I met Corey Stumne at a writers
critique group. I loved that he was unassuming, down-to-earth, and personable. When I discovered he was a pastor, I was delighted! He appeared to be the type of person who people could relate to despite his job title. In other words, his personality is inviting rather than off-putting. This is a highly desirable characteristic of a pastor. Corey is also a tennis coach, a husband, and a father to two small children. I'm pleased to introduce you to the author of: The Man Called Messiah.
When did you realize you were interested in being a writer?
I've always loved storytelling. I thrive around a campfire, listening and telling stories. But I never thought about the idea of writing a story up until about four years ago when The Lord put a project on my heart for a student in my church's youth ministry.
How long does it take you to write a story/article/book?
A very, very long time. I don't think it's because I'm a slow writer; it's because of my minimal time. I'm a full-time minister, part-time tennis coach, husband, father of two children under 3. I'm lucky to get 30 minutes a day to be at the computer. I'm working on my second book, and it's going much faster, but it's still going to take somewhere between a year and two years to complete it.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I'm a full-time minister, part-time tennis coach, husband, father of two children under three. If I need to write, I do it late at night when the kids are (finally) asleep, or I do some before I leave the church office to come home.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm… Good question. I'm still relatively new at this, but I'll say one thing I think I do that plenty of authors don't—which is truthfully probably not good news for me—is that I write what I would love to read. Plenty of authors write for specific audiences, and or genres. And while I write general Christian fiction, the sub-genres are going to vary from book to book. I guess I just don't want to be boxed into a specific niche.
Where do you get your information and inspiration for your work?
I write what I want to read. If I can't find the book I'm looking for, I write it.
When did you write your first story/article/book?
Three and a half years ago, I began work on my debut novel, The Man Called Messiah. I'd never written articles or blogs or anything. I just jumped headfirst into the deep end of writing. And, yes, I had no idea what I was doing.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read, watch movies, and try to be the best family man I can be. I have a two-year-old daughter who plays very physical with me, so I'm often underneath a dog pile at home or painting somebody's toenails while drinking imaginary tea.
What does your family think of your writing?
I'm incredibly blessed to have a super supportive family. Most of my family are Christians, which helps, especially in the genre I'm writing in. They have been champions of my work and, for better or for worse, act as my marketing team.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your work?
I never understood the extent to which spiritual writing can be. For me, Christian fiction writing is a spiritual discipline. My first book is based on the last weekend of Christ's life on earth. Imagine waking up every day and forcing yourself to contemplate and meditate and think about what he went through on the cross for us? I did that for almost four years. It changed me in drastic ways. It's why I chose to keep writing; I need to do it for my walk with Christ.
How many stories/articles/books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Just one! My debut novel, The Man Called Messiah. It's probably my favorite book I've written so far.
Do you have any suggestions to help others become better writers? If so, what are they?
Count the cost! "Counting the cost" is a biblical principle Jesus laid out for us in the gospels. Of course, he was talking about the cost of following him. But we can use the "counting the cost" analogy in writing. I can't stand getting excited about something and starting it and then just letting it die. It happens all the time in churches. How many times have you seen a sweet church lady get all excited about a new ministry, she wants to start and jumps in and then… well, six months later, you're wondering, "What happened to that?" I think, often, her passion and excitement wasn't enough to carry her through to see her goals met (to have a sustainable ministry). Writing a book is similar. It is a monumental task to write a book. You might have the best idea and fantastic talent, and all the passion. Still, if you don't sit down and plan how you will carve away precious hours of your day for (possibly) multiple years to devote to this project, you will find yourself frustrated that it seems like the project never sees completion. You must count the cost and make sure you can take on a big task like that, and, of course, make changes in your routines to accommodate for it.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they have to say?
My readers have reached out to me with a lot of gratitude. I try to write to help people see familiar spiritual things in a new light. I think people appreciate that. My writing is often heavy—not every page is filled with fuzzy feelings. But it's real, and it leaves people with realistic hope by the end of the book that I think sometimes is missing from Christian fiction.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about yourself?