Monday, September 15, 2014

Meet Scott Coren Author of Mathew 13:44

Scott has written a fast paced novel about finding God in the face of adversity. It's a book that many people will find helpful because it encourages us to not lose hope and to keep going. Scott provided some insights about how and why he wrote this book.

  1. Tell us about your book Matthew 13:44
Matthew 13:44 is a novel which is influenced by true events. It is about strength in the face of adversity and how good can sometimes come from the bleakest of circumstances, though you wouldn’t know it until the darkness has lifted. Like many of us making our way through life, Lucy Sinclair will stumble, fall, get up and walk, all because there is no other alternative but to carry on; in her case for the sake of her critically ill daughter. And all the while, like the last days of Christ, she will be betrayed, tried and publicly humiliated by those who would do her harm for no other reason than their own personal gain. Although written as a thriller, Matthew 13:44 is primarily a journey from ‘no faith’ to ‘belief’ and from a world view as seen through the prism of chance to a heavenly view of divine intervention and love.

  1. What inspired you to write your novel?
My firstborn came into this world needing life saving cardiac surgery. She then suffered a complication. On day ten of life she was given tracheotomy—an artificial airway cut straight into her neck—something which even a full grown adult would struggle with. And so our journey began, though little did I know, a second journey would be running in tandem.
The first, was the pediatric experience which is a vicarious one. Vicarious, in that as parents, we are not patients and so are lucid. We have our full faculties to suffer every step of the way as our children, our small bundles of pure love, suffer in front of us, while we are powerless to help them. Instead, we put our trust in strangers, doctors who—like all people—can be brilliant, appalling and anything else in between. In our case, we had the full spectrum, as we soon saw that medicine is part science, part art and part guesswork. We are now two years in to this experience and as a result, all night, every night, I sit by her bedside, like a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ dad, as her tracheotomy tube can and does block, leaving us with thirty seconds to intervene and change the tube less irreversible brain damage occurs.
I wrote this book by her bedside as she slept, in the dark, except for one dimmed light in the corner. It is in part a catharsis; to rationalize my experience…the uncertainty, the pain, the ups and the downs of her condition, the reality of her going from well to seriously ill at the drop of a hat. But also to touch others who are living the same solitary, sterile life as me, regardless of their children’s condition.
The second journey was less expected. I found faith. Not in an instance. Not as a sudden realization, and certainly by no revelation or voice. But by a slow burning, gradual and very personal meeting with Christ. Matthew 13:44 is thus a testimony. A statement of faith, made most surprising of all to me, given that until two years ago I’d have happily described myself as a militant atheist.

  1. You describe yourself as ‘once an atheist,’ why?
Faith for me wasn’t sudden. And it wasn’t imposed or taught. Like the male lead character in the story, religion just wasn’t on our radar. I was brought up an atheist in the United Kingdom. My grandfather was a medic during the second world war. He spent his time policing up the wounded and dead in North Africa as Nazi Germany and Great Britain engaged in an attrition in the sand. In fact, my grandfather served at the famous battle of El Alamein. If it was ever possible back then to have had a ‘bad war,’ given the whole affair was so turgid, then he certainly had one. God for him, as he would say, died on that battlefield too; a notion which continues to run strong in my family to this day. In other words, how can there be a God in the midst of such carnage? Why would He let it happen? Or indeed, how could any good possibly come from such a tragedy? These are well charted dichotomies which I wanted to explore, but through my own life experiences, which is as the father of a medicalized child. An innocent who is born to suffer.

  1. What influenced the setting?
The latter part of the story—and the setting which the various plot strands work towards—is a children’s hospice. And for me, a children’s hospice is surely the very apex of all human suffering, outside of a concentration camp or a disaster zone. It is a place where bad things happen to the most innocent of people. And more so, it is a place where the incomprehensible must be explained to those who can comprehend the least. If angels do walk our earth then they exist in places such as these. They are the staff. They are the people who live their lives in that moment between being alive and not; between the trauma of a young death and the devastation of its aftermath. Yet every day they do it with an incredible mix of decorum and joy. And they do so for no other reason than making those days, hours and minutes just that little bit more tolerable.
  1. What do you hope readers will take away from this?
That no matter how isolated we feel, we’re never alone. I hope readers will take strength, courage even, to get up and walk regardless of whatever the setback, obstacle, or hurdle. I hope that readers will see something of themselves in my lead character Lucy. That she never knew when she was beaten, even at the bleakest of times.

  1. Where can we get the book?
It’s available on as a paperback or Kindle eBook. It’s also available through Barnes and Noble.

Ashley Lauretta,, (512) 501-4399 ext. 712