Q: Is this book only for sons who have lost fathers?
A: While that is clearly the heart of the story, some of the most emotional feedback has come from daughters who have lost a father - or a mother. Others readers have been recovering from divorce, and find that their sense of loss and search for healing is very similar to mine.
Q. Is this book only for Christians?
A: While I am writing as a Christian, the experience of loss is universal, and transcends religious, social, and familial boundaries. If someone has lost a loved one there is good chance he or she will be able to relate to the the emotional and social upheaval this book chronicles. Perhaps the reading of my Christian journey can provide others with the ongoing hope and healing I am experiencing.
Q: What do you want this book to accomplish?
A: Initially, I decided to publish Learning to Jump Again as a tribute to my dad. As others began to read it, I realized it has the potential to help people through experiences such as mine. If this book would help to provide a ministry to others in grief (through sales of the book, speaking engagements, conferences, etc.) I would enjoy that as well.
Q: What makes you qualified to write about this?
A: First, my dad died. I guess that makes me qualified, though anyone who has lost a loved one has something relevant to say too (and you see some of their thoughts throughout the book). The death of a parent is hardly unique in the history of the world, but for each person to whom this happens, it is utterly unique. Every story matters.
Second, I am a Christian, and I had to look at this experience through the lense of my faith. I tried to be honest and self-revelatory. So, in a book about the intersection of faith and grief, I suppose this is a necessary qualification.
Third, it doesn't hurt that I have an English degree and a Theology degree. This is hardly a necessary qualification, but for me it was certainly helpful. Hopefully, both show up in some relevant fashion throughout the book.
Q: What was the best part of writing this book?
A: I enjoy the process of refining what I have written. It forces me to clarify what I think and believe.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing this book?
A: Being honest. I had to reach a point where I didn't care what others thought of my journey. I figured God knew I was trying to be honest as part of a quest toward Him and toward hope, and that was enough. Some people will be offended by what I write; I suspect more will be comforted and encouraged.