Recently, I posted a Call to Writers, asking my fellow author bloggers to allow me to interview them for guest-spots on my blog. (If you are interested in participating, please contact me.) I asked everyone thirty-five questions — some were basic, and others were multi-part inquiries — and I asked them to answer only what they wanted to or what was applicable. My friend, Reigh Simuzoshya, PhD, had some very thought-provoking responses which I’m sure will interest you, as well. After you read her interview, please be sure to hop on over to her Facebook page and Twitter account and follow her for a regular dose of her insight. And now, I turn the microphone over to Reigh…
1. Please tell us your name (or pen name) and a little bit about yourself:
My name is Reigh Simuzoshya. I have a Ph.D. in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology. I like researching the efficacy of biblical principles to life in general.
2. Please provide the link to your blog (and website, Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc.):
3. How many books have you written?
I have written two books so far.
4. Has any of your work been published yet? If so, please share the link(s) to purchase it:
The first one: The Perfect Prescription: Godly Wisdom on Public Health was published in 2013. The second one, Biblical Principles in Modern Legislation was out this month, August 2014. The first one can be purchased from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Both of them can be purchased from Tate Publishing Enterprises although the second book has just been released. It might not appear on the website as yet. https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=978-1-62854-831-0
5. If you have been published, did you self-publish or use traditional publishing? Why? If you have not been published yet, what are your plans for the future?
I have used traditional publishing methods because oftentimes traditional publishers offer quality control at every phase of the publishing process. They do high quality cover design, proof reading, marketing and promotion of the book themselves…etc.
6. How old were you when you started writing? When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I enjoyed writing compositions and essays in high school, but that waned somewhat when I went to higher education. It was not until I was in my mid-fifties that the urge to write came back. I resisted it vehemently but I finally ended up succumbing to it. I was inspired to write again. I fought the urge to write about God and the Bible because I thought that in an increasingly secularized global community no one would be interested to read books about God! But when I started writing I could not stop!
7. What would you say motivates you to keep writing?
My transience, the realization that I am a pilgrim on this earth gives me the impetus to write down what I now know for both contemporary and future generations. It is a desire to leave a legacy behind after my earthly sojourn.
8. Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading (or what is the last book you read)?
Philip Yancey, Ravi Zacharias, William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Simone Weil, Norm Geisler… Currently I am reading “Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig and Why Jesus by Ravi Zacharias.
9. What is your preferred reading method? (i.e., Kindle, Nook, paperback, hardback, etc.) Why?
I prefer hardcopy books to electronic books. Hardcopies allow me to make notes while writing. They also allow me to hold the book, tangibly, in my hands…a sense of ownership, I guess. Maybe I am just old fashioned.
10. Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?
I write about ideas and concepts. This means writing mostly in the third person; both present and past tense. Some of my topics are historical while others are on-going. Hence, the application of both past and present tense.
11. Do you “always read” or do you take breaks between reading books?
I have got to. I am a voracious reader. Reading is a vital component of the learning continuum, for me.
12. How many books would you say you read in a year? How many at any one time?
I read a minimum of fourteen books a year. I usually read two books at a time.
ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BOOK::
13. What is the title of your current work in progress of the most recent manuscript you’ve completed?
The Perfect Prescription: Godly Wisdom on Public Health was published in 2013. The second one, Biblical Principles in Modern Legislation published in 2014.
14. What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?
I think that primarily the genre of both my books is the Christian believer who desires to know more about God’s involvement in His creation; particularly His guidelines for our holistic well-being.
15. What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?
My need to know about how God feels about me; whether I really mattered to Him.
16. What is your target audience’s age, gender, etc.?
I would place the age of my target audience at 18 and above.
17. Do you want to tell us a little bit about your story?
The first book, The Perfect Prescription, refutes the supposition that the Bible is an obsolete and archaic book saturated with myths and superstition, and insists that if studied carefully with an open mind, the Bible is a rich repository of time-tested counsel for all facets of life including health and longevity.
The second book, Biblical Principles and Modern Legislation, highlights biblical principles as the foundational pillars of justice and fairness in modern polities.
ABOUT HOW YOU WRITE::
18. How often do you write?
I write almost every day. It is a full time calling. I would not want to call it a job because I have had very little monetary returns from it so far, but I am glad that I can share what has been revealed to me in Scripture with others.
19. Approximately how many words do you write at each sitting?
A minimum of 1,000 words
20. Do you do your own editing or send it to someone else?
My publishers do the primary editing.
21. What is your method of writing? (i.e., Do you write the entire manuscript, then go back and make changes? Do you plan chapters as you go along or write the story then go back and add chapters? Do you re-read as you go along or after you are done with the first draft?)
I usually have a draft of a table of contents serving as a guideline for my chapters, subject to modification, of course. Then I write the entire manuscript. Finally, I go back and edit it and make changes before submitting it to the publishers who do their own editing, which I must approve.
22. Do you have a muse? If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you?
My inspiration comes from studying the Bible and reading the work from Christian authors.
23. How long does it take you to write a full manuscript?
It takes me a minimum of two and a half years to draft a manuscript.
24. Do you give yourself a word limit for each day or a time limit to finish your novel? If so, please elaborate.
No, I do not give myself a word limit. Sometimes I write extensively, other times I do not write much.
25. How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?
My work does not require creating characters. Rather, I write about concepts.
26. How long (or how detailed) are the notes you take before you start writing?
My notes are not usually detailed since they serve as prompter. That is, they are reminders of the main idea.
27. Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.)
No. I do not have any “must haves.” At least, not yet.
28. Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location? If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time?
Mostly, I write in the mornings when my mind is fresh after a night’s rest.
29. Does your real life ever neglected because of your writing? If so, how do you feel about that?
My writing has really become my real life. My family has graciously surrendered me to it.
ABOUT YOUR WORK::
30. If you have written more than one novel, which is your favorite and why?
I have written two books. I am not sure I have a favorite since they both tackle different but critical issues.
31. What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?
Global waste management strategies.
32. What is the most difficult thing you have ever researched for one your books and why?
Methods used to execute capital punishment. It is about killing human beings, a disconcerting subject even when there might be legitimate reasons for doing so.
Thank you, Reigh, for allowing me to interview you. I hope everyone else has enjoyed learning about you and your work as much as I have.