I'm wrapping the week up with an interview with Christian novelist Ian Palmer. We're focused on his newest book, a teenage redemption story called Weed and Water.
Originally from Australia, Ian lives in the high desert in his beloved Southwest USA. As a petroleum engineer, recently retired, he consulted all over the world. When he hikes with them or watches them play sports, Ian’s grandchildren are a particular source of happiness. His main interests are hiking, dancing, writing, and stimulating conversation. Ian regularly writes a new blog on various topics relating to Christian faith, and has also written a book called Hiking Toward Heaven.
Welcome, Ian. Please tell us about your current release.
Weed and Water is about a teen athlete called Ethan who goes down because of shame which leads to sex and drugs. As well as hurting himself, the boy brings heartbreak to his single mom who is doing her best. A mysterious stranger called Jackson, who is more than he appears to be, challenges Ethan about his choices, and offers a way out. But Ethan continues to yo-yo, unsure of who or what he can trust. The story, which is set in the desert Southwest and in the rivers and lakes of the Midwest, rocks and rolls with tension and geographical adventure.
What inspired you to write this book?
I have a granddaughter who is 16, and a grandson who is 13. They are in the challenging years, so I chose to write about the lure of sex and drugs (call it Weed). These kids also know about faith in God (call it Water). I wanted to write about the tension within many teenagers as they slosh, like seaweed in the ocean, back and forth between the Weed and the Water.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am creating a new book called Nerd in a Blue Leather Jacket. This is about receiving insights and wisdom from God. I pull up examples from my own private life as well as my nerdy career, and also incidents told me by other people. It’s very cool to look back on tipping points in life, to see the hand of God behind these.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Many years ago I wrote a book called Unleash Your Creative Mind, but never published it. However the research for this book based on the intuitive right brain and the analytical left brain, became a tremendous guide for the rest of my life, both private and career.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Apart from writing, my interests are hiking, dancing, and playing pickleball. My goal is to write half of each day, like Ian Fleming did in Jamaica while he created James Bond. I recently lost three months after my home flooded.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
After starting a book or a blog, ideas and connections come to me out of the blue….in the shower, in the car, on the dance floor. Wherever I am I always try to jot down a note, so I won’t forget them.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an ornithologist (bird-studier). I was a dedicated builder of bird-cages and a breeder of canaries and zebra finches and budgerigars.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
When I was 21 and socially backward, I observed that all women love to dance, and if I could just learn to dance I would be in. So I bought a book and taught myself to dance holding a pillow and following footprints in the book. I was right…..women wanted to dance with me, and this led to dates, and changed my whole social life.