Please join me in welcoming Chris Fabry to the blog today to chat about his new southern fiction novel, Saving Grayson! If you aren’t already acquainted with Chris’s books or his radio show, you are really missing out!
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. A graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.
SAVING GRAYSON by Chris Fabry
GENRE: Southern Fiction (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Focus on the Family
RELEASE DATE: November 7, 2023
An inspiring fiction story from the bestselling author of War Room
Grayson Hayes doesn’t remember things as well as he used to, but he’s sure his time is running out. Diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, he realizes he has a small window of time left to right a terrible injustice—he just can’t remember what it is.
Convinced of the importance of his mission, he embarks on a journey to the small West Virginia town of his childhood hoping he can put together the fractured pieces of his memory and set things right. But as the past becomes more clear, he wonders if God forgives the sins he can’t remember.
A thought-provoking story with challenging themes, this book deals with issues like
- what it’s like to care for a loved one with memory loss,
- how to live when you feel like you’re losing yourself,
- what it is that gives value to a human life, and
- the eternal power of forgiveness and second chances.
Saving Grayson is a wrenching yet hopeful story of a journey to right unknown wrongs and of holding on to what you know even when it feels like everything is slipping away.
Hi Chris! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Chris: Listening. A lot of my struggles in life have come because I didn’t ask questions and then didn’t listen well. Listening has become a weight lifting routine for me. I use this on my radio program and, more importantly, with my family.
Carrie: “Listening has become a weight lifting routine for me.” <– I love that! It’s definitely something we have to train ourselves to do.
Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Prince of Tides
How to Write Bestselling Fiction
Carrie: fantastic choices!
Q: Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of, and what did you do?
Chris: Writing Saving Grayson, I finished the first draft and realized one of the main characters felt like a cardboard cutout. But I had finished and was ready to move on to another project. I agonized and then asked my editor if I could take another run at it with a different character. It made the book totally different, and I think it really sings. But that angst over the other character bugs me, and I hope to one day come back to him.
Carrie: Sounds like that character is just waiting for another book 🙂
Q: Speaking of characters getting themselves into situations…good stories always begin with a character in terrible trouble. What is the trouble for Grayson Hayes?
Chris: Grayson is struggling with dementia. In the first scene, he is sitting in his closed garage in his boxer shorts holding a nail gun, and he can’t remember why he’s there. The trouble for Grayson is amplified for his wife and those who love him, and the story tries to capture the tension of how to love someone who is slipping away.
Carrie: oh man – that first scene is so gripping. Both of my grandmothers suffered from Alzheimer’s, so I know that tension well that Grayson’s loved ones experience.
Q: If Hollywood wanted to produce Saving Grayson as a movie, who would you want to be cast as the lead roles?
Chris: Kevin Costner and Jennifer Connelly. I wrote the book with Costner as Grayson and Connelly as Charlotte. I could see them performing these roles. I even pitched the novel to the editors and said they were going to play the lead roles in the film version of the story. They laughed. (Hope springs eternal.)
Carrie: hey – it could happen!
Q: Why did you choose to write about memory loss and Alzheimer’s in Saving Grayson?
Chris: We are all dealing with this in our families and extended families. But I chose this struggle because the reader is forced to follow Grayson’s search to solve a murder mystery as well as discover the truth about his own life. Grayson is trying to uncover the truth and get it down on the page before he can forget it. I found that a really compelling storyline.
Carrie: absolutely! I can’t wait to read it! How do you solve a murder mystery when you’re forgetting so much of everyday life? So intriguing!
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Saving Grayson?
Chris: Grayson equates love with relieving others of their pain. And what he doesn’t understand is that protecting others from pain is robbing them of the chance to love him. I wrote about him for a long time before I looked in the mirror and saw some of the same thoughts and actions in my own life. It was a hard realization.
Carrie: oh wow… that’s profound. I’ll be thinking about that for a while too.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from the book, and why do you love it?
Chris: “Can God forgive what a man can’t remember?” Grayson asks this, and it’s central to his life. The entire novel is his search for the truth. He is solving the mystery of his own life and the murder he believes happened in the hometown of his youth. This question haunts him and guides him on the journey.
Carrie: what a great quote!
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.
Chris: I am working on the novelization for the next Kendrick Brothers film that is set to release in 2024. It’s always exciting to see what God has impressed on them to tackle with their next story.
Focus on the Family is offering a print copy of Saving Grayson by Chris Fabry to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Saving Grayson by Chris Fabry?