Jason F. Wright
Jason F. Wright is the New York Times bestselling author and political commentator whose editorials have appeared in newspapers nationwide. He has been seen on CNN, FoxNews, C-SPAN and local television affiliates around the country. Wright and his wife, Kodi, live with their four children in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.
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Bestselling author and political commentator Jason F. Wright is following up the success of THE CROSS GARDENER with THE SEVENTEEN SECOND MIRACLE, which follows teacher Cole Connor as he tries to impart the lessons that his father learned from a long-ago swimming tragedy to a group of troubled teens. In this interview, Wright discusses his reasons for writing his latest novel, stressing the importance of service and elaborating on how tragedies can change lives for the better. He also addresses the challenge of bringing the book to life, going into detail about the inspiration he drew from his own father and offering personal advice on how to overcome emotional hardships.
Question: Why did you write THE SEVENTEEN SECOND MIRACLE?
Jason F. Wright: I wanted to write a simple story that would do more than entertain and provide a temporary escape from reality. I wanted to write something that would actually become a reality for readers and inspire them to take action by performing Seventeen Second Miracles for others.
Q: What message did you want to convey in THE SEVENTEEN SECOND MIRACLE?
JFW: Too often we think of how lives can change for the worse in just seconds. It takes seconds for cars to crash, doctors to give bad news, or a swimmer to lose their life. But those same seconds, perhaps just 17, could also change a life for the better. Those tiny acts of service we perform for one another, when accumulated, amount to miracles.
Q: How did research for THE SEVENTEEN SECOND MIRACLE compare to your other novels?
JFW: I began my research by traveling to Chris Greene Lake in Charlottesville, VA, where I knew the "big moment" in the book would take place. I sat on the shore all alone and took notes and pictures, imaging how that first scene might have unfolded. Because I know the area so well, the research was considerably easier than for some of my other books. Also, because the concept was based on witnessing my dad for so many years, I felt like every time I closed my eyes and thought of his legacy, I was doing research. Frankly, more than anyone I’ve ever known, my father understood the value of daily, small acts of service. His eyes were constantly open to opportunities to help someone, whether he knew them or not. Many of the Seventeen Second Miracles in the book were inspired by things I saw my father do.
Q: Did you learn anything from writing THE SEVENTEEN SECOND MIRACLE, and if so, what was it?
JFW: I learned that all service has value, even the service that comes with reward. Sometimes the reward is financial, emotional, or something as simple as someone saying "good job" or "thank you". But the greatest service, the greatest Seventeen Second Miracles, they are the ones performed when no one is looking.
Q: What were the challenges in bringing THE SEVENTEEN SECOND MIRACLE to life?
JFW: The challenge is learning how to overcome grief and heartache through service. When we're suffering, we’re inclined to want to be served, not the other way around. There is great joy and redemption in serving others during our darkest times. In fact, perhaps the fastest road to emotional healing is realizing that, even when our problems seem insurmountable, someone else is hurting even more.
© Copyright 2010, Jason F. Wright. All rights reserved
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