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Author Kurt Bruner
The name Kurt Bruner is most likely a familiar one for those who spend a lot of time in Christian book stores. He has written a multitude of books on various subjects pertaining to the Christian faith; and for JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis enthusiasts, he is known best for his two books about finding God in Narnia and Middle Earth.
Rachel- Tell us about yourself.
Kurt Bruner- You can learn about me at www.kurtbruner.com
RH- How did you first become interested in writing?
KB- I was about 24 years old and, while working at Focus on the Family in the mail room and attending seminary, I fell in love with the written words as a of teaching/influencing others. Books had such a profound way impact on my life and thinking I wanted to touch others in a small way also.
RH- How did the concept of the Finding God in the Land Narnia and Finding God in Lord of the Rings books come about?
KB- In 2000, I had just completed writing a book titled The Divine Drama in which I dove deeply into the theme of how all great stories echo/reflect the themes of “the” story of God. While writing that book, I fell in love with the philosophy and writings of JRR Tolkein. Then I saw a news story saying that New Line Cinema was producing The Lord of the Rings trilogy to release the following year. I contacted my publisher and said, “This is a great opportunity to show Tolkein fans his Christian faith and to show Christians, who haven't read him before, how his books point to the Christian Gospel. Finding God in Lord of the Rings was a big success, selling about 200,000 copies over the next few years.
So when the Narnia films were about to release, the publisher asked us to team up for a book about how Lewis did much the same. My background as one of the production executives for the radio theatre version of the Narnia Chronicles fresh on my mind, I was very excited about the idea. So Jim Ware and I partnered again.
RH- How did you become interested in Narnia and The Lord of the Rings?
KB- I was not exposed to either as a child. It came as a result of my role overseeing films, radio drama, etc. At Focus on the Family, my passion merged for showing how the Gospel bubbles up in every great story. Nobody did it as well as Tolkein and Lewis.
RH- What is your favorite book from the series?
KB- Narnia series = The Magician's Nephew because it reflects the Creation of a world that was made good but invaded (spoiled) by a personal evil.
RH- Please share with us your personal testimony of Salvation?
KB- I grew up in a Christian home with great parents, so I don't remember a time I didn't believe. I prayed to trust Christ as a child and have followed him ever since.
RH- You have written many Spiritual help books; how do you decide a topic to write?
KB- Two questions: First, what interests me? (You can't write 50,000 words on anything well if it doesn't light your fire.) Second, what would others want to read? (You can't keep writing if nobody buys your books.)
RH- From a girl who hasn't co-written a book since the first grade, how does the process work?
KB- It is different with every author team. Often one person shares his/her ideas and the stronger writer does the actual writing. (I did all, or most of, the writing on several of my co-authored books.) Other times, you divide up the chapters and each write a portion of an agreed upon outline. (This is what Jim Ware and I do since we have very similar writing styles.)
RH- What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
KB- Find a job in which you use written words all the time. I spent 5 years answering letters for Focus on the Family, requiring me to write 8 hours per day every day. I wasn't crafting stories or teaching great truths, but I was learning to put words together in a way that others can understand. I would not have developed the ability to write books without that job forcing me to use words well every day.