Interview with Stefan Emunds

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
It was during junior high school, grade six or seven. I wrote a funny adventure short story and read it to my classmates during a field trip. I was surprised how much they enjoyed it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The idea that brought God Child to life is monohumanism. Monohumanism is Jesus Christ's lost memorandum: that there is only one human, as there is only one God. I deliberately chose to write it as the diary of a priest, because I didn't want to scare off religious readers. By putting myself into the shoes of a very religious person, I hoped to bridge the gap between religion and spirituality.
What is your writing process?
First, I chose an idea. In the case of God Child it was the idea of monohumanism. Secondly, I imagine the story-line. In the case of God Child it was the diary of a priest. Thirdly, I make the plot and plan. Last, but not least, I get down to writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I owe all my wisdom to Dr. Paul Foster Case and Dr. Ann Davis. I'm also indebted to Jeff Benner and his mechanical translation of the Torah. Besides that I love to read Carlos Castaneda's books, which remain inspiring even after having read them for the third time. I should mention the Celestine Prophecies too - one of the best books in the genre of spiritual fiction as well as Paolo Coelho, although his books are more on the entertaining side of spirituality.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
The iPad. On that I have a kindle and other applications that allow me to read literature from different platforms.
Describe your desk
A small stand-up desk. I like standing up while writing. It's a different kind of focus and it's good for the back. It's small, so that I'm forced to keep it tidy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I submitted my book to various agents, but never got a response. Then, I talked to other authors. They told me that agents are now screening platforms instead of reading query letters. That made perfect sense to me. This way agents significantly lower risks, since they can already have an idea who and how many people will like a particular work.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
We humans are creators and writing is a creative act. Writing makes happy.
What do your fans mean to you?
Honor.
What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Write with love - don't write for fame, neither for money, not for excitement. Write to express love. The rest will follow.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Follow that single, quiet voice inside.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
A little psychology: our personality has six main faculties: iintention, imagination, feelings, intellect, mind, and body.
The sixth sense comes first: intention. Intentions arrive as inspiring ideas. They are concise, meaning you should be able to formulate them in one or two sentences. In the case of my book God Child, it was the intentional idea to promote monohumanism.
The idea needs to be wrapped up - like a Christmas present. That's where imagination comes in - the vision of the story. The (fictional) story serves as a catalyst to promote the intention. In the case of God Child, I imagined the diary of a priest, who encountered a super-natural vision and connected to the inner voice that instructed him in spiritual truths.
After the story is set, it needs to be brought alive with emotions: love, hate, fear - you name it. Emotions depend on the intention of the book, whether you write a love story, a horror story, action - you get the idea. Keep in mind that the story's emotional elements will hook the reader and engage him. In my case - spiritual fiction - I always try to write with love.
After you got a story that is sparkling with emotions, make a plan how to write the book: think about the plot, list all the subjects you want to cover, think up your conflicts to spice up your story, etc. That's cold-blooded, intellectual work.
The mind serves as a reservoir of material - memories, experiences, and things we learned in the past. Our mind also magically connects us to missing information and helpful people.
At long last, we get down to the actual writing. On that level it's important not to deplete energy. It's like sport: if we strain our muscles too much, we need to recover before we can jog again. Better to write like practicing Yoga: go as far as it's comfortable. On the next day you can go an inch further.
Now, the block can occur anywhere: We write without intention, we have problems to imagine a story, the used the wrong emotions, we were lazy to make a plan, or we exhausted mind and body. Knowing on which level the block occurs makes it much easier to do something about it.
Published 2014-10-15.
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