Special Guest: Alton Gansky


by Keven Newsome

I remember the first book I read by Alton Gansky.  It was A Ship Possessed.  I was still fairly new to the Christian Fiction scene.  Spec fic was even more scarce then.  Peretti was hot, and I devoured those books.  Left Behind was hot, and I was reading on them because they were there.  Dekker was still somewhat new, and I wasn’t sure about taking a chance on him yet.

Since then I’ve followed his career and come to appreciate the tremendous influence his writing has had on us suspense/thriller/horror types when writing with a Christian world-view.  Where Peretti is the Crichton of Christian literature and Dekker is the Stephen King, Alton Gansky would be the Dean Koontz.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank him for helping blaze the trails that give books like mine a fighting chance in this industry.

And since the Bio he provided is much more clever and well written than I could even hope to provide, I’ll now give that bio to you directly.

Alton Gansky is a professional used-to-be and the author of forty or so books and a bunch of other stuff. He is also the director of the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in North Carolina (www.brmcwc.com), the new Southwest Christian Writers Studio, and the new Next.Level Novelist Retreat, both in New Mexico. He is also the founder of Gansky.Communications (www.ganskycommunications.com) and has been collaborator/writer on many books. When not writing, wait, who is he kidding, he’s always writing. His boy-does-this-need-a-makeover website is www.altongansky.com. He has recently backed into video editing and has no idea where that might lead.

Al was one of the first I contacted when we started this guest series.  I contacted him, along with a few others, to see what my ceiling would be as far as the notoriety of the authors who join us.  Imagine my surprise when Al quickly agreed.  He has been tremendously generous with his time and correspondence with me, and on behalf of the New Authors’ Fellowship I will say that we are immensely honored and thrilled to have him share with us the story of how he came to publication.

And now here’s our guest Alton Gansky, in his own words…

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About Keven Newsome

Keven Newsome is an author, musician, and theologian. With a music degree from William Carey University and a theology degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Keven has actively served in ministry as both pastor and worship leader. He is the author of the Winter series: Winter, Prophetess, Acolyte, and Mantle. This supernatural thriller series has been an award finalist for multiple awards. His short stories can be found in the Aquasynthesis anthology and Avenir Eclectia Vol. 1. He is also the author of We Are One, a non-fictional study on generational ministry (published as KW Newsome). Though originally from south Mississippi, Keven now lives in Camden, South Carolina with his wife and children.

8 comments on “Special Guest: Alton Gansky

  1. Interesting how you mention that you “back into things” as it was your novel that allowed me to “back into” reading Christian fiction.

    It was either middle school or high school, I cannot recall exactly, when I had been to some Christian book store in some mall somewhere and had seen Frank Peretti’s Prophet on the shelf. I had gone to the “fiction” area, and that was pretty much the only one that got my interest although there had been a couple of others that didn’t stay with me later on like the cover to that one did.

    But I didn’t have the money that day and the person I was with didn’t help me out any. So that day went by without me having a novel.

    Years later I was able to get ahold of Peretti’s Prophet and it was the first of his that I read, but long before that occurred, and some months or so – maybe even over a year – after that particular visit to a Christian book store where I first saw his book, I was able to get to another Christian book store and with some money on hand I asked for the fiction area.

    I was quite disappointed.

    This store had almost no fiction whatsoever compared to what seemed like a library of fiction at the other store (small of course in comparison to the shelf space we can have now), and it was crowded on one shelf near the front.

    And they didn’t have Peretti’s Prophet. Oh, goodness. I was so disappointed.

    But I’m a determined fellow and when I make my mind up to do something, unless all options are gone I usually figure out a way to do it. So I looked at my choices and I picked up this book I saw called Terminal Justice by a fellow named Alton L. Gansky. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not, but it was the only one there that seemed interesting enough to me.

    I wound up enjoying it greatly and with the preview chapter in the back for Tarnished Image I kept pestering my mom to keep us going back to the bookstore so when it became available I could purchase it.

    But I never saw it on the shelf. Disappointment again.

    Since then, I’ve read many of Peretti’s, got into Dekker, and read most of the Left Behind series. And a little over a couple of years ago I got all excited over the start of Marcher Lord Press and some of the other novelists I had been seeing coming on the scene in recent years like Eric Wilson and Robin Parrish, and I thought I saw a name I recognized.

    At some point, with all my moving around, I misplaced Terminal Justice, so I wasn’t sure if I really did recognize that name or not. Well, I hunted around some on Amazon – and I couldn’t even remember the title exactly – but I came across a copy of Terminal Justice a little over a year ago and ordered it along with a few others I wanted.

    So now I have a copy of that book on my shelf again alongside many other Christian novels. It’s a nice reminder to me of where I started with reading Christian fiction.

    So, thank you, Alton Gansky for creating such an enjoyable read for what was a young boy not even certain if there would be anything worth reading that he would enjoy. Thank you so much. 😀

    Now I just need to get around to ordering a copy of Tarnished Image so I can finally read it too! 😉

  2. Great post, thanks!

    I agree, it’s not what you did yesterday, it’s a way of life. And it’s not always easy. Life is busy… but it’s always busy and tends to only get busier. You can’t wait, saying one day you’ll write a story. Too many people do that. Some day. But as they say, “you’ll never have as much time as you have now.”

    Actually, I get anxious if I don’t have something I’m working on. Even when I’m not actually writing, my mind is scheming, weaving and planning revisions. I’m not a writer because I want fame or think I’ll make money. I’m a writer because I can’t not write.

    Thanks for sharing, Alton!

  3. Wow. I loved “A Ship Possessed” too! Of course, one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was that it was set in San Diego (where I grew up) and I could picture the Coronado bridge and Torrey Pines golf course and all the other settings so vividly. I cried when the diver from Escondido died. That’s my present residence.

    The very best line from your whole post is this:
    I’ve written about forty books now, but still haven’t sold a short story.

    YES! This is SOOOOO comforting to me. I have written four novels (two published) but can’t write a decent short story to save my life. This gives me hope. Thank you for sharing that bit of (probably frustrating and embarassing) information.

    And thank you, Keven, for inviting him to post here.

  4. This has been a fascinating post. The route to publication is as varied as the people who follow it.

    I’m compelled to admit I’ve never read anything by Alton Gansky. I didn’t even know his name before today. In my defense, I took a 20 year hiatus from reading. i was doing other turtle things, like eating.

    Then again, I often forget the world existed before I was born. Now that I’m awake, I’ll be on the lookout. With 40 books out, it shouldn’t be hard to find one to read. 😉

    Thank you so much for joining us today, Mr. Gansky!

  5. Enjoyed the story. I can relate to a few things you said in it. God leads us in many ways. Good reminder to stay open to those leadings. Thank you.

  6. I love your journey, Mr. Gansky. Thank you for sharing with us. I find I may have backed myself into most of my life. Sure makes for excitement and great stories to share. 😛

  7. Thanks for being a guest, Alton!!! I love hearing the stories of other writers who actually had to struggle! It makes it seem like it might not be impossible, after all! 🙂
    Thanks again!

  8. Thanks for the kind words everyone. I wish you all the best in your endeavors, except those who might be direct competitors…just kiddin’. Thanks again and blessings.

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