One of Those Authors

Yesterday I mentioned a group of gifted writers I’ve come to know, mostly on line. Michael Snyder is one, but I’ve had the privilege of a face-to-face with this talented author.

I first ran across Michael at Faith in Fiction, a discussion board started by Bethany House editor Dave Long. We both participated in numerous writing discussions and eventually exchanged a few emails and even a critique or two.

I continued to follow Mike’s career as he entered several of Dave Long’s short story contests and published stories at Infuze. Clearly, it was just a matter of time before he found a publisher.

In 2007 he signed a contract with Zondervan, and his debut novel My Name Is Russell Fink is scheduled to release next month.

Like so many of the characters in Mike’s short fiction, Russell Fink is quirky—an antihero really—on an unusual path. The further into the story you go, the more Russell becomes sympathetic. At the outset, not so much.

Mike’s writing shines in this book. His voice is strong, his descriptions vivid without being flowery and without stopping the forward motion of the story. The plot has his usual amount of daily-life grittiness.

As good a writer as Mike is, he is an even better guy. I mentioned that I had occasion to meet him in person. Twice, actually. The first time was at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference in 2006, and the second, six or so months later at the ACFW Conference in Dallas.

Both times God providentially brought Mike in my path at my lowest moments. He may not even remember, but he offered compassion and encouragement, in just the right proportion, and pointed me toward our sovereign God.

Besides, he’s a committed husband and father, a true craftsman who works to improve his writing, and loads of fun. One thing readers will be delighted to find is Mike’s persistent sense of humor woven throughout his novel.

And discussion questions! Now that one threw me off guard. About the last person … no, I take that back. The last person I would expect to see discussion questions accompanying his book is J. Mark Bertrand. We’ll have to wait and see on his. Mike’s you can see for yourself in just a few short weeks.

Published in: on February 15, 2008 at 12:46 pm  Comments (3)  
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