Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ted Dekker Coming To Write! Canada - Lisa Hall-Wilson

Ted Dekker is a best-selling author known for his fast-paced, plot-twisting thrillers and fantasy novels. In every novel he works out his faith through his characters, and that authenticity is what seems to have created such a loyal readership for him.

Dekker’s father is Canadian, and Ted recently revealed he carries a Canadian passport and lives and works in the USA on a Green Card. He lived in Toronto for a short time, and attended Langley’s Trinity Western University for a year. “I’m a jungle boy. I’m standing at a bus stop [in Toronto in winter] and I’m shivering. It was so cold I thought I was in hell.”


Ted Dekker is coming to Write! Canada
 

Know what I love about Ted Dekker’s fiction? This“We Christian writers must paint evil with the blackest of brushes, not to sow fear, but to call out the monsters to be scattered by our light. If Satan cloaks himself as an angel of white, intent on deceiving the world, any attempt on our parts to minimize evil is only complicit with his strategy... Turn to the light; don’t fear the shadows it creates.” ~Ted Dekker, The Slumber of Christianity

I had the opportunity to chat with Ted last summer to help promote his Toronto event. Total fan-girl moment. Ted called me from his Austin, TX home. Here’s some highlights from that interview. 

If you’re on the fence about going to Write! Canada, even if you don’t like Dekker’s fiction, register now and get the early bird savings before April 1. Dekker knows how to craft a compelling story, weave a message of faith into the story, and is constantly pushing the envelope in terms of marketing and promotion – and he has some of the most loyal fans in the business.
 

LHW: Do you consider yourself a Christian writer?
 

Ted Dekker: Am I a Christian writer? [pauses] It’s just a label. What does it mean? I write stories as a person who grew up in a Christian faith to understand that faith. You can call me whatever you want. It’s just a name.
 

Every Christian writer’s conference I go to, I hear someone say: But Ted Dekker can write stuff like this and get published, why can’t I? So I asked Ted: Who is it you’re writing for?
 

Ted Dekker: I have no clue. I’m writing for my own journey. People who read my books are not afraid of an authentic journey and they understand the language in which I write. I’m just exploring truth, God’s heart, my place.

I think that my first 6-7 books were very Christian. To be honest with you, the first few books I wrote like Showdown, Black, these were rejected because they were too edgy at the time. Once I had an audience, I went back to what was more natural for me like Showdown. I lost some of my older readers, but the younger readers were really attracted to those kinds of stories. I’m writing more spiritually intense, more like Black, Red, and White.
 

Lisa, which of my novels was your favourite?
 

LHW: Me? Adam. I was saved out of the Occult so that book really spoke to me.
 

Ted Dekker: Adam – it was very disturbing for many people. There are people who have faced the darkness and been swallowed by it and are afraid of it. The only people who aren’t afraid of it are those who faced it and learned there’s power over darkness. Find the light within you. Shining a light in the darkness. It’s fun no longer having fear as a master.
 

LHW: What is it about your writing that speaks to younger generations?
 

Ted Dekker: My writing is a reflection of my own journey…I write to explore what I’ve been taught or what it means to be who I am…My books have been very dark because at times I’ve been looking for the light in the dark, that demonstration of that power. Over time there’s always been this missing link – this understanding of my own identity. I’ve come to embrace a new understanding of who I am in Christ.
 

LHW: What is it about the thriller genre that appeals to you?
 

Ted Dekker: I’m a very passionate person. Thrillers allow me to put characters into extreme situations to see how they react…explore more extremes. I think young people do speak the language of extremes and experience more extremes than older generations. I think that’s why I gravitated towards thrillers. Not all my books are thrillers. A third of the books I’ve written are thrillers, plus my fantasy novels and storyteller books. They all have elements of thrillers in them, they’re not classical thrillers as such.
 

Are you fan of Ted Dekker? What is it about his writing appeals to you?
 

Lisa Hall-Wilson is an award-winning freelance writer and syndicated columnist in the Canadian faith-based market. She writes dark fantasy novels and blogs Through The Fire at www.lisahallwilson.com.


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8 comments:

Glynis said...

Love Ted's honesty and forthright responses to your questions, Lisa. I admit I haven't read a lot of Ted Dekker but hearing him 'speak' here to you, is giving me a new appreciation. Time to dive into some Dekker! Thanks for whetting our appetites for W!C 2014.

Bobbi Junior said...

I appreciated his answer to "Who is it you're writing to?" He says, "I haven't a clue." Honest answers like that remind me I don't have to follow the general rules in all areas. I need to be true to my own writing, and to God.

Great interview!

Kimberley Payne said...

I haven't read any of Ted's books and I'm not a fan of thrillers but this interview has intrigued me. I look forward to buying a book (or two) at Write! Canada and getting them autographed!

Lisa Hall-Wilson said...

Glynis, Ted's a real sweetheart. You'll love him.
Bobbi - Ted's very honest in his fiction and in person. I'm looking forward to chatting with him.
Kimberley - you should try reading The Slumber Of Christianity. It's non fiction and very thought-provoking. And like he said, not all of his books are thrillers. He has released his Black, Red, White trilogy as graphic novels and he has a YA series that I really enjoyed as well - pure fantasy.

Peter Black said...

Thanks for this up close personal introduction to Ted Dekker. I haven't read any of his books. His name to me simply denoted a popular younger author of dark phantasy novels, who writes from a Christian worldview. Informative and intriguing, Lisa. Thank you. ~~+~~

Lisa Hall-Wilson said...

Hi Peter! Yeah, a lot of people think that about Ted, but he's 50 so (from my perspective) not exactly a younger writer, but I love that he's not afraid to tell the truth even if it's ugly, because truth always shines light on the toothless monsters we let steal our joy.
Thanks for the comment!

Cynthia said...

I've read many of Ted's books, and I've often looked in them for traces of who Ted is as a writer and a person. One of the first books I read by him was Thunder of Heaven, knowing that he was an MK in Indonesia. It just felt so personal. He throws so much of himself in his writing. I relate to his style and passions as a writer more than any other author that I've read. I'll be living in Indonesia this summer, and I look forward to meeting him at Write!Canada this year.

Lisa Hall-Wilson said...

"I relate to his style and passions as a writer more than any other author that I've read." <- Yes! Me too. I've always loved how he explored the idea of beauty. I appreciate that he's willing to explore the darker aspects of light and then shines a light of truth on it all. :D

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