As part of the Litfuse Blog Tour for Dragon Seed, I am pleased to welcome author Marty Machowski to the blog today!
Marty Machowski is the Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for over 25 years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the children’s ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He is the author of a systematic theology for children entitled “The Ology,” “Long Story Short,” “Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God,” “The Gospel Story Sunday School Curriculum” and the companion “Gospel Story Children’s Bible.” He and his wife, Lois, and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania area.
His newest book, Dragon Seed, released in June from New Growth Press.
An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background.
Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family. Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book—a family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called Dragon Seed, leads Nick deep into his family’s history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you’ll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions!
This page-turning, young adult fiction story invites older children and teens into the real-life struggles of Nick. But it also ushers them into an imaginative exploration of the life of the young man Jesus saved as he wandered through the tombs. Best-selling author Marty Machowski uses both stories to introduce the reality of spiritual warfare and how its shadows affect and change us.
Machowski, a trusted teacher for children of all ages, presents a thoroughly biblical view of spiritual warfare that emphasizes the importance of humility and dangers of pride. Teens will be drawn to the story of Nick and his struggles and will learn, as they read, to also identify the shadows in their own life and turn from them. While the biblical teaching is evident throughout the narrative of Dragon Seed, Machowski also includes a twelve-lesson Bible study at the end of the book to help teens ground their understanding of spiritual warfare on biblical principles.
Youth pastors, leaders, and parents will also want to explore with teens the small group study at the end of the book with its unique take on spiritual warfare that emphasizes the biblical theme of humility. This is a perfect book to read with a group and discuss together the implications of Nick’s struggles for their lives.
Hi Marty! Welcome to the blog! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Marty: I like apples for their magical ability to transport me back in time. As a boy I picked unripened apples to enjoy the sour taste on a hot summer day. I remember my mom peeling them by the bushel to put up hundreds of pints of apple sauce which we enjoyed all winter long. But nothing compares to the apple pie my wife Lois bakes following her mother’s heirloom recipe and the memories of family gathering every thanksgiving to fight for the last piece.
Carrie: Well, my mouth is watering now! Anyone else’s? lol
Marty: I prefer summer’s life, over winter’s dormancy, summer’s warmth over winter’s chill.
Carrie: That’s so poetic – I love it! However, I am the exact opposite haha! I prefer winter’s promise of life to come and its invigorating chill. 😉
Marty: I prefer cats over dogs and welcomed a stray cat into our home as a preemptive strike against a dog. I’ve got nothing against dogs, it’s just that cats largely take care of themselves.
Carrie: Haha! Using a cat as a preemptive strike… aren’t cats preemptive strikes against CATS too? (says the diehard dog fan)
Marty: I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life but my grandmother loved Red Rose tea and poured a cup for me whenever I visited her rural country home. On a long road trip with my father, getting a bit car sick, I reached for a roll of candies called, “Cup of Coffee in a Drop.” The bitter, caffeine infused lozenges were designed to help you stay awake. I popped two in my mouth, which solved my car sickness the hard way. Coffee reminds me of that unpleasant moment and robs me of the pleasure so many enjoy.
Carrie: Eesh! I don’t blame you! 😯
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Marty: While I attribute all my success for this to God, I do have a superpower, that of regular deep and uninterrupted sleep. When my alarm rings in the morning I literally jump out of bed, ready to start my day. It is in the quiet of early morning, energized from a good night’s sleep that I write almost effortlessly.
Carrie: Oh wow! That’s a terrific superpower, one I wish I had lol.
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Marty: When I was in the 6th grade, my English teacher read The Great Brain by John Dennis Fitzgerald to our class. In the book, Tom aka the great brain, gets involved with all manner of ingenious mischief. Unfortunately for some of my later teachers, I sometimes played that role myself. After all, how many kids have taken their teacher to the principal’s office?
Carrie: ‘ingenious mischief’ – every teacher’s dream. 😉 This is a book I’m not familiar with but it sounds like one my husband and I would both enjoy!
Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?
Marty: I love to listen to music when I write. I have a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones that allow me to retreat from the real-world noise and chaos and sail away into my writing. I like two types of music, neither of which have lyrics. First, I love melodic instrumental piano. Yirma’s song, Kiss the Rain is a favorite. Secondly, I will listen to smooth jazz and enjoy the sax playing of Dave Koz.
When I get going writing, especially to jazz, I can type to the beat of the music and when I do, I pound my keys. Unfortunately, this habit of pounding my keys has resulted in a number of folks asking me to stop typing while taking notes.
Carrie: I love listening to instrumental piano/strings while blogging! Especially anything by The Piano Guys.
Describe your main characters in one sentence each, and tell me who you would cast in their roles if Hollywood wanted to produce Dragon Seed as a movie!
Tymar is a wise sage of a man who recorded Dragon Seed to pass onto his children. I would cast Ian McKellen for this role.
Nick is trying to make sense of his life after the death of his father and doesn’t want to be told what he should or shouldn’t do. I would cast Asa Butterfield to play Nick.
Demas, the man of the tombs, is all in which is good or bad, depending on what he gives himself to. I would cast Theo James for his part.
Shoshanna is desperate for love, which led her to some very unwise choices. I would cast Jennifer Lawrence for Shoshanna.
Lord Dragon, the leader of the fallen guardians is as wicked as they come – the father of all evil. I would cast Adam Driver, who really knows how to act evil.
Carrie: Excellent choices!
What surprised you about Dragon Seed or your characters as you wrote their story?
Marty: I was surprised as I wrote the story of Nick, a struggling 15-year-old, whose father died of cancer, how much I drew upon real-life events and experiences to write the story. I fashioned Nick and Demas after my son-in-law Destin whose father died of cancer when he was a teen. Destin rebelled against his mom and threw himself into a life of substance abuse. God used a drug deal gone bad where Destin was shot and left for dead, to finally grab his attention. When Destin read the draft of Dragon Seed, and the voices of the Dragon that Nick and Demas struggled to fight against, Destin remarked, “I heard those same voices.”
My experience pastoring Destin’s family through the death of his father Gabe and the resulting trials associated with Destin’s drug abuse for his mom, helped me create believable characters for the story.
Carrie: Wow!! So powerful! And I love – after all that, maybe BECAUSE of all that – he is now your son-in-law! God is such a God of redemption and restoration, isn’t He?
What do you most want readers to take away from Dragon Seed?
Marty: There is no greater danger than independent pride. It is my hope that the warnings in Dragon Seed will sober my readers to the dangers of pride. Humility allows us to check our perspective against that of others. Pride outright rejects the wisdom of others, no matter how many outside voices agree. Once we reject the wisdom of those God has placed around us for our good, there is no evil too great that we can’t convince ourselves to enjoy.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Marty: I am currently on a sabbatical to write a book to encourage struggling parents called, Parenting First Aid. After I finish that, I will be writing a book on the Psalms for children. If Dragon Seed does well, I’ve got in mind a sequel called The Guardian’s Sword. In September, New Growth Press releases my book Listen Up: Ten-Minute Devotions on the Parables. I’ve found that writing a couple of hours each morning is enough to turn out a book or two each year.
There is currently a Goodreads Giveaway going on for Dragon Seed by Marty Machowski. 10 copies are up for grabs, and it ends on July 31.
What about you? Do you sleep soundly or restlessly?