Monday, March 6, 2017

Lone Star Book Blog Tours Presents: Foy: On the Road to Lost by Gordon Atkinson with Giveaway!

  Genre: Literary Fiction
Date of Publication: March 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 194

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Gordon Atkinson, of the popular blog RealLivePreacher, brings us Foy, a recently- divorced, recently-resigned pastor in the midst of redefining personal meaning. As Foy travels to New Orleans, hoping to find a new identity separate from the church, he keenly observes the everyday, rendering ordinary moments unexpectedly significant. Atkinson’s own background as a preacher and blogger inspires Foy’s confessional voice, the voice which characterizes this story about how our own experiences impact the universal search for meaning. 


“If the magnitude of difference between the stars and humankind is the purest of religions, reminding us of our insignificance (so thinks Foy), then that magnitude is collapsed in the hands of Atkinson, whose words elevate the most insignificant of objects, acts, and characters to startling heights. A key shifted on a desk, a communion cup offered to an old woman despite a philosophical mismatch, a baby's bottle first ignored and then retrieved for a frazzled stranger on a bus. Each commands, each arrests, each persists. And we suddenly remember that what we create with mere words can be as lasting as the luminaries.”
-- L.L. Barkat, author of Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing, twice named a best book of 2011

“Few writers can match Gordon Atkinson's ability to tell stories about the sacred in our everyday lives. Foy is a work of power, beauty, and clarity--I saw myself and the world more clearly after reading it. I think you will too.”
-- Greg Garrett, author of The Prodigal and Entertaining Judgment
“I really, really like Gordon Atkinson's Foy. I like the character Foy himself. He's Everyman and he's me and he's Gordon, all at the same time. Nice trick. I like Gordon's writing -- straightforward, but with a simple elegance. But what I really like is the no-holds-barred honesty. This feels real because it is real. Foy at his worst, Foy at his best, Foy at his most wonderful/awful. It's an on-going series, just like life. I look forward to the next chapter.”
-- Robert F. Darden, author of Nothing but Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City

New Novel by Gordon Atkinson Foy: On the Road to Lost, to be released March 1 from Material Media on Vimeo. CLICK TO PURCHASE  * Amazon * Material Media *

How did you come up with the name Foy?

Foy was named after a hero of mine from the Baptist world in which Foy and I grew up. His name was Foy Valentine, and he stood up on the floor of the annual Southern Baptist Convention meeting in 1968 and called his people to account for the sin of their racism. They did not take kindly to his prophetic word, and he paid dearly for having said it.

What's your writing tool(s) of choice? Pencil and paper? Laptop? Manual typewriter?

I only write with a computer keyboard. I’ve never been able to write fast enough with a pen. I can type fast enough to keep up with my mind.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Who are some authors who have inspired/influenced your writing?

I never knew I wanted to be a writer. In 2002 I started an anonymous blog called, “Real Live Preacher.” At the time I was a minister but wanted a place where I could write honestly and without fear, even if what I thought and felt bordered on heresy. Only after doing so did I find a new calling for myself as a writer.

How did you first get published and with whom?

I was very fortunate. An editor at Eerdmans found my blog and liked it. He sent me an email that said, “I’d like to talk to you about the book you desperately need to publish.” I thought it was my old seminary roommate Larry messing with me.  But no, he really did work for Eerdmans. Practically speaking, I doubt that will happen often now. There are too many blogs out there, and their influence has waned.

Who and or what have been your biggest influences as a writer? as a Human being?

Annie Dillard above all writers is my hero and great love. Hemingway and Flannery O’Connor for fiction with a modern, minimal style. Updike for the courage to break out of a “show but don’t tell” writing style now and again to help the reader glimpse a nuanced or insightful bit of a character’s psychology. The poet Sharon Olds for the courage to tell the truth.

How do you get past the fear/cringe/vulnerability to share your work with others?

You have to learn not to care if others like your writing or if they think it is of value or even any good at all. And let’s be honest here. Perhaps your writing isn’t very good or of much value to others. That’s a possibility, and it’s hard to judge ones own work. So there is some risk at putting your writing “out there.” Learning not to care is a long, personal journey. I’m not sure anyone can tell someone else how to do that.

You write with passion. Is writing an emotional release for you?

Yes it is. In both good and bad ways. Sometimes I find it hard to exist in a moment because my personality type is always evaluating the moment. In my case, sometimes even thinking about how I will write about it. I’ve had times where I experienced something with my daughters but never felt much emotion until I wrote about it later. I used to feel bad about that. But I think it’s just part of the makeup of writers.

If you could give any message to yourself as a writer 10 years ago, what would it be?

Just write. Write and write and write. Don’t think too much about where your writing may lead. In fact, go ahead and tell the truth to yourself. It will likely not lead to fame and almost surely will not lead to money. You might not even be any good. These are all likely possibilities. Well, the money one is almost a certainty. Then keep writing. Whatever happens is what happens. Don’t feel at all bad about keeping your day job. If you’re like me you probably wouldn’t write any more even if you had all day every day to do it.

What do you think it takes to be a good writer?

A strange and rare combination of abilities. You need to be a verbal person. That is the sort of person who has the gift of gab. Words just pour out of you and form themselves into sentences. You don’t even know how it works. Then you must have a basic understanding of good writing that comes only from reading a lot of good writing. You’ll need to be rather committed to editing over and over and over again. If you ask how many times you’re not in the right mindset. Forever many times until you like how it sounds. And last, you need to have something to say. That is the hardest one. All the others could be in place but if you have nothing original to say, then you won’t be a good writer. Trite and hackneyed ideas are no better for having been written beautifully.

What is your favorite genre of literature? And your least favorite?

I like fiction above all else. Classic literature and Science Fiction, if it’s good. I like biographies and well written history. I love poems but for some odd reason I don’t read poetry often. I really don’t like non-fiction, at least not the type that purports to explain to the readers a new way to think or how to best accomplish some goal or task. That seems like such a waste of prose. Bullet points should suffice for that sort of thing.

Atkinson is the author of the books (Wm. B. Eerdmans), Turtles All the Way Down, and A Christmas Story You’ve Never Heard.  He was a contributor for the magazine Christian Century and founding editor for the High Calling website, which brought together hundreds of independent writers and featured their work. 
His writing career started on Salon where he was among the most read bloggers on the site.  One of his essays was chosen to be included in The Best Christian Writing 2004 (Jossey-Bass) and his book won the Independent Publisher Book Award in the creative non-fiction category.

Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Foy: On the Road to Lost, Turtles All the Way Down, and A Christmas Story You Never Heard
2nd Prize: Signed Copy of Foy: On the Road to Lost
3rd Prize: Signed Copy of (US ONLY) March 1 - 15, 2017
Video Guest Post 1
Excerpt 1
Video Guest Post 2
Author Interview 1
Video Guest Post 3
Excerpt 2
Video Guest Post 4
Author Interview 2
Video Guest Post 5

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