Monday, June 6, 2011

Interview with Jeff Gerke, Owner of Marcher Lord Press

Due to some technical difficulties, Jeff Gerke's interview for Sci-Fi month was delayed, but no longer. Think of this post as warping through the fabric of time and the internet. It belongs to May's look at Sci-Fi, but through an anomaly beyond our control you are now viewing it in June. 

So, take a look at what Jeff had to say, and   check back later this week for your regularly scheduled tips on Romance and thoughts on the genre.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, we appreciate your talent and your heart for the speculative fiction lover who will find  a fantastic literary banquet in Marcher Lord Press.

1. Dr. Del Tacket of the Vertas Project has pointed out that the greatest war in the world today isn't one fought with weapons and armies, but the war of ideas and world views. ideas are powerful thingss and one of the best ways to transfer an idea from one person to another is in the context of a story.

speculative fiction has done this for years and the ideas of men like Isaac Asimov, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and H.G. Wells are with us to this day, locked in the tales that they told.

none of these men were Christians and neiter are the world views tucked inside their works. there seems to have been relatively few Christian writers to venture into this genre of writing, and from its very beginnings it has been dominated by atheists and secular humanists. why do you think that is?

I think it’s not true that there have been relatively few Christian authors writing speculative fiction. A quick perusal of the Booklist at my site will reveal nearly 500 Christian science fiction and fantasy titles by probably 250+ authors. And those are just the ones I know about.

These books do sometimes get published. The difference is in how well they are received by the Christian fiction-reading demographic, most of whom are grandmothers who prefer prairie romances to SF about mutant alien vampires who will eat your brains.

2. How does being a publisher and editor change your own writing experience?

Interesting question. I’ve had the privilege of writing some fiction craft books for Writers Digest lately. Last year, Plot Versus Character released through them, and on October 17 of this year we’re looking forward to the release of The First 50 Pages. It’s been so long since I’ve been an author writing my Jefferson Scott novels. For years now I’ve been publisher and editor only.

But when I went back in as writer and had an editor, my goal was to be the perfect author, a dream to work with. I got all my stuff in on time or early, responded quickly to editor e-mails and marketing requests, and basically knocked myself out to be as professional and painless to work with as possible. So, being an editor has made me a more editor-friendly writer.

3. Who are your literary heroes and why?

I admire J.R.R. Tolkien, not only for his incredible trilogy but for his absolute commitment to his story world. To spend so many decades on craft it like his own private menagerie and alternate labor on it from WWI trenches and through all the seasons of his life... It’s an incredible achievement. But even if it had never achieved international acclaim, I admire him for his devotion to his dream.

For Him!-Nathanael, 1 Timothy 4:12

And for those interested in Jeff's list of  Christian speculative fiction books and all other matters relating to this field,  check out Where the Map Ends.

There are amazing resources here and it's very easy to spend hours searching, reading, and learning. You've been warned!

Highly recommended are these resources too: The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction
                                                                       How To Find Your Story      
                                                                     Character Creation for the Plot-First Novelist


Varon said...

I'll have to go check out you're booklist and find the SF books.

Evergreena said...

Awesome! I love the books that Marcher Lord Press publishes, and Jeff Gerke is a great guy. (I got to meet him and hear him teach at the Florida Christian Writers Conference in 2010!)

*cough* I don't see the first question of the interview, though...

Evergreena said...

Oops. I actually do see it. Ignore my previous statement, please. :D

everlastingscribe said...

Thanks Jeff for your time! What cool insights into the mind of a writer/editor/publisher!

Though I must say, any Christian involvement in Sci-Fi is rather johnny-come-lately, since the 1970's on really. C.S. Lewis was a notable exception. Don't get me wrong, I love the stuff that's coming out now, but it's a shame there wasn't anything to balance H.P. Lovecraft or H.G. Wells.

The rest of you scribes have GOT to download Ether Ore. I'm loving it. Get it for your nook, kindle, or computer with the nook or kindle apps. It is fantastic reading and so cool to see how the tales intersect.

Millardthemk said...

Thanks for the interview Mr. Gerke! I really enjoyed the answers. Question two is my favorite, getting to get inside your head for a few lines of text.

Great work league!

Greg said...


Elizabeth Eiowing said...

This is sooo cool!!! And another Tolkien fan!!! That's exactly why I admire him, too! I would love to create a world like his, but alas, he is the master at it, and mine is a sad world compared to his masterfully crafted one! :D