Hey Rob, thanks for letting us take some time to chat with you about your new book Drops Like Stars. This book is a bit different than your other books, as this is more of a coffee table type book with great pictures, and artistic placement of words. Can you tell us a little bit about the book and how you came to such a different look and feel as opposed to your other publications?
The main idea for the book was birthed several years ago and right away I knew there would be a visual element, because some things have to be seen, trying to describe them just doesn't work. And then I got it in my head that it had to be big and heavy-like you'd get it in your hands and say "whoa, this is a book." and once you have a vision for something you hold on to it with all your might until it
actually exists...and then you celebrate.
This book talks about some very real topics. You discuss honesty, pain, loneliness, and failure. How have these topics impacted your life, and what prompted you to write on these things?
I'm drawn to the edges, to the corners, to the margins, to the places where things aren't clear and clean and straightforward. At the center of the Christian worldview is the cross and the resurrection-the insistence that you find God in the muck, the mire, the blood, the pain, and when you're willing to go there, to go through it and not around it, you find yourself on the other side, experiencing...resurrection. I continue to find life in the strangest, most unexpected people and places and events..
As we mentioned this book is beautiful not only in it’s content, but also in its layout, visual presentation and art. What are you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
Perspective. New eyes to see old things. Hope. But not cheap hope. Not hope that says everything's
fine just smile and pose. Hope that can go into all of the dark and frightening places we usually avoid and then comes out the other side. So it's hope, but it's a real hope, a rugged hope. Hope that's got a limp, a bruise-like it's taken a few hits but it's real.
The stories you use to indicate your point in each section are beautiful, poetic and moving. How did you come across these stories and individuals? Was there research involved or was it more of an organic crossing of stories?
Whenever I come across things that strike me, grab me, provoke me, move me, inspire me, trouble me, make me laugh, I write them down. I have notebooks all over the place, full of stories and phrases and things people say and do...and then over time certain connections begin to be made and something arises and says "I'm a book." Haha. From there it's a ton to work to actually go from an idea to a finished work, but I absolutely love it...
The story about sculptor Harriet March and her process of bringing her art to life was particularly moving. Can you tell us a little bit more about her, and a bit of behind the scenes in your writing process of her story?
She's a character in Absolute Truths, a novel by Susan Howatch, a British writer who wrote a series of six novels called the Starbridge Series. Susan is brilliant and her novels are as well. Very powerful and insightful. So unfortunately, Harriet doesn't exist in real life! But that's the power of great literature.
Well Rob, we love what you’ve done with the publication, and thank you for taking the time to share with us. Where can ConversantLife viewers expect you’ll go from here?
It's an honor to engage with your questions-I have about five books in my head at the moment so I'll keep them coming, I just finished a novel which should come out sometime in the near future,and I'm on tour off and on for the next year doing a live version of Drops Like Stars...so we're really just getting started.
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