About D.I. Telbat:
D. I. Telbat is a Christian author best known for his clean Suspenseful Fiction with a Faith Focus. His books are filled with excitement and intrigue—the kind that will keep you up reading at night! They include his bestselling and award-winning COIL Series, Steadfast Series, Last Dawn Trilogy, and other Suspense and End Times novels. He wrote his first novel at age 14 and hasn't stopped since!
Telbat's Tablet, David's website/blog, offers FREE Christian short stories—many of which include characters you may recognize from his novels—or related posts. He writes to entertain, but also to bring attention to the Persecuted Church worldwide. Many D.I. Telbat stories are about persecuted Christians—their sacrifice, suffering, and rescues.
On his site you'll also find his writing research, novel news, Author Reflections, book reviews, and occasional challenges for today's Christian. His complete biography is there as well.
Getting into trouble with the law as a young man became a turning point in David's life. The Lord used that experience to draw David into a personal relationship with Him. Re-focusing his life for Christ, he now seeks to honor God with his life and his writing.
David studied writing in college, and worked for a time in the newspaper field, but he is now doing what he loves: writing and Christian ministry. When not busy with ministry, he focuses on writing novels, short stories, blog posts, and prison ministry curriculum.
Though D.I. Telbat is currently living in California, he has kept his home office in the Northwest U.S. where his assistant lives and helps with his editing and publishing needs.
There is no redemption without sacrifice.
What inspires you to write?
When I started novel writing 25 years ago, I was inspired to tell adventure stories like Author Louis L'Amour, and like the stories my own father would tell us as children. Years later, I became a Christian and realized I had a responsibility to write in such a way that would honor Jesus Christ. Gradually, my inspiration to write came from a sincere desire to impact readers emotionally and spiritually to respond to biblical truth and Christ's radical love. At heart, when all is said and done, I'm just a storyteller, so I love to keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Tell us about your writing process.
My stories are first adventures in my mind with a flawed hero I try to imagine as realistic, yet unique. Next, I begin to put a character sketch on paper, always starting with the protagonist, then I sketch a horrible antagonist, so that the hero remains an underdog. All other characters are built around the protagonist and antagonist, as though everyone is taking sides. The action sequences with various conflicts are not put on paper until my characters are fully outlined, including the way they talk, the way they care about this or that, etc. By creating characters before designing situations or settings, I am forced to keep the novel character-driven rather than circumstance-driven. Finally, my favorite part comes—the writing of the first draft, which is always by hand on college-rule paper, with lots of BIC pens at hand! After giving the first draft some time on the shelf, I type up the manuscript as a second draft and begin the editing process—first privately, then the next draft with my editorial team. They're the real heroes in this adventure!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Neither! I become my characters! In any scene, I write from a single POV (point of view). Before writing that scene, I imagine myself as this character, using my pre-determined character sketch. What am I wearing? What do I see? What do I smell? What does my face express? How do I feel about the present conflict? Many of the feelings I imagine for the people are not directly stated in the writing, but the character's attitude emerges from this process for readers to relate to. And I always try to practice the writing rule of showing rather than telling.
What advice would you give other writers?
1: Don't worry about slow or small beginnings. Trust God.
2: write to glorify God, not yourself.
3: Retain feedback that constructs and directs. Ignore feedback that flatters or criticizes.
4: Plan to use profits ahead-of-time for a Christ-like impact somewhere in the world.
5: A good story won't sell if it's told using bad grammar and spelling. Learn to write, even if you're a good storyteller.
6: Know your limitations, and stick to your God-given calling.
7: Listen to your editor and proofreaders. They aren't trying to hurt you; they're trying to help you improve—even if your story or idea needs to be changed.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Since I'm involved in discipleship ministry almost every day of the week, as well as having personal limitations, I cannot commit to a traditional publisher's demands to do books signings, readings, or making conventional author appearances. Thus, my family and editorial team saw that God was guiding us to move toward self-publishing, applying our energy in that direction. It seems to have been the right choice, though not without lots of hard work! I would highly recommend all who are beginning their writing careers, to learn about self-publishing. In my early writing days, I started out seeking the traditional route and lost several publishing years through it all.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I see eBook sales across all genres and markets continuing to climb. I think the generational preferences of those who favor the paper copy will lose out to the versatility and cheaper forms of reading digitally. Traditional publishers will fight it for another ten years, I think, but in the end, digital will rule, though I don't think print will ever totally disappear. And digital will become even more interactive. Just ask the newspapers.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Christian Suspense, End Times, Post-apocalyptic, action adventure, Christian Science Fiction, Religious Fiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Audiobook
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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.