Interview with Joseph Fehlen, author of “Ride On”

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I met Joseph Fehlen a while back when I was the youth pastor in the NW. He is an incredible man and always found a way to make my family chuckle. Fehlen recently wrote a book that continued to make me laugh, but also brought a new perspective for me in the way I start to see God moving in our everyday lives.I had an opportunity to interview Joseph and wanted to share that with you. You can also find a link to his book by clicking here.

 

Enjoy!

 

What inspired you to write Ride On?

I was 34 years old when I got on a motorcycle for the first time. I was never allowed to get on open aired motorized vehicles (other than a riding lawn mower) my whole life so when this happened I honestly felt my senses and my soul coming alive. So I just started to jot down in a journal what I was feeling, then started sharing in blogs the links I was seeing with my faith.  From there people started asking more questions and asking for more details…so I wrote more.

From there I knew I had the genesis for a book and started setting aside time every week to get the stories on paper and really explore this idea of my soul awakening to Jesus. That whole process took a couple years to get to this point.

 

Who was the audience you had in mind when writing this book?

I had a 46 year old biker, who had ADD, had never read a book since high school and had a slight understanding of Jesus but hadn’t explore their faith much.  The reason I write the book the way I do with stories, no direct quotes from scripture and shorter chapters is because I had that guy in mind

I have since found out that 50 plus year old ladies really love it. I talk about growing up and the life of a man so much and I think it helps women understand men better. So it is a win for everyone!

 

What’s life been like after publishing and having other people read your book?

I am humbled that people that don’t even know me are buying my book. I am angered that my best friends and family members have not read it (I am getting over that). I am overwhelmed with the amount of work you need to do to promote your book. I am amazed every time someone leaves a review on Amazon (Unless I get a bad one then I just want to dig a hole and fill it back in again.) I also struggle internally with wanting to write my next book but not wanting to burn out.

So Adam, this book has me running the gamut of emotions. I think as an author you might learn more about yourself after the book is done than when you are writing. When you have very few champions for your cause you have to be the one with the trumpet. Which is really hard because you don’t want to seem arrogant or prideful that you wrote something you think is good. But yet you think you have something good that others might benefit from.

 

So you are wanting to write another book? What is it about?

I got the ideas lined out for a book called, ‘Rebuild: when your life and bike seem beyond repair.’ This is coming from my son and I rebuilding a 1974 Honda CB360 which was a family bike. What a process that it, especially when you don’t really know anything and need lots of help.  But before that I am currently writing a book about hunting. It is titled at this point, ‘Nine Arrows: A Hunters life of patience, practice, perseverance and utter failure’.  It actually has nothing to do with how to hunt, unless you learn best by others failure!

 

That is cool Joseph. One last question. Why write a book on motorcycles?

Look for ‘motorcycle’ on Amazon Bookstore and you get over 15,000 titles that show up. So obviously (sarcasm intended) there isn’t enough out there on this topic. Right? I did a lot of research and most of those books fall into a couple categories.  1. Maintenance 2. Travel 3. The Gang World 4. Photos of Bikes.

 

Besides ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ which is an international best seller and has nothing to do with maintenance, there are very few books that use the motorcycle as a metaphor for life. I thought I could write something that could help the over seven million bike owners make some connections to their soul and their Maker. There are a couple that are Biblical based but I thought them to be a bit cheesy or not particularly related to motorcycles even though they had a motorcycle on the cover.

 

Speaking of cover, who designed your cover?

Well when I went about this process to independently publish this book I wanted to get some of my friends involved that had skills. That is why I used some original poetry from my friend Michael. A former student of mine, Kristen, did the editing (and she didn’t hold back the red ink).

When it came to the cover I went with a friend that had written a book and did the cover himself. I would have not read the book if not for the cool cover, so I asked him to help me out.  He listened to my ideas, made a couple versions which we crowd sourced to see what others thought. We ended up with the one you see and even got a TheBookdesigner.com Gold Star.

Check out his website here to see what else he does.

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