About Arley Loewen:
Arley Loewen has studied, lived and worked in the South – Central Asian context since 1981. Loewen is a specialist in Persian culture, having earned an MA in Persian from Pakistan and a PhD in Middle Eastern Civilizations (Univ. of Toronto). He is director of a faith-based, multi-media project, established in 1992. He also provides leadership training throughout Afghanistan and the region for university students and professionals and management level personnel in all sectors of society. His lectures are available in the book, New Horizons for Afghanistan in English, Dari and Pashto. Loewen analyzes Middle Eastern cultures and explores how modern leadership and management issues relate to shame / honor and patron-client societies, and how faith address this social milieu. In Canada he teaches on cultural and faith issues, specifically on Islam-Christian relations.
Arley and his wife Janice, lived in Kabul with their two teenage daughters for four years (2003-07).
What inspires you to write?
I love to analyze culture and faith issues and see how culture and faith relate to each other, and then write about it. Often, when I sit in church, listen to a sermon or a lecture or as I read a book on Middle Eastern culture or on Christian theology or on socio-cultural themes, my brain begins to work overtime. I often take scrupulous notes. I envision how a certain cultural or theological insight can be developed further or explained in this way or that way. When I read a novel or watch a movie from a Middle Eastern or Asian setting, I think of themes reflected in this text / movie and intentionally explore ways to write about these themes.
I have studied Middle Eastern and South-Central Asian cultures and am passionate on analyzing how modern leadership and management issues relate to shame / honor and patron-client societies. I love to explore how Christian theology as well as the Muslim faith address this social milieu. How does one’s understanding and faith in God relate to a person’s struggle to obtain honor and avoid shame in life? My faith must speak into how I live, and I want to write about that.
Tell us about your writing process.
For me writing is hard work.
I do intense research on a topic, read widely about it, take notes on what I read. I also journal a lot, especially after prayer, reflection or observing interesting cultural phenomena from Middle Eastern settings. Over the decades of study, cross-cultural work and journaling, I have written numerous articles for a variety of cultural, educational and church-based magazines. I have gathered and collected so much that when I sit down to write, by greatest challenge often is simply to collate the materials in an intelligent format.
I would like to believe that what I write can challenge readers towards transformation.
Sometimes I prepare an outline first and then write. Sometimes I simply collate, cut and paste and then edit the rough draft. Other times, as I travel internationally, I open my notebook and write. My mind begins to work overtime as I develop outlines of ideas and summaries.
The bigger challenge is to implement the writing ideas and carry a writing forward, and bring a project to its completion.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
What advice would you give other writers?
I feel any communicator must think of their audience. How does the audience feel about a certain issue and how can I communicate meaningfully to my audience.
Yes, writing is an art, but it is also a skill because it assumes communication. I have something in my mind and I want to transfer that “something” to my reader. How will I best transfer that “something” is the biggest challenge for a writer?
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I prefer to have my books published by reputable publishers, but sometimes they don’t care about distribution very much.
I would not self-publish a book unless I have a well thought-through distribution plan in place.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Book publishing a tough field. Yes, it is easy to self-publish nowadays, but the bigger challenge is distribution. You need to be really Internet savvy and that’s a tough call for some us old-timers.
I don’t think books will ever become obsolete – at least not in this next few generations. However, we suffer with information over-kill. Moreover it’s easy to disseminate this information in digital format. Because of this, I wonder how book-publishing can be as successful as it was several decades back.
What do you use?:
What genres do you write?: Culture, Management, Family life, People,
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Arley Loewen Home Page Link
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.