Hi y’all I’m working with author Brennan McPherson to read and review “The Psalm Series” written by Brennan McPherson, Mesu Andrews, and Carole Towriss. The first book releases July 2nd 2018, followed by the second in August and the third in September.
Without further ado here is my first interview with the first author to come out (releasing July 2nd)
Interview with Brennan McPherson on “The Psalm Series”:
- Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you write? My name is Brennan McPherson, and I’m a biblical fiction author who holds very conservative beliefs on the Bible, yet who approaches writing stories about the Bible from an unconventional perspective. My first flagship series is titled “The Fall of Man Series,” and it covers the early Genesis Stories from a dark, fantasy perspective to bring out the beautiful symbolism in the original Hebrew text, and to fight misconceptions and misunderstandings about the stories that have plagued the Western church. I believe the early Genesis stories are factual history, so it’s not meant to undermine the actuality of those events, but rather to avoid anyone claiming that the way I’ve written them is how they happened. There’s so much we don’t know and I wanted to embrace the unknowns as a way of contemplating God’s person-hood and promises. Though I have gotten quite a few 1-star reviews as a result of people holding on to their misconceptions (example: the idea that it never rained before the flood, or that Noah was mocked for his belief in an impending flood-neither of those ideas are found in the Bible.)
- What first drew you toward contributing to the multi-author project, “The Psalm Series”? Writing can be such a solitary endeavor, but I’ve never been a loner. I longed to work with other people. The idea of a multi-author project was extremely intriguing to me. Luckily, I have a degree in business management, and I enjoy the publishing/marketing side of the business of writing, so I have been able to administrate the series with the two other extremely talented authors contributing this year (Mesu Andrews and Carole Towriss.) It’s been wonderfully refreshing!
- What do the psalms mean to you? The psalms teach me how to worship, pray, and follow God. They’re a guide for my prayer life. A reminder of the ways God wants us to worship him. A connection to the heart of previous passionate God lovers. And encouragement in dark times, and lately, I’ve had a lot of dark times.
- How did you approach writing a fictional story based on a psalm? I approach writing fictional stories based on biblical text to get at the central meaning of the text, rather than to form a purely historical narrative (though I still research the historical context to a great degree.) In essence, then, I write fantasy parables that take the core meaning of scripture and re-package it in a way that connects with us on both an emotional and intellectual level. Why? Because it helps us bring more beauty and meaning out of texts that may have become stale to us, and because it helps us get past faulty preconceptions we may have built up around the text. I believe that the human imagination is the faculty through which we worship (“without faith it is impossible to please God,” and what is faith but applying our imaginations to God’s promises?) Because of this, as we oppress or suppress the human imagination, we actually do damage to our capacity of worship. Times of revival in the church were always concurrent with leaps in artistic expression of our love for God through art. So, I approached writing a story based on Psalm 23 as a fantasy parable that helps us connect with the emotions and spiritual truths behind and beautiful metaphors in the song.
- What made approaching a fiction book based on a psalm different from approaching a fiction book based on biblical narrative? You just write by a different set of rules. For the “Fall of Man series” mentioned above, even though the books were fantasy, I still wrote only what fit into the plot already given in the original Hebrew text. With approaching the psalms, they’re not historical narrative, so we don’t have a preset plot. We have emotions, metaphors, and spiritual truths, and we build out plots based on those. It’s a bit like the difference between washing clothes and drying them.
- Why did the psalm you picked stick out to you? Does the psalm have some personal significance? Psalm 23 always struck me as one of the most vivid and emotionally impacting (yet also enigmatic) psalms. It’s always turned up my emotions when I used it in my worship and prayer time. But it also got my imagination running wild!
- How do you use the psalms in your personal devotions? I read them when I’m tired. I pray them line by line. I memorize them for encouragement and reminders. I recite and meditate on the deep meaning inside them to understand God more fully. I look to them for inspiration, and for holy beauty.
- What good is there in reading (or writing) fictional stories based on the bible? Story helps us connect our emotions to truths we already knew. Non-fiction helps us find connections between truths and emotions we’ve already felt. Which do you think is more powerful? Do we work primarily by logic? or by emotion? Of course, we are primarily emotional beings. But we live in bodies pressed between the two (emotion and logic). And so we need both poetry and law, both fiction and non-fiction, both emotion and logic. I grieve for those who don’t see the usefulness and humanity of fiction. They’ve lost a part of what makes them mirrors of God’s image.
- What do you hope readers do after reading your contribution to “The Psalm Series”? I hope they deepen their Scripture engagement and double down on their prayer life. I hope they’re impassioned to chase our Savior with everything they have.
- What are the main takeaways you hope to leave with readers as they read your book? God’s goodness and sovereignty.
- What’s your next project going to be about? My next project is going to be finishing the “Fall of Man series” with a book about the tower of Babel! The title is really unique and creative: “Tower.” I know, I’m so original.
- Where can reader connect with you best? I have a website and blog at https://brennanmcpherson.com/. I basically don’t do social media, but I do have an e-mail list that I’m active with, and I’m very responsive to any e-mails sent to me. You can join the list and download a free prequel e-book here: brennanmcpherson.com/free-e-book.
- How do readers find out more about “The Psalm Series?” Is there a website they can visit? Absolutely! just go to https://psalmseries.com.
Y’all I’m currently reviewing Mr. McPhersons book in “The Psalm Series.” “The Hunter and the Valley of Death.” A review will be coming soon on here and on GoodReads so stay tuned! Also I’ll be doing two more interview posts with the other authors in this series, I know so exciting!
Thank you all for wanting to learn more about Mr. McPherson and his colleagues (interviews to come.) I’m looking forward to reading this series and seeing how enlightening it is for my own faith.
Happy Wednesday! What is on deck for your reading pleasure?
Author Interview graphic found here