positive word-of-mouth promotion in that instance, however.
Seriously, though, I have always been intrigued by the power of words and the amazing thrill of creating something for others to read. I’m naturally an introvert, so writing fits my personality better than anything I’ve ever done.
I’ve written a few non-fiction articles over the last three decades, but it wasn’t until the last ten years or so that I got serious about completing a novel. God allowed me to meet Ken & Deb Raney, and that led to me becoming a part of American Christian Fiction Writers, which gave me the opportunity to meet people from whom I could learn the first steps toward my goal. I loved being a part of ACFW, and participating in the ACFW Chapter that meets in Wichita, Kansas. Unfortunately, since we’ve been relocated to Illinois to begin a new preaching ministry (3 years ago now), I’ve not been able to go to any conferences, I’ve let my membership in ACFW lapse, and I’m not part of any writers group. I do miss it all very much. There’s no way I would be where I am had I not had the blessing of being around so many fellow-writers and other industry people. I still have cherished relationships with people that I count as friends and fellow-writers. I mean, there are times I just shake my head and wonder how I made it to this point. I’m really not that smart! I thank God for those who inspired, and continue to inspire, me.
Honestly, my writing journey has been a winding road with ups and downs…and lots of exit ramps that beckoned me to pull off the road and give up the journey. But I’ve been determined to stay focused and devoted to the road ahead.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t say that there is no way I could be on this journey if not for the support of my family. My wife is awesome. I married way out of my league. She, and my kids, support and encourage me in so many ways. They make sure I know that no matter what happens, I will at least have three people who are fans. I’m truly blessed.
I understand how that feels. Without my husband’s support, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have in my writing! Jack is such a blessing.
What made you decide to write inspirational fiction? And more specifically suspense?
First and foremost, I believe that my writing is as much “ministry” as is my preaching and teaching. I believe I’m supposed to write. Period. In fact, if I’m not writing, I feel unfulfilled (which, my family would say, is a Christian code word for “grumpy.”).
The power of story to grab people by both sides of their brains is something that Jesus used in amazing ways. His stories and parables were vehicles for God-honoring truth. He set the example, and I want to follow it. I want my stories to illustrate the truth about the power and character of God. I want readers to be able to identify with realistic characters who are at various places on their faith journeys, and who are struggling with their imperfect humanity as they face the good and bad of life. And I want to use this suspense as a form of entertainment to encourage and enlighten at the same time.
The reason I write suspense is because that’s what I like to read. Really every genre has suspense in it to one degree or another, but I wade around in the mystery/suspense/thriller category because that’s what keeps my attention. I love suspense because it’s a great platform to use to paint word pictures of the gritty struggle between good and evil. It can show how light can shine brighter in the midst of darkness. And, plus that, I can have things blow up, burn down, get shot at, or go bump in the night. It’s a win-win!
How has God guided you through this process?
He probably looks down from heaven and says, “I know everything…and I’M not even sure why he thought that scene would work!” Ha!
Actually, I write with my Lord as my first audience. I want Him to be pleased with my stewardship of story, and of the way I try to honor His truth.
God guides me through the process by reminding me that He will never love me more than he does right now. I rest in that love. I don’t write to earn His love, I write because of His love. That realization has been huge, especially during the moments when rejections came in.
He guides me by giving me things I feel very passionate about, truths from His Word that I want to pass on via story. If I believe something strongly, I look for ways to share it. And, I believe, He opens and shuts doors for my stories.
I am a writer for God…that’s not a confession, it’s a commitment.
And it’s a beautiful statement of your faith. I appreciate your example! Do you have any scriptures you’d like to share that have inspired you?
My answer will be specifically in relation to my debut novel, MURDER FOR EMILY’S SAKE.
Psalm 139:13-14 was a foundational scripture for the basis of this story.
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.”
Would you like to tell us about your debut novel, MURDER FOR EMILY’S SAKE?
Thank you for the opportunity to tell your readers about my debut suspense novel. This book was a labor of love and passion.
I wanted to be craft a story that highlighted the battle for the sanctity of human life and did it in a way that took readers on a thrill ride.
MURDER FOR EMILY’S SAKE is about a man who swears vengeance on the three women he holds responsible for the death of his daughter, Emily. These three brave women met Emily outside of an abortion clinic and helped her see that the life in her womb was a precious gift from God. Emily decided not to kill her unborn baby. Then, due to a tragic complication, she dies in the delivery room. Now, the three women who are used to defending the lives of the unborn must fight for their own lives as they try to avoid his terrible plans.
Thank you, Larry, for taking the time to be a guest on my blog this week, and sharing about your writing journey.
Leave a comment below for a chance to win Larry’s debut suspense novel, Murder for Emily’s Sake. The random winner chosen will have a choice of a print copy or a Kindle ebook.