Interview with Chuck Black, author of the Kingdom Series

Kingdom Pen is privileged to feature an interview with Chuck Black, author of the Kingdom series, originally hosted by Miss Leah Good on her personal writing website, Leah Elizabeth Good. Miss Good was very generous to share the interview with us and we’d like to extend our thanks to her and also recommend her website as a resource for novel reviews and writing content of all sorts. Swing by and check it out!

Chuck Black is the Christian author of both the Kingdom series and The Knights of Arrethrrae series. The following biography is taken from his website, Perfect Praise Publishing, where his novels are available for sale:

 

Chuck Black first wrote Kingdom’s Edge to inspire his  children to read the Bible with renewed zeal. This captivating expanded parable led him to write the Old Testament allegories, Kingdom’s Dawn and Kingdom’s Hope. Chuck added three more titles to the series, Kingdom’s Call, Kingdom’s Quest, and Kingdom’s Reign which were released in May of 2007. Chuck’s current works include The Knights of Arrethtrae series.

    Chuck is a former F-16 fighter pilot and currently works as an engineer for a firm designing plastic consumer products. He has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and served eight years in the United States Air Force. Chuck and his wife have six children.

    It is Chuck’s desire to serve the Lord through his work and to inspire people of all ages to study the scriptures in order to discover the hope and love of a truly majestic King and His Son.

 

And now, Leah Good’s Kingdom Pen featured interview with Mr. Black.

LG: How long has it been since you started writing the Kingdom books?

CB: I began writing the Kingdom Series books in 1999. I started with Kingdom’s Edge, the third book in the series. My inspiration for writing that first book was to find a way to help my children get excited about their faith, and to help them understand the spiritual warfare that the Bible talks about so often. The story of Jesus was the best place to start. All of the other books, including the Knights of Arrethtrae, flow out of Kingdom’s Edge.

LG: Do you have a favorite book out of the Kingdom Series or Knights of Arrethrae Series?

CB: That is a difficult question to answer. I like different books for different reasons. Kingdom’s Edge because it was my first and purest work. It felt as though God specifically gave it to me to write. Beyond that I don’t think I could pick one of the Kingdom Series books over the other. For the Knights of Arrethtrae series, it would probably be a toss-up between Sir Dalton and Sir Quinlan with the other four coming in a close second J.

LG: Tell us about your journey from self-publishing to traditional publishing.

CB: I self-published four of the Kingdom Series books because I did not want to take the long and usually unfruitful path to traditional publishing. We stumbled into a market in the homeschool community with the books that gave us an indication that there was a real need for a series of wholesome, exciting, Christian novels. After five years of watching the interest and the sales double each year, I came to a place where I was exhausted and could not keep up with the growing demand for the books. That is when I asked God to really bless the books, if it were within His will to do so. A few months later, Multnomah Publishing signed on for the books and we expanded the series from four to six books. Once those proved to be successful, I signed another contract with Multnomah for the Knights of Arrethtrae series. It has been an unusual journey all testifying to God’s hand working it all out.

LG: What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

CB: I would encourage aspiring authors to read a lot and to learn the techniques of their favorite authors. For example, how does the author develop the characters, is the story plot driven or character driven, how does he handle dialog, and how much detail is necessary to make a scene feel real. I would also recommend getting the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. It is an excellent resource for beginning writers. Finally, I recommend practicing your writing and having people give you honest and objective feedback. Before I decided to print 500 copies of Kingdom’s Edge, I printed five copies under a pen name. I then asked people for feedback. Be prepared for both the positive and the negative feedback and then adjust. Constructive criticism is the best tool for learning, if the receiver is willing to accept it.

LG: Do you have any new books in the works?

CB: Actually, I just signed a contract for a trilogy with Waterbrook Multnomah. I can’t give too much a way but it will be a modern-day spiritual warfare series. I’m excited about it, and I pray that God will use it to inspire people to serve Him with all heart, soul, mind, and strength!

LG: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?

CB: The central theme of all of my books is this…God is looking for hearts that are completely devoted to Him so that he might strongly support them (2 Chronicles 16:9). Find your passion for God through the talents and abilities He has given you and then say “yes” to the call and the adventure He has waiting for you. It will be the thrill of a lifetime…I guarantee it!

My website is www.KingdomSeries.com and if anyone would like to write to me, I can be reached at kingdom@perfect-praise.com. Thank you for the chance to share my heart with your readers.

Of Parallels And Perpendiculars: Part 2

Part 2 of Eyrnn Besse’s award winning short story!

Click here for part 1!

 

 

 

I pull my backpack off my shoulders and lean it against my legs. With the simple, efficient organization system I use, it is easy enough to pull out a single sheet of graph paper. This graph paper I drew myself, some years ago. I started from a single line then I added parallel lines on either side, five to an inch. No one I know is capable of drawing these lines to such perfection; not even the machines can create perfectly straight lines. The lines are all perpendicular to more lines; lines which cut across the page in neat, organized lines.

Perpendicular [per-puhn-dik-yuh-ler] adjective: meeting a given line or surface at a right angle.

Life would be so much simpler if people functioned under the rules of parallel and perpendicular. I sit down in the middle of the foyer, equidistant from the four walls. I slip the sheet of graph paper into its proper place. Eight blank sheets of paper are tucked between my math notebook and my science folder. I pull out a sheet of paper and make a mental note to refill the supply when I arrive at my father’s house. Each piece of paper has to be replaced; eight is infinite and symmetrical. I pull out a perfectly sharpened pencil and prepare to draw the lines.

It is a simple enough process: smooth out the paper, draw a line, draw a line 1/5 inches away from the base line, continue, fill up the paper with perfectly drawn lines, rotate paper, draw a line perpendicular to all previously drawn lines, draw a line 1/5 of aninch away from the perpendicular base line, and repeat. It does not matter if the edges of the paper line up with my drawing. Everyone else is only human, they make mistakes. Machines are only programmed by the humans that make mistakes. Nothing is ever perfect besides my lines.

[Read more…]

Of Parallels And Perpendiculars: Part 1

First place finisher in Kingdom Pen’s inaugural short story contest: “I was captivated by this story from the first sentenceby its strong voice and quirky narrator. The scenario of misunderstood social outcast surviving in a harsh school environment is one that is often used and easily abused, but this writer’s story easily stands out above the status quo. I really enjoyed reading Of Parallels and Perpendiculars, and hope to read more by this author in the future.” ~ Braden Russell, contest judge

 Originally published in the September/October issue of 2012. 

 By: Erynn Besse

It is impossible for ordinary people to understand the concept of parallels. The teacher, a sub today, draws two lines on the blackboard and tries to explain parallels. But he does not get it. These two lines may not have intersected in the space of the blackboard, but extended to some unknown distance, these lines would continuously inch closer together until they intersected. In the case of these two lines, I estimate their point of intersection to be about ten feet above the blackboard. That is contradictory to the definition of parallel.

Parallel [par-uh-lel, -luh] adjective, noun, verb, –leled, -lelling: extending in the same direction, equidistant from all points, and never converging or diverging.

The lines on his blackboard, while he says they are parallel, are simply not extending in the same direction, equidistant from all points! They tell me that normal people do not think like this. For the twenty-two other students in this class, the two not parallel lines on the blackboard pose no problem. I place no trust in the caliber of these students. They, the doctors, therapists, counselors, and Miss Derringer, tell me that my “unique viewpoint originates from a highly developed mental disorder.” They call it obsessivecompulsive-disorder. I call it an opinion. I also call it hell. Both names fit my condition.

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The Political Illusion

Worried about the election? Don’t be.

 

Not every problem is a political one. The solution to society’s problems lies in advancing the kingdom of God.  Check out this video and hear John Stonestreet’s great thoughts on the issue.

( Click on the picture to view the video)

Mental Tourists

How inviting is your story world? Make your book a place readers want to sit down in and stay awhile.

 

Originally published in Sep/Oct issue. Vol.2Issue.5

By Hannah Mills

 

Pendleton Indiana.  It has a small downtown reminiscent of the idealistic Small Town U.S.A., antique shops, old houses, a handful of churches, a few restaurants, and Gathering Grounds Coffee. While I don’t live here, I frequent this town a lot. The coffee shop is one of my favorite hangouts. My little corner of the world.

You wouldn’t think that this town is much to talk about. But on one of the coffee shop’s old brick walls is hanging a map of the world, and scattered over the map are a bunch of straight pins. The pins mark where out-of-towners are visiting from. There are two pins marking Australia, one in South Africa, several throughout Europe, and one or more in almost every state in America, to name a few.

So many people pass through this town, people from everywhere around the world. It strikes me as strange, this little coffee bar in this little town being a stopping point for people all over the globe. Indiana isn’t a notable state, our main claim to fame being the Indianapolis 500. Yet people still come here, and not just to Indianapolis or our other cities, but our farmlands and small towns.

All these people, experiencing my little corner of the world.

In writing, the same thing happens. You have your mind, your story-world, and when you allow other people to read your writing, it’s like travelers visiting a foreign place. It doesn’t have to be the next Narnia to attract visitors, just like Pendleton doesn’t have to be a junior Chicago.

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