Until recently I didn’t know Greg Millwee. I was on Twitter one day last month and came across a tweet about his book, The Alleyway Preacher. The title caught my attention, so I looked it up on Amazon. I’m so glad I did because the synopsis hooked me even more.
I decided to tweet about the book and then contacted him. Since then, we’ve had several conversations about our writings. And since I usually feature Christian authors on Fridays, it was in the midst of one of our conversations that I asked him to share his story. Here’s what Greg had to say.
How did you get into writing and why?
Ever since I was a little boy I loved to write. Sometime in the fifth grade is when it really started to take root in my heart. I used to write little short stories. I always used the same main character. He was just a normal boy named David that always seemed to find trouble and adventure. I guess it was just a way for me to escape. I had a wild imagination when I was younger. Often times I couldn’t control it. I would be sitting in class and be wisped away to deep space, a race car, or some other magical journey. So I got in trouble in class a good bit.
What genres do you prefer writing and why?
I prefer to write books that are from a Christian back ground. Not so much the whitewashed faith that gets so much lauding and attention, but the other side that no one likes to bring up. The side where there are people who really love God but have struggles, pains, and hardships. To me, those types of stories really speak to me. They can speak hope into a life. They can give strength to endure, but most of all they can build faith.
Who are your favorite authors?
Two of my favorite books are Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. They are masterfully written books that deal with the struggles that we go through and the war that is being waged for us that we can not see. I also love to read any Ted Dekker book. He writes in such a way that draws you into his stories and really gets you to think. Dekker can really challenge your thoughts and I love that.
Where did you get the inspiration to write?
The biggest part of my life is my faith in God. I want to tell stories that are entertaining and fun to read, but I want to say something more with my writing. God has brought me out of a lot of dark places in my life. So to honor what God has done in my life, I want to pass that on by hopefully being a light to someone else that is in a dark place. It doesn’t matter where you are, or where you have been, God still loves us and has a purpose for our lives. We just need to take His hand.
What inspired you to write your book?
I normally get a lot of crazy looks when I tell this story, but I have to be honest. I had just recently lost my job and things weren’t looking too great. I had a wife and two small boys at the time (Now we have three boys). I had gone up to the church we were attending everyday to pray and help out around the church. After about a month of not finding a job and going to the church everyday, they decided to help us out by giving me some odd jobs to do. The pay wasn’t ever much but it really helped. We had no extra money in the bank, but we did not go hungry and we didn’t have a single bill that was late. God provided. However, things at home started to get strained. Though we had everything provided for, it was a bit stressful especially for my wife. When the strain seemed to be at its worse, I was awoken at around 4 am. It was like God had crammed a movie into my mind. I saw all of the high points and direction of a story that was inspiring and God spoke to my heart. “If you write My book, I’ll give you a job.” That story was The Alleyway Preacher. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated to write it (about 4 years). Life and disappointments intervened and stole some of my thunder, but God always brought me back to the story. It is because of this that I sign every book “To God be the glory” because it’s His book. He just chose me to type it.
Thanks so much, Greg, for this inspiring story. You’re not going to get any strange looks from me. Your testimony is a beautiful example–or should I say proof– that God is faithful, and His Word never fails.
Personally, I can’t wait to read your novel. Greg will give away a copy of his novel, The Alleyway Preacher,to one random winner who posts a comment. We’ll announce the winner next Wednesday, Oct 16.