GREENVILLE – Spinning adventures about Moe, a spider who lived in the bathroom ceiling fan is how one local man caught the bug to write.
“We had a bedtime routine,” said Pastor Chris Cobb of his three children. “We’d sit in the bathroom and I’d spin a tale about Moe.”
Later, Cobb said, he and one of his then-middle-school aged daughters would take turns writing stories a page at a time. “They would become quite a tale.”
Cobb, a pastor at Greenville’s Bible Fellowship Church, has written five novels – Falcon Down, Falcon Rising, Falcon Strike, Outlander Chronicles: Phoenix, and The Candidate. He’s also penned one non-fiction piece, The Prayer of Moses, and is currently working on the second in the Outlander Chronicles – Icarus.
Cobb’s spinning of tales continues to be a family affair. Daughter Danielle Snell of Mississippi designs his book covers, while his sister Elizabeth Cobb of Ithaca, N.Y. and a former state department worker, is Cobb’s editor.
“She’s fluent in Russian and has helped me with the Russian ambience,” Cobb explained, which has come in handy for his titles, such as Falcon Down, the story of a U.S. F-16 pilot shot down by a Soviet missile and spends time in an interrogation center in Siberia.
The idea for the Falcon series came to Cobb after he wrote a sequel to a Louis L’Amour novel, Last of the Breed, published in 1986, about a U.S. fighter pilot who gets shot down over Russia.
According to Cobb, he just “couldn’t let Makatozi,” L’Amour’s character go. In his book, L’Amour leaves the fate of the fighter pilot to the reader’s imagination.
Cobb said he wrote a sequel to L’Amour’s book, which he titled Makatozi’s Revenge. He then contacted the L’Amour estate, which denied his request to publish.
The idea for the Falcon series came to Cobb and he worked through an attorney to be sure there would be no issues with publishing a story so close in theme to the Makatozi character.
Last year, Cobb published The Candidate – a surprisingly dead-on tale of the 2016 U.S. presidential election that he calls “oddly prophetic.”
Cobb said he started writing The Candidate prior to last year’s presidential election. It was published in August – right in the heat of the Trump-Clinton campaign.
Cobb’s novels, he said, all “have an agenda. I am frustrated with both political parties. The driving force behind that (The Candidate) was my frustration.”
Cobb said those who have read The Candidate have joked about wishing the book’s main character really was a candidate for president.
As a minister, Cobb weaves his Christian beliefs and morals into his stories. He does so, he said, without actually basing his characters on specific individuals he has pastored or counseled.
“I’ve used some experiences, but not congregants as models,” he explained.
Cobb said his love for military history and fiction writing came naturally. His father served in the U.S. Navy. “Which led to a great deal of interest in the military,” he explained.
Cobb and his wife Doris were married in 1978. They are the parents of “three very distinguished children,” daughters Danielle and her husband Eric Snell of Mississippi, his graphic artist and Laurielle and her husband David Warren, who both are principal instrumentalists (viola and clarinet, respectively) for the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, Tenn. and who reside in Texas; and son Joshua and his wife Abbie, who reside in California where he is employed with DreamWorks and she is an actor in both television and film. One of her most recent roles was in the 2014 movie Mom’s Night Out. The Cobbs have two grandchildren, Luke and Rory Snell. Daughter Laurielle is expecting the couple’s third grandchild.
Cobb, who is self-published via Doorway Press, prides himself in writing clean. “You won’t have to wash your brain out” after reading one of his novels, he said. “They do contain some violence, but no gratuitous sex, no bad language.”
Cobb says he “hopes to get people to take a deeper look” at life after reading one of his novels. He calls his works “engaging stories that make a person challenge their world views.”
Cobb also pens a blog, The ThoughtSpot, where readers may find updates about his writing as well as other topics of interest.
Look for Cobb’s books in the Greenville Public Library, at Bread of Life Christian Book Store in Greenville as well as ordering online to read via Kindle. Books also may be purchased online. Check out his website at chcobb.com.
PHOTO CAPTION: Pastor Chris Cobb is pictured outside Bread of Life book store in downtown Greenville, where his novels are available for purchase.