Welcome to 5 Questions With.....
Today's Guest is Tom Morrisey. Tom is a mountaineer, aviator, shipwreck diver, and explorer, who holds a Full Cave certification from the National Speleological Society - Cave Diving Section. He has launched, edited or contributed to numerous national publications and is an award-winning adventure-travel writer. A popular speaker, he is also active in both evangelism and the arts. Morrisey earned an MFA in creative writing from Bowling Green State University, and his fiction has been featured in numerous anthologies and magazines. His first novel, Yucatan Deep (Zondervan, 2002) was a finalist for the Christy award, and he is the author of five other novels: Turn Four (Zondervan 2004), Deep Blue (Zondervan 2004), Dark Fathom (Zondervan, 2005), In High Places (Bethany House Publishers, 2007) and Wind River (Bethany House Publishers, 2008); and two nonfiction books: 20 American Peaks & Crags (Contemporary Books, 1978) and Wild by Nature (Baker Books, 2001). He and his family live in Orlando, Florida.
And now without further delay, on to the questions:
Question 1: What one word would describe your current relationship with God?
Developing. I identify with Peter, whose relationship with Christ turns and deepens all the way through the New Testament.
Question 2: All of your books are wrapped around the outdoors: fishing, deep-sea diving, rock climbing. Do you feel closer to God in the outdoors?
Closer to God? No. But I do feel farther away from the noise of humanity, which can oftentimes soften the focus of God's handiwork. There is a saying by the architect, Frank Lloyd Wright: "The house should not be on the hill; it should be of the hill." I take this as his admission that the Creator is the superior designer.
Question 3: What is one thing you want people to take away from your books in regards to our relationship with the Lord?
Each of my novels is written to answer a spiritual or theological question. For instance, YUCATAN DEEP addressed the question, "How can it be heaven when I know that the person I felt closest to here on earth will not be there?" And IN HIGH PLACES answered a very short question, "What is the nature of hope?" These questions are not stated anywhere in the books, but my reader mail tells me that the answers are implicit in the stories. And I suppose there is a sub-theme that is there through all of them, that we all feel like we're falling short spiritually; Romans 3:23 seems to be the most frequently forgotten verse in the Bible.
Question 4: Your books are very realistic and characters struggle with real-world, contemporary issues. How personal (autobiographical) are your books?
I dive and fish and have driven Cup cars on speedways, and generally have done most of the "umbrella" activities that you see in my books. But they are not as autobiographical as most people believe. For instance, there is a deaf heroine in YUCATAN DEEP and most people assume that I have a deaf person in my family and I do not; that character is the result of interviews I did with the lady who led the signing ministry at my church. And in PIRATE HUNTER, I have bluegrass music throughout the book, but I don't play bluegrass. But I'm fortunate to know Ron Block, the guitarist and banjo player in Alison Krauss and Union Station, as well as a solo Christian artist, and Ron helped me with the musical elements in this new book. The bottom line is that I am writing fiction, not biography.
Question 5: Your latest book, Wind River, is on shelves now. What's next?
Bethany House releases PIRATE HUNTER in July. It is a "paired" novel, in which two stories -- one of an 18th-century slave turned pirate and one of a 21st-century marine archeologist -- parallel and echo one another. It's a novel about the importance of forgiveness in Christian lives.
Thank you Tom!
There you have it. I would encourage you to read any (and all) of Tom Morrisey's previous books and to order an advance copy of Pirate Hunters from your local Christian bookstore today. You can also check out all the exciting resources on Tom's website.
To see past 5 Question guests, check out the rotating interview links on the sidebar.