Please read this interview I wrote for our ministry, if you would like more on why and how our book and blog ministry got started, etc.?
© Copyright 2017 John Foll for all the answers to the questions.
Most Questions were from SmashWords.com.
When did you first start writing?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Android Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phone, using the @Voice Aloud Reader to play the text of the book to me while I am driving or doing work around our place, etc.
What is your main goal in your writing and what you are trying to accomplish?
Our main goal is to help as many people as possible get the assurance of their own salvation, and learn how wonderful God is and have the desire grow in them to give themselves to God all the way. Then they will have the peace, love, joy and happiness that they have been searching for their entire life, and now they have it! And it will last for all eternity, if they keep allowing God to take care of them.
What is your writing process?
God is the most important part of my life and writing process! I could do nothing of any value without Him. I owe my life and my love to Him for all that He has done for me, and the new life He freely gave me. I had a most wonderful experience with God, where I learned how much He loved me, and gave my heart to Him all the way.
I thought that I had done this many years ago before, when I was baptized as a boy, but now I know we need to give our heart to God all the way every day! And why would I not want to do so?
I love Him! Within a few days after this, I was so happy I said to myself, ‘This is too good to keep to myself, I must tell it to others’
(or something like that). So I asked God to help me write a book or books to tell of His love to the world
, and that He would make me an evangelist for Him to proclaim His love to as many people as I could, and then later to the world (I think I asked Him)! I believe that He heard my prayer, for He richly blessed me with these beautiful thoughts and wonderful promises in these books, particularly Parts 1
of The Love ofGod: God’s Plan to Save You!
But He also greatly blessed me on all of these books! I had also asked Him to do this for me, because I was moving to the country and needed a source of income, but I greatly desired and needed a ministry to serve Him with. Jesus said, ‘the labourer is worthy of his hire.’ Luke 10:7.
I had a good idea of the topics that should be in the first book, which eventually got split into multiple books, and so these became the chapters. The initial writing process of a lot of these books were almost automatic. Once an idea was impressed on my mind, it was just a matter of finding the texts that went with it, and rearranging, proofing, etc. Sometimes the initial idea would immediately suggest texts or like passages, and these passages, when commented on led to others. The editing process took a lot of the thought and time. I had to learn to take out things with wrong sentiments or passages that were too strong, that in my eagerness I had put into my writing, I had much to learn about writing. I had to make sure I could back up what I was saying from the Bible or take it out, and fix any incorrect ideas that I had placed there. (I was learning in this process too!) Then I had some places that were somewhat duplicated that needed to be combined and reworded. The Bible really does explain itself!
There were some books though that were harder to write, because they were dealing with some of the things that we don’t often want to talk about or hear, the harder truths in the Bible. I had to learn how to write things in such a way as to not overburden the reader with negative messages, and avoid using harsh tones or cutting words. It could have been my old ways trying to come back or it was my inexperience at being an evangelist, or writing the truths of the Bible in Love. But God helped me through these more difficult books to find the proper balance between the negative truths that the soul sometimes needs to hear, that are not pleasant for it, and love! If the soul feels no hope, it will despair or reject the truth! We should always preach love, whenever dealing with these harder topics in the Bible! Give people hope, not just tell them what they are doing wrong! In this process, I developed the main concept that I want in all of my future books as well, regardless of the topic. In their introduction, descriptions, brochures, and product information they should always say, “Discover the beautiful truth that God loves you and has a plan to save you!” If I can say that each book is about God’s love and plan to save you, and the book really contains this, then some of the harder truths of the Bible can be presented, and will fit with God’s love for the world! He doesn’t want anyone to perish! Therefore repent and live!
I have to use the aid of text-to-speech readers on my PC or Android phone to proof read to fix mistakes, because I don't see all of the errors. Dyslexia? Sometimes I don't always hear them either, so I listen and sometimes re-read things until I am satisfied. The editing and proof-reading processes are very important in order to get rid of mistakes, and to flesh out more fully the concepts that were expressed, in order to not miss anything important.
But I believe that God has been guiding me in this process, because I would be unable to write inspiring books like these without Him, that would be of any value spiritually, that would uplift people from the problems on this earth, to help them catch His Spirit and see a glimpse of Heaven. Praise His wonderful name! He gives gifts to those who love Him, to help them serve Him, and gives them the power and the strength to do it. What a privilege! What a joy!
What are you working on next?
We are working on the marketing of our Ministry for the Books, Website, and Blogs to help people get closer to God.
We have two books that are almost done except for the final editing. Some editing of these books has been done already, but more is needed: 1) "TheGifts of the Spirit in the Last Days: For Those Who Want To Know About theirNeed For the Gifts of The Spirit in the Last Days, Which We are Now Living in." 2) "TheFirst Commandment: Give Your Heart Completely To God Because You Love Him! WhatLack I Yet?" And some more excerpt books. I also want to make 2 other smaller books of "TheFirst Commandment", one with just the first (main chapter), and another with chapters 1 and 2. These two smaller books are intended for someone who may not be ready for the first book, but need to know the essentials of the First Commandment, etc. The "WhatLack I Yet" version gives the harder calls to give your heart to God, and shows the Holy Spirit outpouring for the latter days... Well you need to read it to find out. But it should help equip the reader so that they can be ready for the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the world, and help them to see their need of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that they can have a ministry to serve God with and be ready for Jesus to come.
We want to make a book to be tentatively called: "The Meaning of Baptism", discussing the origin of Baptism, and its meaning in the Early Christian Church. This is book points out the necessity of every Christian to be baptized by the water and the Spirit as described by Jesus in John 3:3, 5, and in Jesus' own baptism, who is the example for all Christians to follow. This will be taken from my currently released book "The Ceremonial Law and Sacrificial System: What does it mean to the Gospel Message?" and will be a small book for those wanting a book just on Christian baptism.
And some more planned books: "The Love of God: God's Plan to Save You Part 3: How To Please God" This may end up being two books? We are not sure yet. This one is built on top of Part 1 and 2 and God's Law of Love and the First Commandment. It is desirable that these books be read first before Part 3 or 4.
Who are your favorite authors?
Our favorite Bible authors currently are John, Paul and Matthew, and Luke for the book of Acts. Where would we be without the book of Acts?
When we were younger our favorites were Jeremiah and Isaiah we believe, we still love Jeremiah and Isaiah. John the Apostle's books are the easiest to understand and should be completely mastered by all Christians first I believe. The books of John and 1st John are very good at leading someone to Jesus; to give their heart to Him and become His. We recommend that everyone keep reading and re-reading these two books with much prayer! John, Matthew, Acts should be read and mastered before reading Paul. The Bible should not be studied in such a way as to interpret passages to contradict other places in the Bible. It is especially important to never accept an interpretation for passages in the newer books of the Bible that contradicts the testimony of the earlier books. If you would first study the Gospels, then the book of Acts, and then the Book of 1st John (in this order), this will greatly help you understand the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament properly. This is because Christ is the center of the Bible, and I believe that the apostle John was especially close to Jesus, which you can easily see in the book of 1 John, which is why I recommend this book to be read after the Gospels and Acts.
The Gospels are perhaps the easiest books in the Bible to understand, and most important and the most powerful I believe. If people would just read the Bible with much prayer and devotion to God, instead of letting other people tell them what it means, there would be much less confusion and contradiction out there, and people would have the love, joy and peace we were all meant to have! And then we would have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit and our whole life would change! We would have new life from above! And have the ability of obeying God and serving Him with great joy! The entire Bible revolves around Jesus Christ, so the Gospels should be studied first by everyone wanting to be a Christian, or for Christians who haven’t read much of the Bible if any.But those who are not where they need to be spiritually – these especially need to read the Gospels again and again until they get it! These should be the most studied books of the Bible I believe, especially the Books of John and Matthew.
What do you do for fun?
Serving God, studying His word, writing these books, and telling others of God’s wonderful love bring me great joy! Nothing in my life has ever brought me joy like this!
How do you approach cover design?
My mom gave me a most beautiful gift of two different versions of my cover paintings, that I had asked her if she would do for me.I really appreciate her for these wonderful gifts! I use the CorelDraw Photo Paint application to fix or alter the original painting(s), and the manipulate colors, fixing the scanning glitches, etc. But I have used parts of these paintings in different ways and in different places for my ministry. The second painting she made is the one I am currently using. I have used it to create much of my cover art on my books, and social media, and it helped me to choose my "corporate colors" and color schemes. I had told my Mom that originally that I wanted a picture of a young woman, who represents the Bride of Christ, who is waiting for the Second Coming of Christ or something like that, but it could also represent the Bride of Christ receiving the Holy Spirit to help her prepare for the Second Coming of Christ; to give her the ability of preparing and serving Him - to bring others to Him too! (I had known about what I wanted based on my first book, which eventually got split into several books – this works better in the eBook world.)
What is your favorite book?
Without a doubt the Bible! I was raised, when younger, reading the King James Version, but later studied in other versions of the Bible like the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, the Amplified Bible (I don't remember how much of this I read), and then the New American Standard Bible. But when I was and adult, and more seasoned, I started using just the KJV again for a few years, because I missed reading it, and because I thought it to be the better version probably based on some people I was associating with (I still love this version). But I found that I preferred the NASB most of the time, except for times where the KJV says things better. So when doing my Bible studies, when researching for my books, I prefer to have WordSearch open in the parallel version mode with multiple versions, including mainly KJV and NASB77 and NASB95 versions. Lately I have also added the RSV and NRSV and occasionally NIV. (I don't generally like the way the NIV reads, but sometimes I use it.) I believe that the KJV and the NASB are all that I really need most of the time. But sometimes I use the advanced capabilities in WordSearch for word meanings, etc.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
My Blogs, and the SlideShare.net PDF's made from my blogs. I have my blogs duplicated on multiple social media sites: BlogSpot.com (Blogger), Tumblr, Google+ Collections, SlideShare.net and some other places. I made PDF's of my brochures for the books and my ministry that are also widely available. All of these PDF's have links to my Web Sites and some of My Social Media sites. I also share my blog articles and other things on FaceBook and Twitter.
Published 2017-02-20 on SmashWords.com.
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