John Gray is a writer and media personality in the Capital Region of New York. An anchor and reporter for more than twenty-five years, he can be seen weekdays on WTEN News10ABC and FOX23.
He has earned numerous honors for his television work and writing, including a prestigious Emmy Award and a “Columnist of the Year” honor from both the Associated Press and New York News Publishers Association.
He is the author of three successful children’s books and last year’s bestseller, Manchester Christmas, along with its new sequel, Chasing Manhattan. John lives in upstate New York with his wife and five puppies (three of whom are special needs dogs).
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What started your writing journey, journalistic or otherwise?
I started writing short stories when I was only ten, but didn’t get serious about my writing until after college.
Just as all good novels include a plot twist, the Author and Creator of our lives often writes in a twist that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
Most definitely. My very first book was a children’s book I wrote after the death of my puppy. It helped me heal so I found a publisher and helped others. I always planned to write a book of some kind someday, but “someday” never happened until that life event of losing that little dog. It was as if God was saying, “Enough delay, time to use the gift I gave you.”
How does your personal faith play into your writing?
My love of God and His Son is inescapable for me. Even if I try to write something secular, God finds His way into my words. Every story I write has a moral compass that drives it and even the characters who might think they don’t believe in God or have much faith, display it just the same. It’s in our DNA.
Let’s talk about your new book, Chasing Manhattan (Paraclete Press, August 2021). It has all of the elements of a great read: adventure romance, kindness, mystery and a canine companion. Please tell us more about it.
My main character Chase is a hero who is always searching to help others and God or people on the other side always find a way to help her. In the first novel it was visions in a church window, in this novel the messages come to her in a unique way as well. What makes Chase wonderful is she never thinks of herself first and she is open to taking God’s guidance and using it to help those around her, often strangers. She also loves romance and adventure, which she has no shortage of.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
It doesn’t sound very interesting but I love a fresh bagel with light butter and raspberry jelly. Give me that and I’m ready to write.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
All my siblings have other talents like music, in fact my one brother has been recorded and plays in bands. I always wish I’d learned the piano as a child but for me, my “keys” are on the laptop.
In the story that is your life, are you the tall, dark stranger; the romantic lead; the mythical warrior; the mad scientist; or the child in an adult’s body?
I’m the stranger who tries to stay on the edges and see everything before speaking or acting. I try to see what is lacking and provide it, if I can. They say it’s hard to do the right thing. That’s not true. It’s hard always knowing the right thing to do, but once you know, it’s hard not to do it.
Thanks, John! It’s great to have you as a guest at Divine Detour.
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