Interview with Author Doug Bolton

My guest today is Doug Bolton.  Hello!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you again.

Can you tell us a little bit about your book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

My first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World, just went to the second printing. It came out in October of 2011. You can still get the original paperback version by going to and clicking on the bookstore tab at the top. You will get a free autograph with your order.

If you try to order the paperback on Amazon, it will say it is sold out. That is because of the second printing going on. You can still order the eBook version at Amazon. Be sure to put in the full title of the book in the search area.

I will go further into my latest books in your second question.

Great!  Is there anything that prompted your latest book? Something that inspired you?

I have two books I am working on. The first one is called, Signs of Hope: For the Weak Days.  We all have those days when we aren't sure we want to face the storms of life. This book, which is co-authored with Dennis Booth from New South Wales, Australia, is about four months away. It will be a great Christmas gift.

The other book will be called, Signs of Hope: For the Military, (This is a working title.) I am a veteran and I am sickened by the increasing number of suicides in the military. It even affects the military families. CBS Sunday Morning had an alarming statistic: 25% of military children say they have thought about committing suicide. This is compared to only 19% of the civilian sector.  I want to reach out to all the military families with words of hope, and share my own stories of my time in the military. This book will be about a year away. 

Yes, there is certainly a need for such a book.  

So, when did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

When I was at the end of my rope and struggling in the muck and mire in my own life, is when God opened me up to writing about my experiences, and sharing with those who may be going through the same things. 

Do you have any favorite authors?

Yes... there are some I admire a great deal. The top of the list would have to be Max Lucado. His inspiring books helped me through my troubled times, and I pattern my books after his style and approach. 

I also like Philip Yancey, Lee Strobel, and Rick Warren.
Do you write in a specific place?  Time of day?

I write mostly at my computer. I have the luxury of having a lot of quiet time. My children are all out of the nest, and my wife is a very busy volunteer each day. So I have solitude most of the day.

As far as what time? I have written at all hours of the day. Some of my best work has come from waking up in the middle of the night from a dream that I had to get down on paper. 

Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers?  Any advice?  

  • Never give up!
  • Writer's block is a wall that has inspiring words on the other side.
  • Write from the heart no matter if it is fiction or non-fiction.

Here is the blurb for Signs of Hope:  Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World

Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World is a survival manual for living in a troubled world. It reaches out to all of those who seek answers to questions like, why does God allow bad things to happen, when will I find peace, and what is my purpose in life?

This story of author Doug Bolton's journey from extreme despair to a close relationship with God will encourage those who experience anxiety, fear, depression, hopelessness, addiction, self-doubt and failure.

Each chapter begins with grassroots words of wisdom found on bumper stickers and ends with a personal application that points the reader toward spiritual and emotional maturity. Often funny or ironic, Bolton's comparison of real-life challenges with bumper sticker wisdom prompts a stronger, healthier spiritual outlook on life.
Here is an excerpt.

You Need to Keep God’s Number on Speed Dial

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great
and unsearchable things you do not know.
Jeremiah 33:3

     Does it feel like the walls are closing in? Do you look out the window and see darkness in the middle of the day? Are all your good times turning into bad times? Do you look for help, but find none?
Join a few million of your closest friends in the world who are in the same boat as you. And the bad news is: The boat is overloaded and sinking.
I have been there, my friend, when none of the doors I’ve knocked on would open. You feel you’re surrounded like General Custer at the Little Bighorn and have no ammo left. I have been at the place when I didn’t think I would find a way out of the mire and muck.
What can we do when the all the world is on our shoulders and the weight is crushing us? Why isn’t there a place to go for help? Why isn’t there a website that advertises, “Come here with all your troubles, and we guarantee that you will leave here with all your worries taken care of”?
There isn’t such a place, so the issue of where to turn at a time like this remains.
There is a place to go for help! There is a place to be rescued! There is a place where we can find peace! There is a place where we can leave our worries and you not have to have them around to bother us.
That place is where God is—in heaven. He has a huge answering system that puts cell phone companies to shame. He can answer all His calls at once. There is not a phone company in the world that can do that.
He accepts collect calls 24/7. You say, “Will you accept my call and the way I am?” He says, “Of course. I made you in My image, and you are My child.”
It’s a free service. No fees for long distance. No fees for minutes used. No hidden fees that you have to repay. Just an open line where you can talk as long as you want. You can expect a good listener and someone who loves you very much on the other end.
You’ve made phone calls to companies seeking help, only to be sent through a mechanized system that has you pushing numbers in hope of talking to someone who breathes and has a brain. Then when you get to them, they don’t understand your problem or they brush you off like lint from a coat, saying they can’t help you. They ask you to send them a detailed letter about your problem and before they can get back to you with an answer.
By this time, you’re steaming and just give up. You don’t want to go through the hassle, and the bad guys win.
That doesn’t happen with God’s speed dial. He is right there in an instant, listening to your needs. You can talk to Him knowing He cares and wants to help you with your problems. You can talk to Him as if He were sitting right next to you, not like an operator thousands of miles away who doesn’t understand your problem or care about your needs.
I once thought that God didn’t have time to listen to my “little” prayers. I’ve had prayers like: “God, I’ve lost my cell phone; would You help me find it?” I’ve also prayed; “God, my car just died; I think the battery is dead, and I need someone to help me.” I’ve even said this prayer: “Lord, I fear I’ve lost my wife’s bag with all of her personal belongings in it. Please help us find it somehow.”
I’ve had all of these things happen. In every situation, God sent instant help. Right after I had prayed about my cell phone, I got a call from the local pizza place to let me know they had found it. Right after I prayed about my car dying, a man came up to my car and asked if I need help. He had jumper cables.
The last one was a tough one. I had put the bag with Charlotte’s makeup, hair products and skin care products in it on top of the car because it had rained earlier. The ground was too wet for me to put the bag there. After I closed the back of the SUV, I drove off. The bag fell off somewhere on our way home from a trip to the Coast.
We live seventy miles inland, and I didn’t notice I had lost the bag until we got home. I had to tell Charlotte what had happened, and she not only was very angry, she broke down crying. (I know what you are saying guys: “It is only makeup!” But this caution, gentlemen: Never lose your wife’s makeup. You may not survive the aftermath!)
I lost the bag on a Monday. I prayed that night for God’s help. This would really need a miracle. It could have been anywhere along seventy miles of road.
Later that week, I got a call from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office to let me know someone had found the bag and turned it in. It was Charlotte’s bag and everything was in it. I had it back in her hands in a couple of days. Isn’t God awesome?
What are the chances of someone finding that bag and deciding to turn it in instead of keeping it? And of the Sheriff’s Department being able to locate us? The only thing in the bag with any identification on it was a prescription bottle with Charlotte’s name on it.
God takes care of the big worries and the little ones too. He doesn’t look at each one and say, “Boy, this one is pretty petty: I’ll just forget that one.”
He may not answer all our prayers the way we want, but even an unanswered prayer may be an answer to your prayer. Sometimes we pray for something God knows isn’t right for us. He knows every hair on our heads, and that means He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, and what is best for us. So if God is silent, we need to stop and think about what we prayed for and go back to Him. We need to ask if this is what He wants for us instead of saying this is what we want.
So if the dark side has been knocking on our door, if “the good life” is only a song in our mind, if we have been zigging when we should have been zagging, we need to call on God. He has humungous shoulders for us to lean on. He has big strong arms to hug us and hold us. He has an understanding that no other man can comprehend. He accepts calls in the wee hours of the morning. He accepts them when we are in a darkened alleyway. He listens when we are out in the middle of a lake. He can hear us when we are inside a cave. Cell phones can’t do that.
We can turn to God with our SOS signal for help. We can give Him all our hurts, failures, illnesses, divorce, addictions, immoral thoughts, and have Him throw them into the sea, never to be seen again. He wants us to have a long talking relationship with Him through our constant calling on Him.
And we may hear Him calling us, too. He has a way of ringing in our ears, with ideas about things He wants us to do. Let’s not hang up on Him. These are wonderful close encounters with Him. He doesn’t speak to us every day. When He spoke to me, it changed my life forever.
Give God a chance. Let Him walk with you through life. Give Him a call to help you in your time of need. After all it is toll-free, so it doesn’t take a toll on your life.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,
who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:6

Further adventures
Try spending a few minutes each day just sitting and talking to God. It is a good habit to get into. Sometimes it is good to just listen. Look at the word listen. Did you know that you can spell the word silent with the same letters? Listen and be silent before your God, and wonderful things will happen.

Something to ponder
Isn’t it funny that prayer can move mountains, divide a sea, and save men about to be eaten by lions, but most people don’t believe in prayer?

Thanks for visiting  us today, Doug!

Author Bio
Doug Bolton holds an AA degree in Psychology, BS degree in Education, and has extensive training in counseling from Western Oregon University. He is a freelance writer who has be published on the Rest Ministries Web site, in magazines like The Christian Journal, and in newsletters like Prime Times. His latest book Signs of Hope: For the Weak Days, will be coming out soon. Doug was also a runner-up in the MARsocial Author of the Year Awards.

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