An Interview with Ian Cron [Video]

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of interviewing my dear friend and neighbor, Ian Cron, about his new book Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts (Thomas Nelson). He is one of the best writers I know. I savored every word in the book.

Ian’s new book is about “the unfinished business of grace.” He had a very troubled relationship with his extremely talented but very disturbed father, who was an alcoholic and CIA operative. The book is beautifully written—poignant, sad, and funny. It touched me deeply.

Ian and I hooked up at the Thomas Nelson sales conference for this interview. During our time together, I asked him:

  • What is your new book about?
  • How did your relationship with your father affect your own parenting?
  • How important is it to ask forgiveness of our children?
  • What does your writing schedule look like?
  • When you sit down to write, are you usually inspired?
  • How do you balance writing vs. editing?
  • What are your favorite books on writing?
  • What is the single most important thing you can do to be a successful writer?

You might also want to subscribe to Ian’s blog and follow him on Twitter.

I gave away 50 copies of Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me: A Memoir. . . of Sorts. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
Question: How has your relationship (or lack of relationship) with your father influenced whom you have become? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Rick Alvey

    Great interview! My father was a good man who cared about others and provided for his family; yet he tended to be emotionally distant. For the longest time that was my impression of God. It has taken a long time for me to understand how connected God is and wants to be with His children. And I still struggle with this myself. My wife has to periodically remind me that I am drifting away into my own world. 

    The other dominant issue involving my father is that he would let me try something only once and if I didn’t get it right he would take over and do it. Even at almost 50 I still wrestle with the residue of “fear of failure” and tend to avoid those projects that I’m not confident I can actually accomplish without having to struggle much. And it has taken a long time for God to help me begin to understand that He will not give up on me when I drop the ball with a project or situation. 

  • Connie Brown

    It’s complicated. I like the joke, “I had a great childhood … for a writer.”

    My father who was an atheist made it possible for me to live in an environment where I came to know and love God. My father who hated Christians said I was one of the only Christians he could stand.

    Loving my father, listening to him, enjoying his company when we had time together — I love the man and cannot condone his lifestyle.

    How has that shaped me?

    I walk with Christ in and out of the shadows of Love.

  • Eccle0412

    My father is a lighthearted social, non driven, people focused, giver.  His words of wisdom and dedication to Jesus and people are his hallmarks. Never made a lot of money, in fact my mom was the bread winner but my sibs would all say “we want to be like dad”. 
    Would love to read Ian’s book, although I am admittedly not an writer.

  • Joyce

    The unhealthy relationships with my father and step-fathers acted as a filter in how I viewed God early in my walk. The more I got to know God, the more compassion I had for my earthly fathers. I think we are all walking in forgiveness now! I no longer view my heavenly Father through that biased filter either!

  • Ben Berson

    My father is a godly man, but was an extremely strict disciplinarian when I was growing up ( and so was I presumably a very discipline wrothy naughty boy). having been brought up under a school master in early years, (he lost his dad whilst still in the womb), Spare the rod and spoil the child was definitely his way of doing things. I ended up making decisions with my life that was primarily aimed at doing things opposite to what he wanted: he wanted me to study medicine; I went ahead with engineering! He wanted me to join an organisation near home: I joined the military. 
    However in retrospect, I feel now that I am 43 years old, i can see his love in trying to help me make right choices in life and his anxiety … that i would turn out okay, prompted him in the extreme steps he had to enforce at home: no bible no breakfast, compulsory study hours, compulsory attendance at church, discouragement for music or sports etc.
    now I find myself enforcing some of those disciplines on my own children. of course I have ridden more bikes than any of my ancestors or contemporaries from the family have, i do play music at church (guitar, piano, sax) and play a lot of sports: tennis, squash, golf, swim, basketball marathon etc.
    So I can only say I am glad i had a strict father; i have accomplished more and am doing much better off than all my school friends: it was his faith, prayers are positive action that he followed it up with being around that helped him to be a successful father by God’s grace.

  • Jbrady

    My dad is the most loving man I have ever met. He loves the godly and the ungodly. He treats all people as if they are of the greatest value. As he approaches eight decades of life he is still working full time with the residents of the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center loving, counseling, guiding and praying for the men who have found themselves addicted to drugs and alcohol and without hope. He loves them like they are his sons. He allows the love of God flowing through him to restore their hope. He loves like Jesus loves and I am greatly blessed to have been raised with that kind of love.  I think your book would be an excellent resource for him to use with the men for whom he cares so deeply; the men who are trying to understand the grace they so desperately need.