Interview with John Lyman
You never know who might be lurking on the Christian Writers Forum these days. I recently spent some time with new author, John Lyman. His book “God’s Lions ” has been on the sidebar of the Forum for a couple of months now and recently reached the top 100 list of Kindle downloads in his genre. This is the first novel for Lyman and already he is being compared to Dan Brown and his much talked about “Da Vinci Code.” Favorably, I might add. Read what author Ron Franscell has to say.
“Sure, "God's Lions" begs for comparison to Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code" because it traverses some of the same mysterious landscape, exploring what we know, what we think we know, and what we might never know about our entangled faith and history. But I would suggest that "God's Lions" goes deeper than Brown's commercial works, probing much more substantial questions while remaining a top-notch thriller. Lyman skillfully blends scientific facts and religious mythology to propel the reader through a marvelous story to a satisfying, if startling, conclusion. He paints realistic characters and puts them in terrific binds. Excellent fiction that I waited too long to read!” Ron Franscell, Author of 'Delivered from Evil'
In the interview, Lyman told me, “I had a high school English teacher tell me that I wrote pretty well, but when I got to college I started getting C’s in English, so I thought, maybe my high school teacher was probably just being overly kind. Years later, I still wanted to write, so I sat down and wrote the first twenty-five pages of “God’s Lions”. They sat in a drawer for five years until my mother was visiting and found them. She strongly urged me to finish the story because she had to know what was going to happen. You can’t disappoint your mother.”
John didn’t waste any time. He completed the novel in six months and started the rounds of publishers and agents. At one point, Tyndale asked for a synopsis and three chapters but ultimately turned it down because it was too long for a debut novel by an unknown author. Becoming frustrated with the standard approach he became an “Indie Author.” In other words he self published the book
“I decided to bypass the whole process,” says Lyman. “It’s almost cruel to new writers. Every agent wants their submissions presented in a specific way. There are hundreds of them out there, and they are all different. It’s a daunting task, because you have to have an agent to get through the door of a traditional publishing house. Finally I decided to go to Authorhouse.”
The rest is history. “Now I have all these people who are loving it, and the invitations to speak at book clubs are pouring in. Some people actually show up at my workplace to meet me and have me sign their copy. It’s been a real eye-opener, especially when I saw my book make the Amazon Kindle top 100 bestseller list in the religious fiction category. It’s now starting to show up on the religion and spirituality bestseller list as well.”
According to the Authorhouse website “AuthorHouse™ exists to help authors achieve success -- by their definition. We provide a broad array of tools and services to allow authors to make their own choices throughout the publishing process. Authors retain all rights, maintain editorial control and choose the exact selection of services that best suits their goals. Our self publishing company allows every author to control his or her own publishing destiny.”
I asked Lyman a bit about the process itself and he said it was relatively painless and a great way to go. “Nowadays, it’s all about getting your book out there. Otherwise, it’s just a dream that lies in a drawer somewhere. It’s similar to what happened to the indie film-makers who broke out onto the film scene a few years back. Until then, only movies made by the major motion picture studios got noticed, but now more and more independent films are showing up as winners on the stage at the Academy Awards. The same thing is now happening in the publishing industry. They’re starting to realize there are some really good indie books out there.”
Sounds pretty great if this is the direction an aspiring author wants to take.
Lyman is currently 50,000 words into the sequel of God’s Lions. Who knows where this will all lead? But I do know one thing … it will definitely be fun to watch!
I have invited John to visit us on the forum to chat about his experience. If you would like to ask John some questions, please visit the Coffee House and look for the “John Lyman” thread.
Gretchen Ricker, Admninistrator, Christian Writers Forum