Author Interview with Greg Shaffer
About the Book
Author: Greg Schaffer
Release Date: February 10, 2020
Katie lived a lonely childhood, her after school time filled with responsibilities to her father and special needs brother. Her chores prevented her from experiencing the carefree life her peers, including Joey, her neighbor and secret crush, lived. She began running to impress Joey, then discovered track as a possible way out of the small town of Nortonville, Tennessee. But as the promise of a college scholarship drew her closer to the escape she had dreamed about since childhood, she wondered why she didn’t feel better. What was missing?
Childhood is the novelette prequel to Fatherhood, a full-length novel about abortion from the father’s point of view.
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What is your writing Kryptonite?
The internet. I can write with the TV on with no problem, but I’m easily distracted by all the internet offers.
What about writing do you love?
The ability to provide messages of hope through writing.
Do you end up doing research for every book?
Yes. For example, in my previous novel Leaving Darkness, the MC is a long-haul truck driver. I had to learn some elements of the trucking industry.
What is your process for coming up with a title?
With minor differences, my working titles have become the actual titles. I put very little thought into the working titles, only asking myself “what is the story about?” For example, Leaving Darkness is about leaving the darkness of depression.
How do you develop your characters? Do you use character charts?
For Childhood and my WIP Fatherhood I’ve been leveraging Scrivener. I find it a great way to keep track of character traits, histories, and so on.
About the Author
Greg Schaffer has written several novels, beginning with Forgiveness (2014). Each conveys the message that hope is always available, even in the darkest of times. His other works of fiction include horse-humor and poetry anthologies. A northerner by birth and a southerner by choice, Greg resides with his wife and rescue dogs in Franklin, Tennessee.
More from Greg
My last novel Leaving Darkness was difficult to write. I felt called to showcase depression and how the trusting environment of Christian small groups can lead those lost in the darkness to the light of the life they are meant to live. The novel was a direct response to a God-calling to apply my skills as an author and my experience leading similar type groups to create a story that may serve to help some who feel hopelessly lost.
For the next novel, I waited for a similar calling. And waited. And waited. I tend to be impatient like most. I wanted to get back to the creative process.
I wound up waiting several months. God’s time, not mine.
Then it happened, through an article I read on the Internet about a man suing a clinic for aborting his child without his knowledge. The article delved into the father’s rights in the abortion decision.
Abortion from the father’s point of view. That was the calling.
Very early into the project, though, I realized I had unintentionally created a problem. If I told the story completely from the father’s point of view, the mother’s would be diminished, reduced to a two-dimensional interpretation as seen through the father’s eyes. I could solve that by including both points of view in the novel, but that wouldn’t work well for two reasons: first, there are plot elements that the mother knows that are best kept from the readers as part of establishing tension. Second, as noted before, the project calling is from the father’s point of view. I had to stay within that.
But how to deal with the problem?
That’s when Childhood was born (no pun intended). Childhood is a novelette from the mother’s point of view, following her growth as a person from fourth grade to her first year of college. Through Childhood, readers have the opportunity to understand the character as a protagonist who would then become the antagonist in the novel Fatherhood.