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ANCESTORS by Terry Dodd
Bullet Bio of Terry Dodd:
• Author of ten books, including seven Christian novels and three memoirs
• 2012 Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction Award Winner for The Foursome: One Man’s Faith Matched against Doubt, Ignorance and Pride
• Current active volunteer with There’s Hope for the Hungry, a 501(c)3 food-and-faith outreach to the needy of north Georgia
• Juggling hobby led to a two-year Christian ministry to north Atlanta metro area assisted living facilities, which formed the basis for one of his books, Journey with Outstretched Hands
• Member of Atlanta Writers Club and American Christian Fiction Writers
• Married, with blended family of four adult children and seven grandchildren
Welcome, Terry. If you could have dinner with one person from today or history (except Jesus), who would it be? Why?
Wow! I asked myself if I should choose someone else from the Bible, perhaps Paul; or maybe an admired, but deceased sci-fi writer such as Isaac Asimov; or perhaps a departed family member such as my first wife or my father. Now, if it was to be my final dinner on this earth, it would be with my current wife, Helga. However, if it was not to be my last meal, I would choose someone scheduled to be hung or executed the next day, but who does not know Jesus.
What fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself?
I am an amateur juggler and sometimes perform during book talks, signings, and television interviews. Once, I even tried juggling for a radio interview, but that did not go well. On this same note, however, one of my books is a narrative written over a two-year period during which I juggled, joked, and shared the Gospel with residents of a dozen assisted living facilities in North Georgia.
After having lost my first wife (of forty-five years) to cancer, I met another wonderful woman in the same large church, and married her. When I first told my daughter about dating her and that she was a German named Helga, she said, “I think I know her!” I laughed and told her that that was highly unlikely. But it turned out she was correct.
How did that happen? Twenty-two years earlier my daughter had been working as a temp, and for two weeks she sat at the desk of a vacationing administrative assistant to the CEO at Siemens’ USA corporate offices in Atlanta. Back in real time, she not only remembered the unusual name, but recalled every day having seen pictures of Helga and her family on her desk. She also recalled that she was highly impressed with the person for whom she was working as a temporary. Figure the odds of such a thing! Of course, from then on my daughter claimed credit for first introduction.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
They are not only two, but they are the verses which led me to accept Christ at age fifty-eight: Matthew 10:32-33. 32Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” (NIV)
At the time, I was in the process of writing my second novel, the subject of which involved a foursome, for each of which I felt led to write fictional resumes. These were for an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, and a born-again. The first three I easily managed, but for the born-again, not having a relationship with the LORD, I had to resort to reading from the Bible for the first time in forty years. Because of those two verses’ dramatic statements, I read them over and over again before accepting the fact that I was in the former category; disowned by the Creator of the universe. In that instant, God had revealed Himself to me, and I went to my knees in surrender.
Do you have a dedicated place to write, or a nook or corner of a room, or the kitchen table?
Absolutely; it is my office in the home, which is where my desktop computer is located.
What can your readers expect from you next?
A mystery/thriller due out in August/September, titled Mirror Magic. It also has both science-fiction and Christian story elements. The novel’s provocative subtitle reads WARNING: Advertising Can Be Hazardous to Free Will. It deals with subliminal advertising and the mind’s ability to register information outside of awareness.
Please tell us a little about your novel, Ancestors.
Ancestors is a parallel narrative of two poles-apart
“pioneering” stories which, even given their very different settings, both illustrate man’s God-given desire to push forward in life through both external and internal obstacles.
Ancestors has a strong romance element between the “village blacksmith” (Greenville), and Harriet. The relationship includes an interesting 1800s-style courtship, their subsequent marriage and the raising of their family, plus her leading him to the LORD.
The book’s full title is A Window into the Lives of Adam and Eve and Other Ancestors. In weaving together the parallel narratives in each of its chapters, the first story is a fictional retelling of the first nine chapters of Genesis. Each chapter of its story incorporates fictional behind-the-scene glimpses into the lives of the biblical Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and on down the ancestral line to Noah and his family.
Each of the chapters of the second story reveals fictional aspects of the rugged lives of my real-life pioneering family as they made their way through much of the 1800s in traversing from Virginia to Iowa. How do I know anything of their particular travails as some of the more than 300,000 westward bound American pioneer contributions to make up one of the greatest human migrations in history? In 1851, one of my great grandfathers, Greenville Dodd, wrote a seventy-two verse poem (The Pioneer’s Story) about their trek. Each of the twenty-one chapters of my novel begins with three or four stanzas from the poem.
Where can readers find you online?
Web site and blog
Posted on the “videos” page of my web site, and also on You Tube, I have recorded nine two-minute homemade videos, each one including a bit of introductory—but relevant—juggling before dealing with one of my Christian books, including this title, Ancestors.
Where can readers purchase Ancestors?
Barnes and Noble
If anyone would prefer an autographed copy, send me a direct request at my email address
Please leave a question you’d like readers to answer.
What characteristics most endear a protagonist to you?
Thank you, Terry, for visiting with my readers. TWO commenters will win a signed print copy of Ancestors that the author has offered.
The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan is Brenda A. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.
Till next time … keep on smiling.