In my interviews with writers, bloggers and novelists, we turn next to one of my dearest friends, J. Randal Matheny. He is the editor of Forthright Magazine, where I serve as Managing Editor. Randal is the editor of the Brotherhood News and The Christian Hub. He also works with Barbara Oliver to operate Forthright Press.
Randal is originally from Arkansas but has served as a missionary to Brazil for the past 25 years. He is a talented writer and editor and I hope you will find his interview enlightening.
1. How did you get started as a writer?
When I was born, my first words were, “Write this down!” I can’t remember when I wasn’t writing. I used to write silly stuff, like Weird Al, and before I realized it was marketable, I’d already destroyed it. There went my fortune. Poetry and I go far back, as well. As far as published materials, I started writing bulletin articles back in the late 70s, early 80s, and one of those I sent to the Gospel Advocate, which published it, much to my surprise and motivation.
2. What is your mission as a writer?
Aside from objectives of individual pieces, my mission is the same as my ministry: to move people in God’s direction, either by inches or leaps. That involves information, showing the right path, and motivation, feeding people reasons to move their feet.
3. How important is writing to you?
It’s in the blood. No write, no live. When we first moved to Brazil for a church-planting effort, writing took a backseat. But not for long. Even in my adopted Portuguese language, writing occupies a central place in my work.