Maurice Gray: To Whom Much Is Given
There are all types of genres in literature. Some are written for the general public while others deal with a specific audience. Christian literature is such a genre. Maurice Gray is the head of Write The Vision, Inc. and the author of a novel, To Whom Much Is Given. He’s also the co-author of another book entitled I Really Didn’t Mean To Get HIV. We’ll now hear more from this amazing talent:
Maurice, how are you doing sir? Thank you for the interview.
Charles: Please share with the readers a little about yourself. When did you start writing?
Maurice: I’ve always been a writer by nature- as far back as fourth grade, I remember writing comic book stories with my best friend and I was that weird kid who actually enjoyed writing book reports :-). I started formally writing right out of college in 1990 when I got the idea for a short story that just wouldn’t let me go until I worked on it. That short story eventually turned into my first novel, To Whom Much Is Given. From there I was off to the races where writing is concerned, and I haven’t looked back.
Charles: Please briefly give us the plot for To Whom Much Is Given.
Maurice: Max and Donna, my main characters, are blessed with spiritual gifts from God, particularly the gift of prophecy. Like Joseph and others in the Bible, God sends them dreams and visions, and where they’d prefer to ignore them and just live their lives, they respond to His call. Their dreams bring them together, and once they meet, they discover that each of them has had half of a dream. When they put those halves together, they learn of a deadly plot by another character who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. They find themselves juggling their relationships with their best friends, their new relationship and the call to step into the middle of a dangerous situation with no guarantees that they will survive the experience.
Charles: Are the characters in To Whom Much Is Given based on anyone you know? You don’t have to be specific. 🙂
Maurice: There is a little of me in each of my characters, but beyond that, I take characteristics from at least a dozen different people I know to create a character. In Donna’s case, I named her that because at the time I started writing the book, I knew at least 12 Donnas. I gave her a physical appearance combining features of all of them, and chose a last name different from all of them just so none of them would think I copied her directly into a book 🙂
Charles: Would you say the theme of your book is that faith, when we fully believe in it’s power, can be a powerful weapon to use? Not as man himself uses guns or knives, but a power of a spiritual nature?
Maurice: Most definitely. The power of faith is stronger than any gun or knife, and more effective in accomplishing one’s goals. I actually have a scene in the book where Max and Donna find themselves in a potentially deadly situation and their only way out is to trust God to get them out of it. I chose the title “To Whom Much Is Given” from Luke 12:48, which says in part, “- -to whom much is given, much is required.” God has blessed Max and Donna with gifts, and His requirement is that they trust Him enough to use them in His service. Their faith is central to the theme of this book.
Charles: I want to ask you about your second book who you co-authored with Livingston N. Lee, Jr, I Really Didn’t Mean To Get HIV. How did you two meet to work on this project?
Maurice: We attend the same church. While I was about to release To Whom, he went to our pastor to discuss a problem he was having. He felt led to write a book about his experiences, but he didn’t have the skills to do it. Our pastor introduced him to me, we talked about what he wanted to do and I felt that this book needed to be written, and that I needed to help him write it.
Charles: What has been the reaction of those who have read the book? Have you met with any criticism from the church over I Really Didn’t Mean To Get HIV?
Maurice: The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Bro. Livingston (as everyone calls him) speaks at various churches and schools and such about his transformation from heroin addict to born again Christian and then being diagnosed first with HIV and then with AIDS. He takes the book with him when he goes out, and people buy it for their friends and family, and we get lots of feedback from people telling us how much his testimony blessed them.
Charles: Are you still in contact with Mr. Lee? Is he planning to write another book about this much needed topic?
Maurice: He has asked me to help him write another book. Right now he’s recovering from a car accident, but as he regains his health, I’m sure we will collaborate on a second HIV related book.
Charles: Maurice, I’m sure the readers would love to hear about Write The Vision, Inc. Why do you feel there is a need for Christian Literature? What do you think the future holds for a genre like this?
Maurice: I formed Write The Vision so I’d have a vehicle to launch my book. I never intended to publish other authors, but clearly God had other plans :-). I am a firm believer in the need for Christian literature of all kinds, for believers and nonbelievers alike. I’ve met many readers who are happy to get books without profanity or graphic sex they can give their children or read for themselves that reflect their own beliefs. Right now, Christian Fiction (along with urban fiction and erotica) is one of the fastest growing genres out there. I’m glad- I’d be writing this anyway, and it’s nice to know there’s a market for what I love to write. My next novel, All Things Work Together (the sequel to To Whom Much Is Given), will be released soon, and I’m already getting good feedback from readers waiting to see it.
Charles; What is your goal for Write The Vision, Inc? Do you hope to expand beyond literature or are you focus on publishing books right now?
Maurice: For now Write The Vision will stick with publishing books alone, but I can’t say that will always be the case. Given the opportunity, I’d love to get into audiobooks, and maybe Christian films as well.
Charles: How can interested readers obtain a copy of not only your books, but other authors from Write The Vision, Inc? How can you be reached personally?
Maurice: Anyone interested in learning more about Write The Vision can check out my web site, http://www.writethevision.biz/. You can order any WTV books directly from the site or from amazon.com or any bookstore. If they don’t carry my books in a particular store, they can be ordered. My e-mail address is http://www.blogger.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org– I enjoy hearing from readers and others interested in Write The Vision.
Charles: In closing, what advice you have for new and beginning authors? Is there anything else you like to say? The floor is yours.
Maurice: I’d advise any new author to take time out to learn all you can about the craft of writing, and then learn the business side as well. Self-publishing through Write The Vision forced me to learn how the business end works, and whether I continue to publish through Write The Vision or if I one day go with a different established publisher, the lessons I’ve learned about the publishing industry will stay with me. I also urge new and beginning writers to write every day. It’s like anything else- you get better by practicing.
Maurice, thank you for your time in sharing with us your blessings of literature. I hope for the best for you and the authors of Write The Vision, Inc.