PW: Tell us about Lionheart Books, the book packaging firm that created Inside the Mind of God.
MR: I used to run Turner Publishing, and after I left there, I started a packaging company here in Atlanta. We do books for Templeton and lots of other publishers, including Andrews McMeel and Random House.
PW: How did this book end up at Templeton?
MR: I had done a book called The Hand of God for Andrews, and Templeton called Andrews one day and wanted to pick up the paperback rights. Sir John [Templeton] wanted to send copies of it to various churches in America. That was my first brush with them; I didn't know who they were before that. The more we talked, we really liked each other. There were a number of ideas that I had in my head that a lot of mainstream publishers wouldn't be interested in that they seemed interested in, and then we started talking about this follow-up, which seemed natural: outer space to inner space.
PW: Are the two books similar?
MR: As it turns out, no. With The Hand of God, I became fascinated with the awesomeness of images from outer space. There's this majestic, inspirational quality to stars being formed. When we were starting on Inside the Mind of God, I thought, at least intellectually, this is similar. But when we got into it, it was not the same at all. It was kind of visceral and, in some terms, creepy. It was inspirational, but more personal. It became about life, death and religion. It was an interesting thing. I got a little weirded out by a lot of the disease stuff—it looks evil. It's not that majestic, pure creation of outer space.
PW: In what sense are you the book's editor?
MR: I selected the images and the quotes.
PW: Where did you find the photographs?
MR: Susie Ehring, who does a lot of our research for us, spent months and months on the Internet looking at images. She would bring in thousands of them. Once we saw what the path was going to be, we had to find images that worked within that framework.
PW: Does Sir John Templeton take an active role in the creation of a title like this one?
MR: Other than talking to him about doing it in the first place, he pretty much let us go.
PW: Who do you think is going to respond to this book?
MR: I think the same people who responded to The Hand of God. It also might affect people who are dealing with death. It's a real issue and something we all confront. When people are dealing with sickness and disease, they're confronting all kinds of things, and this might be helpful to them.
PW: What image in the book do you find most powerful?
MR: There are a lot that stop me short. One is the Alzheimer's disease cell. You look at that, and it's scary; it's this green thing with tentacles. I can just see it grasping somebody's brain and sucking the memories out of it. That's a powerful image to me.