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Posts tagged ‘writers’

The Undead Interview, Part One (with Clay Morgan)

So, on Monday I shared a little pop culture quiz that I did with Clay Morgan.  Today I have something bigger to pass along.  Literally and figuratively.

Clay was gracious enough to answer a lot  of questions, talking to me about himself and his book Undead as I stumbled my way through my first interview ever.  (My plan was to ask more questions than I needed and then edit down, but I can’t bring myself to cut anything.)  Thank you so much, Mr. Clay Morgan, for indulging me, for being patient, and for being such an interesting person to interview!  

Here is part one of the interview; I hope the rest of you enjoy it as much as I did.

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I thought about posting the second half tomorrow, but I don’t like to wait – so I won’t.

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Audio File: 

Tune in next week for part two, where we dig into Clay’s awesome new book, Undead!

Just as an aside…

As I’ve been editing these pieces, a lot of things kept running through my mind:

  1. I totally feel like Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove, “Is that my voice?  Is that MY voice?”
  2. Is Clay a mind-reader?  He keeps answering my next question before I ask my next question.
  3. I really want to put up the Clay and Michelle icons so they can have some fake conversations, basically to let out the running commentary in my head about how awkward I am.
  4. Yeah, so I use about 10 words where 3 would do just fine.

What’s running through my mind right now is, “Only one of those things is about Clay and the actual interview; you’re, like, completely self-centered.”  The worst part is that the little Michelle icon is saying it.  *sigh* I’m thinking there’s something really not right about that.

Anyway…

Don’t forget to check out Clay’s Undead page at ClayWrites.com/Undead

Pop Quiz, Hotshot!

I always get blog crushes.  Some of them go the way of schoolgirl crushes, fading back into the mutual oblivion from which they sprung.  But some of them have turned into truly lovely friendships.  In that respect, my cup runneth over; I’m so fortunate.

Anyway, a blogger I’m crushing on right now is Clay Morgan.  I know, you’re probably so shocked to hear that – but it’s true!  I’ve really enjoyed his site, claywrites.com, and I loved his new book.  Clay blogs about pop culture, history and the meaning of life, and his posts usually give me a lot to think about.  And if you’ve been here a while, then you know I love that.

Clay recently submitted to an interview by me (and let me tell you, I did not  know what I was doing).  I’ll be posting it in pieces to finish out UNDEAD month, and yes, I squeezed that much material out of him.  Poor man.  He’s got patience, I’ll give him that.

Today I’m sharing something I had a lot of  fun with: a Pop Quiz!  Go ahead and play along at home; you know you want to.

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So I think I won, don’t you?  Yes, I know that wasn’t a contest.  Don’t be silly.

But those voices in my head are totally real.  No matter what that picture of Clay said.

ps: My favorite part is when Clay has such a hard time deciding between his beloved historical figures.  I almost felt bad for making him choose.  But not bad enough to let him out of it.

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UNDEAD: Revived, Resuscitated, and Reborn by Clay Morgan

*Leave a comment to win a copy of Undead!

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So, I’ve been talking about that Clay Morgan guy a lot recently; after all, October is UNDEAD month.  Maybe you’re wondering why I’d give a month of my space to Clay or his book.  And that’s a good question; thanks for asking.  Maybe you’re saying, “Why don’t you give up all of your space to someone who knows what they’re doing?”  But that’s not a good question, and I’m just going to pretend you didn’t say that.

Okay, so the short answer is that I believe in them.  I like both Clay and his book, and I believe in what they have to say.

Of course, the long answer is longer.

Here’s where I explain the book…sort of.

I’ve found it difficult to nutshell Undead; when people ask, my thoughts scatter in about ten directions at once.  In my defense, I’ve heard Clay Morgan himself explain the book in about five different ways.  The truth is that Undead covers a lot of territory, like doubt, the emotional tombs we crawl into, giving selflessly and how it’s not that easy to follow in Christ’s footsteps.  Here’s my try at a description:

In the beginning, Clay asks, “What if there isn’t just death and life, but death and undeath?”  From there, he leads us on a journey through a history of the undead, from ancient stories of the dead arising to why we’re still so fascinated with these creatures today.  Primarily, he recounts the six recorded incidents of the dead being brought back to life in the bible and uses those varied scenarios to discuss contemporary Christian life.  Pop culture references are effectively woven throughout the narrative as well, particularly the zombies that Clay employs so well to illustrate a shambling state of existence.

Above all, Undead asks the question, “Why isn’t this working?”  

“This is the thing I always believed was part of the answer to life, as in I just need this  to be happy and fulfilled.  We try all kinds of things in hopes of finding the right this.”  So why isn’t this  working?  Many of us are like spiritual zombies, shuffling through life, “unfulfilled by either pursuing or obtaining the objects of our desire.”  And “what happens when we have everything and still wake up feeling empty?”  Undead’s answer is that “God came to the land of the living dead so that the dead might live.”  We just have to choose life.

What I like about this book is that…

Undead offers me hope that I can be more than the zombie I sometimes act like, but never pretends that choosing life over death, choosing to be reborn, is easy.  Clay is very open and honest about his personal struggles and what he has viewed as his own spiritual shortcomings.  So instead of feeling my particular imperfections sharply contrasted against what I “should be”, I am shown that I’m actually a normal human being.  Yes, I can be more, I can strive to strengthen my relationship with God, to live more fully in my faith.  But questions, doubts and my internal struggling don’t make me a bad Christian.  Let me tell you, there’s something compelling about recognizing yourself on the page, being told that someone gets you, and feeling that they are speaking to you.  And beyond that, being told that you are okay, that you’re not alone – you’re not the only one, alone in this apocalypse.

Undead tells me something about myself. When I read a book like this, I ask, “Can I take a lesson from what I’m reading?  Does it make me ask questions about myself?  Does it challenge my viewpoint, my perspective, and offer me a different vantage from which to see?”  Undead fulfilled all of those needs for me. It reminded me about who I am and who I am striving to be.   It gave me new insight into my religion and my relationship with Christ.

About Clay Morgan…

The thing about Clay is he’s a nice guy.  I believe in the message of the book, and that the nature of the writing will help speak something wonderful into many ears that haven’t been listening.  But I know I wouldn’t put this much effort into promoting Undead if it weren’t for Clay.  I truly feel that his heart is in reaching out to people, particularly the youth community, and that he wants us to find what we’ve been looking for, to fill the emptiness of merely existing with the fullness of truly living.  I’m sure he wants to be successful for so many reasons, but if I thought his primary motivation was self, then you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

A couple of months ago, Clay helped me. I didn’t ask for help, he just offered it, in response to a simple, frustrated tweet.  And then he followed through.  I’m sure he doesn’t even remember it, and I imagine it wasn’t a big deal to him at all.  But it was a big deal to me.  Truthfully, I’m really spoiled.  I know that I can come here and find kindness and encouragement.  But this is my home, and you are my family.  As much as your support and caring are a continual wonder to me, I’m blown away when I find that kindness coming to me from the outside.  And I’m a sucker for people who are nice to me.

So there you go.

But wait, there’s more!

I’ve got a signed copy of Undead that I’d love to give to one of you!  Just include the word Undead  in your comment, and I’ll put you in the drawing.  I’d love to hear your thoughts either way.

Click here to visit Clay Morgan’s site and find out more about Undead:

Something Missing ad

I’d never seen a trailer for a book before, but this is cool, ya’ll:

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