Jeff Gerke wears lots of hats. He’s a christian fiction author (whose books include the Operation: Firebrand trilogy under the pen name Jefferson Scott), an editor, and runs his own publishing company (Marcher Lord Press). He’s also the author of Plot Versus Character, a book that addresses the question of how to balance these two critical elements of any novel. I recently had a chance to ask Gerke a few questions… here’s what he had to say:
What keeps you writing?
In my fiction, it’s the stories I want to tell. I got into this biz because no one was writing the stories I wanted to read, and that hasn’t changed.
For my nonfiction, which is mostly about the craft of writing fiction, I do it because I love to help and encourage novelists. I love to equip them to better do what it is they’re trying to do with their fiction.
What are some of your favorite books (and why)?
The Bible, because I’m a Christian. It sounds like a pat answer, but there’s a reason people say the ultimate tome on any subject is “the bible” on that
subject. For life, nothing beats the actual Bible.
The Lord of the Rings (can I count a trilogy as one book?), because that story was the very first novel to blow me away and show me the unstoppable
power of fiction.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne & King, because it’s THE best book I’ve found on how to write fiction well.
Visioneering by Andy Stanley, because it shows you how to take a vision for any kind of project or business and turn it into reality.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A publisher, which I am! I knew I’d enjoy promoting other writers’ fiction, but I didn’t count on how absolutely gratifying it would be. I love to encourage good writers, and how does one better do that than by publishing them? To see my authors reach their audiences, gain notoriety, win awards, and maybe make a buck as well is extremely rewarding.
I would’ve also liked to have played cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys, but I think age and genetics were working against me on that one…