Hey, y’all! Thanks for stopping by to get the skinny on my friend, James L. Rubart. Today–I not only have a review of his fantastic novel SOUL’S GATE, but I also have an interview, and a GIVEAWAY (see end of post)! (U.S. Only)
About Soul’s Gate:
Book 1 in the Well Spring series.
“Every now and then we get a break from reality. A glimpse into the other world that is more real than the reality we live in 99 percent of our days. The Bible is about a world of demons and angels and great evil and even greater glory.”
What if you could travel inside another person’s soul? To battle for them. To be part of Jesus healing their deepest wounds. To help set them free to step boldly into their divinely designed future.
Link to buy the book: http://ow.ly/eGyGA
Ronie’s Fast-Rope Review:
I don’t know why I keep reading Jim Rubart’s books–every time, he seems to “read my mail.” Seriously–Soul’s Gate is a phenomenal book, and I think it might just be one of my favorites by Rubart (ROOMS changed my life and will always hold a top spot on my Faves list). The characters are engaging and the story itself just sort of blows the mind. Most importantly, I found the premise very challenging personally. How often do we let those lies we hear in our head control and drive our actions? How often do we NOT pray when we feel like we should? This is a fascinating look at intercessory prayer, giving tangibility to a non-tangible (sometimes) aspect of faith. Very well done!
James L. Rubart is a professional marketer, speaker, and writer. While being the owner of Barefoot Marketing certainly keeps him on his toes, his passion is writing fiction.
Rubart is an ECPA best-selling author who has been positively reviewed by both Publisher’s Weekly and Romantic Times. His first novel, Rooms, won a Best Books 2011 award from USA Book News, as well as a Romantic Times Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award. His debut release was followed by Book of Days and The Chair. Soul’s Gate is Rubart’s fourth release.
In addition to being an author, Rubart is also a photographer, guitarist, professional speaker, golfer and semi-pro magician. With all of this, he says that he barely sleeps. Rubart lives with his wife and sons in the Pacific Northwest.
Find out more about Jim at http://jimrubart.com/
INTERVIEW WITH JIM:
You’ve had quite the journey over the last few years, and it’s been incredible to witness the beautiful blessings God has wrought in your career. Is there one particular shining moment for you?
The brightest moment came when my mom called and said she’d given one of my novels to a down and out friend who came back to Jesus after reading it, and then he bought a copy for a lady he knew that decided to follow Christ for the first time after she finished it. It struck me hard when I realized something I love to do (write) had an eternal impact on a soul.
You are a husband, father, author, business owner, speaker, mover, shaker. . .oh, wait. . .but seriously—how do you maintain balance and a semblance of focus to keep you on the “straight and narrow” in both your personal life and professional life?
Uh, you’re assuming I am balanced, Ronie. What I’ve learned to do is let things slide. Ages ago I read about a simple time management tool. List all the things you have to do as A’s (must be done) B’s (should be done) and C’s (you want them to get done). You do the A’s, try to get to the B’s—but don’t sweat it if you don’t—and throw away the C’s. There’s never enough time to do it all. Never. And that’s okay.
At the ACFW Conference this past September, you and Allen Arnold (now an ACFW Executive Board Member—yay!!) had a class called Live Free, Write Free! I had the incredible blessing of attending that class and it changed my heart and life (personal and professional). What inspired this class?
The idea for the class came from Allen’s and my own lives. We’ve seen how our having more freedom in Jesus has allowed us to more fully pursue our divinely designed destiny, to bring more healing and life to those around us, and live a more Whole-ly life.
Specifically for me, the more freedom I saw in my life, the freer I was to write the deep stories of my heart. For Allen, publishing has always been less about the business side and more about the heart of the authors he worked with. He’s seen freedom in authors allow them to write the best stories possible.
When we realized how alike we were in what we wanted to see in the lives of the authors we know the idea for the class seemed God ordained—and based on the feedback we’ve gotten from the people who were there, we believe it was.
You’re an adventurer—what’s your favorite spot you’ve visited?
Without question the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Amazing place!
Ronie here: I’m sure Rel will be happy to hear this!
I’ve said time and again, your books are “living books,” in that they always seem to “read my mail.” Your most recent release is SOUL’S GATE—and it’s a powerful, poignant look at intercessory prayer. I can’t help but admit a bit of envy that this book was non-fiction and not “fiction” because I would love to have those tangible experiences in prayer. But prayer can be that deep. What inspired Soul’s Gate and what sort of feedback are you getting?
Ah, you are kind, Ronie! “Living books”. I love that. The inspiration for Soul’s Gate was two-fold. First, when I finished ROOMS back in 2005 I thought, what would the next step be? In ROOMS a man goes into the rooms of his soul. I wondered what would happen if people went into other people’s souls? The other part of the inspiration was sitting down with my publisher at the time, Allen Arnold, at cabin in a remote part of Colorado and brainstorming through ideas on what the novel could look like. So while Soul’s Gate isn’t a sequel to ROOMS (which I plan to do someday) it was definitely inspired by it.
The feedback has been amazing. People are saying they love the rush of reading it, but more than that, that they’re taking the things they read about in the book and incorporating them into their lives. That they’re stepping into more freedom after reading the novel. That’s my dream come true.
Also in that class in September, you mentioned that some friendships not healthy and should be released, but more importantly, that you’d felt God telling you to establish firm roots in friendships that both challenged you spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, to be intentional in the nurturing of those kinds of friendships as you are doing with men like Allen Arnold and Dan Walsh. I found that very inspiring, freeing, and yet challenging. Have you always been intentional like this, or did this come about as a result of something in your life?
I haven’t always been that intentional. Three years ago I went over to a friend’s home who wasn’t great at asking questions—the relationship had always felt one way—that I was always the one encouraging and asking questions and drawing him out. I thought, “I’ll ask no questions and see what happens.” He went on for an hour and a half about himself without a break. As I left he said what a great time he had. I realized two things. First, that it’s okay to have relationships like that, where you’re doing all the giving, but it’s also okay to limit the amount of relationships like that. It’s okay and right and I need to invest in relationships like the ones I have with Allen and Dan where there’s give and take.
If you could give one piece of advice to writers (writing advice or not), what would it be?
Get a good pair of running shoes, look at the story on your computer one last time, then turn and sprint in the opposite direction as fast as you can.
Kidding aside, my advice is to learn the craft. Learn the craft. Learn the craft. (No, the repeated sentence is not a typo.) Because we’ve all been writing since 2nd grade, most aspiring writers think it can’t be that hard to write a compelling novel. But it is.
There’s an old joke among writers about the author who goes golfing one day with his buddy the brain surgeon. The brain surgeon says, “Guess what? I’m taking six weeks off this summer to write a book!” The author turns and smiles. “What an amazing coincidence. I’m taking six weeks off this summer to become a brain surgeon.”
There is much truth in that story. Treat learning to write fiction like you would if you wanted to become a brain surgeon. It takes eons of time, study, and extremely hard work. Count the cost before you start, because it’s high. But the good news is most people give up or aren’t teachable. If you are, you’ll be one of the rare ones—and have a great shot at being published.
What’s happening in your writing world right now?
Soul’s Gate just released and I’m so pumped about this one. (Glad you liked it, Ronie!) Here’s what Publishers Weekly and RT Book Reviews say about it:
Publisher’s Weekly: “Readers with high blood pressure or heart conditions be warned: this is a seriously heart-thumping and satisfying read that goes to the edge, jumps off, and “builds wings on the way down.”
RT Book Reviews Top Pick! with a 4.5-star review: “Rubart’s novel is enthralling and superlative. Truly a story about freedom from things that we hold onto, this tale will captivate readers and encourage a more active, dynamic spiritual life. The original plot and well-drawn characters elevate this book to “must read” status.”
And something really cool about this novel is there’s a Barnes & Noble exclusive version only available there with three extra chapters and an author’s note.
Ronie here–Oh my gracious! I think I’ll have to check to this out!!
What book are you reading right now?
I’m just about finished with Iscariot by Tosca Lee. It hasn’t released yet, I’m reading an advanced reader’s copy and loving it. She’s an amazing writer.
What book are you most excited about that hasn’t released yet?
Memory’s Door which is the sequel to Soul’s Gate. I’m just about finished with I think it might even be better than Soul’s Gate
Where else can readers find you online?
Thanks so much for having me, Ronie!
I have a copy of Jim’s SOUL’S GATE to giveaway to one person who comments. Have you read any of Jim’s books? Tell me which if his titles is your favorite or tell me why you would like this copy. TWEET or post on Facebook about this review/internet/giveaway and you’ll get extra entries in the contest (just be sure to let me know). Winners will be chosen by a random number generator.