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Rich Christiano[Jeff Gerke]


Interview: Walker Chandler

Walker Chandler is the author of The Evangeline Manuscript, published in 1998 by Pike Publishing. Walker holds a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, and graduated from Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Georgia. He lives with his wife Ruth and their children Canada, Zebulon and Alex in Zebulon, Georgia. He took part in the list in May, 2000. Ron Davis, Thomas P. Roche, and Greg Slade asked the questions, and here is an edited version of the question and answer sequence. (Note: My notes for this interview are fragmentary, and there were a couple of questions where I could not identify the questioner.) You can find out more about Walker on his web site at WalkerChandler.com.

TR: How did you get into writing?

I have been writing since my college days, when I wrote mostly poetry and began my first novel, which would have been similar to Deliverance – but with a woman lead.

TR: Where were you born and raised?

Atlanta, Georgia.

TR: What is your Christian testimony/ denomination preference, and how did you come upon the faith?

I was raised in the Presbyterian church. My mother was killed in a car wreck when I was 3. Her family was Church of Christ.

TR: What is your education? Your career?

Law degree, lawyer. (See my web site for further personal details – and please forgive the picture which I will replace soon.)

TR: Where do you live? Married with children?

Zebulon and Peachtree City, Georgia. Wife Ruth; children: daughter, Canada, sons, Zebulon and Alex.

TR: Have you published anything other than The Evangeline Manuscript? Is there a web site devoted to or featuring your works/vita? Listserv?

Other than legal opinions, no. From my Website, you can see the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the case Chandler et al. v. Miller et al., but legal terminology is probably not what you want for light bedtime reading. And remember, only a lawyer can write a 50,000 word paper and refer to it as a brief. (Oh, and there is a page of lawyer jokes on my site; I'd love to see your own contributions to that page.)

TR: What is your philosophy/ methodology for integrating your Christian faith into your writing?

As I show in The Evangeline Manuscript, Christianity compels one to be a libertarian, which is both a philosophical as well as a political outlook. I believe strongly in the Christian precepts that one should render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's, that one should love one's neighbor as one's self, and that he who is without should cast the first stone. Be honest, keep your word, do not initiate force – all principles for both Christians and libertarians.

RD: What was your first exposure to Science Fiction? What other authors were an influence on you?

First: Edgar Rice Burroughs. Others: Wells, Asimov.

RD: What is your writing process, specifically for fiction? Do you start from an outline? Develop characters first? Follow the Marshal plan?

The Evangeline Manuscript "process" was different than that of other writings. It originally came as an insight – or a gift, if you will – on a particular night as I drove along. the kernel of the story was set then and there, and all since (over about 20 years) was work, frustration, searching for the right voice, and further inspirations and insights.

RD: To what level of detail do you focus while writing? For example do you spend a lot of time consciously working on each sentence? Or do you think about the scene and the sort of let it flow out of your unconscious?

The devil is in the details and each sentance must be carefully written so as to arrive at the proper degree of brevity and clarity – and even then it is easy to make mistakes and create confusions.

RD: How long did it take you to write the The Evangeline Manuscript and how constantly were you working on it?

After a lot of initial failures in the late seventies (coudn't find the voice, mostly – didn't know from what perspective to write – I set it aside for years to work on other things. I alwys knew it was the great story, the unique story, though and felt guilty that I was not working on it. It was as if the Lord was saying to me over and over: "I have given you the story and if you don't write it I'll find someone else who will. So do your duty!" This was particularly strongly felt in Church.

RD: Watched William Gibson being interviewed on Big Thinker, a show on ZDTV, last night and here are a couple of questions they asked him: What do you think of futurists?

I think more about the past and the present – the future looks too grim – at least from the libertarian perspective...

RD: What do you think education will look like in 20 years?

I think the public ed monopoly is falling apart but cannot persume to know what, if anything, will take its place.

RD: What are you working on right now?

A standard do-it-for-the-money murder mystery.

GS: Walker, you have mentioned that The Evangeline Manuscript has a religious message, and even a message that God wanted you to put out to the world. Would you mind trying to boil down that central religious message for us? If there's a "thesis sentence" in the book, what would it be?

Thank you for asking, Greg. The book's thesis is one which is perhaps all too obvious: That Christians so often do not act as if they are christians at all, but rather they clothe their own asssumptions and passions and actions in a religious wrapping that might as well be Islam, Sun Worship or whatever.

Whether it's obvious or not, it's certainly an important point. How do you think we can tell whether someone else – or ourselves – is acting that way?

By asking, "What would Jesus do?" An example might be in order. If His neighbor was using drugs of which he did not approve, would he call the government in and insist that they put the guy in jail and/or take his family and his money?

The same would also hold if his neighbor was worshiping a "false god." Would He instigate an Inquisition?

Obviously far too many Christians would answer "yes" to all those questions without batting an eyelash. Would you like to revise your response?

Might it be said, then, that Christians have betrayed Christ? And would they not do it if He were here among them in the form of a man?

GS: Also, I have to admit that I was surprised by the intrusiveness of twentieth century technology in the first century world. The book certainly has a lot of gunplay (not to mention that flying boat.) I would have expected Evangeline, Mark, and Julian to "cover their tracks" a little better, since we have no weird legends of killing sticks dating from the time.

One of the many "themes" of the book is one that is found in other time travel stories – including A Connecticutt Yankee in King Arthur's Court, to mention but one – that is to say the "what if" one had modern weapons on ancient fields. Another theme is the role of weapons – ancient or modern – in the concept of effective self-defense. You may remember that their use of weapons gave them only limited advantages, but when Eva found herself without any modern weapons at all she had to face the fact that she was not longer "an equal" to men. "God made Man. I made them Equal" – Samuel Colt.

You will recall that Julian, too, became disarmed – and imprisoned. There is a lesson to all in these themes.

And yes, there were always reports of fantastic happenings in the ancient world – including reports of air rifles (well – I doubt if they had rifling) and ascencions and miracle weapons.

GS: Given the various sub-themes you've mentioned, and reflecting upon the review of David's book by the host of the libertarian list, is it fair to assume that Pike is a libertarian publishing house, or did things just happen to fall out that way?

Pike has but a few offerings at this time – I suspect that in the future most items will be quite regional and non-political.


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[David R. Beaucage][Kathy Tyers][James BeauSeigneur][Jefferson Scott][Walker Chandler][Alton Gansky][Ray Hansen]

[Emily Snyder][Randall Ingermanson][Theodore Beale][Steve Laube][Laura Lond][Frank Wu][Donita K. Paul][Brenda W. Clough][Bryan Davis][John Granger]

[Karen Hancock][Miles Owens][Robert Liparulo][Bryan Davis, part 2][Chris Walley][Kathryn Mackel][Gene Wolfe][Sharon Hinck][Wayne Thomas Batson][Lars Walker][Christopher Hopper][Jeffrey Overstreet]

Rich Christiano[Jeff Gerke]

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[David R. Beaucage] [Kathy Tyers] [James BeauSeigneur] [Jefferson Scott] [Walker Chandler] [Alton Gansky] [Ray Hansen] [Emily Snyder] [Randall Ingermanson] [Theodore Beale] [Steve Laube] [Laura Lond] [Frank Wu] [Donita K. Paul] [Brenda W. Clough] [Bryan Davis] [John Granger] [Karen Hancock] [Miles Owens] [Robert Liparulo] [Bryan Davis, part 2] [Chris Walley] [Kathryn Mackel] [Gene Wolfe] [Sharon Hinck] [Wayne Thomas Batson] [Lars Walker] [Christopher Hopper] [Jeffrey Overstreet][Rich Christiano][Jeff Gerke]