Member Interview: W Terry Whalin, author of Billy Graham, A Biography of America’s Greatest Evangelist

W Terry WhalinAuthor Name: W Terry Whalin

Websitehttp://terrywhalin.com

Social Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/terrywhalin
Blog: http://thewritinglife.ws
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terrywhalin
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/terrywhalin/

Book Title: Billy Graham, A Biography of America’s Greatest Evangelist

Publication Date: November 2014; audiobook November 2017

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Link to purchase book: http://BillyGrahamBio.com

What is your book about?

Billy Graham biographyThe Inspirational Story of the Twentieth Century’s Greatest Evangelist Billy Graham has preached the gospel message in person to more people than anyone in history, and millions more have heard him through television, radio, and film. His faithful witness is testimony to his great love of God and passion to serve Him. This easy-to-read biography tells Billy Graham’s story, including his humble beginnings as a southern farm boy, his calling to the ministry, the start of the crusades, his service to America’s leaders, and his later years preaching around the globe. As you read these details of a life dedicated to the cause of Christ, you will be encouraged. Also these stories will inspire anyone who desires to give their life in service to God. Here’s a fresh look at a contemporary man of God and giant of the faith.

What inspired you to write your book?

I worked for Mr. Graham as Associate Editor at Decision magazine over 20 years ago back when we were publishing 1.8 million copies each issue.I was asked to write a biography about Billy Graham in early 2000 and Bethany House published it in 2002 as a part of their Men of Faith series but this book is long out of print.

Can you describe your writing process? How did you get your book written and how long did it take?

My old book had to be keyed into the computer (that old) and I used the old book as the foundation to write the new version. With the earlier version, I did not build a website (this time I did). I did not get a foreword (Foreword by Luis Palau). I did not get endorsements (numerous endorsements for the book. It was my opportunity to update and republish my old book and I appreciated it. My day job is working as an acquisitions editor at Morgan James.

What was your publishing process like? How did you publish your book and how long did it take?

While I’ve written over 60 books for traditional publishers, Morgan James is the first publisher where I was included in the details about the book–cover, size, cost, release date, etc. The process took several months of working back and forth. The audiobook was just published in November and I was very involved in this process. Normally when a book is out for audition, there are half a dozen people who try out to read the book. We had 28 people try out to read Billy Graham. I selected an experienced reader, Andrew L. Barnes but he had no idea how to pronounce certain words in the book. I turned in nine and a half pages of corrections the first time I went through the audiobook. There were four and a half pages the second time but finally everything was perfect and the book was released November 1st. The audiobook also has something different in it–beyond the words. I listen to a lot of audiobooks. The most iconic song related to Billy Graham is the hymn Just As I Am. I did a google search and found a version that the Gaithers were singing.I clipped ten seconds of instrumental and ten seconds of singing. Then I needed permission. Over ten years ago I worked at Howard Books and Gloria Gaither was one of our authors–and I exchanged emails with her–and still had the information. I reached out to Gloria, told her about my Billy Graham book and asked for royalty free permission–which she gave in 24 hours. Each chapter in my audiobook includes a clip from Just As I Am right after the chapter title. It was a great addition to this audiobook. I was thrilled to have it published before Mr. Graham passed away a month or so ago. My book was one of the top five trending books (sales) from Morgan James the week of March 22. I wrote a blog post with the images of the book at: http://terrywhalin.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-importance-of-multiple-follow-up.html

How do you hope your book impacts the world?

The book has over 77 reviews on Amazon and I hope it encourages people about the life of America’s Greatest Evangelist. Because it is only 172 pages, young readers can read it as well as adults.

Please tell us a bit about you and how you decided to write your book. Is it part of a personal goal, business goal, nonprofit or other mission?

My first book was published in 1992 and it was a little children’s book. I’ve written over 60 books but I love biographies. I’ve written a number of biographies including this one about Billy Graham. Part of the goal of the book was to encourage others.

What do you most enjoy about what you do?

I love working with authors and books because books change people’s lives. The reason I know first hand is because reading a book changed my life–a book called Jesus the Revolutionary. I wrote the story in this little article called Two Words That Changed My Life: http://terrylinks.com/twowords

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey?

I’ve interviewed and written stories about over 150 bestselling authors. In the process of sitting with them and asking them about how they practiced their craft, I learned a great deal. My writing is definitely from the inspiration and learning from others. I continue to read a writing how-to book each month and have done so for years.

What’s next for you?

I am writing a new book called 10 Publishing Myths (Morgan James Publishing)

What advice would you offer fellow authors who are just getting started?

1. Writers need to learn the craft of writing–mostly through the magazine area which is easier than books.

2. Writers need to make connections with the marketplace. I give a lot of writer advice and insight in my book, Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, Insider Secrets to Skyrocket Your Success. A free 30 page chapter is at: http://terrylinks.com/jypd

3. Writers need to persist to find the right place to get published. Too many authors give up too quickly. I may not be the best writer in the room but I am one of the most disciplined, consistent and persistent.

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