Friday, November 13, 2009
Interview with Terry's Client Randall Mooney
Today I'm interviewing client Randall Mooney. Randall, your new book Robbing God is out from Crossover Press. Tell me a little about it:
Terry, Robbing God is the culmination of a lifelong pet peeve turned passion, to help people overcome the guilt-driven coercion and manipulative methods some ministries and organizations use to raise money. The book parabolically follows a typical family from the time they get their paycheck on Friday afternoon to the time the offering plate passes in front of them on Sunday morning. It also explores the effect a down economy has on the average family and their ability to continue to be charitable givers. The book deals with the issue of giving in two divisions: "the parable of the family" is a visit of their weekend in 5 chapters, and "the conflict" uses 5 chapters to take an honest look at the historical and cultural trends and reasons that contributed to mindsets that have managed to take the joy out of giving.
What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?
I deliberately kept the book short, 106 pages. It's a quick read that leads to an "aha" moment in which the reader can take a deep breath, shake off any guilt and condemnation about giving, and rediscover the true joy and heart of being charitable. Our own families are a great place to start. I also hope the reader acquires a new freedom about giving. My own favorite line in the book is, "God gave his son, Jesus gave his life, the least we can do is give cheerfully." I have told people for years during fund raising events for different things, "If you can't give cheerfully, don't bother to give at all!"
You also have Prophets and Poets out from Crossover, tell us what it's
Prophets and Poets is a collection of short stories, articles, testimonies, blogs and poems that I have written throughout the years of my life. As I worked on transitioning from my music and song writing years to developing my writing career I wrote in every genre from fiction and non-fiction, to poetry and social commentary. Basically, if it was in my heart and on my mind I wrote about it. Prophets and Poets contain the ones that made the cut. Christian futuristic fiction, allegory, poetry, sarcasm, opinion, etc., all intended to encourage and inspire. I have had tremendous feedback from folks about its encouraging ability.
You are not only the author on these two titles but the publisher. Tell us about Crossover, what is your vision?
During the '70's and 80's I utilized contemporary music as an evangelistic tool to share the gospel with the world. Through my company Crossover Publications, LLC., it is my goal to "reach the world in print." God told Jeremiah in chapter 36 of the Bible to write down every word he had ever told him. Because Jeremiah obeyed God we are still able to read what God said to Jeremiah and the world in which he lived to this day. I believe God is still speaking and revealing himself to people in many ways. My vision is to help people publish what God has said and done in their lives so the rest of the world can be touched and encouraged by the works and words of God. I want to publish living words and stories that edify, encourage and inspire people to experience God in a real and relevant way.
Tell us about some of the other authors you are publishing at Crossover:
I will be releasing a new book entitled The Fragrance of Paradise on September 25th by Stephen Hoy. Stephen is a musician, teacher, gardener, and landscape designer. He was raised in Pennsylvania and served as a trombonist in the United States Air Force premier jazz band called The Airmen of Note.
His story is a powerful testimony of how God raised him up after twice falling into a coma and how he has rediscovered a new lease on life in the form of a liver transplant. He shares how he reached a point of such utter weakness that he heard the Spirit of God whisper, "Rest in the fragrance of my presence." He lay in bed with only enough strength to breathe so he obeyed and began to inhale the fragrance of paradise as he waited on God to heal and raise him up.
Also releasing this year is a new book by sixties rock star Jerry Masters.
Jerry played for great artists like Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis. He formed and managed the band Ronny and the Daytonas, touring and supporting the hit song, Little GTO. He was also a founding member of The Hombres and they had a hit song called Let It All Hang Out. After he accepted Christ he toured extensively with Christian artist Will Farland (Will played for Bonnie Raitt) and finished his career as a recording engineer for Malaco Records producing blues and gospel music. His 350 page book entitled Let it all Hang Out chronicles the 50 year music career of a man that reached for the sky and found Jesus in the journey.
What new projects are you working on?
I am currently putting the finishing touches on two books. The Illegitimate Journey is my own memoir of tragedy and discovery. I plan to release it in 2010. I am also finishing up a book called Letters to the Homeless Church.
It deals with the displacement many Christians feel in our American church culture and how they cope and walk in the world apart from the traditional norms of attending Sunday morning church services.
I have just begun work on a book entitled What Every Father Should Know about a Grieving Mother. Eleven years ago my wife and I lost a 22 year old son to suicide. We both kept separate journals of that tragic event. We never read each other's journals until recently. I came across one of her journals a few months ago while spring cleaning and read a few pages. I asked her if I could take our journals and combine them into a story that will help couples survive such family tragedies. The first day we got the news about our son I looked at my wife and said, "Seventy percent of couples that go through this kind of thing end in divorce, are we going to be the seventy or the thirty?" We made a covenant with each other to be among the thirty percent that survive. Our marriage is stronger than ever despite our loss. I hope to have this project finished and released on August 20, 2010, the twelfth anniversary of his passing.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing? Your publishing house and the programs and speaking that you do?
I have a strong web presence. Business websites include http://www.deranz.com/, http://www.crossoverpublications.com/, http://www.creatergy.ning.com/, http://www.gracestories.ning.com/. Personal sites include www.shoutlife.com/ranz, and www.facebook.com/randall.mooney. My books are available at http://www.amazon.com/, http://www.barnesandnoble.com/, and http://www.crossoverpublications.com/,
What is the best writing advice you ever got? The worst?
Mississippi lays claim to some of the world's great writers such as Willie Morris, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and our adopted son, John Grisham. I once listened to John Grisham give an interview in Jackson, Mississippi. Someone asked him how he managed to write so many novels so quickly while practicing law, coaching his son's ball team and keeping up with his writing career. He said, "I write one page per day.at the end of the year I have a novel." That answer freed me up tremendously. I used to write like I had to finish the whole project before I stopped to do anything else. Trust me-that will only leave you with a lot of unfinished projects. I learned that day that writing was like many other projects in life.you can eventually accomplish great things by finishing a little of it every day.
I can't recall the worst advice. The most unpleasant criticism still makes me try harder rather than give up.
Anything else you'd like to take this opportunity to say?
As a newly published author and as a new publisher, I find writers to be the friendliest and most accepting folks I have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. I think it is because we have learned the real difference between being rejected and being misunderstood. Therefore, we have a lot of heart for others willing to share our journey.
Thank you, Randall, and thank you blog readers for dropping by.