Thursday, October 18, 2012

Alan Schleimer writes suspense thrillers. His debut novel is the first in the Ezra Chronicles series and features former Wall Street whiz-kid and desert survivalist Jay Hunt. The Q Manifesto is an ACFW Genesis winner. Graced with expert writing advice from today’s top Christian Fiction writers, The Q Manifesto weaves a spell-binding plot around the ultimate what-if question. Alan believes good stories entertain, but great stories can change lives. He strives to only tell great stories.

A former analyst, commodity trader, and entrepreneur, Alan infuses his high-stakes fiction with real world implications. Like an actor who does his own stunts, he has studied martial arts, finance, police work, and the divine source of all truth. He is married and lives in Houston.

Hi, Alan! Welcome to The Borrowed Book. Tell us a little about yourself. How did your writing journey begin? 

I kept getting these cool ideas for a book. I thought some day, if I ever retired, I would write it. Well, I noticed that these ideas came more frequently while I was spending my quiet time meditating. Eventually, I came to believe it was a calling, so I started writing. The story that started it all was a Christian fiction fantasy. It was a great learning process filled with numerous rookie mistakes. 

How long did you write before you sold your first book? 

Ten years. My bio should say that I excel at math and analytics, but do poorly with anything artsy. I’m a slow learner, but God can do amazing things with the imperfect. It helps to be patient and persistent. In fact, it helps that he’s patient and persistent. 

What book(s) are you reading, or have read lately? 

The last novel I read was Timeline by Michael Crichton. Suspense/thrillers thrill me. I enjoy Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, and Nelson DeMille. 

Which fictional literary character most inspired/inspires you? 

I don’t think I’m inspired by fictional characters, but I don’t finish books where the main protag doesn’t demonstrate selflessness, courage, or personal honor. 

Tell us a little about your latest release: 

It’s not just my latest release, it’s my first. It is about people with deeply rooted issues, who deal with them on their own (that is to say poorly or not at all) until situations force their hand. 

Disenchanted with his profession, Jay Hunt gave up a lucrative Wall Street career to become a backcountry tour guide. Soon after, an ancient manuscript is uncovered that reveals the Gospels were an orchestrated fiction written by a first-century sect at Qumran. Though its revelation stuns the world, Jay ignores it until his father, a retired Dead Sea Scrolls expert investigating the scroll, dies in a hit-and-run accident in Jerusalem. Suspicious, Jay finds coded instructions left for him by his father and uncovers evidence of a grand plot that will tip the balance of world power. Marked for death by unknown assailants, Jay soon learns that the world’s only chance to survive Armageddon depends on him deciphering his father’s cryptic messages and finishing his father’s quest for the truth.

An award-winning thriller that sprints from Arizona to Jerusalem, Paris to the Caribbean, and Houston to Amman. Your fingernails don’t stand a chance. 

In your bio, you state that you are “like an actor who does his own stunts.” How much of yourself did you put into this book, and will you do the same with subsequent books? 

We all write from our experiences, whether we try to or not. So in one sense, I’m in this book, and I will be in subsequent books. But I also include a lot of research, which means there is much more than just “me” in my story and characters. Jay Hunt, the hero, is not my alter ego. There may be similarities, but the differences are greater. A huge difference is the level of proficiency. I may know how to perform a front kick and counterpunch, for example, but doing it well with four thugs attacking you is quite another matter. 

If you could only share one line from The Q Manifesto, which one would you choose and why? 

The book has two very strong women in it. One opines that the papyrus disrupting Christianity must be a fake. With one sentence she explains to Jay her basis for that opinion and admits her feelings for him, saying, “People think with their brains, but they know with their hearts.” I think it’s an insightful statement. Even though I wrote it, I guarantee you; it did not come from within me. It was an inspired moment. 

What inspired you to choose the setting for your novel? 

The variety in the world inspires me. My settings in this book span America, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East. 

What kind of research did you have to do for this book? Can you share some articles or website links you found particularly helpful? 

I read a lot about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the science used to date and verify archeological finds. I also found it entertaining to research minutia about the locales used in the book. I don’t have any favorite links. Instead, I used the internet as both a place to start and a means to corroborate the information I accumulated. 

Tell us what new projects you’re working on. 

My next novel is called The Genizah Anomaly. Revenge is its big theme, and several of the characters from The Q Manifesto are returning. I can’t wait to see what happens to them. 

What is the one question you were afraid I would ask…and how would you answer? 

None. You might say I’m an open book. But if you’re looking for a confession, I willingly admit I don’t read as much as I should. 

Where can readers connect with you? 

At my website (, Facebook author page, or via email addressed to

1 comment :

  1. Great article, Elizabeth. I especially loved the fact that Alan shared that it had taken ten years to become an overnight success. :-) It gives the rest of hope. Blessings!


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