Today we have the pleasure of interviewing James L. Rubart, bestselling and Christy award-winning author of supernatural fiction. Here we go!
1) Everyone seems to have a “how I got published” story. What is yours?
Summer of 2002 my wife says God has told her go on a fast. Says she doesn’t know why or how long it’s going to last. After the first day I ask if God has told her anything. “Nope.” At the end of the second day I ask again. “Nothing.” I ask how long she’s going to go on. “Till God speaks.”
Halfway through day three, a light bulb goes off over my head, and I feel like God is saying, “I’ve given you the desire and ability to write, when are you going to step into your destiny?” I turn to Darci and say, “I know why you’re fasting. I’m supposed to be a novelist.” She stares at me and says, “Wait a minute. I’m hungry for three days, and you get the answer?” It was pretty funny.
That was my wakeup call and I finished my first novel three years later. In late 2005 I submitted to four contacts I had, and all rejected the book. Then in the spring of ’06 I went to the Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference and it opened up worlds for me.
By that September I signed with an agent and he shopped ROOMS to all the major publishing houses. All said no. They thought my writing was okay, but ROOMS was dancing a little too close to the speculative edge and no one knew what do to with it. (ROOMS is the story of a young Seattle software tycoon who inherits a home on the Oregon Coast that turns out to be a physical manifestation of his soul.)
But one of the editors who rejected it (David Webb who was the Executive Editor at B&H Fiction at the time) wrote an e-mail to my agent that said, “ … if this doesn’t sell in six months, bring it back to me.” A year later, I sat down with David at a conference and read his own e-mail back to him.
He smiled and said, “I’ve read 200 manuscripts since I read yours, and yours is the one I can’t get out of my mind. Let’s take another run at it.” We did, and David sold his pub board on the novel in June of ’08. Rooms came out in April of 2010, hit the bestseller list, won the RT Book Reviews Inspirational Novel of the Year Reviews Choice Award, and my career had begun. I ended up doing three novels with B&H Fiction. These days I’m writing for Thomas Nelson.
2) When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Seventh grade. I read The Chronicles of Narnia and realized someday I wanted to try to do for others what Lewis had done for me.
3) Tell me a little about your books.
They all happen in a modern, real-world setting, but with fantastical elements. My novels are spiritual, supernatural, and psychological, and always have a splash of romance in them. To be more specific …
- Rooms: What if you could walk into the rooms of your own soul?
- Book of Days: What if you could find God’s Book of Days (described in Psalm 139) on earth?
- The Chair: What if you were given a chair and told it was made by Christ?
- The Well Spring series (Soul’s Gate, Memory’s Door, and Spirit Bridge) What if you could send your spirit into other people’s souls to fight for their healing and freedom?
4) What was your favorite book as a teen?
Phantastes, by George McDonald. C.S. Lewis led me to McDonald and Phantastes blew me away. Lyrical, fantastical, infused with God … I didn’t know books like that existed.
5) What is the one author, living or dead, who you would like to co-write a book with someday, and why?
Ted Dekker. Ted and I have become friends and I love his passion and the way his mind works. The only hesitation would be not wanting to ruin a friendship. I’ve done a number of business ventures with friends over the years—some have turned out wonderful, but some haven’t.
6) Describe your feelings when you opened the box and saw the first published copies of your very first book?
Surreal. I sat on my front porch with my wife, holding Rooms in my hands not believing it was real. I’d been dreaming about it for so long, to hold that book in my hands made it extremely dusty all of a sudden.
7) What do you want readers to take away from your books?
Two things. I want them to be wildly entertained, and come away with more freedom in their lives than when they started reading. When I get e-mails from readers telling me those two things have happened, I feel like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
8) What can you tell us about any future releases you have planned?
Spirit Bridge, the last in the Well Spring series just released. After that comes a standalone novel that ask the question, What if the Great Cloud of Witnesses could do more than watch? After that comes a real treat, a novel my oldest son and I are writing called Backspace. In-between I’m working on a number of short stories I want to publish.
9) Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, and I feel like it should be a closer race, but it just isn’t.
10) Favorite season?
Summer. Summer should be nine months long, the other three should get one month each.
11) Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
I’ve tried! Sound tracks, instrumental, rock, but complete silence is the only way I can write. And I mean complete. If there’s noises going on outside, I’ll resort to putting in ear plugs.
12) Does anyone else in your family have musical/writing/artistic skills?
Fun question. My older son Taylor is a singer/songwriter, and plays guitar and ukulele, my younger song plays piano and the ukulele and my wife sings and plays piano. And I play guitar.
13) What is one thing you’ve read that you wish you had written, and why?
Arena by Karen Hanncock. Love that novel. Brilliant. Randy Ingermanson described it as, “The Matrix meets Pilgrims Progress …” and I think that’s a pretty apt description. I’ve read it three times which I never do with books.
14) Who would you most like to thank for their involvement in your writing career?
Without question, my wife Darci. She’s talked me off the ledge so many times she’s got a lawn chair set up out there. Counselor, editor, confidant, encourager, wise sage … it’s cliché to say it, but there’s no question I wouldn’t be where I am without her. Years ago she bought me a plaque that said, “Future Award Winning Author” and made me hang it in my writing room, long before I believed I’d ever be published. It was very fun to cross out “Future” and show that to her. So much of my success I owe to her.
15) How can we stay in touch with you?
The best way is to sign up for my newsletter which you can do on my website: http://jameslrubart.com/ And here are a few more ways to stay in touch:
- e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesLRubart
- Twitter: @jameslrubart
Thanks much for having me! Great fun.
Spirit Bridge back cover copy:
The Warriors Riding have battled in astounding supernatural realms, set captives free, and awakened thousands of hearts. But now their only chance of survival depends on calling for The Spirit Bridge.
Reece, Dana, Brandon, and Marcus have achieved staggering success in the spiritual realm . . . but each is reeling from vicious attacks. They need rest. A break from the war.
But the warlord Zennon is raging and will give them no quarter. The demon holds what he believes to be the trump card—a hidden strategy set in motion before Warriors Riding even began—that will detonate the team from the inside out. And he’s just set it loose.
The street magician Simon—finally free of Zennon’s alternate reality prison—is racing to remember his past before his ignorance obliterates his destiny. Then there’s Miyo—a brash young warrior with advanced knowledge of spiritual realities and supernatural armor even Reece doesn’t know about. These two will be pivotal in the final war.
If only the Warriors knew which side Simon and Miyo are truly on. If only they knew how to fight against Zennon’s final assault.
The Spirit Bridge is the epic conclusion to acclaimed author James L. Rubart’s Well Spring series, which will propel each of the Warriors Riding on a quest of true identity, ultimate freedom, and a final battle that will leave them changed forever.
James L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, SOUL’S GATE, MEMORY’S DOOR, and SPIRIT BRIDGE. During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at http://jameslrubart.com/