I’m back today with Warren Baldwin, author of Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks, and other gems from Proverbs. In the previous post I gave a review of Roaring Lions (very good) and we started talking with Warren about the process of writing on the subject of the Proverbs. Shall we pick right up where we left off?
What do you think the difference is between Biblical proverbs and the proverbs of other cultures?
WB – God and godliness is at the center of the biblical proverbs. We know that Egypt had some highly developed proverbs about the time that Israel did. In fact, there is some indication that the cultures may have been borrowing from each other. One Egyptian named Amenemope has written proverbs that sound remarkably similar to Prov. 22:17-24:22. There is some debate among biblical scholars as to which culture borrowed from the other.
Proverbs from other cultures wanted to produce good people and responsible citizens. The biblical proverbs try to do the same thing, but with the added ingredient of making the person godly.
Do you have any particular method for planning out and writing your books?
WB – Yes. For the essay-style of Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks I continue to read Proverbs and focus on individual verses. A follow-up volume in this style is about one-half finished.
I am writing another book on Proverbs for teenage Bible classes. This is a very different writing process. For it I am gathering verses on a similar theme and reading and studying all of them as a unit.
I also have a book about one-half finished on marriage. For it I am selecting topics and reading, studying and writing on the topics I have settled on.
Was there anything about the topics in this book that impacted you the most during the writing process?
WB – Probably the topics on anger, envy and resentful attitudes. I have struggled personally in these three areas. I take comfort in the thought that I am on a journey to becoming more god-like, but not perfect. Some of the chapters in this book were written to me!
Is there anything you absolutely need when you sit down to write?
WB – Three things. One, a sense of direction for what I’m writing, even if it is only for a page. Two, a sense of purpose. I have to believe that what I am writing is going to express what I want it to say and will be of benefit to someone. Three, belief and patience. If what I am writing is for a book that will not see publication for years, as opposed to an article that might be published in a few days, I have to believe that what I am writing is really going somewhere and be patient for the journey.
WB – Yes. Two more works on Proverbs, a marriage book, a book of meditations for men, and a book of Christian doctrine. The last one is actually finished (for 3 years now) but needs a lot of editorial work. I simply haven’t gotten back to it yet.
WB – Another good question. You’ve had many of them, actually. The best way for me to promote my work is to get out and speak. I do seminars on Proverbs for churches, men’s retreats and Bible camps. I have done several and have several more scheduled for this year.
Another way is through blogging. But I think the personal, face-to-face method has worked best for me. Warren at a recent book signging with the owner of the store.
After having lived and ministered in so many different regions of the U.S. do you have a favorite?
WB – I have loved all three states Cheryl and I have worked in – Florida, Wyoming and Kansas. But, I must admit that the mountains and snow of Wyoming keep my thoughts wandering back there.
Are you very computer literate or do you just know enough to handle day to day life?
WB – I am not very computer literate! That is a hindrance. But, I have other things I value as more important so I don’t take the time to learn more, by choice.
I gathered from your book that you and your family are very big fans of participating in sports.
WB – Yes, being involved with our kids in sports have been very important to our family. It isn’t a matter of sending the kids to athletic events, but of taking them and even coaching them. A couple of years ago Cheryl and I estimated the number of sporting events we went to over the years, and the hours involved, and it blew us away. But they drew our family together and have provided us with many wonderful memories. I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
So, I have to ask, does Wii sports sound fun or annoying?
WB – Fun! Our three kids bought Cheryl and me a Wii set for our anniversary and birthdays last year. We have thoroughly enjoyed the games and sports.
If you had to choose a pen name, what would it be and why?
WB – Haven’t ever thought about that before! Maybe “Green Mountain Man.” I grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont and used that term for my CB handle years ago.
Would you like to learn more about Roaring Lions and other writings by Warren? Check out his website. And don’t forget his blog, Family Fountain! He also has an upcoming book signing on April 1st in Ulysses KS and does Proverbs seminars for Churches. Contact him for more information.