Thursday, 19 September 2013

Tim Vander Meulen's "A Humble Heart"

Today I'd like welcome Tim Vander Meulen, author of "A Humble Heart" to the Thursday interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!

Tim Vander Meulen lives in Kauai, Hawaii. He grew up in Michigan reading similar fantasy novels and spent ten years writing "A Humble Heart", his debut. Other than writing, he spends his time teaching English, reading, working other various jobs, and enjoying the sun. He started this book when he was twelve years old and laboured for ten years writing draft after draft. He is currently writing both the second and third books of his "Dark World" trilogy.
OK - Here we go !.
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
I would, because love is greater than the law. The law was made to provide order in society, and would you trade a lasting gift of a loved one for these provisional principles? Even greater yet is sacrificial love. Would I die for my loved ones? If I would be willing to die for them, I would certainly not choose to abandon my dying loved one simply to follow a rule made by man and vane in comparison.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
You are going to notice that most of my answers will spawn from a believer's point of view, because when you understand why the world was created and how it works, these questions are easy. No one truly lives unless that person is given new life in Jesus Christ. But to bring it to a more material level, it is not enough that we move and breathe and go about our daily business. We ought to love, learn, exercise our minds and hearts, and grow with each other.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I love stories. I have since I was a little tyke. Stories coincide with imagination, and I've always had an extensive imagination. I want to write stories that awaken the imagination. I am motivated by life, for one, and also the need to tell a particular story in a particular way. To administer projects where I use my creativity to weave a story is a labour of love. When it comes down to it, my love for writing is what keeps me writing.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
Some humans want children in order to pass down a legacy, but most want them out of a natural desire to have and love a family of their own. Children are a precious gift, and it ought to be humans' desire to have children of their own to love and cherish.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "A Humble Heart" ?
Interesting you should ask. I've written an extensive article on the biggest challenge I faced writing this story. It is simply this: that our world was created and is sustained by God; that it is difficult to imagine a world where that is not the case. But such is the secondary world that I have created. I had to create a world that is self-sustained. It can be said that it is governed and sustained by goodness, virtue, and the like, for without it, the world grows dark and filled with hatred, violence, and war. But my secondary world has no story, and no person who embodies redemption. It is difficult even to pin down what the inhabitants would need to be redeemed from. There is no clear-as-crystal reason for why my characters pursue what is virtuous and good at all. I go by this: they do so because they know it is right, and that serving one's self is wrong, and because they have love in their hearts. It's an inner thing, a conscience thing. They also strive for the glory they know is their inheritance, which can really only be explained as a release from the state of the Possessors. Like other traditional fairy-tales, mine is a story that includes morals. It is not an allegory of the real world. As the author, I have to consider these distinctions. I am forced (or privileged) to dig deeper, and I may in the end realize the deeper issues more fully than the reader, who is allowed to read the story at face value.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
The most important thing that I have learned in life is that I am a sinner, and that there is one who has paid the price for my sin so that I might be reconciled to God.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "A Humble Heart" ?
I went through many titles as I was writing this book. At one time I had decided on naming it "The Humble Paladin," which would refer to the leader of the Elves, Delenas, who becomes a Paladin through the Elves' venture. But I was never completely satisfied with the title, so I changed it to "A Humble Heart," which rolled off the tongue better. It wasn't until later that I realized how Christian it sounded, but by then it was too late. I have to explain to some people that the book is not Christian fiction, and that the title is not meant to imply that. Its simple significance is its designation and commendation of the humility displayed by the leader of the Elves.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
I take most criticism as constructive. If there is something that I need to improve on, I see the criticism as part of the journey of writing. Much of writing is a learning process, and criticism is a major part in that process. When at times, however, a critic is outrageous and whatever is criticized is not a consistent problem, I take it with patience and disregard the comment or review.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
This is a story that follows the tradition of epic fantasy instigated by Tolkien. "The Dark World" is teeming with adventure! Because their world is threatened, the noble races must brave perilous expeditions to repress the dark and defend their way of life. Read it if you enjoy adventure, war, Elves, Dwarves, and other mythological creatures; read it if you enjoy mystery, suspense, romance, and drama. I've written it for you.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
God created it for his glory.

Thanks Tim for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
Check out his new book "A Humble Heart" on
An epic fantasy of war and adventure! The leader of the Elves in the south is troubled by an onslaught of Possessors against their homeland. In his investigations, he is met by a band of Dwarves and two human boys who bear the most terrible news. The kingdom of men has been invaded. As far as anyone knows, these two refugees are the only remnants of the human race in the world. The boys had first consulted the Dwarves, and now they ask for the aid of the Elves to recapture their homeland. Before the leader can make his decision, his world is turned on its head.

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