About the Book
Book: The Persistent Road
Author: Tim Bishop
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction/outdoor adventure
Release Date: June 20, 2023
After losing all he once cherished, Doug Zimmer follows his wife’s parting bread crumbs and rides up the Pacific coast—on a bicycle. Armed with a revolver and only a vague plan to get through the months ahead, he aims to end his depression one way or the other.
As spiritual forces wrangle for his soul, he pedals eastward across America. He meets Lauren Baumgartner—a younger adventurer with a vibrant spirit—and a band of zealots who confront his aversion to religion. Accompanying Doug are not only sunny days and the beauty of nature but also the perils of the road, fellow travelers with their own stories, and the hollow silence of solitary campsites playing host to unseen creatures of the night.
A jarring episode on a climb through a treacherous pass brings Doug face-to-face with life and death. Will Doug’s adventure deliver him from loneliness and lament . . . or hurtle him to an abrupt end?
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
After a thirty-year career in business, TIM BISHOP left his corporate treasurer position, married his dream girl, and embarked with her to parts unknown—on bicycles. Ten thousand miles later, the first-time newlyweds have written four books about their cycling adventures. Their devotional, Wheels of Wisdom, won four first-place book awards. Publishers Weekly dubbed it “a road map for life.”
Tim volunteers as a coach for a ministry that reaches people who are dealing with challenging life issues. He has written numerous articles for various Christian content providers and has been a part of three church plants. These faith experiences have given him an evangelist’s heart to reach people in creative ways.
A graduate of the University of Maine, a CPA, and a three-time Maine chess champion, Tim and his wife, Debbie, live in Middle Tennessee. Connect with him at TimBishopWrites.com or follow @TimBishopWrites on social media.
More from Tim
After three decades chained to a desk in corporate business, I didn’t expect to land here. But now, I’m an author with a debut novel! The road I traveled has been as circuitous as the ones my wife, Debbie, and I bicycled to cross America on our honeymoon. The author part makes sense: I exited corporate life with writing as a primary interest and at least one business book inside me. I also have a passion to share my faith. But a novel? From someone who hadn’t read them since high school?
I’ve since addressed my reading deficiency, but I would like to share with you how The Persistent Road came about.
Shortly after marrying in 2010, I joined Debbie as a hope coach to young people struggling with life. Our third bicycle odyssey, which we embarked on in 2014, was a fundraiser for the organization we volunteered for as coaches. No shortage of financial need there, and few people knew about the hidden gem of a service. Thus, TheHopeLine Tour came to be. We bicycled to our hearts’ content, blogged daily, and pitched our cause.
On day thirteen, things took an intense turn. A man in Richland, Oregon, spilled out his anger upon entering a restaurant. A religious sect at a campground the night before had cornered him with their preaching. We left that restaurant aghast. What had happened in the man’s life to make him so belligerent to matters of faith? The following day, we met him trying to pedal his heavy recumbent bicycle out of – all places – Hells Canyon.
We arrived home two months and three thousand miles later with a bevy of stories brimming with “God moments.” They breathed life into what would become Wheels of Wisdom. Yet that angry man’s screaming echoed in my mind. His unwitting cries for help became lesson 36 in our seeker’s devotional. I called it simply “Hells Canyon.”
My curiosity still wasn’t satisfied. What had happened to make this man react the way he did? And what became of him as he journeyed the perilous roads across America? The Persistent Road answers those questions!
I’ve since landed at another coaching service that welcomes all comers regardless of age. What I’ve learned as a coach and a long-distance traveler by bicycle saturates the pages of my novel. It’s just another example of God’s mysterious ways, of how He uses whatever He pours into us when we ride with Him.
Interview with Tim
- What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
That’s a loaded question for a story like The Persistent Road! My wife, Debbie, and I bicycled many of the roads Doug Zimmer traveled – one important stretch, the Clearwater National Forest, twice. We journaled it. And breathed it deep within our souls. Bicycling long distances often feels like a spiritual experience. We were on the road for hours each day, just the two of us, but often pedaling in silence, absorbing our surroundings, contemplating God and life. It’s hard not to write about something like that. Beyond that in-person research, I frequently sequester myself in a quiet zone in the county library. I like uninterrupted time when I’m working on an article or book scene. Leaving my normal workspace and its distractions, placing myself in a different setting, becomes a pilgrimage even if only a few miles up the road.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
Ha-ha. Early drafts of The Persistent Road had such old school names that I’d given away my vintage. I’m glad a few fellow writers pushed me on my unimaginative choices. I found a website that cataloged names by birth year and replaced the original names with ones more appropriate for the characters’ ages. The funny part, though: I’d become so married to the original names that I used them in a recent interview. Readers will never mistake the names of my characters, but I still think of Lauren Baumgartner as Sally.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
Hands down, the hospital scene when a character awakens to a new form of himself. Those around him know what’s happened to him, but he doesn’t. He has a touch of amnesia, and there’s so much emotion in that scene. It was difficult to create dialogue that flowed well. Early drafts were filled with em-dashes and ellipses to change thoughts and inject pauses. It was so choppy that it just felt like bad writing. How is the reader going to process this? I had good help on this scene, but it underwent several revamps until I was satisfied that the reader could get through it and experience the emotions without the stops and starts being too disruptive. Only time will tell if I got it right.
- If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I’m not going with the obvious answer, which is I should’ve read more. I was too active to sit and read. Maybe I was introduced to the wrong books, but I didn’t find it sufficiently stimulating or fast-paced. Even though I was not an avid reader, I think I would’ve enjoyed writing stories back then, to gain a better understanding of what would work well with readers. My recent training would have been more fruitful had I studied the craft back then. Nonetheless, I’m thankful that my introduction to writing good fiction didn’t pass me by.
- What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I’m a sports junkie. I lived in the Bangor, Maine, area for thirty years and followed University of Maine sports religiously. Now thirteen years removed from the state, I still watch Maine games online. And I enjoy watching football and basketball on TV. Debbie and I remain active. We’ll beat a tennis ball around and still take thirty-mile bike rides on weekends. I also have not lost my passion for chess. I don’t play in many tournaments these days, but I haven’t lost the desire to compete.
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 26
For the Love of Literature, August 27 (Author Interview)
The Book Club Network, August 28
Blossoms and Blessings, August 29 (Author Interview)
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 29
Texas Book-aholic, August 30
Cover Lover Book Review, August 31
Splashes of Joy, September 1 (Author Interview)
Locks, Hooks and Books, September 2
Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 3 (Author Interview)
Becca Hope: Book Obsessed, September 4
Artistic Nobody, September 6 (Author Interview)
Blogging With Carol, September 6
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 7
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 8
To celebrate his tour, Tim is giving away the grand prize package of a $100 Amazon gift card and a copy of The Persistent Road!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.