A Hardcore Gamer Must Survive a Real-World Crisis in New Young Adult Novel

by | Nov 27, 2019

In my new book, Why Save Alexander, seventeen-year-old Alex Brooks is obsessed with going pro until he suddenly goes missing. He must face a life or death struggle in a foreign culture that doesn’t have a power grid. His digital world didn’t prepare him for these challenges. Alex also hides a deep secret, the cavernous void in his life that nothing seems to fill. He gains a new perspective on what it means to become a man and what it takes to be a hero.

I was inspired to write this story after two significant moments left a deep impression on me. The first happened years ago when speaking to a youth group about making wise media and entertainment choices. After my presentation a twelve-year-old approached me to share how the message that evening had a positive impact on him. He confessed to being addicted to playing video games but he also described his broken home and his greatest challenge, “I am lonely, I don’t know what to do with myself.” This insightful and heartfelt statement became the seed for Why Save Alexander.

The second moment watered that seed while listening to a seminar on the importance of storytelling.  The speaker encouraged Christians to learn the craft and get better at communicating stories to our generation. It made me think about my ministry to teens and motivated me to try and write a creative and compelling novel.

The result is this coming-of-age story that follows Alex as he is forced to grow up the hard way through extraordinary circumstances, which cause him to reevaluate what’s important in life, his need for God, and the positive influence of older mentors.

This book has been over seven years in the making and I’m excited to announce that it is available now for pre-order on Amazon and will be ready to ship on December 17, 2019 in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle. I look forward to announcing the release of the audio book as soon as the publisher confirms the date (presently 1/14/2020).

Pre-order Now

“Teens and young adult men and women will enjoy and benefit from this book. It’s full of action vividly described. It moves quickly and will engage the reader. This gripping story is full of much truth. In clever and creative ways, Phillip causes readers to think about and evaluate their lives, relationships, goals, purposes, and passions. They may not even realize they’re thinking about these things while enjoying the book, but it will be good for them. I expect some readers will make changes in their lives because of Phillip’s important story. I don’t read much fiction because it doesn’t move me, but I could not put this book down.”

—Kathy Koch, PhD

Founder and President, Celebrate Kids, Inc., and author of Screens and Teens: Connecting with Our Kids in a Wireless World

“Phillip Telfer is a master story-teller, drawing the reader into a tale that is both epic and intimate. This book is an unexpected reading adventure with an irresistible plot line, curious characters, and exotic cinematic backdrops. Why Save Alexander showcases Telfer’s rare knack for supplying pithy and profound cultural insight. He blends high stakes drama and winsome fun with a deeply thought-provoking message to produce a delightfully soul-stirring tale.”

—Eric Ludy

bestselling author and past

“Phillip Telfer is a dear friend and a wise and engaging communicator whose heart for Christ and the gospel is evident in all that he does. This book is embedded with an important and timely theme for our generation.”

—Stephen Kendrick

Film Producer and Bestselling Author

“An entertaining story driven by values you can feel good about.”

—Craig Brian Larson

Author and Blogger

“There was a time in my life—many moons ago—that I read for fun. Give me a Hardy Boys mystery or Nancy Drew novel (not just for girls!) and I would be transported into a world of adventure and intrigue where the good ‘guys’ accomplished something daring and noble. That was then. Now? Two of my last books have been about theology and religious criticism. I just don’t take the time for mystery and adventure. But I should.  Why Save Alexander started out as a read as a favor for a friend, but morphed into a nostalgic throwback—only with a Christian underpinning that came naturally in this story. And left me wanting to read the next book in this series—if one should be written.” 

—Bob Waliszewski

Former Director of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In

“Phillip Teller tells a good story here that is sure to engage the young teen as well as adult reader. Why Save Alexander walks the fine line between the real world and the metaphoric, but leaves the reader with a firmer grasp on reality—God’s reality—real reality. The message could not be more powerful and important for the post-modern, thoughtful reader.” 

—Kevin Swanson

Author, Speaker, and Host of Generations Radio Broadcast

Who is Phillip Telfer? What is the core of my identity? I’m a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. What you do is not as important as who you are. But in case you’re wondering about what I do, here you go…

Husband & Father: Mary and I have been married for 32 years and blessed with 4 children, one fantastic son-in-law, and three precious grandchildren.

Minister: I serve as a pastor by day (and night) and I’m the founder and director of the nonprofit ministry Media Talk 101

Coffee Nut: When I’m not serving the flock, I’m serving good, home roasted coffee to family and friends.

Woodworker: Another hobby that has “turned” into a small family business is woodturning. Working with wood a little bit each week keeps me sane in this big world of personalities.

Film Festival Director: Since that didn’t seem like enough on my plate I also started the annual Christian Worldview Film Festival and Filmmakers Guild.

Author: When there’s time to spare, I love to take  a Pilot G2 gel pen and a pad of paper and write! I used to pour a lot of creative writing energy into music, and now that has shifted to the fun of writing a novel.

Musician: I got my start in ministry as a singer/songwriter. It’s been over a decade since I last recorded any music but be on the lookout for new music in 2023 on your favorite streaming service.