RV Minkler is a Christian, husband, father, grandfather, software engineer, private pilot, guitar hobbyist, worship and praise team member, deacon, and joyful traveler. Born in Iowa, he completed elementary school in Des Moines before his family moved to Phoenix, AZ, where he lived until he completed his degree in Engineering from Arizona State University. After college, Randy moved to San Diego, CA, where he worked as a software engineer and raised a family. Now retired, he volunteers with the local police department to visit shut-ins, leads a bible study fellowship, and writes fiction.
In this interview, RV talks with us about his debut Christian fiction book, The Redeemed.
FF: You started writing The Redeemed 35 years ago. How has the story evolved since that initial concept?
This story began as a vivid dream, so remarkable to me that I told my children about the vision, and my nine-year-old son was able to draw a picture of a battle that I described. In the first two years, I added the missing pieces that fill out the background elements to the apocalyptic speculation. However, the initial tale was effectively a short story and semi-erotic. Over many years I would revise and add to the novel as I was inspired, yet never reaching a finalized project. It remained an itch in my mind that I felt I had to complete until about five years ago when I finished the book’s first half. However, the ending felt rushed and incomplete, and I finally added the second half of the book, which included an antagonist that my beta readers really “loved.” The last two years have refined the story and elaborated on concepts that I understood but eluded my beta readers.
FF: This book has Christianity at its core. What has been your faith journey, and why was it important to illustrate those themes in your work?
My life was at a low point when I had the dream that spawned the story. I was a “lapsed” Christian whose second marriage had failed irrecoverably. My first two marriages were strictly “worldly” and without a shared faith. Part of my recovery from that second failed marriage was becoming active in a Protestant church again, and I was amazed that the weekly messages seemed tailored for me and my journey. As I renewed and grew, I infused the themes of grace, redemption, and recognition of the “everyday” miracles into the story.
FF: So that others on their writing journey can look out for roadblocks in the process, what pitfalls have you faced in getting the story published?
The journey of getting a fictional story published has markers and traits of perseverance, good writing tools–especially for grammatical correction, and kind and encouraging friends and readers who help you refine the raw material into a completed saga. Perseverance cannot be over-emphasized as you will have to contend with conflicting demands on your time, stagnation or lack of inspiration, and frequent rejection. I am blessed with a supportive spouse, kind friends, and quality paid services, which have helped hone and polish this novel.
FF: How do you think this book will be received, and how do you hope it is received?
I suspect that there will be passages vilified by both Christians and non-Christians. Perhaps I should take joy in that because people read the book and are considering the dilemmas and responses. I hope that the novel honors God, reveals His miracles in events and ways that we often overlook as mundane, and encourages Christians to hold onto hope in the most trying of times.
FF: What do you want people to take away from the book, especially after seeing some of the things you write about coming into play with a pandemic, climate catastrophes, and more affecting our lives today?
In my experience, it seems many people struggle without hope during the events of the current COVID-19 pandemic, climate catastrophes, and now a war started by a superpower. I pray that this tale will encourage people to respond in steadfast trust in God and His reliable care to even the bleakest challenges. I desire to deepen the understanding that God’s timing is not our timing and that He is faithful to those He has called.
Genres: Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic
Release Date: March 15, 2022
Eleven years after a deadly virus swept through the world, small, spread-out gangs are all that’s left of humanity. Veena Osborne and her mentor, Abraham Jones, lead the Tierrans through the daily trials of surviving in post-apocalyptic San Diego. Together, they cling to the daily disciplines of faith and life that keep them safe and alive. When Nate Sinclair stumbles out of a NASA-sponsored suspended animation experiment and into a world changed by catastrophic fires and pandemics, he finds his way to the Tierrans, and to Veena. The miraculous preservation of Nate through all the trials of the world might be enough to keep a sterile humanity alive, but the spreading knowledge of his immunity threatens to push the surviving humans into all-out war.
Buy The Redeemed from Amazon HERE!