Hero Interview from The Devil and Pastor Gus

» Posted on Jan 9, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on Hero Interview from The Devil and Pastor Gus

This week I’m hosting Belle Calhoune with Heart of a Solider, Merrillee Whren with Second Chance Reunion and Roger Bruner with The Devil and Pastor Gus (US only). If you want to enter the drawings for the books, please leave a comment on your post with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (Jan. 11th) evening.

SmallGusCoverHero Interview from The Devil and Pastor Gus by Roger Bruner:

1. Pastor Gus Gospello, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Forgive me for chuckling, but you’ll understand in a minute. I don’t know any other minister who would cultivate a relationship with the Devil for the purpose of learning as much about him as possible or write a novel making fun of him. I’m normally a low-key fellow, but when it came to that project, I was a house afire. I say “house afire” because I realized too late that I was playing with fire.

 2. What do you do for fun?

Mattie and I quit watching TV ages ago because it’s just too filthy, violent, and sometimes silly. We use our TV set for watching DVDs. My favorite is Luther. Martin Luther is my hero. His statement, “The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn,” at least unconsciously inspired the subject of the novel I began writing.

I also enjoy good music. My favorite is Handel’s Water Music Suite, although Donna Dafoe has gotten me interested in more contemporary music, like MercyMe and Casting Crowns.

Mattie and I have always enjoyed talking and just being together. As an inadequately paid minister, eating out and going to the movies were limited activities. And even though we got away periodically, committee chairmen tended to schedule supposedly important meetings I needed to attend at a time that required us to come home early from those little vacations.

3. What do you put off doing because you dread it?

When the prologue of my novel came out in a popular Christian fiction magazine because of B.L.ZeBubb’s manipulation of the circumstances—he believed he was the protagonist of my novel—he learned the truth. And was he going to be hot!

I stayed home from work the day the magazine came out (we got a copy in the mail the day before). I was suffering every imaginable symptom of anxiety. My dread of facing B.L.ZeBubb again made me feel like never going to the office again. But that wasn’t an option. I didn’t have to arrive early, though.

Once B.L.ZeBubb turned against me, I dreaded every meeting with him…and seeing what he would do next to ruin my life.

4. What are you afraid of most in life?

Now that I’ve signed a contract with B.L.ZeBubb, I’m most afraid of death. I never was before. Even though I have hopes for defeating the Devil—he doesn’t realize how I plan to use the power he gave me—I have no guarantees. As I observed to Donna Dafoe, “The Devil is still the Devil.”

5. What do you want out of life?

From age fifty on, I’ve been obsessed with leaving a spiritual legacy to future Christians. Thanks to my wonderful wife, Mattie, I felt led to write a novel, a satire making fun of the Devil for his excessive pride. I really threw myself into that project, but it was tough with B.L.ZeBubb constantly trying to look over my shoulder while I feigned friendship with him to get back story for my novel.

But when he learned what I was doing and set out to destroy everything that was precious to me—including my creativity and my novel—I set my sights on the baby Mattie was miraculously pregnant with and prayed that God would use “Baby IT” as the legacy I could no longer write.

6. What is the most important thing to you?

At one time in my life I would’ve said, “My relationship with Mattie.” Then it was “Having a child.” When that never happened, I would have said, “Leaving a legacy.” After signing the contract with B.L.ZeBubb and discovering that God didn’t seem to be listening any longer, I realized what I should have known all along: my relationship with God was and still is the most important thing to me.

7. Do you read books? If so, what is your favorite type of book?

As a Christian minister, I read and study the Bible constantly. But I do read other things. Once I committed to writing a satire about B.L.ZeBubb, I checked out practically every writing book in the library to prepare to do a God-worthy job of writing. But I also enjoyed rereading some old favorites, especially satires. Animal Farm, Screwtape Letters, and—of course—Jonathon Swift’s A Modest Proposal.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I realized too late in life that I had a horrible tendency to depend on myself when I should’ve been depending on God. I’ll never forget the anguish that resulted from my failure to pray about writing the novel about B.L.ZeBubb before setting out to do it. And failing to ask for God’s guidance while I wrote the 50,000 words that ultimately got lost. And checking with Him about whether The Little Church on the Corner was actually in any danger. How different the rest of my life would’ve been if I’d depended more on God and less on my own weak strength and meager wisdom.

9. Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?

I have a white kitten—no longer a kitten, actually—that Donna Dafoe gave me to help me get over my grief and loneliness after Mattie’s death. I’m afraid I wasn’t very receptive to the idea at first, but now I love having her on my lap when I relax at the end of a busy day.

10. If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?

I wouldn’t go back more than twenty or twenty-five years—to the times I met with B.L.ZeBubb to see what would be involved in getting his help so Mattie could get pregnant. Even though I was too much of a coward to carry through with signing the contract at that time, how different the rest of my life would have been without that initial contact.