Author turns Sunday bulletin into Christian comedy book
Dan Brennan, of La Plata, recently published, “Is God Poking Me?” a comedic collection of short columns originally written for a church Sunday bulletin. The book is available as an e-book at Amazon.com. A print version is available directly from the author by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 301-9340334.
Q: How long have you been writing, and how did you get started?
A: As a 10-year-old in Newark, New Jersey, I remember spending my days in the local library. I loved to read, and writing just seemed like the natural next step. I did some part time chores to be able to earn enough money to buy a Smith Corona portable typewriter and stories and poems just started pouring out of that little device. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and when I began working as the office administrator for a local church (Peace Lutheran in Waldorf), I found myself with an opportunity to put my love of writing to work sharing “observations” with the members of the congregation. Q: What inspires you to write? A: Life. It’s really that simple. Each day brings a wide assortment of experiences and events. Sometimes those are momentous, but more often they are routine and quickly forgotten. For me, each of those experiences represents an opportunity to observe the way we behave as humans. I see humor in almost every situation, and I see the hand of God in most of them as well. Life is an endless source of material.
Q: Do you consider writing to be a career?
A: No, I haven’t made it a career, but I rarely miss an opportunity to write and share my observations in my second career as a Christian comedian.
Q: What kind of writing process do you use?
A: I like to record or jot down ideas as they occur to me. I keep a voice recorder and a paper and pen handy for just that purpose. I do most of my writing early in the morning, drawing on those ideas and fleshing them out until a column is finished. Mornings are, for me, a fresh start, and the time when my creative side is most active.
Q: How did you publish your book?
A: I chose to self-publish my book. “Is God Poking Me” is a collection of weekly “observations” that I’ve written over the past few years. I wanted to make them available to the public and to other churches who might find them useful.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: Although my writing currently tends towards the humorous, I was inspired to write initially by Edgar Allen Poe. His command of language and his ability to create incredible visuals in your mind by weaving words together is unsurpassed. I am also a fan of Dave Barry, who is a master of humor. I try to use the best of both when crafting a piece.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m working on a second volume of my “observations” series right now, and hope to have that published within the next six months or so.
Q: What do you want readers to know about you?
A: I’m married, have two children, several grandchildren, and more on the way. I enjoy stand-up comedy when I have the chance. I have performed over the years with the Port Tobacco Players, although for some reason I’m not getting those leading male roles any longer. I consider laughter God’s gift to all of us.
Share an excerpt from your book:
Humbug: I have it on good authority that Ebenezer Scrooge has for many years been the victim of unsubstantiated rumors that he despised Christmas. All because he was one day heard to scream loudly in the privacy of his own counting house, “HUMBUG!” What was not reported was the somewhat softer sound of a “squish” as he dropped his foot onto the scampering insect. Yes, the Humbug is a rare species of beetle from the rain forests of South America. But that didn’t matter. A disgruntled clerk named Cratchit leaked the story to the local press. It was picked up by a writer of some repute, and the rest, as they say, is history…. I think Jesus would have sat down with Ebenezer and had a long talk before pronouncing him a curmudgeon. Jesus would have wanted all the facts before presuming to draw a conclusion. And it’s probably good advice for the rest of us as well.
Literary lights Q&As will appear periodically in the Maryland Independent. Suggestions for local authors to spotlight should be sent to Sara Newman at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Literary lights An occasional article on local writers