Saturday, February 18, 2012

A few of my favorite authors: Randy Singer

I think of Randy Singer as the John Grisham of the Christian book industry, though unlike John Grisham who claims to be a Christian (you wouldn't know it by his politics and language in his books), Randy writes Christian fiction that is curse-free and has a great message. I would actually put Randy's books up against Grishams. I have read some of Grisham's, and far more enjoyed what I have read from the pen of Randy Singer.

His first book, Directed Verdict, came out in October of 2002. I was working at a Christian bookstore at the time, and was given a huge galley copy of the book to read. I never did get around to reading the daunting looking mass of papers, but did buy the actual book when it came out, and loved it. Singer is a lawyer and it comes through in his writing. His books are legal thrillers through and through. I always look forward to the release of his newest book.

In 2009, he did something I considered pretty daring: he made a video telling the general plot of his upcoming book, The Justice Game, and opened it up to voting on his website which way the court decision would go, and then wrote his book with the result the majority voted on. And it was a great book.

His newest book, The Last Plea Bargain, was just released this past week, and I have a review copy, review date in March.

More about Randy Singer

Randy believes it’s important to simultaneously hold a number of different jobs so that if he gets fired by two employers the same day, he can still avoid the unemployment line. He splits his time and divides his personality between Randy Singer, critically acclaimed author, Randy Singer, veteran trial lawyer, and Randy Singer, pastor. When he grows up, he will decide what he really wants to do.

Randy graduated from Houghton College in 1978, married Rhonda Pursifull that same year, and began teaching and coaching at Houghton Academy, a local Christian boarding school. After five years of teaching and coaching, he left the front of the classroom to take a seat in the back, pursing his dream of going to law school. Three years later, he graduated second in his class from William and Mary School of Law.

Following law school, Randy began an active trial practice at Willcox and Savage, a sixty lawyer firm in Norfolk, Virginia, eventually becoming head of the firm's trial section. After thirteen years with the firm, and several more years working with a mission board and cable television network, Randy decided that a recession was a good time to start a new business. He formed his own firm—the Singer Legal Group—in 2009, specializing in civil litigation and business/ministry consulting.

Randy has tried numerous high profile cases in state and federal court. He served as lead counsel in Farley v. Guns Unlimited, the first jury trial in Virginia that ever received gavel-to-gavel television coverage. That case, arising out of a shooting spree by a student at the school attended by Randy's children, became the inspiration for Randy’s novel The Justice Game, a book that examines the issue of gun control from both sides of the debate. Recently, Randy served as lead counsel in the case of Miller v. Donna Somerville, a case where Randy successfully represented the daughters of Hamilton Somerville in their quest to prove that their father had been poisoned by their stepmother. The Lifetime movie Widow on the Hill was inspired by the circumstances of Hamilton Somerville’s death.

Randy also serves as Attorney In Residence at Regent Law School where he is a member of their Board of Visitors. In 2011, Randy was named to Virginia Business magazine’s list of “Legal Elite” litigation attorneys.

About ten years ago, Randy began pursuing a passion to write. Tapping into his courtroom and ministry experience, Randy pens legal thrillers designed to entertain his readers while confronting them with biblical truths on controversial issues. His first novel, Directed Verdict, was published by WaterBrook Press in October 2002, and won the prestigious Christy award for the best Christian suspense novel that year. His most recent novel, False Witness, was called “gripping and obsessively readable” by Publisher’s Weekly, the nation’s premier book review publication.

When Trinity Church was launched in Virginia Beach in 2007, the leaders asked Randy to come on board as the Teaching Pastor. In four years, the church has grown to over 500 in attendance, hosts three different Sunday morning services, and is involved in ministry work in various parts of the world. Randy has told the church that he is willing to continue to serve as Teaching Pastor until they find somebody who actually knows what they’re doing. In the meantime, he is a preaching lawyer: proof positive that God can use anybody to do anything.

Randy and Rhonda have two children. Rosalyn, age twenty-six, graduated from the University of Georgia and South Carolina Law School. She is now clerking for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Joshua, age twenty-four, graduated from Auburn University and is a wrangler in the mountains of Colorado. Rhonda teaches high school English and wonders how she ended up with two lawyers and one cowboy in the family. Randy's interests are basketball, running, canoeing, hiking, reading and cheering for the kids’ college football teams.