Interview with Joel Thimell

Please tell us a little bit about yourself?
In previous lives, I've worked in politics, journalism, marketing research, small business and cooking. No, I'm not related to Shirley MacLaine and I don't believe in reincarnation. But I have moved about the country and changed careers so many times that I do feel like I've lived numerous different lives.
What motivates you to write?
My love of writing comes from my love of reading. I read almost every genre but I especially like stories that carry me to different places, cultures and times while challenging me to explore new ideas, new foods and new adventures while making new friends. For years I would say that "somebody" ought to write a book about lesser known OT characters and one day I finally realized that I was that "somebody".
What makes "Long Road Out of Ur" unique from the other books out there?
There are no other recently published novels about Lot. Many Christians view him as a villain or a fool, at best but Peter referred to him as a "righteous man" who was "tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard." The book explores this contradiction and, hopefully, shows that God still has grace and mercy for rebels like Lot and myself.

In addition, while there are hundreds of biblical fiction novels in the marketplace and hundreds of Christian murder mysteries, I am unaware of any that combine both genres.
What are you working on next?
The working title of my current work-in-progress is "Book 2 of the Chronicles of Lot." Seriously, I have no idea what the actual title will be, I didn't finalize the title for my first book until eight months after I finished writing it. But it will continue the misadventures of Lot in Canaan and Egypt and answer questions like:

Why did Abraham lie twice about Sarah not being his wife? Who were the Mesopotamian kings that attacked Sodom and Gomorrah and why were they so afraid of Abraham? How did Abraham recognize Melchizedek? Why did Sarah give her maid to Abraham to father a child?
Describe your desk
I don't use a desk. I compose with my laptop on my lap (oddly enough) while sitting on either my sofa or an office style chair when my back starts to hurt.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love inserting inside jokes into my work. In "Long Road Out of Ur" I include homages to John Wayne, "Psych" and "Casablanca" along with brief parodies of The Lord of the Rings, Of Mice and Men and "The Sound Of Music." Bet you can't find them all.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
(In my best Dr. Doofenschmirtz voice: "You'd be surprised at how much free time I have...") Actually I love to travel and have been fortunate to have visited every state but Alaska and over 40 countries on three continents. I also love to cook. For years I have celebrated my birthday by checking out a dozen cookbooks and learning a new cuisine by cooking an ethnic feast for my family complete with appropriate decorations, music, and videos, etc. Favorite feasts include Hawaiian, Indonesian, Middle Eastern, Russian, Spanish, Scandinavian, Hungarian, Latin American, African, Thai, Caribbean and Indian.
Who are five of your favorite authors?
In no particular order: Zane Grey, Len Deighton, Jane Austen, Fyodor Doestoyevsky, C.S. Lewis and Mark Twain. (Yes, I know that's six, but I've never been good at coloring inside the lines.)
What famous author would you compare your own writing style with?
Alan Smithee.
Which writing cliches bother you the most?
All of them. I especially dislike redundancy and repetition and beating a dead horse. Seriously, though, I get frustrated by stories which rely on character stupidity to advance the plot. I try to ask myself before every twist and turn: what would I do in this situation?
Published 2017-04-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Long Road Out of Ur
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 149,070. Language: English. Published: April 25, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Historical, Fiction » Christian » Mystery & detective
Something is rotten in Sumeria. A troublesome priest has been murdered; the pagan ziggurat defiled; a royal tomb robbed; and a would-be grifter, Lot, is in the wrong place at the wrong time. His father, grandfather and cousin are each likely suspects and Lot doesn't know who he can trust. Everyone thinks he knows where the loot is hidden and someone wants it all--even if it's over Lot's dead body.