Today, we will be interviewing Brian about his book, Leave it to God, and what it was like to write it.
Thank you Brian for stopping by and sharing your story with us.
You're welcome Chris. It's great to be here.
1. Although you aren’t the first to observe the underlying didactic theme of the Leave it to Beaver episodes, by combining your faith in God and your love for the program in your book Leave it to God, did this seem to be a natural fit for you, almost destiny?
Not really, not destiny. But I may change my mind if writing this book turns out to be some life changing event, for me, or for others. However, I do feel it was a natural fit to combine faith in God with the lessons taught in Leave it to Beaver episodes.
2. As writers, we sometimes have moments of brilliance when we are inspired to write something, other times, a story or idea seems to have been germinating in us for a long time. Which was the case for you with Leave it to God?
I just did a quick search of my computer and found I started the first draft of Leave it to God on May 23, 2010, but the idea had come about a few years earlier. So, in 2010, I had put together the outline and wrote a couple devotionals. I was originally going to call it Leave it to Jesus, but I found a crude comic by that name and at that time didn’t know titles could not be copyrighted. So I decided to call my devo book something different like Just Leave it to Jesus, big name difference, huh? But I let that draft sit for about four years and started all over again in May of 2014. I finished the book a few months later, designed the cover, edited the manuscript and the book was up for sale on Amazon on October 4, 2014, exactly 57 years after the debut of Leave it to Beaver on CBS.
3. How was it to write the book? At times was it a struggle to connect the dots, or did it all fall into place quite naturally?
Well, to connect the episodes to scriptures from the Bible was difficult at times, especially since I only focused on season one episodes. In fact, there’s one devotional in the book that was quite a stretch. That episode was Cat out of the Bag, the episode where Wally and Beaver take care of their next door neighbor’s cat Puff-Puff. There was no scripture I could possibly associate with that episode, but I was still able to make it into a devotional, but it sure wasn’t easy
4. Were there any unique and unforeseen challenges to writing the book?
Not really. But at times, trying to figure out the timeless biblical truth to relate with the Leave it to Beaver storyline was a struggle. The biggest challenge is still to come, and that’s to finish up a couple 13-week study guides that can be used for small groups or a Sunday School class setting. I’m tackling two subjects for the separate study guides, those of evangelism and how God wants us to treat others. These are a big challenge to write.
5. What was the most enjoyable part about writing the book?
While, I’ve written devotionals for years, first as a weekly email to subscribers and then in books like Drop: A realistic look at spirituality from the inside out and Leave it to God, I have to say I really enjoyed writing the Leave it to Beaver tidbits found after every six or seven devos and the 40+ page Leave it to Beaver actor encyclopedia. In encyclopedic entries, I’ve included info on every actor who appeared on season one (since all devos are inspired by season one episodes) and some of the info I included on the main actors I’ve not seen elsewhere in print. It was fun doing all that Leave it to Beaver research.
6. How has Leave it to God been received, and do you have plans to adapt the same concept to other TV shows or movies?
The reception for the book has been good. There are a few five star reviews on Amazon and many others who have read it, told me they loved it, but haven’t yet left their sparkling reviews (hint, hint). And yes, the concept could easily be adapted for other TV shows, but there are no other shows I love as much as Leave it to Beaver where I would have the knowledge to do what I’ve done with Leave it to God. In another answer, I mention the study guides I am writing which I hope churches would use for classes and small groups, and I may do another Leave it to Beaver devotional book writing devos inspired by select episodes from seasons 2-6 if this book of devos continues to sell.
But the good reception of Leave it to God has inspired two other projects, one is an exhaustive, well researched, Leave it to Beaver book which I hope will be finished in time for the Christmas season (I’m a co-author of that book). The other project is GleeStreet.com, a classic TV website which will feature lots of info on Leave it to Beaver, Lassie, Dick Van Dyke and other classic shows and will also provide some bonus content and giveaways for newsletter subscribers.
Thanks so much Chris for asking me some questions about my Leave it to Beaver devotional book, Leave it to God. And I’m glad I finally got these answers back to you and I did it on Jerry Mather’s birthday !!
Brian’s other books can be found at his author page on Amazon.
His author website can be found here.
For more information re. classic TV shows, visit Gleestreet here