Saturday, September 1, 2007

Interview with Donald James Parker




First, I’d like to thank Donald James Parker for agreeing to be interviewed today! Donald is giving away a copy of his book, so if you'd like to be entered in the drawing, please check the end of the interview for more details. You can visit Don's website for more information!

HC: What first gave you the idea of writing All The Voices of the Wind?

DJP: In September of 2006 I awoke one morning at two o'clock. Partially asleep, I had the feeling that I had experienced a dream or else heard a small still voice tell me to write a book about evolution, a topic I knew almost nothing about. In the morning when I awoke fully, the experience was still vivid in my memory banks. I took it to the Lord in prayer and got a confirmation. So my wheels started churning. If God really was talking to me, I needed to take action. So I started the research (about a month afterward). Within a short time I saw that evolution was certainly a hot topic, and also that there was no way I could write a non-fiction book about it. I think every story has to have a love subplot, so that is where I started. God just seemed to give me the book as I typed, so I never really had much of idea of how the book was going to end up. I didn’t even have a title for it until it was quite a ways along. I prayed about that and came up with All the Voices of the Wind, not understanding at the time the relevance of the wind with the question of evolution. ("Inherit the Wind").

HC: Ah, yes, the story of the Scopes trial.
I love the cover art! I thought it was right on target. I liked how it was love that drew the Hero, Jeremy Masterson, into questioning his belief system. I also liked the relationship between the characters, especially Jeremy, his Dad, and Maria. How much of this is based on personal experience?

DJP: I am jazzed you like the cover. I chose to do a custom photograph to capture the tug of war concept between father and girlfriend. It looks pretty unappealing to me next to all the slick covers I see coming out on most books these days. But I still believe what is between the covers is the most important element. There was basically no personal experience involved in the characters on the surface, but Jeremy is an extension of me, though I never had any of what he has growing up. Maria is my dream girl formulated in my teens and refined over the years.

HC: I can tell that a lot of research went into your book. How long did it take you from the first glimmer of an idea to the finished product?

DJP: Just like a baby – about nine months. I read about fifteen non-fiction books to acquire the knowledge I needed to present the scientific material the kids discuss and use for testimony.

HC: I see that this is book three in a series about the Masterson family. What are the titles of your other books?

DJP: I wrote a novel 27 years ago called The Bulldog Compact. It is about basketball, setting goals and working to achieve those goals, and moral choices. It was never published, but I scanned a copy into the computer, preserving my chances of publishing someday. After finishing Voices, I decided that my hero from BD could be Maria’s father and a series was born. That is book one and is almost ready to send to a publisher. Book two, More Than Dust in the Wind, will be about Maria’s youth and the introduction to evolution, but I have not even started that yet. Book 4, All the Stillness of the Wind, is done and awaiting my decision on where to publish it. Book 5, All the Fury of the Wind is about 70% complete. I will be entering that manuscript in Jerry Jenkin’s Operation First Novel contest -- if I can finish in the next couple of weeks.

HC: We'll be praying with you for that! When will your other books be available?

DJP: Two might be out before Christmas, but I might hold these and wait for a traditional publisher. I was really in a hurry to publish Voices because of the material and the culture war going on, so I self-published. I don’t feel that urgency with these books, so I’m waiting for God’s timing and direction. If there are any agents/publishers who feel God's tug to get involved with my writing, our operators are standing by to take your calls.

HC: The evolution versus intelligent design debate continues to rage in schools across the country. Why do you think the school boards are so adamantly against teaching both sides of the issue?

DJP: Truthfully, I don’t think it is really a schoolboard issue. Several schoolboards have been burned by judicial decisions in Ohio , Kansas , Georgia , Washington , and Pennsylvania . The courts have made it clear that evolution is protected from any challenge because religious overtones are involved even if no reference is made to God as the designer. I think at some point the Supreme Court is going to get involved. My book also highlights this issue and leaves the reader pondering what the future holds. Is evolution a factor in the great tribulation?

HC: Good point. It certainly could be. What do you say to the skeptics who insist that, since there’s no God, macro-evolution must be the source of all origins?

DJP: First of all prove to me that there is no God. They can’t do it. They'd say prove to me there is a God. I can't do it but I can point to the incredible world around us and say, this is evidence of my God. I think my book addresses this issue fairly well. If the God of the Bible does not exist, then some other super intelligence has created us. There is no way complex and intelligent life developed via the methods Charles Darwin proposed.

HC: Did you see the news recently of the discovery of two skulls in Africa , one of which was on the “evolutionary tree” after the other, in the same strata of earth? (Homo habilis and homo erectus.)

DJP: Yes.

HC: I thought it was amusing how the evolutionists scrambled to say something like “perhaps, instead of a tree, human evolution is more like a bush with scrubby branches.”
The latest article from the International Herald Tribune, is here. Bless their hearts, their faith just really won’t be shaken. I wish Christians were as faithful as evolutionary humanists.
What do you think of these latest findings?

DJP: The evolutionists always have a spin on things and make use of assumptions that prove that they are right. Anything they find is always pro[c]claimed to be the missing link which will prove human evolution once and for all. Frankly, I don't pay much attention to these findings because they are all speculative.

HC: To quote a Friend of mine, "Wisdom is justified of her children." Logic has nothing to do with it. As this debate rages on, what are your plans to aid the cause of intelligent design?

DJP: Two of the other books in my series involve evolution heavily. One other touches on it as my hero studies religion with that same fervor he studied evolution. I plan on writing one in the future which leaves out the religious aspect and just focuses on the plight of scientists who speak out against Darwinism and the cloak and dagger stories of those who are working undercover.

HC: I remember a real-life case of a professor a couple of decades ago who discovered evidence of the creation of matter in microcosm in all the rocks he studied. He was blacklisted, even though his discovery did not conflict with the Big Bang theory. However, since he is a Christian, and they knew it, they used that as an excuse to ruin his career. You would have a good basis for writing a novel on the trouble scientists who believe in Intelligent Design are having.

DJP: I’m not sure this will happen. When I leave God out of the story, my writing seems to suffer. I need a Holy Ghost writer. I also am making plans to develop a 45 minute talk on evolution that can be presented in a church service. If Voices could be made into a movie, I'd really like to take that route. Videos have become a great method for educating and motivating people. I think Voices would be an excellent flic for bringing the argument to the masses. Speaking of movies, I'll be writing a guest column at TheChristianPulse.com once a month on the topic of films.

HC: Thank you so much for the opportunity to read your book, and agreeing to appear on my blog! May God bless you as you continue to write for Him!

To enter to win a copy of All the Voices of the Wind, you can leave a comment here, on Hope Chastain, writer's blog, or send an e-mail to me, hope_chastain [at] yahoo.com. As usual, removed the spaces and replace [at] with @.

11 comments:

cinderpuss said...

Hey there:
Really enjoyed the interview with Donald Parker. The subject of evolution seems to be a hot topic these days. It amazes me that Darwin's THEORY is so readily accepted, yet there are Grand Canyon type gaps in it. Reading this book has been a refreshing experience in develving into the controversial question of "How DID we get here?"
I appreciate this interview and do highly recommend this very worthwhile read.
Ronnie

Hope Chastain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hope Chastain said...

Thanks for your encouraging comment, Ronnie!
:-) Hope
(My smilie face got messed up in the previous post!)

Tosca said...

Congratulations, Don!

D. Longo said...

Blessed to have read All the Voices in the Wind, I applaud Don's commitment to the defense of Intelligent Design, and a cogent refutation of Darwinism. Those interested in the debate need only look to Mr. Parker's book for a wealth of balanced, cited references. Also esteemed, is the story in which Don advocates Intelligent Design. His story is rich with realism and warmth, humor and tragedy. Well done, sir!
Dante Longo II

Trish Perry said...

Great interview, Hope and Don! Please enter me in the drawing--I'm planning on reading Don's book and would love a copy. I like the idea of humanizing the debate by wrapping a love story around it. Few people are willing to read "message" novels, but love stories? Yep!

Trish Perry

Hope Chastain said...

Thank you for all the wonderful comments! Coming up with questions to match the novel was a challenge! It's such a wide-ranging subject. Don's characters are endearing, and I really enjoyed reading the novel!
:-)

Anonymous said...

I loved the characters of Jeremy and Maria and fell into the story. Don's gift for writing, shows us what Jesus would want you to do in many difficult situations. It speaks from the heart in this wonderful series that helps us all strive to impove our Christian lives and learn about about important issues along the way.

Cheri Jalbert

Jenni Saake - Hannah's Hope, InnerBeauty, InfertilityMom, Hannah's Hope said...

Sounds like a very thought-provokind book. Would love to win a copy! Already have 2 friends in mind to pass it along to after I've read it.

Margaret Daley said...

Don, thank you for the interview.

Margaret Daley

Aselya said...

i really liked the interview with Donald James Parker. I thank Lord i met him a couple hours ago and now i am able to read his books. In Him,
Aselya Mesheetbayeva