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Interview with Jason Karpf

What message do you hope readers take away from your latest release?
The Deliverer takes place during Civil War II in 2038. We have shattered the greatest nation on earth with hatred, ignorance, and pride. We must remember our motto, “One Nation, Under God.” We must be Christ-like to preserve our country: tolerant, compassionate, wise. We must live biblically, which means recognizing and shunning false prophets and wolves in sheep’s clothing, as the Word teaches us.

What literary pilgrimages for research have you taken? What was your favorite and what did you discover or learn?
When I began writing Christian sci-fi, I revisited classic science-fiction authors such as Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein. I read works by other greats such as Dean Koontz and Octavia Butler. Additionally, I’m a lifelong fan of Rod Serling, and I teach from Twilight Zone episodes in my study course, “Christian Sci-Fi Night with Professor K.” As I partook in these great writers, I looked for their take on the Creator as I explored the theme central to scripture and sci-fi: playing God leads to trouble.

Four-time champion on Jeopardy! What was your greatest takeaway from that experience, and what challenged you the most?
Jeopardy reawakened my love of learning. I was a college dropout when I appeared on the show in 2000. When I received my winnings check, I enrolled at the local community college. By 2011, I had three degrees and was teaching college. The biggest challenge in playing Jeopardy is maintaining buzzer timing during the game. Contestants can read the clues on an offstage screen as they are being read aloud, allowing you to form answers quickly. But if you hit the button too early, your buzzer is locked out for a split-second, an eternity in the game.

You have an illustrious speaking career with speaking engagements all over the country. What event has had the biggest impact on you and why?
My speaking engagements in Texas have had the most impact since they dealt with the subject of my first book, Anatomy of a Massacre, published in 1994. This is a true-crime book about the worst mass-shooting of its time—23 people shot dead in Killeen, Texas, in 1991. Mass killings are an epidemic in America today. Thirty years ago, we were learning about the warning signs and how to heal a community after such an attack. We still have a great deal to learn.

How does your experience in the film industry impact your writing?
My mother was a screenwriter for more than 30 years, with numerous credits. She taught me my craft, and I wrote with her as a young man. My writing remains cinematic as I strive for short scenes, economical dialogue, and lots of visuals and action. I’m always thinking about how my books will play on a screen.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I am an avid reader of content about technology, space travel, the military, and the environment. The Deliverer was inspired by a story about delivery drivers scored and terminated by AI programs. I catalog articles for future reference in my writing. I have a growing list of technical experts who generously share their knowledge and fact-check my work. Being a college instructor has given me access to some brilliant people. I always try to balance adequate research with getting to work on the actual writing.

As writers, word count is king, and we often must sacrifice parts of our stories for the sake of improving the whole. What did you edit OUT of this book?
I may buck the trend, but my novels tend to be short, maybe because I’m thinking back to the length restrictions of screenplays. In The Deliverer, I cut out a sequence with the main characters trapped overnight in a bog and attacked by wildlife that has flourished in wartime. It had good action moments but sidetracked the main narrative.

You have put your degree in communication to work through your speaking and teaching. Was there ever another career path you thought you might pursue? Have you ever doubted the career path you chose?
My career path has come full circle. In 1995, I left the entertainment industry and became a real estate agent. I soon learned that my storytelling skills were relevant to my new career as they enabled me to create marketing and public relations to build my business. After appearing on Jeopardy in 2000, I left real estate to pursue a bachelor’s degree and career in marketing. Later, I earned a master’s in communication so I could teach college, a longtime goal.

As I approached my 60th birthday, I decided to pursue writing again but this time in the name of Jesus, whom I’d accepted as Lord and Savior after getting engaged to my wife Anni in 2005. I’ve had many doubts over the years. Today, my doubts are gone, thanks to God.

If you could have done something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would that be?
I would have escaped my bubble and fought back against the doubt and self-destruction that inhibited me as a writer and man. That said, my past, with all its pain and failure, has made me appreciate God’s grace and drives me to glorify Him with my writing.

Although you clearly bring a Godly perspective to your marketing training and speaking, share a little more about how your faith and spiritual walk play out in your novels.
I know believers young and old who love the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and other hallmarks of sci-fi. Combining Christianity and science fiction can deepen joy and learning for followers of Jesus. Such a merger of faith and pop culture has ample precedent. A half-century ago, Christian music took on rock and pop influences. Billy Graham blessed the “Jesus Music” movement with his appearance at the Explo ’72 festival, and countless millions have connected with the Lord through songs that speak to their hearts. As a worship musician and music school graduate, I relish rock-‘n-roll for Jesus. In the same spirit, I believe in science fiction for the Savior.

Finish this statement: In the future, I will…
Write more, speak more, love more. And enjoy more sci-fi with my grandson and the young ones to come.

Any parting words?
Believe in Jesus and you will believe in yourself because of His promises to you. My best life is today in my 60s, thanks to God.
Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having an active imagination and a flair for the dramatic. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who works as a homeschool mom and independent contractor, helping others become their best from the inside out. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Kentucky. They have a daughter and son, and 2 cats. She has sold over 25 books so far, three of which have won annual reader's choice awards. She is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. (

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