Interview with Tim and Debbie Bishop, Authors of Two Are Better
Originally from Maine, Tim Bishop has over thirty years of experience in business, first as a CPA, then for many years in various roles in the corporate world. In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.
Debbie Bishop has taught for over twenty-five years, for the past ten years as a literacy specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts. She has a passion for reading and seeing that young people do it well. She also has high interest in recovery issues and encouraging others with her own triumphs over struggles earlier in her life. Debbie also serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Tim and Debbie! Can you tell us where you are from?
Tim is from Houlton, Maine. Debbie grew up in Connecticut, and has lived in New York and Colorado. We now live together in Massachusetts.
Q: How did you come up with the title?
Sometimes, the greatest ideas come in the shower! One morning, Debbie said, “How about Two Are Better Than One for a book title?” That immediately clicked with Tim. It reflected two strong features in our book, including our marriage and our bicycle tour. It was a direct reference to Ecclesiastes 4:9, which we remembered from our joint study of that book before marriage. So, the preliminary title became Two Are Better Than One. When a friend reviewed an early manuscript, he suggested that we shorten the title to Two are Better. We think it works well with its longer subtitle.
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
We were very excited to have Dave Aldrich design our cover. He lives next door in Rhode Island, so after Tim originally connected with him through the Internet, we were able to work face to face with him. Dave helped design the popular book, The Shack. We wanted to convey both of our memorable adventures—the bike trip and midlife marriage—in a concise yet playful manner. After several revisions, we feel like we got it right.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
If you want to see how God works in miraculous ways, check out Two Are Better. If you want to see the beauty of America—from coast to coast, you will love the color photos and descriptive narratives throughout the book. And if you want to be challenged to rethink pursuing your own dreams, pick up your copy today! Many of our readers couldn’t set the book down. Much more than simply a travelogue, Two Are Better will cause you to ponder its many life lessons and spiritual truths, uniquely conveyed from the seat of a bicycle.
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
Here are a few of many: There is a constant tug-of-war between fear and faith. Giving in to fear will prevent you from becoming all you can be. Sometimes, it takes a long struggle to fulfill a desire, if not a destiny. Perseverance paves the path to life’s prizes. And it builds character, although it opposes the doctrine of instant gratification embedded in our culture. Meaning and purpose are often buried under the clutter in one’s life.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
This is difficult to answer because there were so many wonderful aspects of our story communicated throughout the book. If we had to narrow it down, however, we’d say the chapter entitled “Our Story” because it was foundational to the remainder of the story, as well as our new life together. When people allow us the privilege of sharing authentically what God has done in our lives, He is able to take that testimony and use it in unexpected ways in their lives. The remainder of the book, with its joy, challenge, and adventure, strengthens the impact of “Our Story.”
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
Our desire to write this book came from the overflow of joy that we had experienced and an underlying belief that sharing our story would benefit others. Our life-changing events, both our marriage and our bicycle tour, in some respects validated the years of struggling and searching that led up to them. We want others to hang in there, to know that a day of deliverance is possible, and to realize it will eclipse their wildest dreams.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
Well, if they are deep dark secrets, we wouldn’t share them would we :) …but no, we don’t have any! Honest!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Tim always enjoys going to Maine to reconnect with people and places that were a meaningful part of his long life there. We both would like to cycle coast to coast again, this time on the Transamerica trail. Debbie cannot get enough time on her bike!
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Tim is definitely a night person. He has a hard time going to bed, and an equally hard time getting up in the morning! Debbie can burn both ends of the candle. She loves to be up in the morning, and often spends quiet time with God then. But since Tim is a night person, she also loves being up with him. The night owl in Tim presented interesting challenges on our first tour, when time sleeping in the morning may have been better spent bicycling in cooler temperatures!
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
Tim’s mother, Frannie, had an unfulfilled passion for writing and journalism. Growing up in the depression era, an intervening world war, raising a family, and other responsibilities pre-empted that dream. However, she was a contributor on the Two Are Better project.
Q: If you work, are you always thinking of new projects to write?
Tim is considering a few options on another book. Debbie wants to write a program on learning to read, using the Bible.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Debbie daydreamed all through elementary school. She remembers laying on the grass in the summer and looking up at the clouds and dreaming about floating on them. Tim was too busy with sports and other activities. Later in life, when he slowed down, there was more time to consider the limitless possibilities.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Thanks so much for this opportunity to share our thoughts with readers. We would like to encourage them to look inside themselves, to determine how God has gifted them and wired them, and to resolve to bring with passion those things that will express their gifts and bless others. We all have a story to tell, and we do it best by how we live our lives.
ABOUT THE BOOK
From an engagement to a cross-country trip in just ten weeks? And with no experience in bicycle touring—or marriage? While Tim left behind a 26-year corporate career and familiar surroundings, Debbie was about to enter a “classroom” she hadn’t seen in her 24 years of teaching. Was it a grand getaway or a big mistake?
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