Chris Fabry is the host of Chris Fabry Live and a five-time Christy Award winner. His latest novel is Saving Grayson. Listen in as Josh and Chris talk about the book.
The Conversation | Chris Fabry
Josh Olds: We’re here to talk about you and your book. So let’s pretend that we’re both getting on an elevator, we’re going to the top floor of whatever building we’re going to, and you’re going to tell me about your book, give me the elevator pitch for this novel.
Chris Fabry: A man who has an English professor’s mind and heart and a writer’s heart is losing his memory. And he wants to go back and solve the mystery of his own life before he goes away. That’s basically the pitch of the novel Saving Grace.
Josh Olds: That was a very short building. So we’re gonna dive a little more into that this book. One of the things that got me right at the very beginning was how accurate it seemed in the portrayal of dementia and memory loss is. In media—books or movies—you’d have mental illness or cognitive disabilities, and they kind of get reduced to tropes that aren’t usually that accurate. What did you do in the research for this novel to make sure that you gave both an accurate portrayal of dementia and also a healthy portrayal of it?
Chris Fabry: It was really important to me not to make this a caricature. At some times, I think, if you would criticize the book, I’ve let Grayson do some things that maybe somebody with his diagnosis might not do, but I tried to talk with some of the experts and some of the people who have given care to people who have Alzheimer’s. And then I’ve got a friend—a real close friend was kind of the impetus of the book have me thinking about this more deeply of family members who have struggled.
Josh Olds: Because I think whether it’s dementia, Alzheimer’s, any form of cognitive decline that comes with aging or not with aging. Every single person knows someone going through that. So it is it’s almost like the universal experience that if you get it right, then readers are going to see their parent or their grandparent. For me, this story really made me think about my grandpa. Not even the big dramatic things, but the simple little things that I felt like you captured and you captured it right at the beginning of the book, to set that tone for what Grayson’s character was going to be, and what his journey was going to be like. It was all the little things for me, that really made the book and made the character work.
The Book | Saving Grayson
Grayson Hayes doesn’t remember things as well as he used to, but he’s sure his time is running out. Diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, he realizes he has a small window of time left to right a terrible injustice―he just can’t remember what it is.
Convinced of the importance of his mission, he embarks on a journey to the small West Virginia town of his childhood hoping he can put together the fractured pieces of his memory and set things right. But as the past becomes more clear, he wonders if God forgives the sins he can’t remember.
The Author | Chris Fabry
Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.
Chris’ novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, Not in the Heart, Borders of the Heart, Every Waking Moment, The Promise of Jesse Woods, Looking into You, Under a Cloudless Sky, and A Piece of the Moon, have won five Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award, and two Christianity Today Book Awards of Merit, but it’s his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.
Chris has also published more than 70 other books, ranging from nonfiction and film novelizations, including the Kendrick brothers’ War Room and Overcomer, to novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.