Below are some answers to the most common questions that I am asked about Street Preacher. Frankly THE most common question deals with the ending, so I have to leave that out for fear of spoilers. If you have a question, you want answered, either ask on Facebook or drop me a line at email@example.com
Where did you get the idea for the main character and this story?
I read a lot of stories by Flannery O’Conner. It is safe to say that those stories inspired the creation of this character. The hat, in particular, is an obvious homage. I created the character several years earlier and then decided to see what his story might be. There is actually a lot of backstory to John, and Walter for that matter. I once wrote an interview between a college student seeking to learn about homeless people and John. The college student eventually became the character of Jennifer.
John says he once lived in Cincinnati, but never says what town the story takes place in. Where is it?
I always imagined the story to be in my hometown of Springfield, MO. People familiar with the city will note the similarities but I mixed up a few details along the way. I merged two neighborhoods of Springfield, (downtown and “C-street”) to form a fictitious city.
Why doesn’t John have a last name?
I gave John a fairly generic first name (no offense to any readers named, “John.”) and no last name because homeless people are fairly vague to the rest of society. We form opinions about them and make assumptions about them without ever really knowing them. From the homeless people that I have met, I can say that they are as different as any other part of society.
Do you work with homeless people? Is that how you knew about them?
No, I do not. For that reason, people should not base an understanding of homeless people on details in Street Preacher. The lives of the men in the book are purely fictional. I have met many homeless people. The church I served in Hawaii frequently visited homeless camps, and I got to know them that way.
Of the two people that work at the homeless shelter, why is Jennifer so eager to help and Marty is somewhat aloof?
Jennifer is a young woman that is ready to take on every problem and make the world a better place. Marty is the director of a homeless shelter. Marty has seen more failures than he can count. He also constantly fights the battles of budgets and volunteers and is often on the losing end since he is advocating for something that most people do not care about. If Marty appears aloof or skeptical, it is because he has been doing this for a while. Jennifer has not yet had the chance to become jaded.
If you have noticed these differences between Marty and Jennifer, then you may notice that many of the characters represent a particular view of faith, thus all having something different to say about John.
What do you want people to get from reading this book?
I hope people enjoy a good story and maybe think about what it means to really believe in something.
I really like this book. What can I do to help you as an author?
Tell your friends about it and post reviews on Amazon and other places. There are millions of books out there and the only way people will find out about this one is if you tell people about it.
Are you going to write anymore books?
I have just finished the rough draft of a non-fiction book tentatively called, “Baggage Claim: my journey through ministry, depression, and finding peace.” Watch my Facebook page and website for any news or help the project along at www.gofundme.com/baggageclaim
I am also working on another novel. I do not want to give many details but it involves a cop and a serial killer and deals with the themes of vengeance and grace. Stay tuned!
Author, Parent, Husband, Christ-follower