Travis and Sarah Inman currently reside in Idaho.
And now, without further ado, here's Travis!
ü How old were you when you learned to read?
o First grade…so that would be about 6? I was as ordinary as ordinary could be. I learned how to birth calves before I learned how to read! One of those is a skill set that will help you get a paying job. One of them isn’t.
ü Since then, how many books would you guess you’ve read…and which one stands out from all others?
o Hundreds. I honestly have no better guess. And my absolute favorite was Chippy Chipmunk’s Vacation by Adda Mai Sharp. This is the first real book I read in the first grade, and it started my journey. Your first love is always a fond memory, or so they say.
ü What’s your favorite form of entertainment? (Sorry, writing doesn’t count.)
o Well, cage fighting, of course. But, since they don’t let Nicholas come out to play anymore, I’m going with working in the yard, planting, landscaping, etc… I absolutely love planting trees. And with all the deer in my yard, I get to plant them over again every year.
ü What do you like best about the place you call home (city, state, house)?
o I grew up on the Wildhorse Ranch near Colorado City, Texas. Our nearest neighbor was several miles away, and the ranch extended as far as your eyes could see. I enjoy isolation and we had enough isolation to fill a dump truck (if that’s possible). We could see the stars at night, and we would sit and stare into the heavens as often as the weather permitted. And that’s how we came to see our first UFO! But, I’m off topic. Anyway, that ranch house was home. It was where we were comfortable and felt at peace, and it was a magnificent place to grow up. Years later when my folks moved to town, I mourned the loss of that house as if a dear friend died. Gee, ain’t I fun to chat with?
ü If you don’t write full time, how much does your job/career impact your writing? (If you do write full time, which past job/career had the biggest influence on your work?)
o Well, I have a broad range of experience when it comes to the many ways I brought home the bacon. The first real “paying” job was collecting shopping carts in a grocery store. I have also been a taco maker, a hammer swinger, a ditch digger, a real estate salesman, a marketing rep for my very own firm, and the list goes on. But, the jobs I’ve held that provided the most depth to my experience where my cowboying days, the time in the Army and the infantry, and the time I spent on the Southern border as a Border Patrol Agent. Those three jobs granted me a glimpse at how the world works, and how it should work, and how it doesn’t work. The last job I’ll note is being a police chaplain, which is something I still do to this day.
ü Typically, interviewers often ask, “If you could have dinner with any person from history, who would it be, and why?” But I’ve never been ‘typical,’ so let’s change that up a little: If you could take me on a tour of your favorite place, where would we go and what would we do?
o I’m not sure there are any roads that would get us there, so we’d probably have to saddle up and ride to a rock that stands out in the middle of nowhere in West Texas. It doesn’t have a name, but it does have a history. Early pioneers, cowboys, and soldiers carved their names on that rock which is near a watering hole. I found that rock while exploring, and I’m not sure that more than a dozen or so people know of its existence. What would we do? We would go out there with a hammer and chisel, and scrape my name off of the rock. I deeply regret scratching my name on the rock, knowing that I probably ruined its historical value. But, man, I love that place and I can only imagine what events happened at that rock throughout history.
ü What do you like best/least about the Facebook group, Loree Lough and Friends: A Nice Place to Hide?
o Well, the members. Those are some of the most incredible people in all of social media, and they are all collected into one location. And I can’t offer complaints about it.
ü If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be, and why?
o I would significantly improve my health. I have a substantial heart issue that has changed the course of my life in many ways. If I could live a life without blood thinners, I would explore more, and do more adventuring. Perhaps knowing my limitations has kept me alive? Perhaps. I used to be quite the risk taker…and I have many stories that prove my willingness to throw caution to the wind. But, I do miss that, and I long for those days of adventuring.
ü What, in your opinion, is the scariest animal in the animal kingdom, and why?
o Spiders. I hate spiders. I have one approach to them. BLOW TORCH! When I was a kid, I was crawling around under the house and got bit by spiders, and huge blisters formed on my skin, which had to be lanced and drained. Frequently. Very bad memories of spiders.
ü If you have a go-to Bible verse, which is it, and why?
o “He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.” Col 1:17 I love knowing that God has it all under control, and is holding it all together.
ü Tell us how—and why!—you became an author.
o Like so many others, if I didn’t, I think I would have died. All those stories and ideas were building up inside of me, and I had to release them into the wild. So, it all began in junior high English. Our teacher gave us a writing assignment to write anything we wanted. I wrote a fictional story of a soldier on Hill 503 in Korea. My teacher wrote, “Good job! Great imagination!” on my paper—and the bug bit me. It started with short stories. I LOVE short stories. I even won a few writing contests back in the 80s with a few of them. But, my career began when I had heart surgery back in 2006. I was sitting at home and had nothing to do because there was nothing I could do. So, I sat down and started typing out a story line that was gnawing at me. 45 days later, When Love Called (Book One of the Glenfield Series) emerged. So, in a way, I became an author because of my strongest weakness.
ü What is your newest release?
o Shadows, which is a book published by Fred St Laurent and Elk Lake Publishing. Shadows is Christian speculative fiction, and it examines one man, Justin “Flip” Grey, who has to make a decision if he will accept or reject the advances of a tempting and mysterious woman he meets while on a business trip. Through the miracle of writing, I allow him to make both decisions, and create a split-screen type of story where I project the probable outcome of his decisions. In one reality he stays true to his wife, and I examine how God blesses his life. In the other reality, the one where he sinfully pursues the tempting woman, I analyze how his betrayal cascades down to his wife and kids, and alters the course of their lives. The story is edgy and gripping, and both inspiring and terrifying. All at the same time!
ü Can you share a little about your WIP (work in progress)?
o I’m currently mapping out a young adult science fiction series that involves time travel, alternate realities, civil war, adventures in an abandoned mine, secrets behind the theme park on the moon, treasure hunts in the past, and good old fashioned youthful fun. I pitched the idea to my publishers, and they gave me the nod. I’m hip-deep in researching things such as mining the moon, near space travel, string theory, and a place called Skin Walker Canyon. My kids are very involved with this project. Caitie, my only teen daughter, is focused on designing uniforms and fashion for a world that doesn’t yet exist. Seth, my only teen son, is busy building and mapping out the theme park on the moon. It’s been a blast so far! And a new horizon for me, so to speak.
o Having said all of that, I will probably release the second book of the Glenfield Series, which is already written, just delayed due to some technical difficulties.
ü When people ask if you’ll ever retire from writing, what’s your standard response?
o To not be driven mad by getting words on paper? Bring it on! I’m lazy enough not to work if I don’t have to! But, that within itself will cause a build up of words, which have to be released into the wild, which will cause madness if they aren’t written. I’m not sure it’s possible.
ü What can readers expect next in the Travis W. Inman lineup?
o I have a few one-act plays that are scheduled to be in production in Spring 2016, under the skillful direction of Jesus Quintero and the American Laboratory Theater. This is a fun project for me. I love writing for theater. It’s almost easier than writing books. Almost. But, I’m excited to see my plays actually brought to life with real actors on a real stage.
ü Tell us a little about the family you grew up with.
o I am a fourth generation Texan, who grew up in a traditional ranch setting. My extended family homesteaded a huge ranch in Scurry County, which is in West Texas. I grew up the middle child of three, under parents who were kind, caring, God fearing, Jesus loving, strong, and determined. My father is the kind of man who would bring home an orphaned calf for us to bottle-feed, but would single handedly face down poachers or rustlers. My mother is a fantastic cook, who knew how to feed the cowboys with brisket, beans, sour dough rolls, and blackberry cobbler. She is also a registered nurse. My older sister was a hardheaded teen. We used to sit around the record player in her room and listen to music. My younger brother was and is a hard worker who knew the value of an honest day’s work. He and I spent many hours sword fighting in the back yard and down along the creek, where we would spend even more time fighting Indians and Yankees, and sweeping in the very last minute to help Davy Crockett defend the Alamo. I had a GREAT childhood!
ü How did your background form the ‘character’ you are today?
o I learned the value of life and the value of struggling at an early age. Getting up on a snowy night to help my dad pull a calf was a common thing. You learn to respect life, doing things like that. I learned the value of strength and valor while serving in the Army and the Border Patrol. Some things are worth dying for, and America is one of them. But, I’m probably not actually answering your question. I see that character is in quotes. I learned how to adventure because Louis Lamour and Zane Grey inspired me. I would saddle up on a Saturday morning and strike out across the pastures looking for anything that might pop up. I loved weathering storms. I loved hunting for arrowheads. I loved camping under the stars. I’m the “character“ I am today because I learned to adventure at a very young age. And mischievously, at that!
ü Share a little about your wife and kids…
o My wife, Sarah, is the love of my life. She is an RN who gave up her career to become a stay at home mother and homeschooler. She is my best friend, and I’m so thankful she didn’t jettison me when she had the chance. Caitlin is our only daughter, who is now 17. She was born 12 weeks premature, and learned how to struggle for life at a tender age. We are lucky she is still with us! Seth is our 13 year old, and he is our brainiac. He knows how to write computer code, and is a graphic designer, and is active with his YouTube channel posting video games he designs.
ü Define ‘fatherhood.’
o I’m always hesitant to offer advice for something I’ve not yet fully proven, but if I could sum up my approach to being a father, I’d say this: “Rules without relationship leads to rebellion, while relationship without rules leads to disaster.” The hardest aspect of being a father for me is allowing my children to fail. I’m a fixer. And watching them fail is very painful to me. And they have to do so before they can learn success. But, I’m always there with them, cheering them on, and pointing the way. They may not know it, but I’m always watching them from a distance, waiting and watching, just in case!
ü Define ‘husband.’
o I’ve been married for almost 23 years. I first married my sweetheart, and then my enemy, and finally, after many years of power struggles, my best friend. Realization came to me and I accepted that the vast majority of our troubles are because I failed to be the leader and the lover, and I selfishly expected her to be those things for me. Once I learned who I really was, and how that was affecting my wife, I made a significant course adjustment and learned how to lead and love sacrificially, and my best friend emerged! Fancy that! So, I would say this, “It’s not about who is right. It’s about what is right. And when you decide that together, there is harmony.”
ü Do those definitions ‘slant’ what you write, and they way you write it?
o I write from my worldview and my own experience. I’ve tried not writing what I know, and it doesn’t work very well for me. My characters will always reflect my journey. The dark characters will also reflect me in some way. My positive characters reflect who God has made me to be.
ü Which of your fictional characters is most like you?
o All of them reflect me. My friends often compare me to Caton Harvey from the Glenfield Series, saying that his sense of humor and approach to life are very similar to me. I would say that I most closely identify with Justin “Flip” Grey, who is both the hero and the goat in my newest release, Shadows. His story could be mine in that we struggle with the same issues.
ü Please share a favorite photo of yourself…
ü Please share the cover of your favorite Travis W. Inman novel…and tell us why it’s your favorite.
o I love the cover for When Love Called because the depth of the character gazing into the distance speaks so strongly of longing and desire, and perfectly encapsulates the character, Lily.
ü 25.) How can readers get in touch with you? (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
o My personal Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/travis.w.inman
o My author Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/BlunderingDiscoverer?ref=hl
o My twitter account is: @traviswinman
o My website is: www.traviswinman.com
o My blog is: www.traviswinman.blogspot.com
o Gee, that ought to be enough, eh?
Thanks, Travis, for spending a portion of your day with us. It’s been a pleasure, getting to know you better!