Sunday, May 10, 2009

Interview with Chet Galaska, Author of Finding Faith in a Skeptical World

C. William "Chet" Galaska was born in 1951. He began his college career at Drew University in Madison, NJ and graduated from the University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. In 1979 he co-founded a company that casts stainless steel for use in corrosive industrial applications that grew into a multi-million dollar enterprise and was its president for 24 years before changing careers and becoming a real estate investor.

His credentials are defined by what he is not. He isn't a theologian, pastor, Ph.D. or a philosopher but is a typical person who was an unbeliever, influenced by the same things as other skeptics, who became a Christian after several years of investigating the faith with an open mind.

He served as Chairman of the New England Chapter of the American Foundry Society, played rugby, earned a Private Pilot's License, is a Certified Scuba Diver, has skydived, is a roller coaster aficionado, likes traveling and enjoys having new experiences. He lives with his wife, Lisa, in Massachusetts. They have two grown sons, Jon and Drew.

You can visit Chet online at www.triadpress.us.

Welcome to The Writer’s Life, Chet. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’ve spent most of my life as a businessman who co-founded a company that produced high alloy castings for industrial applications. The operation melted stainless steel and poured it into molds to make the product. After 23 years as the president I sold my interest in the company to invest in real estate – and write. My wife, Lisa and I have been married for 33 years and have two grown sons.

I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it’s mainly been for business purposes. Running the company and raising a family is time consuming and I never considered writing a book until I had the time to do it. Finding Faith in a Skeptical World is my first book.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

I was an atheist and felt I had good reasons for being one until I really looked into Christianity. I found that most of what I believed – which was basically gleaned from what we’re exposed to in our culture – was incorrect. As a result I became a Christian.

Finding Faith in a Skeptical World explains how problematic issues unexpectedly became reasons for faith rather than against it. The information came from lots of varied sources and took several years to put together. Because of the effort involved in finding answers, I realized that a book like Finding Faith would’ve been hugely helpful to me. Since none was available I wrote one to help others.

Coming to faith has made a positive difference in my life and I’d like to share it. This is my inspiration, along with a desire to make basic Christian concepts more user-friendly than they sometimes are.

What kind of research was involved in writing Finding Faith in a Skeptical World?

Many sources were used: independent reading, sermons, Bible study groups, and mentoring by knowledgeable Christians.

In a way, reading secular publications, TV, movies, and seeing other forms of entertainment also served as research. Once I understood the Christian side of things it was interesting to look at the often subtle ways the faith is misrepresented and see why skepticism is so prevalent. It helped me formulate some of the book’s content.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I created the publishing company, so I had a lot of input. I had the basic design in mind, found the right image online, and paid the licensing fee for it. A graphic designer then modified it to achieve the desired effect and did the rest of the design. We’ve gotten great feedback on it, so apparently people like it.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

It’s been an adventure, for sure. I was lucky enough to speak to a successful author who was in my position years ago. He had no literary background or any other fame to trade on: just a good book. So he had 1,500 printed and started speaking to groups. Eventually through word of mouth the book wound up in the hands of an agent who asked if he could represent the author. The book was picked up by a major publisher and the author became very successful.

He suggested I do the same, rather than sending lots of unsolicited books to publishers and agents who just mail back rejection letters.

So I did, except that I actually set up a publishing company and am dealing with all aspects of building it. Right now I’m working on getting carried at Barnes and Noble nationally and setting up a fulfillment system to deal with it.

Do you plan subsequent books?

I’m continuing to write on a variety of Christian issues with each piece the equivalent of a chapter. Once I get enough of them I think they’ll make a good book.

Are you a morning writer or night writer?

My schedule is erratic and I sometimes find myself with time to write in the day, so I occasionally do. But I’m mainly a night writer and find that I can go on for hours lost in what I’m doing. It’s partly because there are very few interruptions to deal with in the evening, but it’s also because I’m wired that way.

If money was no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

Probably short, pre-recorded radio spots that would run in a multitude of markets repetitively.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting you book offline and online?

As with any product, promotion is huge. I’ve been doing speaking engagements and book signings. In both cases I try to get the hosts publicize the event locally and invite the public. I’ve also been interviewed on the radio. I have a website, have been doing a blog tour and am developing a presence on Facebook.

Thank you for coming, Chet. Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

Absolutely! The website is www.findingfaith.us and the book can be purchased through the website, at amazon.com or at barnesandnoble.com.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for hosting Chet today. This is an excellent book. Christians and skeptics can learn a lot from it.

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