I am not a sports fan, unless it’s the ACC during March Madness. Then I become insane. But when I heard about Chad Gibbs book about sports’ rivalries and that he was using the book as a way of encouraging donations to Samaritan’s Purse, well, I became a little more of a fan. I’m still never going to understand the joy of Monday night football, but I do get joy from Chad’s writing . . . enjoy yourself now.
1. Tell me about your latest project.
My second book, Love Thy Rival, released on August 27. It’s a book about the greatest rivalries in sports, and what they can teach us about loving our enemies. And to coincide with the book’s release, I teamed up with Samaritan’s Purse to create a giving campaign that challenges rival fans to donate money in hopes of building a women’s and children’s clinic in Petit Goave, Haiti.
2. What role, if any, did books, writing, and reading play in your childhood?
My mom read a lot of books to me when I was young, but after that not much. Star War action figures, however, played a large role in my childhood.It’s embarrassing, but I didn’t start reading for leisure until I was 24 or 25. I’m still trying to catch up on all the books I missed.
3. What is your writing practice, your writing routine?
My books usually revolve around trips I’ve taken (My next book is a travel book that will look at Christianity around the world). I try to get the facts of the trip down; then I try to break up that narrative with some historical information and/or insight from others. Then I go back and try to add as many jokes as I possibly can. Then I edit it about ten times. Then I show it to my wife.
4. Who are you reading now?
I picked up Kurt Vonnegut’s Night Mother at a library book sale this weekend.
5. What are three of your all-time favorite books? Why do you love those?
I know I can name two. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. Mockingbird turned me on to reading, and eventually writing. I even got a nice postcard from Harper Lee when I wrote her to thank her for her book. Gatsby I just love. Read it every December. Can’t name a third, too many that I love.
6. How do you balance “building a writing platform” and the actual writing to set on that platform?
Beats me. I went months without blogging, which is a terrible way to keep up an online presence. Just thinking about the word platform makes me want to scream. I know there are some great blogs out there that help writers with this stuff, but I just don’t spend much time thinking about it. I know I should, but I don’t. I like to think my writing will be discovered after I’m gone and people will talk about how underappreciated I was in my lifetime. That’s a joke. Sort of.
7.What is a typical day like for you?
In theory, wake up, answer emails, start writing about 9, lunch at noon, writing again at 1 until 4 or so, then have dinner ready when my wife gets home. In practice that happens about once a month.
8. Describe your dream writing space?
I have an office on the front of our house with a window looking out into the yard. It’s almost a perfect place to write, but instead I usually sit in our recliner in the den with the TV on Fox Soccer (on mute)
9. What is the hardest writing critique you ever received? How did you respond?
An editor once told me I used the word ridiculous too often, which is ridiculous. I can’t really think of the hardest critique. Writers are often overly self-conscious, so all critiques seem hard. Pouting usually works for me.
10. What is the best wisdom you have to share with other writers?
Marrying a doctor has worked well for me, so I suppose single writers could be on the lookout for single doctors. Write a lot and read a lot is a good maxim. You meet a lot of people who want to be writers but never do either, which I think is a way of saying they want to be rich and famous. Oh, and don’t expect to be rich and famous, even if you do marry a doctor.
My name is Chad Gibbs and I was once the baby you see here. I am now a smaller version of that baby, and I write books. My first book, called God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC, is a humorous look at my struggle to balance the two passions in my life: God and SEC Football. Currently I’m writing a book on hate as seen through the eyes of the most intense rivalries in all of sports. I know that sounds kind of serious, but I assure you it won’t be. Anyway, if you’d like to talk to me about my books, or about life, or about how to lose baby fat, I can be reached at [email protected] or by carrier pigeon.