This week we get to learn more about Doug Bond. He is the author of 14 P&R books:

  • Question #1 – When did you first want to write a book?

I’m not one of those guys who had a passion for writing from my training-wheel days. Not me! In high school I did everything I could to get out of writing–I hated it. Writing was too much work. In Journalism class I signed up to be the photographer in large part so I could ditch out of writing articles. Sorry to disappoint readers who are young, passionate, aspiring writers. You’ll probably chuck my books out the window now.

So, all that to say, I’m a late bloomer as a writer. In college, however, I was asked to write an article for the college newsletter. Meanwhile, I was reading Spurgeon and being fascinated with his command of words. I really enjoyed writing that article (truth be told, it probably was terrible, full of fragments, split infinitives, and pedantic ugliness).

Later in graduate school I found that I absolutely loved doing the research and then writing my master’s thesis (it was supposed to be in the 35 page-ish range; mine wound down at 118 pages). Next I began writing some articles for magazines, ones that paid me for their right to publish the articles. That was fun. Shortly after that I began secretly working on writing fiction; I would slink around like a housebreaker, concealing what I’d attempted to write from prying eyes, terrified that sometime, somewhere, someone would find me out.


  • Question #2 – Which authors, including Spurgeon, have had the strongest influences on your writing?

I know it seems almost cliche to admit it, but the imaginative works of C.S. Lewis have probably done more to inspire me than any other single author. I have also found great inspiration in the historical fiction of Rosemary Sutcliff, the Swallows and Amazons of Arthur Ransome, Flannery O’Conner, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Dickens (especially his Great Expectations). I would follow that line-up with the disclaimer that I don’t attempt to write like any one of them, though their works have significantly helped in the on-going process of finding my voice as an author.


  • Question #3 – What famous people, living or dead, would you want to have dinner with?

That’s a tough question because there are so many I would love to sit down with over a delicious meal and talk and talk and talk. My first would be John Bunyan and his wife (and my wife, of course). I can just picture us sitting around a plank trestle table, wooden trenchers of coarse peasant fare, honey mead to wash it down with, and talking about Pilgrim’s Progress, of course, but I would want to ask him more about his book, The Mystery of Law and Grace Unfolded.

And then a meal with C. S. Lewis and Joy (and my wife, of course) at the Eagle & Child in Oxford (where I have eaten a number of times, but never with Lewis, though reading aloud from his books to some of my students after the meal). We would have steak and ale pie, he and Joy drinking beer, my wife and I, cider (Thatcher’s Gold, if you please), and talking about the change I have observed in his theology of free will from Screwtape (1942) to The Magician’s Nephew and The Silver Chair (both penned more than a decade later). And I would want to find out just what he disliked so much about most hymns (though I expect being in heaven since 1963 has changed all that). My wife would want to chat with Joy about her knitting, and I think Lewis would not think this unimportant in the slightest–and he would be absolutely right.

I think I would like to sit down with John Knox and his wife at Trunk Close on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, five children bustling about the place, my dear wife at my side, of course. We would be eating haggis, nips, and tatties, and drinking a Rhone wine he brought over from his time in Geneva. I would want to ask him what he wishes he would have done more of and what he wishes he had not wasted his time doing at all (I suspect, not being from the modern world, he would not entirely understand the second part of this question).


  • Question #4 – Do you have a favorite piece of writing (novel, non-fiction book, short-story, article, poem, or hymn) that you’d like to tell us about?

I wrote the initial draft of this scene at the early end of my research for Hammer of the Huguenots while sitting in the square around the village fountain at the coastal town of La Ciotat. At that point I wasn’t sure where it would fit in the big story; only later did it find its place near the end of the novel.



Want to learn more about Doug Bond?