Today, I have the honor of introducing you to author & playwright, Travis W. Inman. Travis’ most recent release entitled, Shadows – One Choice a Future Makes, is an intriguing story which causes the reader to consider their own choices. An ordinary man named Justin “Flip” Grey travels across country where he is privileged to speak at a prestigious banking conference. After a successful night, he fights with his wife on the telephone, meets a seductress and faces the proverbial fork in the road. Will he be faithful to his wife or will he succumb to the most tempting woman that he has ever encountered? Travis gives us a valuable look into the consequences, both good and bad, by taking us down two divergent roads. On one road Justin does the right thing and on the other road, traveled by Flip, we see that when we play with fire, we will surely get burned. I highly recommend this well written book – I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t put it down. I believe that Shadows is an important story and can potentially prevent extramarital affairs and even stop them and as a bonus, the book contains a study guide.
Now, let’s meet the author.
Madeline: Welcome Travis. I’ve read your first release When Love Called, which is an uplifting innocent love story. Why would you write a dark tale such as Shadows?
Travis: I believe there is great power in any story to teach. Sweet, uplifting stories have their place in our culture, and as well they should. But, what happens when love and marriage go wrong? Where are the stories that demonstrate the consequences of our sinful choices? I deliberately designed Shadows to be dark and edgy because the topic demanded that approach. Affairs are dark and edgy, and in order for the story to be powerful, it had to bear a similar edge. Of course, the dark edge is filtered through a Christian worldview, and is a safe read for older teens.
Madeline: In Shadows, you give the reader a valuable look into possible consequences, both good and bad. As a writer, which did you most enjoy writing about?
Travis: This is like asking if you love your children, even when they do bad things. In the story Justin follows the straight path, and God richly blesses him. Richly? Indeed. Of course my story is fiction, so I bestowed Justin with vast wealth, which he used to invest into the Kingdom of God and made a positive impact in his world. That was fun to write, trying to figure out how to spend and invest his wealth. It was like having a genie in a bottle. That being said, I also had the dark story to write—the part where Justin becomes Flip and walks the sinful path. The people who suffered the most in his dark journey were his family members. While I hated to inflict such pain on them, I enjoyed delving into a story that bears the fruit of redemption. I had to make the darkness miserable enough that the reader understood their pain, but not so much that the reader was dissatisfied. Writers love challenges like that. So, I’d say I enjoyed writing the dark path the most.
Madeline: Which character was the most painful for you to write about?
Travis: Justin’s wife, Connie, plays a part in both realities. In the blessed path where she is married to Justin, we see how she reaches out to help others and even starts a ministry that helps rescue battered women. We see her as a fun, energetic, witty, faith-empowered woman. However, in the dark path, where she is married to Flip, there is no one there to help her in her moment of need. I really hated to inflict pain on her. She is a strong woman, but even strong women have a breaking point. And taking her to the very edge of that point was hard for me.
Madeline: Tell the readers, in your opinion, what you think is the most important thing that a husband can do to protect his marriage.
Travis: Communication. Open, honest communication with his wife about what is happening in his life, and the struggles he’s facing. Many times men are reluctant to openly share with their wives. Strike that. MOST of the time men are reluctant to openly share what’s going on in their hearts with their wives. If a man can reach a point in his relationship with his wife where he can openly talk about his struggles and his failures without fearing her response, then they will have a foundation of trust and respect. Any marriage rooted in trust and respect cannot only endure the difficult days, it can even repel the darkness. Sadly, most men don’t trust their wives to listen to them without reacting negatively. If they fear their wife will become obnoxiously jealous, why would he tell her that he has a woman at work who was flirting with him? The secrecy of that knowledge can fester in his heart and even cause him to fear that flirtatious woman in an unhealthy way. Soon, his fear becomes shame. From that shame he might feel powerless. From that position of weakness, he might develop intrigue, and his intrigue becomes familiarity, which can become an affair. But, if that same man is able to express his struggle to his wife, she can pray with him, and stand by him, and help him find accountability. Now there is no secret struggle. There is no shame. There are no barriers between him and his wife. They are in harmony, and there is safety for him there. He has to trust his wife enough to share his heart with her. There is a great blessing of refuge and strength in that kind of trust.
Madeline: Now tell the readers, in your opinion, what you think is the most important thing that a wife can do to protect her marriage.
Travis: My answer will piggy back onto my previous response. If you are able to allow your husband to open his heart, don’t judge him. Rather, listen to what he is saying and don’t over react. Don’t go batty on him and then demand things from him that he can’t deliver. Once he feels that you don’t trust him, he’s never going to come to you and open his heart again. If your man trusts you enough to share his heart in a way that makes him vulnerable, then re-enforce that trust with respect. And don’t play games with him. For instance, if you are the wife who withholds sex from her husband and uses it as a manipulative tool, then you might very well foster the environment that enables him to seek out that affair. Another great thing a wife can do is offering her husband respect. Any man who feels respected by his wife will be much less likely to fall prey to an affair.
Madeline: Ok, let’s get serious.
Madeline: Toilet paper – over or under? Travis: Over. Over and out.
Madeline: Coffee or tea? Travis: Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
Madeline: Steak or burger? Travis: Burger. Whataburger, if possible.
Madeline: Bourbon or Scotch? Travis: Scotch. Please!
Madeline: Chocolate or pastry? Travis: Chocolate. Goes great with Scotch!
Madeline: Travis, please tell the readers where they can find you.
And here is a link for Shadows on Amazon.
Madeline: What are you working on right now?
Travis: I just signed a contract to finish out the When Love Called Series, which should be a total of four books. I am also currently working on producing a play that I wrote. It is called 16 Hours.
Madeline: Tell us more about your play.
Travis: An elderly holocaust survivor finally tracks down the men who killed his wife and daughter, and traps them in a bank. Holding the men hostage, along with a few others, he plans to execute them on live TV, but nothing goes according to plan when the hostages refuse to cooperate with him. All of his life he had hoped for justice. Never did he imagine that in justice, he would find hope. Under the expert direction of Jesus Quintero, the play, performed by American Laboratory Theater, has alternate endings, depending on how the audience votes.
Madeline: When will we be seeing the rest of the When Love Called Series from you?
Travis: They should be available by the fall or possibly by the first of winter.
Madeline: Travis, thank you for joining us and thank you for this incredibly courageous and important book.
Travis: Thank you! I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be able to share with your readers. You have an incredible blog, and I’m honored to be highlighted.
Be sure to check out the other works of Travis W. Inman but do yourself and your marriage a favor and get Shadows today.