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King University News :: King English Professor Shares His Passion for Writing

For King professor, Dr. Craig McDonald you could say that writing has been in his blood. McDonald came to King in 1982 and has always gravitated towards English. He even spent time writing plays for the neighborhood where he grew up. However, during his high school years McDonald said his career path was about to change focus.

“During my high school years, I was drawn to electro engineering. It wasn’t until I had an outstanding English teacher who pushed me to write and really saw my true potential.”

His passion for wanting to write books started about eight years ago. A great motivation to write more came when McDonald joined a writing group called the Penheads at King with fellow colleagues, Tommy Bryant, Andy Simoson, Brandon Story, and Chuck Thompson. Although the group has since disbanded, Thompson and McDonald still read each other’s work.

“The novels I write are historical fiction. Simply put, I enjoy thinking about these periods in history – medieval Scotland and first-century Palestine – the interests of the people, the challenges they faced, the joys that they experienced because of their historical circumstances.”

McDonald’s first book “Among His Personal Effects,” which was published in 2007, follows a medieval Scottish schoolmaster throughout his quest for success. McDonald credits that book to a personal love for the medieval time period.

“That book grew out of a long affection for the great richness and complexity of medieval literature, especially the work of Robert Henryson, a Scottish poet of great merit, but barely known outside of scholarly circles.”

McDonald’s next book, “An Early Fall” shows advice to Kings James III and James IV. The lengthy piece of prose is from the same period as “Among His Personal Effects.”

Since then, McDonald has written two more books which are set in ancient Palestine and show what Jewish relations and standards are like. McDonald feels privileged to be able to write and continue his love for writing and developing the characters.

“It’s a form of art,” McDonald quietly said. “You’ve got to dig deep into the characters and understand them. It really gets your brain thinking and spinning.”

When asked how he balances writing with academic teaching, McDonald’s answer was short and sweet: time management.

“Making time is the big thing, not finding the time,” McDonald joked. It truly is hard to just sit down and write. All of a sudden cleaning the house seems like better thing to do than writing.”

To learn more about Professor Craig McDonald’s books, visit his website at: www.craigmcdonaldwriter.com or email jcmcdona@king.edu.