Welcome to another edition of Author Fridays! Sit back, get comfortable, and read about this week's featured author, Christian writer, J. Curt Haney!
J. Curt Haney is the author of "Grace For The Prodigal, The Story of One Man's Journey back to the Cross", published by Publish America
"Having been raised most of his life as the son of a Southern Baptist preacher, it
is no wonder that Curt Haney knew the path to take to find peace and joy in his life.
But what is a wonder is how he finally arrived at that point, the point where only
hope could lead him back to that joy. In this true and incredibly frank story, Curt
takes you through all the twists, turns, struggles and pitfalls of a life that became
desperate, desperate to find inner peace and that ever-elusive joy. Searching everywhere
except where he already knew to look, Curt became a man in denial and bent on self-destruction.
Only when he reached his darkest moment did he allow the light of Jesus Christ to
illuminate his soul, finally giving him the hope, peace and joy he had so desired." Description taken from Publish America's website
"I'm a middle aged man who has been married to my best friend, Lindsey, for eighteen years," says Curt. "We are blessed with two great teenage children, David and Alexandra. We live in the beautiful gulf coast city of Mobile, Alabama where the skies are blue, the weather is warm and life moves at a nice easy pace. I've traveled quite a bit, been to seven countries, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico; I've also been to thirty-five states and lived in seven of them. My hobbies are writing, of course, but not just books, but poetry and songs as well. Music is a big part of my life and the life of my entire family. In addition to song writing and playing, my wife and I also perform at local places as part of a small ministry I'm trying to get started. I'm an assistant to the director of our youth choir Surrender and the current president of The Celebration Choir and Orchestra at my church. I also like to create, write, direct, edit and produce movies and other video projects digitally on my computer. But my favorite hobby of all, the one I've had since I was about eleven years old has to do with snakes. I love snakes and lizards. I love to go out and hunt snakes, catch them, study and document them in my database. I should have been a herpetologist. I currently have four snakes of my own as pets ranging in size from 2 1/2 feet to about 6 ft in length. I guess it's just something that I've never grown out of from my childhood. Much to the chagrin of my wife!"
Curt freely admits he doesn't read as much as he should or could, in fact he never really considered himself much of a reader like some people. "I wish I could make time to do more reading, but I guess I'm just not disciplined enough," he says.
As for his love of writing, this is his first book. He tells me that it was definitely a challenge to finish, But now that it's completed and published, he has this great sense of accomplishment and a thing he calls "the writing bug". "I have already begun tossing around a couple of new ideas for my next book. Hopefully I'll be able to get it published sometime in the near future."
When it comes to favorite authors, Curt says, "I used to read a good bit of Lawrence Sanders, but my favorite of all time is the late great Sidney Sheldon. I've read most if not all of his novels and have never found a bad one. I was really upset when he passed a couple of years ago, and truly believe the world lost one of the great masters."
"When I was a child," Curt told me in the interview, "I had this fantasy of becoming a famous author. I even started writing my first novel in the sixth grade. But as sixth graders are wanton to do, I became distracted and never completed it. It wasn't very good anyway. But as an adult, I thought that I had lived a somewhat interesting life and done some things that most people aren't lucky enough to get to do. So I always thought that one day I'd write the "Memoirs of the regular guy". Never in a million years did I ever think I would actually do it. But after the great changes that I experienced in my life, I thought that I should write it down and share it with others. And like I said earlier, now I've got the "writing bug."
In each interview, I like to ask authors, "Who or what inspired you?" J. Curt Haney's answer to this is sure to bless you. He says, and I quote, "I actually felt led by God to write my story. I believe that if only one teenager, or adult for that matter, can read my story and make the necessary changes in their way of life to prevent them from going through some of the horrible things that I have been through and done, then that was my purpose. Because, you see, this book isn't really about my life, I'm a nobody, but rather it's all about the grace of God and the hope that only He offers." And, as for how he gets his ideas for stories, he says "by living them."
Haney believes his book is special, because it's honest, truthful and he says he doesn't hold anything back. "I didn't try to write down every little detail of my life, that was not my goal, and that would be tedious and very boring. But everything I have portrayed in my book, I've tried to portray in an honest and plain way. I want others to be able to read it and understand it without me trying to be some kind of brilliant, fancy author. I just want to tell my story in the hopes of helping someone else, I'm not doing this to impress anyone. My wife and kids think it's pretty cool that I am the author of a published book, but to them, I'm still husband and dad. After all, they're really the only ones I try to impress these days."
Curt hopes that by reading his book, readers will get an understanding of how much God loves each one of them, despite where they come from, what they've done, or even who they've become. "He loves us unconditionally," Haney says, "and He is the only way to find true joy and peace in life. Andd that's what I want the readers to take from this book. That they don't have to go through all that I went through just to find that peace and joy in life, it's available just for the asking; it's available to all who ask."
"So Curt, what advice would you give to someone who wishes to become a published author?"
"First, don't give up. There will be times during the writing period that you will think that this is just too big of a task. It's just too much for you and that you'll never, ever get it completed. You may even do like I did and stop writing for a couple of months. But whatever you do, finish the job. It is well worth it. The sense of accomplishment is fantastic, even if you only sell one or two books. You've still done it! And when it's completed and you feel really good about yourself and your accomplishment, be prepared for rejection after rejection by publisher after publisher. When you finally do get a publisher to accept your manuscript, be prepared to wait. It takes a long, long time to get through the publication process. Sometimes as short as a few months and sometimes as long as a year. Just keep your eye on the prize, your eye on the goal. And eventually, when that book does hit the shelves, when you hold your completed book in your hands for the very first time, it will be well worth all the blood, sweat and tears that you put into it."
"Anything else that you would like to share with us?"
"I just want to say thank you for this interview. We authors are starving for attention and publicity to promote our books, so thank you very much for this opportunity. I hope everyone who reads this interview will go out and buy my book, read it and most importantly enjoy it. And then go tell a friend. If anyone would like to contact me for any questions or other information, they can visit my official website at
or I can also be found on
or just by Googling "J.Curt Haney". I also want to say that no matter what situation in which you find yourself in this life, there is still hope. I know because I have found that hope, and you can learn all about that hope in my book. So please read it."
Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of Author Fridays! Be sure to come back, same time, same place to read about our next featured author, SciFi writer, D. K. Caldwell!