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Exclusive Interview with Josh Turner

A Q&A with country artist-turned-author as he opens up about his new book, Man Stuff.

Written By:  Kelsey Haugen

Photographers:  The Tennessean

Though he’s a country music star and Grand Ole Opry member, Josh Turner doesn’t let fame sway his values. He was raised with a God-and-family-first mindset, and his faith still shapes who he is today. On April 29, Turner releases his first book, Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family, and Fatherhood. The devotional, which is filled with personal stories, provides insight into Turner’s life and offers wisdom and advice to readers.

Nashville Lifestyles (NL): Were you always interested in writing a book—how did it come about?
Josh Turner (JT):
It actually never crossed my mind. Thomas Nelson Publishing approached me about doing a project early last year. At first, it kind of scared me because I didn’t know what I’d write a book about. But when we started talking about it being some sort of devotional, it really appealed to me. I felt like this would be a way to take my experiences and stories I’ve heard and turn them into life lessons for people to read and learn from.


NL: So you are friends with Jase Roberston from Duck Dynasty. What was it like to have him write the foreword for your book?
JT: It was an honor. He did an incredible job with it; everyone was really impressed with what he wrote. I was very honored to be spoken about in that way by somebody I’d just started to form a relationship with. But that was what was interesting about it to me. Every time I’m around Jase, it feels like we’ve known each other our whole lives. I felt like before I met him that we had a lot in common, that we were kind of like brothers.


NL: Can you talk about the core concepts from the book – faith, family, and fatherhood?
JT: My faith is a huge part of who I am—it’s something that’s been engrained in me from a very early age. But it’s not something that I’ve been taught, necessarily. I’ve been taught a lot about it, but faith is something that really comes from within. There’s a lot of people who didn’t come from a home that had strong faith, so I don’t want to mislead people by saying my upbringing is why I’m a man of faith. The family part is something I’ve always been a strong advocate for. I view this book as a way to honor my family. [As for] the fatherhood part, I feel it has made me a better person and added a whole other dimension to my life.

NL: You mention that what's in your book may sound old-fashioned—why are old-fashioned ways important to you?
JT: The old-fashioned ways to me are more common sense. We’re living in a technological age, and there’s a lot of good things about that but a lot of bad things, too. It allows us to communicate faster, but I don’t know that it’s more efficient. I feel like community and fellowship are things that have been lost by way of [technology]. These are things that are definitely old-fashioned and things we as a society should get back to.

NL: With a title like, Man Stuff is the book for men only?
JT: Originally, it was geared toward men… but honestly, I didn’t write this book just for men. I wrote it for everybody, in spite of it being called “Man Stuff.” There is a lot of man stuff in this book, but I feel like the women who read this book can not only learn things for themselves but also learn about how men should be and why men do the things they do.

NL: What do you hope your sons will get out of your book when they're old enough to read it?
JT:
I’d like for them to read this and really understand who their father is and understand why I act the way I act and why I raised them up to be the people they are. Not every child gets to read their parent’s book, so they’re going to be in a unique position. My parents or grandparents never had a book, so it’s not something I can relate to.

Man Stuff: Thoughts on Faith, Family, and Fatherhood is published by Thomas Nelson, an imprint of Harper Collins Christian Publishing.
Visit joshturner.com for more information or to purchase the book.

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