Most Thursdays this year we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.
Today’s interview: Eric Skattebo
Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.
- I love stories! Especially, stories of faith and how God helps us overcome challenges of life. And that’s why I love interviewing people about their faith on the radio programs, “The Story” & “Real Faith” on Vision Christian Radio.
- I am married to my wonderful wife, Jean, who is from St Lucia in the Caribbean.
- I am from Milwaukee, Wisconsin – the Dairy State – and am proud to be known as a “Cheesehead.” ☺
Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc). What do you write and why?
As a full time radio producer, the hardest part of my job is writing the radio scripts (i.e. introductions, conclusions etc.) It is a challenge to write for the ear and try to capture listeners’ attention so they want to “lean in” to the radio and hear more.
Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?
Technically, nobody “reads” my work (except for the program descriptions on the website – www.realfaith.org.au ). But, hopefully, many people hear what I write. I would like as many people as possible to hear what I write and be intrigued to want to hear the guest’s story and how God has worked in their life.
Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?
I view myself as a “Packager.” That is, someone who takes an experience of how God has worked in a person’s life and tries to “Package” them with words that make it as attractive as possible for a listener. Hopefully, in doing this, the listener is inspired to want to know God more and get closer to Him. The challenge is to write for another person and still make it sound conversational and comfortable, rather than formal and stilted. I try my best to put myself in the listener’s place and ask if I would be able to understand it and enjoy it.
What are your writing goals for this year? How will you achieve them?
My goals for this year is to continue to capture listeners’ attention with compelling introductions and content. Also, at the end of “The Story,” I write a mini-devotional to wrap up the program and give a Bible verse or spiritual truth for the listener to dwell on as the program closes. My goal is to take this to the next level with spiritual insights that go beyond the cliché or the most popular verses.
How does your faith impact and shape your writing?
Well, as you can see above, bringing glory to God and nudging listeners’ hearts toward God is really central to everything I do. I trust that God will bring me the right guests with the right information/testimonies that people need to hear to inspire them to take that next step in their spiritual journey to the Lord. Obviously, I can’t do anything unless God works in peoples’ lives in amazing ways and we have something to make a program about. The Good News, of course, is that the Lord never ceases to do amazing things in peoples’ lives and my cup runs over with fantastic guests with wonderful stories!
Eric is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and became a Christian in high school when he attended a retreat led be international Christian speaker Ravi Zacharias. Shortly after graduating in 1983, Eric went to the West Indian island of St. Lucia to visit his brother serving in the Peace Corps and met his future wife Jean.