I will receive commission on any sales made on my blog. To learn more, read my disclosure policy.
I met Matthew Christian Harding one year at our Virginia Homeschool Convention and was so encouraged my his willingness to talk about his personal life and give me tips on writing. He was so genuine and his family was fantastic. His books…awesome!
When I asked Matthew if he’d be willing to do an interview and a giveaway for my readers, he was quick to accept, even when he was in the middle of moving! Not only is his interview awesome, he has also agreed to giveaway all three of his books in the Peleg Chronicles, to TWO DIFFERENT WINNERS!
Interview with Matthew Christian Harding:
What are some neat things about you?
I’ve always loved secret rooms and passages. I’ve read about them in numerous books, searched for them to no avail as a child, and always their mysterious appeal has stayed with me. So, as we were building our last house, I decided to do something about it. We built our very own secret room and passage – very exciting! We hid the entrance behind a large mirror on hinges. Alas, we’ve recently moved and we haven’t found any trap doors, caves, or secret passages on our new property … at least not yet.
Tell us about your walk with Christ! How old were you when you welcomed Jesus Christ into your life?
Growing up in the new-age teachings of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the ascended masters, I quickly delved deeper into the occult of the Satanic Bible, Astral Projection and drugs. Taught that I would one day fly and walk through walls, I was on a search to enter the magical worlds that I had read about in fantasy novels and the writings of Eckankar.
Addictions, broken relationships, and a belief in reincarnation brought me to the point of jumping from a tenth floor window. At the critical moment, my two best friends appeared on the sidewalk below.
While a freshman in college, a young woman read to me from the Bible, trying to reach me with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I stared dumbly through drunken eyes, and only wished to get away.
While a Junior, I sat alone in a coffee shop, caressing the drugs in my pocket, wondering if there was more to this life. A stranger approached the table, and told me that there was no sin too great, and that God could forgive me. The stranger walked away.
While a Senior, a young lady invited me to go tobogganing. I accepted, only to find out she hadn’t said the word “tobogganing” but “to-bible-study”. I went. The preacher said that Jesus was the only way to Heaven, and Hell was the destination for all who would not receive Him. I was filled with such anger that it shocked me.
A few weeks later, while walking on campus, an old man walked up to me and handed me a Bible. He was a Gideon. I began reading the Word of God for the first time. Troubled by these Christians and their narrow way, but afraid that hell might be real, I asked God to show me if it was actually true. The Word suddenly came alive, and after some weeks of reading every day, I repented, trusted, believed, and confessed the Lord Jesus Christ as my savior. I was twenty two.
What is the Peleg Chronicles about? Is there a hidden story in them?
About 4000 years ago there existed a “fantasy” world so much richer in excitement and wonder than any fantasy novel or movie, richer and more exciting for its reality and truth of its existence. Granted there is much we can not know, being so far removed by time and decay. But there is much more to be gleaned from the pages of History
than one might expect. It is the world of Peleg.
His lifetime of 239 years began approximately one century after the flood, and ended 48 years before the birth of Abraham. It was in the days of Peleg when the earth was divided, most likely referring to the Tower of Babel dispersion.
Noah and his sons yet lived … a window to the world that was before. Dragons and great beasts roamed the earth. The Age of Ice was receding from the North, and the seas rose with the melting waters. The years of a man’s life began to lessen. And there were Giants in those days.
Into this world we find two foundlings sought for sacrifice by the Dragon Priests and a rag tag group of noble, God fearing adventurers trying to save them.
While some people from the Bible are mentioned in the stories, the reader never meets any of them because I do not want to add to God’s Word in the minds of my readers.
Do you recall how your interest in writing started?
My aunt Linda gave me a book on writing when I was in my early teens. That was encouraging. My Grandma praised a short story I had written. That was encouraging. My sister praised some of my journal entries. That was encouraging. The seed was planted in my head that maybe one day I might try writing a book. But it wasn’t until many years later, when my wife heard me telling stories to my children, and then said that she wanted to hear them from now on, that I took my pen to paper in earnest.
What was one of the most interesting things you learned while writing your books?
There are so many fascinating details to learn about our ancient history. One of the most interesting and surprising for me was to see just how much God has to say about giants in His Word, and that whole nations of giants existed.
While you are writing, do you ever imagine yourself as the characters?
I don’t actually imagine myself as the characters but I try to get into their heads, and imagine how they would respond to each other. It’s a lot of fun.
What was the hardest part writing your books?
Being diligent and focused. It is important to keep your writing momentum going, but that can be difficult when there are so many other areas of life that need tending. I found that it helped to at least write something every day, even if I only had fifteen minutes available.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
Each book took me about five or six months to write the first draft.
Which of your books was the easiest/hardest to write?
Loresmen was definitely the most difficult because I had to wrap up so many elements of the story. I’m writing some children’s picture books right now, and I have found them to be easier, though not easy.
Do you have a favorite book of yours?
At this point I suppose it would be Loresmen.
What are some things that you want your books do to your reader’s life?
If someone doesn’t know The Lord, then my hope is that my books would stir their soul to know their Creator and get saved. If a reader does know The Lord, then my hope is that it will encourage and exhort them in their Christian walk.
Do you have anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would like to tell them thank you for the opportunity to be a small part of their lives. I feel honored and humbled that people would take time out of their busy day to read my books and let me tell them a story.
Out of your family is there a #1 fan, or are they all equally supportive?
My family is incredibly supportive. We talk about writing together, the creative and business end, and we travel together as a family to conventions, so they are all very much a part of the team.
Besides writing, what are other things you really enjoy doing?
I love spending time with my family and going on dates with my wife. I love fellowshipping with the saints. I like reading historical fiction and westerns. I enjoy small to medium size building projects … our homes have always been like a continual building channel TV show. And I really like eating chocolatey things.
What is your favorite time period? Why?
I like ancient history through medieval times the most. I suppose I have romanticized the ages of swords, bows, and dragons since I was a child.
Out of the Bible, who is your favorite person?
Wow, that is a hard one. Of many, I’ll pick Daniel. I love his steadfast trust in The Lord through all kinds of adversity and I love his prayer of confession in Daniel chapter 9. I especially draw great comfort from Daniel 9:18: “O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.”
What an awesome reminder of God’s great mercies available for His Saints.
If you could have dinner with one of your characters, who would it be? Why?
That is another really difficult question. At first I thought I would pick one of the giants, for eating dinner with a twelve foot giant would be incredibly cool. But then I thought about the Chronicler. He actually lived in Babel and was part of the dispersion. Can you imagine all the amazing things he could tell you about?
Who is one of your favorite authors?
Our family has discovered A.L.O.E within the last few years and I have added her as one of my favorite authors. I especially loved The Spanish Cavalier which can be found free as an ebook. What a Story!
How did you come up with your titles and the series name?
The series name came about as I sought something that would quickly describe the time period in which I was writing. Peleg’s life span was perfect and I liked the mystery surrounding Genesis 10:25 “… the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided …” The titles were chosen by making a list of possible names for each book and then having friends and family rate the names.
Where can people follow you?
Up till now I haven’t been especially visible. I’m currently researching WordPress themes so that I can make a new Website/Blog which will be easier for me to update. Our current Website, www.MatthewChristianHarding.com,
is accessible but frozen in cyberspace … due to our computer crashing, switching to apple, and then finding our software is not compatible.
Thank you so much for your time and enthusiasm in doing this interview, Matthew!