I hope you enjoy this interview with fellow OakTara author Wm. Shane Dean, Author of My Enemy’s Keeper.
Introduce yourself to our readers, Shane.
I was raised in the small southern Idaho town of Hagerman. I grew up on a fish hatchery about five miles from town. In retrospect I think it was the coolest place in the world to live as a kid. There was fishing and duck hunting right out my back door. Plus the hatchery was located not far from an old Indian camp where we could dig for arrowheads, pottery, and stuff. That is until the government made digging there illegal.
Upon reaching the end of my enlistment I went back to the Magic valley and worked at a Tupperware plant until 1985 when I went full time in the Idaho Air National Guard. Upon retirement in 1998 I took up commercial transportation until 2007 when I became a Correctional Officer. That is my current occupation.
Roseanna, my lovely bride of per near 19 years, and I are currently living in Boise, Idaho with Malachi, the last of seven children at home. We are a blended family, so no, we didn’t have them all under our roof at the same time.
Hobbies are: Hunting, eating Idaho Spud candy bars, fishing, eating Idaho Spud candy bars, and reading. Oh, and did I mention anything about Idaho Spud candy bars?
I have never heard of Idaho Spud candy bars! So I looked them up. Here is the link to their website in case anyone is interested.
Why do you write the types of books that you do?
When I was a kid I was pretty much raised reading Zane Grey and Louis L’Mour. While stationed in England in the mid-seventies I was turned onto the fiction of C.S. Lewis and really liked it. But I didn’t really get into Christian fiction until I picked up a Gilbert Morris novel. It was pretty simply written, but boy howdy did it speak to my heart. After that I couldn’t get enough of Bodie Thoene, Michael Phillips, Frank Peretti, Roger Elwood and early Stephen Lawhead. The reason I loved these guys so much was that I feel they were greatly inspired by the Holy Spirit. I was constantly driven to my knees and into the Word throughout the reading of any one of these writer’s works. I didn’t just have Kleenex moments during the sad parts, but there would also be tears of praise, and conviction, and joy. In a nutshell, they fed my spirit.
All of that to set up why I write the type of books I do. And I don’t intend to offend anyone but there was a time that I bought something like four or five books in a row from our church bookstore and most of them barely mentioned anything spiritually and I think two of them didn’t even mention the name of Jesus. Now if God has led you to write stories about the fight between good and evil or about moral issues that’s fine, but I don’t think it has much to do with CHRISTian fiction if Jesus isn’t the foundation of the story. But I digress. I apologize.
I write the type of books that I do because I would like to capture that which drew me to old school Christian fiction in the first place. That if maybe even just one person is driven to their knees and the Word, and maybe even encounter the “Father Heart of Jesus” by what they read in MY ENEMY’S KEEPER, I will call that “Mission Accomplished”.
What was your greatest obstacle in writing and how did you overcome it?
There were and are two obstacles for me in writing. The first is that I’m the “Great Intenter”. I intend to do lots, but only get around to doing little. The second is that I made it all the way through high school, but I did very little during the journey. I graduated alright but when I was handed that rolled up piece of paper it was a GED certificate not a diploma. So I know practically nothing about proper writing skills.
Regarding the first, it was around two years from the moment I thought “This would be a great ending to a book” to sitting down before a computer and beginning to type. Even as much as I enjoy writing, it’s always an adventure getting started. It all boils down to the will. I have to will myself to actually sit down and turn on the computer. Once I get started the creative juices begin their flowing and it’s all cool. Plus since I actually got published there have been some external influences that help.
Regarding the second, all the credit goes to my lovely bride. She, unlike me, actually paid attention in school and has assisted me greatly in properly crafting my sentences, spelling, and structure. After I completed the manuscript she walked me through the whole thing and helped me fix it. Her most oft ask question throughout fixing MY ENEMY’S KEEPER was… “Have you EVER heard of quotation marks?”
What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most?
The one about the marriage supper of the Lamb. There’s a reason I attend Calorie Chapel. Hee,hee,hee. No, seriously. There are a few, but when push comes to shove I’d have to say Psalms 51.
It’s the Psalm David wrote after the prophet Nathan busted him for his adultery with Bathsheba and his subsequent murder of her husband Uriah. If God can forgive David for such great sin, then Hallelujah there’s hope for me! I am constantly having to pray verse 10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”. And I need to be reminded on more than one occasion of verse 17. The reader can look it up…. I’m not going to do all the work for them…
Shane, I included a link to Psalm 51 to make it easy on our reader. 🙂
Is there a book you’ve read that has been truly spectacular?
I can’t really name a single stand-by-itself book that has been as spectacular to me as the story of the rebirth of the state of Israel as told collectively in the books of The Zion Chronicles series by Bodie Thoene. So Sherri, if I may fudge a little, I choose that series. Even now I am chilling and goose bumping as I recall the story, the heart and courage of a people that survived the Holocaust. A relentless war waged against them in Europe the previous decade only to face the same attitudes as they forged ahead birthing their tiny nation on the foundation of the battle cry “Never Again!” So as a result I am now and forever a Zionist! Hopefully that comes across as spectacular.
What is the funniest/quirkiest thing you’ve ever done?
Back about the time I was a sophisticated, intelligent youth of about 15…. Ominous already isn’t it?
Several of us more adventurous lads decided late one snowy night that we ought to go out and call coyotes. We climbed into my grandfather’s old Chevy II with our .22s and a varmint call in hand. We arrived at our destination and trudged through the snow about a quarter of a mile to a little bowel area we favored as a good hiding place. We hunkered down and lured in our unsuspecting prey. The call we used imitated the squeal of a wounded rabbit. As usually happened the coyotes started yipping and howling all around us. And as usual after about a half hour they quit, most likely because we managed to spook them off.
So, as I raise up to stretch and leave, I come nose to nose with a coyote that apparently missed the message that the rabbit squeals were not a rabbit. We stood frozen nose to nose for a moment before we each screeched and tore out of there in opposite directions. Ten minutes later as I stood gasping by the car, the rest of the hunting party arrived. As one of them handed me my rifle that I discarded during my flight, and through the uproarious laughter of my pals, I could have swore I detected the slightest sound of coyote laughter in the distance…
That is by far the strangest story I’ve heard! Please tell us about the featured book.
The book is titled My Enemy’s Keeper. It is the story of Lt. Colonel Matthew Wilson, an Air Force officer who lost his brother in a terrorist attack on Seattle. It is also the story of Eli Maalak, a terrorist who provided the bomb that destroyed Seattle. Matt is a Christian who has let his faith become stale and pretty much just is going through the religious motions. Both mens’ lives intersect on one fateful day, and in that one fateful moment their futures are changed forever.
The foundation threading throughout the story is that God’s grace is sufficient. Which is taken from II Corinthians 12:9 and 10. My editor at OakTara, Ramona Tucker, stated that anybody who reads the end of the book will look upon Christ’s sacrifice in a totally new way. Well, that’s not exactly how she worded it, but I’d give away the ending if I did an exact quote.
Here is the book promo blurb:
A year ago, Seattle’s Space Needle became Ground Zero.
Now the same terrorists have something even bigger in mind.
Treachery & loyalty.
Betrayal & forgiveness.
Heart-pounding adventure & startling love.
My Enemy’s Keeper delivers.
A HOT & TIMELY SUSPENSE THRILLER
Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Wilson will never forget the horrific day a terrorist group blew most of Seattle—and Matt’s vacationing brother and his family—off the face of the earth with a dirty bomb. As the veteran OSI officer assigned to the Special Ops team, Matt had launched a massive manhunt, capturing the terrorist leader responsible. Two weeks later, he’d retired and moved his family to the “safe” home ranch near Pendleton, Oregon, wanting only to forget the haunting visions of Ground Zero.
A year later, the same group of terrorists strikes again—this time commandeering an airplane over London as Matthew, his wife, Vanessa, and little girl, Missy, return from a missions trip to India. But this time they only want one “Infidel”…Colonel Wilson.
Thanks so much for sharing bits and pieces of your life and your book with our readers. Where can readers find you on the Internet?