I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to chat with best-selling author, Eric Wilson. I asked Eric if he would be a guest on my blog during my Adoption Awareness month, because he wrote the novelization to the great movie, October Baby. I highly recommend both the book and the movie!
Great to have you here on the blog today, Eric! Would introduce yourself and tell my readers a bit about your writing journey?
Thanks for having me join your online party. Ha! My name’s so normal that I used to tell people my full name was GenEric, but I don’t believe my stories are anything so mundane. I’ve written fifteen published works, one of which hit the NY Times bestseller list. Hey, one out of 15 ain’t bad. I’ve been married 22 years, with two grown daughters, and I’ve traveled in over 40 countries. There you go, by the numbers. (Which, coincidentally, is the name of my current series . . . By the Numbers: 1 Step Away, 2 Seconds Late, 3 Fatal Blows, and 4 Last Wishes.)
You span genres in your writing, from suspense to supernatural, and I saw something about vampires on your website, (although I don’t think they were Amish), and then you have your film novelizations, Facing The Giants, Flywheel, Fireproof and October Baby, which are a different kettle of fish altogether. How do you keep all those plates spinning, and if you had to choose, what would be your favorite genre?
I’ve definitely broken every rule about “branding” myself in a certain genre. I’ve also paid for that with an uneven sales record. Regardless, I love writing any genre that allows me to create believable characters who deal with the daily dilemmas of knowing Jesus and living out biblical truths. Aside from the four novelizations, all of my other eleven stories are tied together in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Whether exploring the supernatural aspect, or simply keeping to the norms of modern life, I see all of my stories and characters as existing in the same world. (In fact, I even snuck a reference to my first book, Dark to Mortal Eyes, into October Baby. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone.)
I know that October Baby was a movie before it was a book, how hard was that for you to take on? Did you work from the script or did you try to ‘re-write’ the book visually – how did that whole process work?
I have a lot of fun writing novelizations, taking someone else’s script and vision, joining hands with it and making it my own. It’s like adopting a story instead of giving birth to one of my own. Either way, I love my “babies” and embrace them all fully as my own. I always try to stay very true to the original DNA of the screenplay, but also give it new histories and backstories, as well as additional subplots and twists. That’s part of the fun, and October Baby made me laugh and cry as I worked on it.
As you know, November is National Adoption Month. October Baby really spoke to me as an adoptee, and someone who has searched and found birth family. Do you have any connections to adoption in any way?
My wife was adopted. If not for her adoptive family, I might never have met her and ended up with such a fantastic wife. I have so much respect for those who adopt a child, not only for the practical side, all the hard work, but also for the spiritual and emotional investments and risks. There are so many children in need of loving parents, and adoption is a beautiful thing.
What has been the most exciting and/or challenging part of your career thus far?
Most exciting? Every time I see the cover of my new book and see it in the store, that makes it come alive to me. And then hearing from readers who were challenged or moved in some way, that’s awesome. The most challenging? Trying to make a living. I had health insurance and savings and a better yearly income in corporate America. Writing for a living provides no guarantees, and after each contract, you’re out of work and looking for a job again, so to speak. Thankfully, I have a wife who has been so supportive in that process.
What are your dreams for the future?
I would love to live and work in Israel someday, at a youth hostel. I’d love to work at orphanages in Haiti and Romania. My wife and I want to be available to go anywhere, do anything, that God calls us to.
And now it’s time for you to ask us a question! —
Wow. You trust me to jump up on a soapbox? Well, oookay.
Do you see the Christian fiction market ever switching from the “safe alternative” way of thinking to a “influence culture and change the world” way of thinking? This is a serious question I have about this market, and really about the realm of Christian arts as a whole.