Q&A: Matt Koceich
Mark is... special. He's different. He can "remote view" - that is, he can leave behind his body and let his mind travel to any time or place on earth. And he gets paid to do so. Now his employers have told him to find the Garden of Eden. Mark doesn't even really believe in the myth of Eden but wife - a believer - does... as does the madman that has kidnapped her. Now Mark has to find Eden or even the fabled Tree Of Life won't help him and his wife...
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE SENDING AND THE BREAKING?
About twelve years ago, I was reading the Garden of Eden account in the third chapter of Genesis. When I came across the Tree of Life I was captivated. From the beginning of time, sin nature fans our desires for things that are not good for us. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge and yet they did it anyway. The Sending paints a word picture of the Father sending his only Son to rescue us!
The Breaking will continue the story line in the Soul Kingdom trilogy. In this second story, the main character has the ability to hear victims’ prayers. I wanted to explore the idea of God allowing modern-day Christians to have supernatural powers to combat the devil in the “last days” mentioned in the New Testament.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Starting out, Stephen King’s writing style inspired me. As I read some of his books, I’d feel as if I was sitting across the room from him, listening to him tell me a story. The Green Mile, for example, with its rich characterization was writing that I wanted to emulate.
Currently, C.S. Lewis captures my imagination. The Screwtape Letters as well as his Narnia chronicles inspire me when I think about setting. Lewis was a master of weaving the real world with fantasy worlds in order to share truth. His settings were not merely ‘background’ filler, but vibrant displays of time and place.
On a random side note, I love the way Stephen Lawhead and Dean Koontz craft strong vocabulary into their plot. They are, in my opinion, word masters.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
In 2004, by God’s grace, I became a “fully-surrendered” follower of Jesus. At that time, I wanted to make my writing count for something a lot higher than a good read. My heart needed my writing to share the love of Christ and his timeless message of hope. My original manuscript for The Sending was mostly secular, with only minor biblical references. I went back an overhauled the whole thing to contain the current message of the great lengths our heavenly Father goes to capture our hearts.
I believe it’s not about getting on the bestseller list, but getting our readers on the best-life-they-can-have-in-Christ list. Even if one person feels God’s love for their heart a little more from having read my story, than my work mattered.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Back in 1991, I remember I started reading for pleasure. They more I read, the more I felt like I wanted to be an author. All these years later (with one published book), I think it is important for friends out there to realize that you are an author when you create your story, not when a publisher decides to print it. Keep on writing and don’t let the rejection slips deter you from your dreams. You are an author with a story that God has given you to write. Write that story and share it for his glory!
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
My greatest wish is that readers will put down my writing and say, “Wow, God loves me that much? My life matters and he is with me every step of every day!”