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Advice from IR Approved Author David Giffen: “Write raw, edit carefully, and don’t publish ‘til you are ready.”

Redemptive Trauma: Confession of a Defrocked Priest received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author David Giffen.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Redemptive Trauma: Confession of a Defrocked Priest.

October 23rd, 2020.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are.” – J.R.R Tolkien

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

The book is a memoir; a eulogy to both the first half of my life and my life as an ordained Anglican priest. It is a book about male vulnerability and learning the deep value of empathy, while tackling mental health and the associated stigma, which often buries those who suffer. I tell stories about sex, drugs, alcohol and abuse, through the lens of grace, mercy and love. This book is about generational trauma and rediscovering family. Ultimately, Redemptive Trauma is about reconciling hope, and calling home prodigals of all kinds.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

I began to write Redemptive Trauma as a therapeutic process. It took shape as my life was in turmoil and I was trying to get my bearings and figure out a way forward. As I struggled to make sense of my new reality and overcome the challenges I faced, I found myself trapped… until I wrote my way out. From the fires of death, writing this book forced me to climb my way out and forge a new life for myself.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

To restore hope. No matter how bad things are; no matter how far you’ve fallen or how unloved you’ve felt: There is hope.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Ed Sheeran & Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Sheldon and me. I’ll let you guess who’s who.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I have been writing since I was really little. I wrote short stories and poetry for as long as I can remember. I write because I want to be fully human, and I just can’t keep everything that goes on in my head in my head. My goal in becoming a published author was to share my pain, anguish and joy with the world. I believe there is deeper meaning in shared suffering, helping others know that they are not alone.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

It is.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I run a small leadership collective called 403LC. It is a venture consisting of a small group of leaders looking to make a difference in the wider community. We offer coaching, mentoring, and advocacy services; opportunities to share with us in life’s milestones and ceremonies (weddings etc.); speakers to help your group or community turn a corner or face a difficult challenge or change; and leadership training retreats for your group, community, company or family. We get people from A to B — no exceptions.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

I write every day. But prayer and meditation are where the real work gets done. When writing something for publication, I spend much less time writing and much more time developing thoughts and ideas. Time to myself matters a great deal. If I’m not writing, I’m running away from myself.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

It can be hard staying motivated when you don’t see the results you want to see right away. No one is checking up on you. You are the only one truly invested in your success. But… you have full creative control. You manifest your own path ahead. It can be as big or as small; as simple or as complex as you let it all become. There really is nothing like seeing those first positive reviews roll in and book sales start to report. You know YOU did this. Sometimes flat on your back with limited capital and no resources to spare – Indie’s know they went and made it happen for themselves.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Invest in yourself. With your time and with your money. Believe in yourself – deeply. No one else is responsible for your success. Don’t listen to a word of what your detractors say. Hear every word of what your most trusted critics say. Write raw, edit carefully, and don’t publish ‘til you are ready.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

In the right circumstance, yes. I’ll try anything once.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

PC Answer: Making a difference. Non-PC Answer: Winning. Both are true.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

It would be a tie between C.S. Lewis & J.R.R. Tolkien. Largely because of the impact they had on one another and the expansive universes they created that impacted me. Both Middle Earth and Narnia shaped my understanding of good and evil and how we live in the tension between the two. They were able to craft worlds that would help make sense of a violent and often terrifying reality in the mid-twentieth century, when the world was pulling itself apart at the seams. Lewis says that in Narnia, Aslan is the Christ. In Middle Earth, the smallest and simplest creatures —Hobbits— are the only ones who can be trusted to destroy the ring of power in the fires of Mount Doom. Lewis and Tolkien understood the deeper truths of the Christian Gospel: Light shone in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it. Having led Lewis to the Christian faith, Lewis dedicated his book, The Screwtape Letters, to Tolkien and inscribed in the copy, “In token payment of a great debt.” In J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sanctifying Myth, Bradley J. Birzer writes that Lewis’s dedication angered Tolkien, for the book had deeply disturbed him.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out
by Brennan Manning