Interview with Brian Russell Pinkston

Describe your desk
My desk is completely cluttered with stuff -- bills, mail, papers! So, I usually end up writing at the little table in my study. The desk itself, though, is quite nice: It was my wife's grandmother's before it came to us.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a son of the South, having grown up in Albany -- a town in Southwest Georgia. The milieu of my hometown, its people and locales, their aspirations and anxieties, their convictions and prejudices, certainly percolates through my first book -- a memoir told through parable.
When did you first start writing?
I really began writing in a serious sort of way when I went back to school. Graduate classes in theology and philosophy of course require a lot of writing. The capstone of that effort was my doctoral dissertation. After finishing my Ph.D. I took a break from writing for a time, but was finally compelled -- that's not too strong a word! -- to start writing again. I began work on a blog / website that is still very much a work in progress. About a year ago, though, it occurred to me that I should write a mini-memoir. The writing for that little book -- my first, and told in a parabolic manner -- is in a very different style than my academic writing. It's been fun.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The book is a little memoir. It recounts my spiritual journey from a deeply conservative Christianity – what some would call “fundamentalist” – to a Beautiful Orthodoxy. It relates my intellectual history, a long and winding path from parochialism to a Life of the Mind that is (I pray) well-thought, robust, nuanced, and tolerant. It tells of my struggle with mental illness. And it gives glimpses of lovely people in my life -- my children and my wife. I decided to tell my story as a parable. (So, it is a story about a story!) I did so because telling it in dry terms just doesn’t resonate with people. Most folks can’t easily relate to an “intellectualist” mindset. Nor can they fathom the interior torment that faulty neuronal wiring and upset brain chemistry can cause.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I feel like I've got things to say, valuable things, ones worth hearing. The notion of having to "run the gauntlet" of the traditional publishing route seemed far too slow and ponderous. Also, I value having creative control over my work. So, I investigated what would be involved in self-publishing and ended up creating my own little imprint -- Lampshade Bookworks. I'm still very much a novice to this enterprise!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Being able to capture something, on paper or pixels, that I've been cogitating over for a long time. To work out how the various ideas I've been mulling can actually hang together coherently. And to express that in a way that is compelling to a reader.
What are you working on next?
A collection of essays.
Who are your favorite authors?
C.S. Lewis
J.R.R. Tolkien
N.T. Wright
Dante Alighieri
Thomas Aquinas
Francisco Suarez
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My "day job" is as a project manager in construction. So, I'm a builder. I'm also married with three teenaged kids. I squeeze in reading and writing around the edges, so to speak.
What is your writing process?
Ideas about topics come to me unbidden. I'm always thinking about something to write about. And so I just write what I've been thinking. I then rewrite that, and rewrite yet again, and so forth. I don't believe in "writer's block." If you're at a loss for the "right" words, then just put down words! Mold, shape, sculpt, or (perhaps even) discard those words until you've got something you like.
Published 2016-06-11.
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Books by This Author

From Garden to High Place: A Parable of Faith, Philosophy, and Mental Illness
Price: $5.00 USD. Words: 5,910. Language: English. Published: June 11, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Fiction » Christian » Classical & allegory
This little memoir recounts the author's spiritual journey from a deeply conservative Christianity to a Beautiful Orthodoxy. It relates his intellectual history, a long and winding path from parochialism to a Life of the Mind that he prays is well-thought, robust, nuanced, and tolerant. It tells of his struggle with mental illness. And it gives glimpses of lovely people in his life.