Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Interview with Author Francis W Vanderwall




1. What inspired you to write this book?  The inspiration evolved out of a necessity: leading a prayer group in guided meditation.  The results were remarkable hence the inspiration to make these meditations available to a larger audience.


2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for?   The book is a manual that can be used by anyone seeking guidance following a yearning for a union with a deeper sensibility yet feeling at a loss as how to achieve that union.


3. What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book?  Meditating, not just reading these works, I hope, will bring a more peaceful equilibrium, a greater confidence, and a more hopeful approach to the daily rigors of life.


4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design?  The title came to me out of a realization that it ought to state clearly what the book is about; the cover design similarly ought to reflect pictorially the way -- the guided meditations as the tracks -- the meditating itself as resembling a dark tunnel of uncertainty -- the bright light at the end, the resulting joy, peace, and love in hope.


5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!?  Write only if you believe in the journey, and you believe you have something to say that will elevate, excite, stimulate and bring satisfaction to yourself.  Always write for you, then others will benefit.


6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  The speculation referencing the book publishing world is one of hope.  How books will be manufactured will change, is changing, away from the printed page towards electronic reproduction.  This will certainly help the trees! 


7. Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book?  My personal life has always been directed inward.  As an extrovert I have had to work hard to force myself to pray, to meditate, to become introspective.  When I do, I have found the rewards gratifying and humbling. As a Jesuit for 27 years, my career has largely focused on the interior life manifesting in exterior acts of compassion and love.  Loving others selflessly is all I really care about.  It is the meaning and purpose of my life.  It is this longing--because more often than not I do not succeed in this desire--that called me to write this book.


8. How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to?   My writing style is conversational.  I write as I speak.  Words ought not to obfuscate the meaning but bring it to light.  I want my writing to be similar to Thomas Merton, Henri J.M. Nouwen, Anton Chekov, Charles Dickens, Muriel Spark,


9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book?  The challenges I tried to overcome in the writing of this book were laziness, procrastination and seeking distractions.


10. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours?  Most people want to improve themselves in life.  This book ought to be a tool to help them do so. It is easy to use methods clearly delineated, the outcome ought to be one of liberation and joy.


About The Author: Dr. Francis W. Vanderwall, M.A., M.Div., PhL., Ph.D., is Emeritus Professor of Theology at Franciscan University as well as a regular Instructor for the Lagniappe Studies program at Louisiana State University as a Professor of Systematic Theology.   He earned his M.Div. at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA, and his doctorate in the Psychology of Religion from the Graduate Theological Union. He was in active ministry as a Jesuit for almost 30 years and in Retreat ministry since 1973.   He is the author of seven books on spirituality and a video series on prayer, as well as numerous articles dealing with spiritual direction, psychology, Scripture, varieties of prayer and related topics. 

His previously published work, Freedom from Fear: a way through the ways of Jesus the Christ, won the Catholic Press Association award in the US and Canada in its category in 2000 and his next book, The Liberating stories of Jesus: Word. Contextreflections (2008) is all about the parables, the very words Jesus used in proclaiming the imminence of the coming of the Kingdom of God.  One of his works, The Enduring Questa Christian’s attempt to explain other religions, Jesus, and Christian practices: a textbook-(2009) has gone into the international book markets and is being used as a textbook in Colleges. 

He taught courses in Theology at the Jesuit Spring Hill College and directed and lead spiritual retreats at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, LA.  He has also taught for St. Joseph Seminary College, (St. Ben’s) in Covington, the Diaconate Formation program and RSI (Religious Studies Institute) for the Baton Rouge Diocese. He has a mandatum from the local Ordinary to teach Theology in Catholic Colleges and Universities.  He has served, when invited, on the accrediting agency of Universities and Colleges of the Southern Region of the US (SACS) in Atlanta. He is married to Gloria and lives in Louisiana. For more info, please see: 

Need PR Help?

Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, with 3.6 million page views, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.9 million pageviews. With 4,900+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and director of publicity positions at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. His first published book was The Florida Homeowner, Condo, & Co-Op Association Handbook.  It was featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.