Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I love how small this world is and how often I find myself connecting with the writers who are guests on my blog. As the daughter of an infantryman who grew up in Oregon, I’m thrilled to bring you Chad Pettit this week!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m a pretty regular guy with big dreams. I became a follower of Jesus Christ in 2007. Before that I was an infantry soldier with a couple of combat tours under my belt. I grew up in Oregon, but I live in Central Texas with my wife and kids. I teach English at an early college high school, and I have a goal of inspiring people to live their best lives through the message God has given me. I’m not big on hobbies, but I love a good book or a good movie. I’m definitely the kind of guy who can usually be found at home with family.
Tell us about your current release. Fate of the Watchman is a fantasy novella that tells the story of Lester Sharp, a man obsessed with his work and his own world. He doesn’t even know the rest of the world exists, but when time freezes, and he’s met by a very unlikely stranger, all of that changes. He soon finds himself witnessing tragedies he never could have imagined while trapped in a single moment of time.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Without question. I’ve had to tell myself this all the time. When I sit down to write, I pray first. I ask the Lord to help me write something that will help someone to be inspired, grow in their faith, or have their life changed through the story.
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? A willingness for writers to tackle heavy issues and be bold. I think there’s a need for safe, predictable stories, but some truths are uncomfortable. How can a writer present a harsh reality to readers without representing that reality in a realistic way? I’m not talking about compromising or being profane. I am talking about being unafraid of breaking conventions and maybe even being controversial.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher (or agent or audience if you self-publish)? I trust that this is what God gave me to write, and I believe that the talents and abilities I use to write come directly from Him. It would be wrong for me to hold these talents in, and it would be disobedient to keep these stories to myself. The fear will always be there. Doubt will always be present. But, so will the Spirit of God, and that is more powerful than all fear and doubt.
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I’ve always loved reading, and every time I finish a book I look up the writer. This stuff comes to me; it’s always been a part of who I am. It’s difficult to describe how passionate about writing I actually am. Since I came to know the Lord and realized His desire for me to write, it has become a calling.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Don’t rush. Your stories are wrapped up in your experiences. The more life you live, the more believable your characters will be and the stronger your message will feel. The best thing you can do is to dedicate time to learning the craft of writing and honing your skills. Everyone wants to tackle a novel right out of the gate, but there’s a lot of value in writing short stories to develop as a writer.
I’m always intrigued by how writers get started…did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? I went through some real spiritual battles that shaped who I am. Most of them are difficult for me to talk about, but I learned how to overcome guilt, shame, heartbreak, and even betrayal through those experiences. That is the key to everything I write. The stories I create are just mediums of expression for those truths. From that root, an idea will sprout, and it grows and blossoms through a combination of brainstorming and prayer. The initial idea usually springs up when I’m doing nothing related to writing, like when I’m sitting in a church service.
Do you talk out plot lines with others, and if so, who? I really don’t. I talk to myself, and I like to think I’m a fairly reasonable guy. It goes around in my head for a long time, and then I start fleshing it out in a Word document or notes on my phone.
Where can readers find you? I send out a weekly devotion to email subscribers, along with excerpts from my books, a free book, and other exclusive content. People can subscribe through my website or by following this link: Subscribe.
Find Chad’s latest release online:
Chad is giving away an ebook version of his latest release Fate of the Watchman. Here’s how you can enter to win: