Interview with Jerry Jenkins, Christian Author

Jerry Jenkins | Proven Writing Tips from a New York Times Bestseller

Box Office Revolution: “What inspired you to first write Christian books?”

Jerry Jenkins: “I had done a magazine story on a dynamic young evangelist. Though he was only 25 and I was 23, I felt he was worthy of an as-told-to-autobiography. Sammy Tippit: God’s Love In Action became my first book. He and I are now both in our 70’s and that book is still in print (in its fourth iteration, called Unashamed: A Memoir of Dangerous Faith). And I have served on Sammy’s board for decades. He remains my spiritual hero.”

BOR: “What do you feel is your underlying philosophy of writing?”

JJ: “Being an evangelical Christian, my worldview is hope, and that should come through in everything I write.”

BOR: “What do you think is the hardest part of writing a good Christian book?”

JJ “Making what the uninitiated feel is religious nonpreachy and accessible. To me, religion is man’s attempt to reach God. Jesus is God’s attempt to reach man.”

BOR: “What do you think we need to see more of in Christian novels?”

JJ: “Realism, believable characters. Credible skeptical characters. Not everyone comes to faith and many raise demanding questions that must be faced.”

 BOR: “What do you think needs to be improved about Christian books as a whole?”

JJ: “The writing itself. It’s gotten better and better, but there’s always room for improvement.”

 BOR: “How do you feel about Christian novel writing as being a collaborative effort rather than a ‘lone ranger’ creation?”

JJ: “The writing itself will never be collaborative for me. If two people are collaborating on a book, only one should do the actual writing. The other can be a resource, an idea person, an editor, but not the writer.”

 BOR: “How have Christian books improved during the time you’ve been involved in writing?”

JJ: “More grit and realism. More believability.”

 BOR: “Is working with Christian publishing companies any better or worse than working with ‘secular’ publishing companies?”

JJ: “It varies. Some of the best, most encouraging editors I’ve worked with have been general market New York editors, but there are great ones in the Inspirational market as well.”

BOR: “What are your future plans for new novels?  Can you tease any specific upcoming projects?”

JJ: “I’m about to deliver Dead Sea Conspiracy to the publisher for a ’22 release. It’s a sequel to Dead Sea Rising, the story of an archaeologist. Then I’ll write The Chosen Book 2; Title to be determined. I’m novelizing each season of my son Dallas’s creation, The Chosen TV series. Book 2 will release in late ’21 or ’22.”

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us Mr. Jenkins, we appreciate your feedback and look forward to reading your upcoming releases!