Friday, August 14, 2009

Wayne Hiller: An Interview With a Pastor

Editor’s Note: Today, I’m talking to Wayne Hiller. You may recall his book, How to Become a Bible Character. If you don’t, I hope you’ll purchase your copy today. For the interview, I met Wayne at Ellen’s Café, during the afternoon, when it wasn’t too busy. We sat at one of the tables next to the large windows at the front of the building. Se could see the shoppers and tourists walking past on the sidewalk outside. Ellen brought us blackberry cobbler fresh from the oven with ice cream. I offered to pay, but she wouldn’t hear of it. This is the more interesting parts of our conversation:



Timothy Fish:
Brother Hiller, thanks for agreeing to this interview. I’m hoping my readers will remember you. Some of my fans said they liked you.

Wayne Hiller:
I’m glad to do what I can, but I’m not all that concerned about what people think of me. There are too many other things that are important to be concerned with that.

Timothy Fish:
Now, my readers will likely remember you from How to Become a Bible Character. In my world, I wrote that book, but here, your name graces the cover. Tell us a little about the book and what motivated you to tell this story.

Wayne Hiller:
Sure. The book is about Neal Watts. I felt the need to write it because it was quite a learning experience for me. At the time, Neal was popular among the other teenagers. He was a good kid and he had this way about him that you just knew that if he set his mind on something, it was going to happen. But then he set his mind on becoming a Bible character. He had a plan to do it and wanted my help.

Timothy Fish:
But he wasn’t successful.

Wayne Hiller:
Of course not, but when I saw what the rest of the church was doing while he was trying, that gave me a completely different perspective concerning my role at First Baptist.

Timothy Fish:
How do you see your role differently?

Wayne Hiller:
When I came here, I had the idea that I would have to spend a lot of time persuading people to do the right thing. That may be what works with some churches, but here, it seems like my role is to point people in the right direction and then to get out of their way so they can go to work.

Timothy Fish:
That’s probably enough about the story. We don’t want to give people so much information they won’t read the book. Let’s talk about the writing experience. How difficult was it for you to write that book?

Wayne Hiller:
For me, not difficult at all. All I had to do was sit down and write what I remembered. I’ll admit that I’m not sure I got all of the conversations verbatim, but no one has complained about me putting words in his mouth.

Timothy Fish:
Not even Tina’s parents? It seems like the would be the first to complain if anyone did.

Wayne Hiller:
Well, I did hear that they had consulted a lawyer about it, but what I said was too close to the truth to make it worth their while.

Timothy Fish:
What about Kim? She didn’t have a problem with what you said about her?

Wayne Hiller:
No, Kim’s really good natured. I think she understands that I made more fun of myself than I did of her.

Timothy Fish:
Yeah, I’ve been working with her recently. I’ve been writing a story about her family.

Wayne Hiller:
I’m ashamed to say this, but I don’t know her family. They’re on our prayer list, but I haven’t met them.

Timothy Fish:
You will—her ex-husband anyway.

Wayne Hiller:
How can you be so sure about something that hasn’t happened yet?

Timothy Fish:
Time is a little funny when we move between worlds like this.

Wayne Hiller:
So I’ve gathered. Can you tell me more about what’s going to happen when I meet this guy? I hear that he’s a real jerk.

Timothy Fish:
Did Kim tell you that? And you know I can’t tell you the future.

Wayne Hiller:
O well, it never hurts to ask. No, Kim didn’t tell me that. But after the way he treated her, I would think she would.

Timothy Fish:
Back to your writing. Do you think you’ll write any more books?

Wayne Hiller:
Not anytime soon. I don’t have time, with all that’s going on and all. If another story like the one I wrote comes along, I’m sure I’ll make time for it, but until then I don’t think so.

Timothy Fish:
Do you have any advice for those would be authors out there?

Wayne Hiller:
Write what you know. When I was writing my book, it just flowed off my fingers. Can you tell me more about that book you’re working on? Who else is involved?

Timothy Fish:
Kelly plays an important role. You know, she has some of the same problems as Kim.

Wayne Hiller:
Yeah, I know. I suppose that if Kelly is in it then Cora is going to be right there beside her.

Timothy Fish:
To some extent, yes, but it seems like Sara is going to spend more time with her than Cora.

Wayne Hiller:
Sara? Are you sure?

Timothy Fish:
The manuscript is still young, but so far, that’s the way it looks.

Wayne Hiller:
I would have never thought anyone would spend more time with Kelly than Cora, until Kelly found a guy and got married. I don’t guess that is going to happen is it?

Timothy Fish:
Well, Kelly has her eye on someone, but don’t expect anything real soon.

Wayne Hiller:
What about Sara?

Timothy Fish:
All I can tell you about that is that someone has his eye on her and I don’t think she would be very upset if he would show some interest.

Wayne Hiller:
It’s Ben, isn’t it? I know you too well. You love the irony of her beating him up and then ending up marrying him.

Timothy Fish:
Uh…you don’t think it would be weird for her to be attracted to someone she can beat up?

Wayne Hiller:
Ben’s no wimp. Besides, how many guys about her age can she not beat up?

Timothy Fish:
What about Neal? You’re the one who told us she had a crush on him.

Wayne Hiller:
Had is the operative word there. They’re good friends, but that’s about it. With him going to school out of state, I don’t expect any budding romance between them. No, it’s either Ben or Kyle and I pretty sure it has to be Ben.

Timothy Fish:
What if I told you that Kelly is going to be interested in the same guy?

Wayne Hiller:
That would just seal the deal. Ben and Kelly have a lot in common.

Timothy Fish:
Keep in mind that there may be some people coming into town that you don’t know about.

Wayne Hiller:
That’s true. I’ve probably been listening too much to Tiffany talk about who she thinks ought to pair up.

Timothy Fish:
Thanks for meeting with me today and maybe next time I see you I can tell you more.

Wayne Hiller:
I’ll be looking forward to it.


Editor’s Note: Feel free to ask any questions you have for Pastor Hiller in the comment section. His book is How to Become a Bible Character.

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