Ask Graham Taylor how success has changed his life, and he's got a simple answer. He no longer has to worry when his car, a 15-year-old rusty Vauxhall sedan, breaks down.
Taylor, an Anglican priest from Yorkshire whose novel, Shadowmancer, was a bestseller in both the United Kingdom and the United States (with 600,000 copies sold), says success has a price—at least when it comes to depending on God.
"In many ways," Taylor says, "it's taken away the elements of faith I used to enjoy—like praying for the money to fix the car."
Wormwood, his second novel—which the Guardian hails as "breathtaking in scope" and "an extraordinary achievement"—is due at American bookstores in October. With screen rights for both books sold to Hollywood, Taylor recently thought about upgrading to a Bentley, or even a Mercedes.
Then he asked his wife, Kathy.
"Graham," she told him, "people are starving in Africa."
Taylor, 46, credits his wife for keeping him on the straight and narrow despite his newfound celebrity and wealth. "It's like having the Archangel Gabriel around," he says.
This month, Taylor finishes ministry as a vicar in the village of Cloughton. A heart condition and a case of pneumonia earlier this year convinced him that he couldn't be both pastor and author.
He sees his work as a writer as a different kind of ministry, one that takes place at bookstore appearances, arts festivals, and television studios instead of in the pulpit. He's surprised how many secular interviewers have asked him about God.
"Once you are in the position of being seen as a celebrity, their barriers come down," he says. "It's like you are part of the club. And so they will talk to you about things which they wouldn't talk to a normal pastor or minister about."
Not much ...1
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