James Rubart knows success can feel empty. For years he ran a highly profitable marketing firm, all the while feeling there was more to his destiny – knowing that he needed to write more than TV ads.

He poured that experience into Micah Taylor, the main character in his first Christian novel, Rooms.

“I had the same choice Micah has to make in the book,” Rubart said. “I had the choice to jump off the cliff or stay safe.”

In Rooms, Micah is a software tycoon with almost more money than he knows what to do with. He has a great girlfriend, a penthouse in Seattle, a hurtful relationship with his father and a heart still aching from the loss of his mother.

A letter arrives from a late uncle he barely knew and tells him of a house the uncle has built for him along the Oregon coast. The house, it turns out, is actually a physical manifestation of Micah’s soul. And its rooms, which seem to appear and disappear on their own, offer the chance for healing, reconciliation and love.

Like its cover says, the story is a blend of The Screwtape Letters and The Shack, without as much controversial theology. Rubart uses Christian scripture sparingly and stays away from religious lingo, yet still manages to bring in topics like spiritual warfare.

Micah, and most people, get comfortable with the voices they hear – the thoughts that flash through their minds, Rubart said, and those thoughts, even if negative, seem to be true.

“I’d love for people to walk away and test the voices they hear every day,” he said. “Is that voice coming from me? From God?”

And is it a voice of forgiveness and freedom?

“For me, my theme is freedom,” said Rubart, who just finished his fourth novel, Soul’s Gate. It will be released in October and tell the story of people who are able to send their spirits into other people’s souls to help set them free.

Apparently the theme of freedom is resonating. Rubart receives letters and emails from people around the world telling him how Rooms has changed their lives. It has certainly changed his.

He once believed that he would never be good enough to write novels. Now, he has published three, finished a fourth and has a contract for four more. Rooms has sold tens of thousands of copies and even has a DVD study guide where Rubart visits the house in Oregon that is the setting of the book and actors bring key scenes to life.

Now, Rubart has stopped paying much attention to the voice that told him he couldn’t write. Instead he focuses on setting people free one character at a time.


About the book club

Joining the Simply Faithful book club is easy. Just pick up a copy of Rooms and participate in the community conversation. Talk with friends. Read it at church. Come to book discussions at Alpha & Omega Parable Christian Store.

Then, on Wednesday, July 25, log on to the Simply Faithful page on Facebook and meet the author, James L. Rubart. He’ll start answering questions at 7 p.m.

Also, send your comments to markettagregory@yahoo.com and read what others have to say about Rooms in the July 30 newspaper.

About the author

James L. Rubart lives in Washington with his wife, Darci, and two sons, Taylor and Micah. Besides writing novels, Rubart blogs at www.JamesLRubart.com and sometimes takes pictures – like the one that serves as the cover of Rooms. He can also be found on YouTube and Facebook, and he uses the Twitter handle @jimrubart.

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