Questions and Answers

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 6/14/2007

How long did it take to write Church Website Design? Searching For Mom?
Church Website Design took about a month to go from concept to completed manuscript. It is more like two weeks if we ignore the time I spent doing other things. I would not consider this typical, but it is a subject for which I had to do very little research and development. In the book, I am primarily relating what I have learned from experience. Searching For Mom took about three months. This was not all writing time and there were days that I did no work on the novel.
Who is the primary audience for Church Website Design?
The primary audience is the church webmaster or those who are considering becoming a church webmaster. The book is written in such a way that any person with average intelligence can develop a website, even if they have no experience doing so, but there are many useful things in the book that webmasters with existing church websites will find useful. Secondarily, church leaders who are interested in their church having a website, but who have no desire to maintain the site should read the book because it has helpful information concerning how to select people to handle the website.
Where is the town you mentioned in Searching For Mom?
The town does not exist, but if it did, it would be located somewhere near Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The downtown area in the novel is loosely based on downtown Cape Girardeau as I imagine it might be if it was fixed up and was a tourist trap. I used some of the towns and cities I know to inspire the one mentioned, but for the details, I took quite a bit of liberty.
Why didn’t you base Searching For Mom in Fort Worth?
In spite of the fact that it is called Cow Town and that it is a long way from overtaking its big sister, Dallas, Fort Worth is a major city in its own right. Creating the city, that I did, allowed me to have some people who consider themselves more important than they really are that have friends who all know a lowly restaurant owner. We have people who think more highly of themselves than they should in the Metroplex as well, but there is such a large number of them that they are a much more exclusive club. Basing a novel in Texas automatically gives it a different flavor than what you get from one based in Missouri. In Texas you end up with big skys, mesquite trees and warm weather. With it based in Missouri, the trees are much taller and no one questions it if the author states that it is very cold outside.
What was the inspiration for Searching For Mom?
There is a made for television movie that appeared on PAX called Mary Christmas that served as the primary inspiration for the novel. The movie is about a girl who needs a mother and a mother is looking for her daughter. They both write to Santa and Santa fixes everything. It makes for a cute Christmas story, but it made me start thinking about what it would be like if a girl really was looking for a mother, if her mother really was dead and there was no Santa to solve all of the problems of bringing mother and daughter together.
You are a man, so why did you write about a girl searching for a mother? What do you really know about the subject?
I gave this some thought before I started the book. The conclusion that I came to was that it is not possible for any human author to know everything about the subject matter. While the story is told primarily from the viewpoint of the women, there is also a man who is a major character in the story. The man is faced with the problem of how to raise his daughter alone. His daughter is greatly influenced by a man’s point of view and is struggling to please her father while she is growing into a young woman. As a man, I may not understand all of the dynamics of that situation but it is unlikely that a woman would understand it either. Therefore, I offer my best guess and leave it to the reader to decide if my guess is believable.
Do you have any other books in the works?
Yes. I am currently writing a book that is about two of the minor characters in Searching For Mom. Possible titles for the book include, Blood Brothers, A Grain of Sand and Delusions of Moses. The book will be much more Christian oriented than the first book. In addition to that, I have ideas for three more novels that may or may not fit in the series. I also have a couple of ideas for other non-fiction titles. The hardest thing for me at this point is to decide which one to write next.
What is your favorite theme?
Without a doubt, my favorite theme is unconditional love. We live in a world where over thirty percent of the people who get married give up and go in search of greener pastures. About seventy-five percent of second marriages end in divorce. Too many people equate love with a feeling of affection and when it does not feel good any more or when they start arguing they give up and go their separate ways. Fortunately, God is not that way. He loved us when we were unlovable, he continues to love us when we harm him and he expects us to show that same love to others. I am not one to cry much, but stories about people who are willing to sacrifice all for the sake of God, a cause or another person without consideration of what they will gain pull at my heartstrings.
Who is your favorite author?
It is hard for me to pick a favorite. In fiction, I like Mark Twain, Edger Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Agatha Christie, Cynthia Voigt and Cornelia Funke. I have read most of Robin McKinley’s work and have liked some of it, but after reading Sunshine I told her that if she was going to be writing any more books like that one that I wouldn’t be buying them. She responded to the affect that she was proud of the work and might write a similar book again. She has one book, The Outlaws of Sherwood, that I have never finished. One of my favorite short stories is The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, but I did not like the rest of her work nearly as much. I also like The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. My bookshelves are lined with books by many other authors. I have several by Tom Clancy. I went to one of Dan Quayle’s book signings. I even have a book by Grace Livingston Hill and a book by Lori Wick in my personal library.