Interview with Jim Baton Author of the Thriller A Violent Light

Jim Baton has spent the last 20 years living in the Muslim world, where he’s been involved in a variety of peace and reconciliation activities including interfaith dialogue, training elementary through university students in peace principles, and bringing Christians and Muslims together to pray.

Jim’s three novels in the Peace Trilogy are transforming people’s perceptions on Muslims and how we can build bridges between our religions for peace.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

JB: Not really. I had an unusual experience around age 35. One day in prayer, I was remembering my father who committed suicide when I was young, and how he had ambitions to be a writer that were never fulfilled. I felt an impression in my spirit, “Do you want the writing gift, to fulfill what your father started?” I answered “Yes.” After that I began to seek what it was I should write about, and discovered a joy writing thrillers about terrorism and peacemaking.

Q: Tell us about your book and the story behind writing it.

JB: A Violent Light is the third book in my Peace Trilogy, about a group of ten Christian and ten Muslim youth at a peace conference where things are not as they seem, and when one by one they start disappearing, they have to solve the mystery before none of them are left. This story was born of our efforts in running peace camps with Christian and Muslim youth in SE Asia, but in the environment America is experiencing since the 2016 presidential election, fear and prejudice are running wild. It’s time we stop pointing the finger at nations far away and face the evil that is inside our own borders.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge about being a writer?

JB: For those of us who have other full-time jobs, finding blocks of writing time is probably the hardest challenge.

Q: Do you have a specific writing space?

JB: No, I don’t. I’ve been traveling a lot and find myself writing in all kinds of spaces. The only essential for me is a solitary, quiet place.

Q: What’s your number one piece of writing advice?

JB: Nowadays it’s not enough to write well and hope to be discovered. You have to learn how to write, edit, publish and market your work. My advice is to try to learn about all these facets of the process and learn to enjoy each of them.

Q: What books do you currently have on your bedside table?

JB: I just finished the fascinating Salt and Pepper by Maria Akhanji, and am starting Michael Crichton’s State of Fear.

Q: Who have been your biggest writing influences and why?

JB: I’ve been greatly influenced by other thriller writers such as Ted Dekker and David Baldacci. Ted always has a profound point he builds the story around, similar to my books. Baldacci’s plots are airtight. My character development has been influenced by the peerless Dick Francis.

Q: How do you market your writing?

JB: I’ve chosen to self-publish. I have many opportunities to travel and speak on Christian-Muslim issues and on peacemaking, so my books sell well at my events. I also try to get my name out there by writing articles for print and online magazines and my personal blog. My books have won several awards in writing contests—I hope that will impact buyers’ decisions to take a chance on my books as well.

Q: Lastly, something fun. What’s something our readers might not know about you?

JB: I have to write with a pen name because in my books I mention specific terrorist organizations, their tactics, and their individual members by name. My photo is never posted on the internet either. If you want to know more about me, you’ll have to come to one of my speaking events. ☺


A Violent Light

By Jim Baton

**2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner**
**2017 National Indies Excellence Award Finalist*
Fans of Ted Dekker, get ready to dive into our own darkness with award-winning novelist Jim Baton.
The Youth For Peace Fresh Start Initiative gathers ten Muslim and ten Christian youth from ten nations around the world to learn new paths to peace. But the camp staff have some highly unorthodox teaching techniques. And when one by one the youth start disappearing, some of them wonder if the staff might not have an entirely different agenda. Those left behind must work together to solve the mystery before they also disappear. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, the entire world is watching… 
Jim’s third novel of the Peace Trilogy confronts American prejudice head-on. Pursuing world peace today will require a generation committed to a deeper level of trust and cooperation than ever before.

 

About the Author

Scott Mullins is a freelance writer and digital content manager. When he’s not finding ways to distract himself from writing his novel he writes killer copy for companies all over the world. Connect with Scott on Twitter @ScottMullins86 or LinkedIn. He’s always looking to connect with other writers.