~Wendell Shinn, author of the book "Jake’s Final Days” is interviewed by Reynold Jay : A Christian Novel~
"Jake' s Final Days" an Extraordinary Christian Novel
RJ: “I’m Reynold Jay and I have here with me today, W.R. Shinn, the talented author of “Jake’s Final Days”. This is an exciting new novel available at Amazon and also in hardcover and paperback. Let’s get right to it. W.S.,is this your first novel?”
WS: “Yes R.J., besides a few practice runs and a couple of short stories, this is the first “real” novel.”
RJ: “What motivated you to write it?”
WS: “Well, R.J., there is no one specific reason or event that happened in my life to make me say, ‘That’s it! I’m going to write a book!’ It has been a culmination of things that led to the creation of “Jake’s Final Days”. First off, I think that everyone, at one point or another in their life, says, ‘I’d like to write a book.’ I believe that it is something that is, kind of instilled in us, the want or desire to take some of the personal events that have happened to us or the experiences of the places we have been and the things we have seen or thoughts that go through our heads, and somehow put it all onto paper so that others can, through our experiences, live through some of what we have. We all have individual and unique lives and desire other folks to be able to see things the way that we see them, and maybe through a story, ‘become a part of’, what we have experienced.
I guess that another reason might be that it feels pretty good to take and idea, or a vision in your head, put it to paper, and have someone else read it and actually understand it and “see” it the way that you saw it when you wrote it. There is a certain amount of satisfaction that is felt and I pray it’s not a vanity kind of thing but, to be able to pull something, a vision, out of your mind and write it down in a manner in which another person, any person from anywhere, can read it, see it, and feel it, the same way that you did when you wrote it, I don’t know, It’s a pretty cool feeling.
The last… well… maybe the first reason was, because I wanted something that I did in life, to outlive me. Up until this point, all that I had accomplishing that, was children. Between my wife and I, seven of them! I must say that it is some sort of a legacy… and that they would probably outlive me but, that wasn’t hard to accomplish. Most folks, “God willing”, can achieve that. It wasn’t even a tough thing to do; they just kind of happened, and we have been blessed with each and every one of them. Now it’s grandkids! Anyway, I guess that I just want to leave something that is a positive thing for this world behind, something that will have an impact on folks in a positive way, possibly be part of a life changing experience for someone. Jake’s Final Days, from what I’ve heard from the people who have experienced it, will make you stop and think a bit. About the world as it is now, and what the future could hold as we see all kinds of prophecy coming to life, right before our eyes. The story of Jake and his wife, moving to the mountains to escape the junk that is happening around them, is not so unrealistic these days. Twenty years or so ago, this story would almost be considered “sci-fi”. Today, it is an attention grabber and eye opener and without a doubt, great entertainment. 40-50% of the folks I’ve talked to that read it have said something to the effect, “Oh man, When’s the movie commin’ out!”, or ‘Dude! This needs to be a movie!’ The bottom line is that I’m producing something that is having and will continue to have a positive effect on people. I pray that it is true.”
RJ: “How about a little background on you?”
WS: “Oh Lord… Where to start?
Well R.J., when I was a kid, I was blessed by the fact that I grew up in an “all American” household with three older brothers and one little sister, along with two loving parents that loved us and each other. Kind of rare these days. My Dad coached little league and my Mother took us to church on Sunday. I gave my heart to our Lord when I was about 11 or 12 and adhered to His ways until I drank my first beer and smoked my first bit of marijuana. The Lord had been very good to me and continued to be so, even as I strayed far, far off of the path that I’m sure He had hoped for me to travel.
I had a job in Buffalo N.Y. for 8 years that paid an unbelievable amount of $$ for someone with no experience doing anything. Yes, it was a union job and the company that I worked for was General Mills, the cereal people. I thought that I would never be able to leave because of the money they paid me. I had no trade to ply or fall back on. Well, they reorganized and I saw my chance, I left and moved back to Fla.
I learned the plumbing trade and worked as hard as I could to find a way out. I tried being a professional fisherman for a while. It was a lot of fun but no money. I became the owner of a Ballroom Dance Studio. There was too much corruption in all of that for me. My wife and I had a cleaning service for a few years that was doing well. We cleaned local bars, pool halls, bowling alleys and businesses that needed cleaning during the night hours. The money was great but after a few years, we needed some time off! Who can I trust with the keys and alarm codes for all of these businesses? Shoot!! We couldn’t get a break! It finally came to a halt when we were almost killed by a dump truck doing 60 or 70 mile an hour. Whew!! We’re still here!
We have since settled into a smooth situation in Biloxi, Mississippi. I do a “cake walk” at a local shipyard, putting plumbing into very large and expensive yachts. The Lord had caught up with me a few years earlier and things certainly are a lot smoother now, as opposed to trying to dodge Him. Thank You Lord!!
This is where life has eased into what some folks might call a “grind”. 5 days a week, 50 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, year after year. For my wife Ginny and I, it has been a break and a relief from chasing that dollar. We have a sense of peace that is beyond understanding and this has given me the desire and opportunity to write. Ginny hits all of the local garage sales, finds deals, and sells the stuff on e-bay. We have our 11 year old daughter with us along with our 2 year old grand-daughter to take care of. Oh yes!! Our grand-daughter throws a bit of chaos into the mix but, she keeps us on our toes.
Life has been good, regardless of the “bumps in the road”. I hope to be blessed with enough time to finish writing the “Final Days” series of books. We have already gotten well into chapter two of “Zoee’s Final Days”. A story taking place during the same three days that Jake goes through but, the story is located in the city instead of the mountains and things happen a bit quicker and are inner-city happenings rather than, mountain-top events; you can imagine the contrast.
Thanks for asking that question R.J.. It has been a while since I had gone through all of that in my mind. Thanks!”
RJ: “You are welcome. Are there any writers that may have influenced you at all?”
WS: “No R.J., there really aren’t. I have had a few times in my life when things had slowed down enough that it allowed me to do all kinds of reading. Reading and understanding that; one aspect of the written word is, being able to take a person far from the actual place that they are in, and place them squarely in the midst of a different time and place, with activities happening that are seen, heard and felt by the reader, and coming straight from the mind and soul of the writer. It fascinated me that someone could put that much, [feeling if you will] onto a piece of paper.
The answer to your question R.J. is, “No”, but every one of them that has placed me somewhere other than where I am at, has had an effect that helped create the desire to write and accomplish the same thing with others who might read what I write. I thank God for them and the desire to accomplish that certain bit of creativity.”