Jimmy Deas – Hamilton County Florida Writer of Christian Based Novels and People Story Teller
I grew up in North Florida. I graduated from Jennings High School (Jennings, FL) in 1965. And then I graduated from North Florida Junior College in 1968. I became a Southern Baptist pastor and served for 36 years until I retired in 2013. I have been married to Sherry for 52 years. During that time we have created two daughters who have had three of our grandchildren. Since then I have been working as an interim pastor and write a Facebook blog and a weekly column for the Lake City Reporter.
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A Teachers Gift and Other Stories – Jan 2019
Ran Like Joseph – Feb 2019
The Jonah Trait: A Fresh Look at an Intriguing Book – Aug 2019
Just a Dog and Other Stories – Nov 2019
Just Have Faith – Mar 2020
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
Most of my characters are based on people whom I was privileged to pastor. They were good people who blessed my life and I’m grateful that God allowed me the privilege to know them.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I try to be as accurate as possible with events, dates, places, etc. I research as much as possible before I begin writing but occasionally, the story takes a different turn than I had planned and I do additional research. My research sources include museums, the internet, and people who are knowledgeable about the subject. My latest novel, Just Have Faith, required specifics from people who had worked in law enforcement in 1971. I was able to interview three retired men who had worked in law enforcement at that time.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I don’t have a cut and dried method. I will make up a list of names but try to match a name to the personality of the character. Sometimes I will use the first name of someone I’ve known whose personality matches the character. While writing, I will visualize the face of that person.
Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?
I can’t speak for anyone else but I let my emotions flow into my writing. As a pastor for over 40 years, I have experienced the gamut of emotions and ministered to people as they experienced various emotions.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot?
My favorite bird, the male cardinal. I love the brilliant color and the way they protect the female, to the extent of feeding her during mating season.
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