Saturday, December 29, 2012

DOUBLE IDENTITY


(A Young Adult Novel about Identical Twins) 

by K. Dawn Byrd 




K. Dawn Byrd is a Christian novelist. Today, she will tell us about her writing and about her walk with the Lord.
Welcome K. Dawn. We are so glad you came today. 
I would like to start with your personal walk with the Lord before you tell us about your writing. Can you tell us a little about that? 

K. Dawn:
I believe it's impossible for a Christian's worldview not to seep into their novels in some ways. For example, there are certain things I won't write about and certain words I won't use. My novels always contain at least one Christian and one non-Christian. Many of my novels are very realistic in that they portray what an individual would do or would not do in certain situations. For example, I don't go into graphic detail, but my readers will know that Cassie in Double Identity is not a virgin. However, Bree is saving herself for marriage and when she begins to think that her boyfriend is attracted to Cassie because she looks just like her, she's terrified that he'll like her since she's willing.

Molly:
The story sounds timely and interesting. And I happen to love books about identical twins. My fraternal grandmother was a twin, and my Love Inspired novel, Brides and Blessings, was about identical twins.
So K. Dawn, why did you decide to write a book about identical twins? And why is your book for young adults? Why did you select that age group?

K.:
I love writing for young adults! My other books are suspense. Young adult is a wonderful break from writing dark novels. A co-worker of mine has identical twins. We were talking about some of the problems they might face later when they become teens. Teens put so much emphasis on looks that I began to wonder how a girl would know her boyfriend loves her instead of her sister since they're identical.

Molly:
Thanks. Now tell us a little about the plot of your story. 

K.:
Seventeen-year old Bree has always wanted a sister. She's shocked when she learns that her father is alive and her identical twin sister, Cassie, is coming to live with her. She can't wait for Cassie to arrive. She just knows they'll be best friends. 

Bree soon discovers that even though they look alike, they're totally different. Cassie is wild and impulsive. She hates Bree's little town and everything in it, except Bree's boyfriend, Luke. When Cassie becomes obsessed with Luke, she'll go to any length to have him for herself. 

Luke has a secret, which Cassie learns and uses against him. She's off her medication and will stop at nothing. She says he's in love with her. He says he loves Bree. Will their secrets destroy them and their relationships?

Molly:
You said that Bree and Cassie looked alike but were totally different. I assume you were talking about their personalities being different. Give us some examples of ways they were different. Then tell us some ways they were alike other than their appearance. For example, were they both left handed? Did they like the same foods and dislike the same foods? Stuff like that. 

K.: 
Yes, Molly, their personalities are totally different. Bree is a sweet, young Christian girl. She dresses very modestly, doesn't lie, and tries to live the way Jesus would want. Her twin, Cassie, is the exact opposite. She's a wild, party girl who dresses to impress the guys. Bree is saving herself or marriage, but Cassie is known to sleep around. In addition, Cassie suffers from bipolar disorder. A big part of the story is what happens when she goes off her medication and goes after Bree's boyfriend.

Molly:
How much research on twins was required to write this book? And tell us some interesting information she learned from read the material.

K.:
I really didn't do any research at all. A co-worker has identical twins and we talked about them some, but other than that I thought about how it would feel to know that there's someone else in the world identical to you. I'm thinking it would cause some real problems for teenagers. A girl would wonder if her boyfriend likes her sister also since they look just alike. I'm sure it would cause some insecurity.

Molly:
Tell the names of your future novels and when they will be published.

K.:
Future releases are: Something Beautiful (young adult romance, January 21); Hotline Girl (young adult romance, June 21); Luck of the  Draw (young adult romance, November 11).

Molly:
How can our readers obtain a copy of Double Identity, and is it an e-book, in paperback or both? 

K.:
Currently, Double Identity is available only in ebook format. It's available at Amazon, B&N, CBD and many other ebook outlets.

Molly:
Thanks for stopping by K. Dawn Byrd. Come back soon.  



Monday, December 24, 2012

Be His Witness By Demonstrating With-ness

Matthew 1:23 The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel—which means, “God with us.”manger

John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

God’s with-ness to us and ours to His children has been on my mind a great many years. It started when I counseled young, successful, perfectionist women who never felt they measured up to all God wanted them to do. I used to remind them of the story of Mary and Martha and who had done the better thing (Luke 10:38-42). I told them they were created human beings and not human doings. God’s ultimate goal for us is to be with us in heaven for eternity—relationship. This state of being is exemplified in His name I am, Who am. Though He has done countless, extraordinary things, nowhere in the Bible is He entitled I do, because, though He may call us to action, the best action starts with relationship.

Then my son was born. My son with autism who is delayed in so many of those things we use to measure success in an individual—including speech. He could never tell me he loved me, and I could not be sure he understood when I told him. The only way I could communicate my love was in my with-ness. Being there for him in good times and in bad.

He understood.  she's sad

How do I know this? Because he is the first to show others this state of being in times of need. He’s sought out troubled souls in large gatherings to kiss them for no apparent reason, lighting up their sorrowed faces. He’s come into a different room to look into my eyes, because somehow he knew I was crying. He sits with me when I feel alone, and reminds me to pray when I’m distraught.

One time, when he was about three, after his father had just come home from a trip and we were catching up on all that had happened while he’d been gone, my son slowly scooted my husband closer to me in the kitchen. Then he scooted me closer to my husband. No words. He went back and forth a few times until our bodies met—my husband, still chatting on as he did. Then, he wrapped his arms around both our legs. He knew what we really needed to catch up on—being with.

This is what God ultimately wants from us. It’s what His son gave us while He was here. It is how we demonstrate Godliness to those who do not know God. It doesn’t take words. It takes relationship.

Just over a week ago, our nation saw a tragedy in a massive shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where twenty children and six adults were murdered. A friend of mine asked me, “What do you say to those who’ve just experienced that kind of loss?” The answer is, “Nothing.” Any words will sound trite—things the hearer already knows or is not ready to hear. James 1:19 tells us to be slow to speak and quick to listen. It’s part of being with, and yet it is one of the hardest things for us to actually do, because it feels like we are doing nothing at all. MED2097

I bet you think this message is strange coming from a writer whose ministry is in the use of words. But it’s one of those things that makes me even more attuned to the vulnerability of them. They can be purposeful and life-giving. Yet without relationship to give them credibility, they are just etchings on a page or noise in the air. So, remember, while flexing your skill to be a better “witness” for the Lord, make sure you demonstrate His Love through your With-ness.

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headshot1Connie is a 2012 Genesis semi-finalist for Women’s Fiction. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest for her entry, Why Not to Kiss on a Park Bench (aka. Harold and Violet). Come visit her on one of her other blogs: Living the Body of Christ InfiniteCharacters.com

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wouldn't it be Glorious?

by Teresa Slack

My mother and each of my three sisters are writers of one form or another. The youngest, Marcie, has currently focused her gifts on articles and poetry. She recently sent me this poem that was published in her local newspaper. I loved it and thought I would share it here at Writer's Rest. Enjoy and have a wonderful, merry Christmas.







Wouldn't it be Glorious?

Wouldn't it be glorious
If we didn't just give in the Christmas season?
If we donated food and clothing
For no particular reason.
If we didn't fret over baking cookies and fudge
And worried less about getting Mom jewelry
And more about forgetting a grudge.
We worry about "Black Friday"
And lights upon the tree
Instead of remembering the precious baby
Who should be worshiped on bended knee.
Sure, we all enjoy getting presents
And when Hubby buys us an expensive ring
But we seem to be less concerned
With the coming of our King.
Our kids can't wait for Santa Claus
While they listen for reindeer paws
But how much do they know about Jesus
Who loves us "just because"?
Wouldn't it be glorious
If we thought of that barn in the cold
And tried to envision the angels
And the good news they told?
Wouldn't it be glorious
If Jesus got a birthday cake
And we recalled the sacrifice that Mary and
Joseph had to make
Because our God wanted it to be so
For all of mankind's sake.
Written by Marcie Diane Hooley. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

MEET THE PULP FICTION GUY


Meet Charles Beckman:
                                           

By Molly Noble Bull


Suspense, Suspicion & Shockers is a new book by Charles Boeckman, a multi-published novelist, journalist, writing instructor, musician, bandleader, and legend in his own time. He and his wife, Patti, wrote 26 Silhouette romance novels back in the 1980’s under the name Patti Beckman. Recently, Charles and Patti produced an anthology of reprints of his collectable pulp stories that Charles wrote beginning in 1945. 


Welcome. It's great to have you here today. Can you explain what pulp fiction is, and tell us about your book?

Charles: 
Pulp fiction was reading matter for the masses before television brought visual stories into our homes. The name “pulp” comes from the woody, pulp paper used in those monthly publications. They often cost a dime and contained about ten stories. They represented every genre of fiction you can think of and included novels. They died out with the advent of television, but interest in them has resurfaced in recent decades with fans scattered all across the U.S. who buy, sell, and collect those vintage magazines. Some also write original stories, called new pulp, in the style of the early pulps. Because of the avid interest of pulp fans in those stories, which today are hailed as the precursors of all the genres of contemporary fiction, Patti and I decided to put together an anthology of 24 of my pulp stories, which were mainly suspense and surprise-ending stories with universal appeal. Having that many vintage stories in one volume from a pulp author who is still living is rare. It received rave reviews on Amazon from two expert reviewers and writers of new pulp fiction.
Charles is noted for the emotional tone he brings to his stories, for his characters, and for his musical backgrounds. 
SUSPENSE, SUSPICION & SHOCKERS is available on Amazon.

Molly: 
Thanks, Charles and Patti. Come back soon.  
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Molly's newest e-book titled BEDTIME STORIES FOR BELIEVERS is a collection of eight short stories for Christian adults and will be published and available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo by Tuesday, December 18, 2012.  



And don't forget that Cinderella Texas is available now as an e-book and will soon be published in paperback. Write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot to find all Molly's books.    



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

MERRY HEART MEDICINE


by Molly Noble Bull

A merry heart is good, like a medicine. But a broken spirit dries the bones.
Proverbs 9:7
We’ve all complained at one time of another. Yet the Old Testament is full of examples, explaining that the Lord doesn’t like complainers. He wants us to be happy in the good times as well as in bad.
Why?
I think being happy even when times are bad proves that we believe the Bible—that we believe that all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.
Making a joyful noise unto the Lord if you just won the lottery is a given. But what if your home burned to the ground, your children are sick or your marriage is in shambles?
Can you make that joyful sound then? Or do other emotions kick in? 
After being rescued from slavery in Egypt and walking across the sea on dry land, the Children of Israel complained about their plight in the wilderness. Some wanted to go back to Egypt. They might be slaves again, but at least they would get to spice up their food a little.
As humans, many of us want spicy—spicy food, spicy movies and TV shows, spicy gossip. The list goes on and on. Yet nobody wants ones bones to dry up.
Doing what God wants us to do when we want to do something else is never easy. God says turn right. We want to turn left. In our minds, it is obvious that turning left is the right decision—to do otherwise would be embarrassing and could lead to a dangerous situation. But faith is doing it God’s way, not our way, and that means trusting Him and making a joyful noise when we don’t feel like it.
The Bible says that the Lord lives in the praises of His people. Think about that for a moment. If you are sad, in trouble or in a dangerous situation and want to be close to the Lord, all you really need to do is praise Him. When you do, He is at your side. Guaranteed.
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My new Christian e-book novel, Cinderella Texas, is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. To find Cinderella Texas and all my Christian novels, write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot. And look for Bedtime Stories for Believers, a book of short stories for Christian adults, coming out as an e-book soon. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why Do We Only Pray for “Daily Bread?”

pharoahOne of the problems with learning to memorize Bible verses from an early age is that sometimes the words become so common place we forget to delve into the depths of their meaning. When I was a little girl, I loved the story of Joseph. Not because it was about God’s plan for Israel or about a brother who forgave, submitting his poor treatment by his siblings to the work of the Lord. I liked it because the younger brother got one over on the older ones. I almost wanted to stick my tongue out and tell my sisters I’d be ruling over them one day—like Joseph. Oh, the simplicity of youth.

Of course I see the story differently now as I pray with my sisters in time of need or rejoice at how God is using them. But when I was younger, I didn’t understand.

There are many things in the Bible that plagued me because of this lack of maturity. One had always been the word “daily” in The Lord’s Prayer. Why would we only pray for our daily bread when there is a lifetime of bread to be had? Did God want us to eat other foods on other days? I’m guessing not, since we’re expected to pray the prayer on a regular basis.bread

 In fact, that’s the reason for the daily bread prayer in the first place. Think about it. If God had given us all we wanted on that first day, or if we only needed to pray to never be hungry in one sitting, would we go back to Him tomorrow? I’m sorry to say I don’t think I would have. And as a result, I’d have missed out on a daily relationship with Him.

So, I pray for my bread (literal and figurative) every morning, and expect He will provide it. Then, tomorrow, I drop to my knees, hang out with the Lord some more, and ask for it again. I’m beginning to like these visits with the King, requesting what only He can give, because I find, in the time I spend with Him, I receive so much more than daily bread.


headshot1
Connie is a 2012 Genesis semi-finalist for Women’s Fiction. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest for her entry, Why Not to Kiss on a Park Bench (aka. Harold and Violet). Come visit her on one of her other blogs: Living the Body of Christ InfiniteCharacters.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who Stirred the Storyteller in You?

My grandmother was a storyteller. Back before Ipods & smartphones & elaborate gaming systems--even before cable for that matter!--my three sisters & I would sit enraptured at her feet as she shared memories from her childhood. Grandpa was the same. Only his allegedly true stories were so outlandish & scary even the littlest among us didn't believe them. But, boy, did we beg for those stories every time we came to visit.
After I grew up I discovered that another grandfather, who died before I was born, was also a storyteller and natural entertainer. He dabbled in poetry and songwriting. Unfortunately none of these important and special people in my life were inclined to write any of those stories down. Over the years the stories have become blurred and fuzzy in my memory so that now all I really remember is the comfort & love I experienced while listening. It's no mystery that I was drawn to spinning my own stories. And not just to keep the kids entertained on long summer afternoons. I wanted to share my stories with the world. Sadly none of the three people who awoke my love for storytelling are around to read the words I pen. Someday I may be able to share that love with them, but until then I'll keep telling stories through my keyboard.
What about you? Who influenced your passion for storytelling? Are they still here to share your victories and disappointments as you struggle to put those stories to paper before they are lost forever? Or maybe you're the one igniting the love of storytelling in those around you. Whatever you do, take the time to write those stories down. They are fleeting. Someday someone will wish they could recall your words and wish you were here to share them again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WHAT IS A DOG-RUN HOUSE?



by Molly Noble Bull

Last time, I told about Cinderella Texas, my new lighthearted Christian romance novel set on a ranch in Texas, and the following words are written in the dedication page of all my novels—To God Give the Glory. A Christian message is also found within the pages of Cinderella Texas.


But today, I would like to tell about the cover of Cinderella Texas because the cover came from an old photo of a dog-run house built by one of my ancestors.
And what is a dog-run house?
A dog-run house is one with a breezeway through the middle of it.
Though Cinderella Texas is pure fiction, the house on the cover is real with dog-runs on both the upper and lower floors.
I do not know when the house was actually built. I would guess around 1880, and as I said, it is especially meaningful to me because it came from an actual photo of a house built by one of my ancestors in Del Rio, Texas.
The house is quite unique. 
It was built by constructing two wooden walls about twelve inches apart, and my ancestor filled the spaces between the walls with adobe clay from the Rio Grande River. When the clay dried, the adobe walls turned the house into a sort of fortress.
I visited this house one summer as a small child, and I remember how cool it was inside without air conditioning. Every room opened onto one of the wooden wrap around porches, and I was told that it was always cool in summer and warm in winter. 
As an adult, my husband and I and our sons visited the house, and I discovered that it was still standing. However, the current owner had removed the wrap-around porches. I have not seen it since then, but perhaps the dog-runs will be filled in one day, giving the house two extra rooms.
I am disappointed that the house my ancestor built no longer has the historic western flavor it once had. But I will always remember the way it looked in the picture on the cover of this book. Memories of that summer in Del Rio so long ago will live with me forever.
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To find Cinderella Texas at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful in Hard Times

It’s funny how the same event can be viewed differently from two opposing perspectives. Getting a job as a janitor in an American school for the former CEO of a Fortune 500 company might be unacceptable, but the same job to a former wealthy business owner from a third-world country could be seen as thejanitor start of a new and better life.

You thought I was going to use a poor man for the second example, didn’t you? But the truth is, I have known families who’ve experienced the latter and been grateful for it!

Are we?

The idea of being grateful in hard times has been pressed on my mind over the past few months as my daughter battles the effects of Lyme’s Disease and its treatment. Why? Because though this experience has been very difficult on her, we are astounded at how God put things in place so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We thank Him for His mercies.

This summer we were informed by my daughter’s new school that at the beginning of the year they would have a “field trip” overnight for five days. Given that we did not have any time to get to know the teachers chaperoning this trip and I couldn’t be there because I homeschool my special-needs son, this raised a few red flags. Sorry, but when you work in the mental health field, as I do, you sometimes know too much about what CAN happen.

Yes, I know, sometimes I need to let go and trust God to protect my child, and believe me, I had friends arguing that fact. But something in my heart kept saying NO. So I prayed that both my husband and I would have the discernment to make the right decision. Both of us felt a clear calling to keep her home.

She was diagnosed with Lyme’s the week before the trip. She could not have gone even if we’d allowed her. The treatment made her sick each morning and she Sun and Cirrus Clouds --- Image by  Royalty-Free/Corbiswould not have been able to be in direct sunlight due to the meds the whole week. Not possible for a field trip labeled “Outdoor Ed.” Whatever our reasons for keeping her home no longer mattered. God knew she wouldn’t be going and He was preparing us for that fact. No money lost. No expectations dashed. And best of all, no schoolwork was missed because there wasn’t much given to the kids who stayed behind.

Unbelievable! The timing couldn’t have been better.

Then, after finishing the first round of antibiotics, the symptoms came back. Momma-worry set in and more antibiotics were ordered, but THANK GOD the next two days of school were closed due to a professional day and the election. We had time to adjust to a new round of antibiotics and its effects on her every morning. We had to change her eating schedule to see if it would lessen the nausea and allow her to get to school on time. It worked!

So, yes, rather than shaking my fist at God’s allowing Lyme’s Disease into my daughter’s life, I Praise Him for His Mercies! I trust that if Lyme is part of His plan, it is the start of a new and better life. Maybe a challenge that would stretch and strengthen us. Maybe a means of gaining knowledge we'll need later.

Who knows? All I know is He will use it.Jesus on cross

This reminded us that God has the whole story already written and He alone knows how it will play out. I suspect, given He is a good and holy God, though it may be rife with drama and suspense, He favors Happy Endings.

I trust in that.

I trust in Him.

Serious ConnieConnie is a 2012 Genesis semi-finalist for Women’s Fiction. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest for her entry, Why Not to Kiss on a Park Bench (aka. Harold and Violet). Come visit her on one of her other blogs: Living the Body of Christ InfiniteCharacters.com

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Little Moments of Thankfulness

In church last Sunday the pastor told us to think of the last time we'd received good news. I couldn't think of a thing. I looked to my husband for inspiration. He just shrugged. Like the Grinch who stole Christmas I puzzled and puzzled til my puzzler was sore. Nothing came to mind. I was still reeling from the election results earlier in the month and not in the mood to think on good news. As far as I was concerned, there wasn't any. But what sort of attitude is that for a born again believer in Jesus Christ? So I repented of willfully holding on to my anger and discouragement, took down my yard signs, prayed for the current administration and that senior White House adviser David Axelrod who I seriously don't like, and decided to look for some bits of good news instead of dwelling on the bad. Since it's Thanksgiving I thought I would share a few of those moments here. 1. My husband caught the mouse I saw run under the cabinet on Saturday. No, he didn't set it free to begin life anew somewhere else. It's dead.
2. My 4-year-old niece reminded me how little girls can find delight in everything from pink fur-lined mittens to learning a new song in Sunday School. 3. Even the toughest, most crotchety interviews I had this week would soften and smile when I wished them a Happy Thanksgiving. 4. I'm surrounded by friends and family and people who love me and think I'm amazing. 5. I'm not longer mad at you, America. You're still the best country on earth. Anyone else have any moments of good news to share that make life as delightful as pink fur-lined mittens?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CINDERELLA TEXAS, My Newest Novel


by Molly Noble Bull


             My newest novel, Cinderella Texas, is the retelling of a famous fairy tale complete with a shoe problem for the heroine, Alyson Spencer. A prince-like cowboy is the hero of this modern western, Robert Lee Greene IV—called Quatro. Quatro is a rancher, an oil baron and one of the richest men in Texas, and he is also a widower with two school age children. How could Alyson have guessed that when she couldn’t find a teaching job in Dallas, she would accept a position home schooling Quatro’s children and be paid a tremendous salary for doing it?
            City girl, Alyson, expects life on the huge Greene Ranch in South Texas to be idyllic. She will be living in Quatro’s home along with his children, his parents and his grandfather, and she visualizes a majestic mansion surrounded by well-tended gardens—a swimming pool and servants at her beckon call.
What she finds causes her to want to fly back to Dallas. Quatro and his family believe that modern technology corrupts. The rundown two-hundred year old dog-run house on the cover of Cinderella Texas is the Greene home. The house is without electricity and all necessities of normal American life.
Alyson tries to get out of her teaching contract, but it is unbreakable. How is she expected to teach modern children without a computer and a working telephone? And why is Quatro so handsome and yet so pig-headed? 
Cinderella Texas is available as an e-book and will be published in paperback later. To find it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble, write Molly Noble Bull in the search slot. Cinderella Texas is a lighthearted romance that will make you smile. Maybe it will even make you laugh.      

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

HELP! HURRICANE SANDY GOBBLED UP MY UPCOMING BOOK


WELL, ALMOST

DeAnna Dodson interviews me, Molly Noble Bull 

DeAnna: 
You have had several books published, Molly. Tell us just a bit about them. How are they alike?  How are they different?   Is there a common thread running through them?

Molly: 
I’ve always been known for writing what some call heartwarming Christian novels. One editor once wrote, “what makes Molly Noble Bull’s books different from some is the humor.” My long historical, Sanctuary, won the 2008 Gayle Wilson Award and tied for first place in the 2008 Winter Rose contest, both for published authors in the inspirational category.
Sanctuary was set in France in 1746 and is about the Huguenots, and it had a more serious tone. Yet even in that novel, there were light moments that I hope made my readers smile.
However, I wrote one book that was really different from what I normally write because it is true. The Overcomers: Christian Authors Who Conquered Learning Disabilities is a non-fiction book written by five published authors.


I wrote most of it, but one of the other four authors is Margaret Daley, current president of ACFW, American Christian Fiction Writers.
Yep, we all struggled with learning disabilities, especially in elementary school. I was dyslexic then and still am today. And yet with God’s help, all five of us overcame.
Speaking of dyslexia, I have a short story in the November 2012 issue of Christian Fiction Online Magazine titled D Is For Dyslexia about an almost twelve-year-old boy who is like me in many ways—except I’m female, of course. To find my short story, click onto the cover of Christian Fiction Online Magazine to the right of this article. Then on the main page, scroll down until you see Short Stories. My story, D Is For Dyslexia, is the second story on the list of two. Click where it says click to read it.

DeAnna: 
How is your new book Cinderella Texas different? What makes it particularly special to you?

Molly: 
What makes Cinderella Texas different is that the publication date was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy, the monster storm. Now I don’t know when Cinderella is coming out.
My book publisher moved to higher ground, and I don’t know when he will be able to return to his office. I don’t even have a copy of my cover yet. I’m sure I will always connect Cinderella Texas with Sandy, and that makes it special. However, when it finally is published, I hope it will make my readers smile, maybe even laugh.      

DeAnna: 
What do you like about writing romances? 

Molly: 
I love happy endings, and I have always loved fairy tales. In my opinion, romance novels are that and more. The more would be humor. I love to read and write funny stuff. I came by this genetically. My father had a dry wit that made me laugh, but on his bad days, he only made me smile. 

DeAnna: 
What are some of the challenges you faced in writing your new book?

Molly: 
The biggest challenge I had with Cinderella Texas and with all my books was polishing. I love to redo novels—look for another word, another sentence or another paragraph that will make it better. It’s hard for me to put my personal seal of approval on any of my books, sometimes almost causing a delay in sending out my final drafts to publishers. But of course, far the biggest challenge with Cinderella was getting it out there despite the storm.    

DeAnna: 
What, for you, is your heroine’s most endearing trait or quality?  Your hero’s?

Molly: 
As mentioned earlier, I am a dyslexic. I once thought I was the dumbest kid in the state of Texas, my home state. So I made Alyson, the heroine of Cinderella Texas, an honor student. Nevertheless, she is like me in many ways. One of those ways was that she is a klutz. The hero calls her accident-prone, and I think she’s funny. To me, Alyson’s vulnerability is her most endearing trait.
The hero has a dry wit—just like my dad. He is also a real cowboy just like my dad and my maternal grandfather. I like real men, and my husband is one. I also like cowboys. I disregarded the song that says, “Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys” when raising our three sons. All three are cowboys today. And our six grandchildren? Well, they are cowboys, too, only three of them are girls.        

DeAnna: 
Did you have to do much research for this book?

Molly: 
No. I didn’t have to do any research for The Overcomers. I merely told what happened from childhood on. I didn’t have to do research for Cinderella Texas either. As I said, my father and my maternal grandfather were ranch managers, real Texas cowboys. What I didn’t tell until now is that I spent part of my growing up years on a sixty thousand acre cattle ranch in Texas, and sometimes other writers of western fiction ask me for background information on ranches and cowboys.

DeAnna: 
How does your personal faith impact your fiction?

Molly: 
My born again Christian faith changed me for the good in every way possible. What was once a poor self-image, because of my learning disabilities, became a good one in the name of Jesus. How can I be a Losers? I am a child of the King of the Universe. How can I feel friendless or persecuted? If God be with me, who can be against me? The theme of The Overcomers is this. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

DeAnna: 
What are some of the ways you weave faith into your fiction?

Molly: 
God is responsible for every breath I take, and I cannot take even one more breath unless He wills it. So, weaving the Lord into my novels is easier than breathing.

DeAnna: 
Do you feel integrating faith helps or hinders your connection with your readers?

Molly: 
I write for a Christian blog called Commandment Keepers. So my Christian belief is available to anybody who does a search of my name on the Internet, and my Bible based Christian views might turn off some. However, my purpose for writing is not to tickle the ears or in this case, the eyes. My purpose is to make the Christian life real, perhaps punctuated by a smile.  

DeAnna: 
Has a reader ever told you how your fiction impacted them? Could you share that with us?

Molly: 
Some readers said my books made them smile, and that makes me happy. Others have said that my books made them think, and that makes me really happy.

DeAnna: 
Is there anything special you’d like readers to know about you and/or your books that I haven’t asked about?

Molly: 
If Jesus tarries and “the creek don’t rise,” Cinderella Texas is going to come out in paperback and as an e-book. When? I don’t know. But if you will return to Writers Rest from time to time, you will be one of the first to know. Again, here is that address. http://writersrest.blogspot.com 
And here is my web address. www.mollynoblebull.com    
My website hasn’t been updated lately, but that is on my “to do” list.
And finally, I love the Lord, and because of Him, I can also love everybody else. 
Please leave a comment. I like to hear from you.

UPDATE:
Since doing this interview with DeAnna Dodson, my publisher returned to his office, and Cinderella Texas will be published on November 15, 2012. More about Cinderella Texas late.
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DeAnna Dodson . . . Historical Fiction by DeAnna Julie Dodson

Also, writing as Julianna Deering, The Drew Farthering Mysteries:  Rules of Murder (Coming Summer 2013 from Bethany House)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do You Think You Have More Energy Than God?

Genesis 2:1b

In my “previous life” as a Christian counselor I specialized in working with over-achieving, perfectionist women who suffered from anxiety-based disorders. They were extraordinary, amazing people who’d accomplished much, but it was never enough. They often defined themselves by the goals they’d achieved, but somehow the achievement left them wanting. They believed rest was not for the weary—for certainly, they would have partaken. Rest was for the lazy.

Huh? Wouldn’t that mean God was lazy? After all, He rested on the seventh dayrest in the trees.

Of course they weren’t actually calling God lazy, but certainly they looked at His seventh-day activity as one of uselessness. But that can’t be. God is never useless.

So if God’s rest is not useless, neither is ours. Research on the brain shows there is much work being done while we sleep. Much of what we process about what we’ve learned through our waking hours happens at that time. Repair of wear and tear on our body is done at rest. Rest is so important God even built it into whole seasons. Wild animals hibernate and vegetation stops producing fruit for months out of the year. In fact, blueberry bushes will not produce fruit in the summer unless they have a certain amount of time below freezing in the winter. They need rest, too.

God not only commanded we rest on the seventh day, he also commanded farmers rest their fields for periods of time. I’m thinking rest is kind of important. 

So why is it we look at this “activity” with scorn? I think it’s pride. We want to show that we can do it all without our Creator’s help. He tells us to follow His commands—even to rest—and He will make things happen. Hard for an over-achiever to do, but that’s what surrender to His Will looks like.

So submit to God. And don’t forget to rest.

headshot1Connie is a 2012 Genesis semi-finalist for Women’s Fiction. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Winter 2012 WOW Flash Fiction Contest for her entry, Why Not to Kiss on a Park Bench (aka. Harold and Violet). Come visit her on one of her other blogs:

Living the Body of Christ

InfiniteCharacters.com

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Madily in Love by Lynda Lee Schab

Today I am happy to announce the release of MADILY IN LOVE, by Lynda Lee Schab. Lynda and I were roommates with Connie Almony at last year’s ACFW conference. Sharing Lynda’s success here at Writer’s Rest and letting you learn a little about her as a writer, friend and woman of faith is so exciting for me. MADILY IN LOVE is Lynda’s second book. The first MIND OVER MADI was a semi finalist in the 2011 ACFW Genesis contest and released to rave reviews. Congratulations, Lynda, on your writing successes and thanks for joining us at Writer’s Rest. First of all can you tell us what Madily in Love is about? Tell us a little about the plot. Madi McCall is just coming out of a marital rough patch (you’ll have to read Mind over Madi for that whole story) and she’s trying to get her marriage back on track. But that’s easier said than done, especially because her mother-in-law has moved in, Madi’s recently started working again after years of being a stay-at-home-mom, and her kids seem determined to do everything they can to turn her hair even grayer than it already is. Madi attends a Revitalize Your Marriage with Romance class at church and gets some great tips…that fail miserably. All she wants is some peace among the chaos. And some quality time with her husband would be nice, too. How is Madi’s battle with chocolate cravings and her addiction to computer Solitaire? Are those things still an issue for her or has she gotten a handle on them? Yes, well, as long as Madi is a woman (which I don’t see changing any time soon), chocolate will always be a battle. The Solitaire addiction doesn’t come up this time around. But there are a couple of other issues that definitely require Madi to continue her counseling sessions with Sarah Price. Your publisher tagged this series as “Delightful. Witty. Entertaining. Real. Poignant. Light-hearted Women’s Fiction at its best.” Can you expand on that at all? How does the Madi Series live up to this description? While I certainly hope my stories are delightful, witty, entertaining, and poignant, the word in that description which I feel is most fitting of this series is, “real.” Women can relate to Madi because she battles with the same things we all do. No, not just chocolate, although that’s one of them! Madi has insecurities that affect her relationships – with her husband, her kids, her mother, her best friend, and God. If there’s one thing I know is that we all have “stuff.” Maybe not exactly the same stuff as everyone else, but “stuff,” nonetheless. Madi helps us realize there are others out there who probably deal with their issues just as poorly as we do sometimes. But God’s grace is enough to cover our insecurities, our faults, and weaknesses, even when we mess up and our lives feel insanely out-of-control. What do you want readers to take away from reading Madily in Love? Although this book has to do with the importance (and fun) of adding romance to marriage, the main thing I hope readers can take away is that even though life seems unmanageable, disorderly, and chaotic, God is always in control. One of the recurring phrases throughout the book—as mentioned by Madi’s counselor—is “Embrace this place.” In other words, no matter what you’re going through, recognize that it won’t last forever. And down the road, you might just look back and see just how that “unbearable” season was essential in moving you to a place of growth and necessary change. Are you planning another book? If so, what is the story? I am currently working on the 3rd and final book in the Madi series, due out in the fall of 2013. It’s titled, Sylvie & Gold. Madi’s best friend Sylvie is preparing for her wedding (and if you’ve read Mind over Madi, you know who she’s marrying). With just a few weeks before the wedding, Sylvie is dealing with a lot: Her meddling and feisty soon-to-be mother-in-law, her son’s sexting issue, planning her mom’s sixtieth birthday party, and her fiance’s ex-wife, who has come back to town after a seven-year absence. Sylvie is normally pretty calm and collected. But her stress card is quickly getting maxed out. The question is whether she’ll completely lose her cool or find the happily-ever-after she longs for. Thanks so much, Lynda, for visiting here at Writer’s Rest & sharing with us about Madi. I think you told me you’re offering a 30% discount thru November 15th on your website and blog. Can you tell readers how to take advantage of that & how to connect with you? Sure, Teresa. Readers can visit my website address at www.lyndaschab.com for details. I also have a blog with various writing and reading-related material at www.on-the-write-track.blogspot.com. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. A little more about Lynda: Lynda Lee Schab got her writing start in greeting cards (Blue Mountain Arts, Dayspring) and from there went on to write articles and short stories (Mature Living, Christian Home & School) and in many places online (including www.Examiner.com and www.wow-womenonwriting.com). As a freelance writer, she works behind the scenes at FaithWriters.com and is a regular book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com. She is also the Grand Rapids Christian Fiction Examiner and the National Writing Examiner for Examiner.com and a staff writer for www.SharedSorrows.com. Mind Over Madi placed second in the 2008 ACFW Genesis contest, chick lit category, received a highly commended award in the FaithWriters Page Turner contest, and was a finalist in the 2007 RWA Get your Stiletto in the Door contest. Madily in Love was a semi-finalist in the 2011 ACFW Genesis contest. Lynda admits she has a lot in common with the character of Madi. Not only are they both addicted to ice cream, chocolate, and computer games, they struggle with the same types of insecurities and continually require a hefty dose of God’s grace. Lynda lives with her husband, Rob, and two teenagers in Michigan.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Evolution. Where Did It Come From?

by Molly Noble Bull


A theory is merely a speculation,
according to Webster's Illustrated Contemporary  Dictionary,
and Charles Darwin is the father of the theory of evolution.
But is he right?
Did we evolve? Were we once monkeys? Fish-like mammals? One cell animals?
Or were we made in the image of God the Father as the Bible says?
It boils down to whether or not you believe the one, true and Living God via the Holy Bible or you believe a dead-man named Darwin with a theory.
David Rives had filmed a series of videos that discuss evolution and other somewhat related topics.
Below is the first one of these short videos.
I hope you will find it as interested as I do.

David Rives Video 1

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The November issue of Christian Fiction Online Magazine features my short, short story, D Is For Dyslexia.
Scroll down on the right hand side of the screen to find the magazine and click on the cover. Then on the main page, scroll down until you see the list of current short stories and D Is For Dyslexia.
Please leave a comment either regarding the video or the short story. We want to hear from you.




Saturday, October 27, 2012

DONE ANY WRESTLING LATELY?


Tips for October 31st

By Molly Noble Bull



I always think of wrestling and boxing as guy things. In most cases, women fight with the tongue in the form of gossip and spiteful acts. All these are examples of man against man or woman against woman. But according to the scriptures, our fellow humans are not our enemy.
Then who is?
Click onto this video and turn on the sound to find out. 
The Bible says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.
But who are these principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness? And what about spiritual wickedness in high places? Are we talking about people or otherworldly beings?
Beings, in my opinion. Can you spell demons? 
Currently, spiritual warfare is making a comeback. Many Christians fight demons daily in the name of Jesus.
Others don’t believe demons exist, accepting the world’s view that demons are harmless mythical characters with batwings, horns and pointed tails or ghosts and goblins. Not only do they refuse to believe that demons are real as the Bible plainly states, they honor these beasts on their high holy day by decorating their homes with pumpkin-heads and portraits of skeletons, witches and other Halloween symbols. If that was not bad enough, they dress their children in costumes depicting the very powers and principalities the Bible warns against.
It has come to my attention that some Christians are able to actually see these demon spirits—often when they close their eyes at night in hopes of going to sleep. One person reported that at first glance they look like ordinary people you might see in the course of ones everyday life—on the street, at Wal Mart, anywhere. Yet if those seeing these other worldly beings delay in rebuking them, the beings slowly change. Instead of looking like ordinary people, they melt into the demons they actually are—much like in a horror movie.
True Christians don’t engage in a wrestling match with other humans. They rebuke Satan and his fallen angels and demons in the name of Jesus Christ. 
The name Jesus is powerful in the spiritual world. When demons hear that name, Jesus, they flee.
Instead of celebrating the demon’s high holy day this year in shades of orange and black, pray against them in the name of God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ—our Lord, Savior and King. 
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Please leave a comment. We want to hear from you.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

An Interview with Eddie Jones, Author of Dead Man’s Hand

 

eddie-jones-500I’d like to welcome Eddie Jones to Writer’s Rest, today. Eddie is the author of eleven books and over 100 articles. He also serves as Acquisition Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He is a three-time winner of the Delaware Christian Writers' Conference, and his YA novel, The Curse of Captain LaFoote, won the 2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Award and 2011 Selah Award in Young Adult Fiction. He is also a writing instructor and cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries. His “He Said, She Said” devotional column appears on ChristianDevotions.US. His humorous romantic suspense, Bahama Breeze remains a "blessed seller." When he's not writing or teaching at writers' conferences, Eddie can be found surfing in Costa Rica or some other tropical locale.

Tell us about your upcoming release, Dead Man's Hand, with Zondervan.

First, it’s a fun, fast read aimed for middle school boys, but we’re also getting nice reviews on Goodreads from teachers and mothers. But my aim is to give boys a book they can enjoy, one taps into today’s fascination with the occult. This is the first book in the Caden Chronicles series and each story involves one element of the supernatural. Book one explores the concept of ghosts, spirits and what deadmanshandhappens to our souls when we die.

Zonderkids is a Christian publisher, so the paranormal aspect is surprising.

I added the paranormal aspect because I want parents and youth to struggle with eternal questions. We’ve created such a culture of blood-letting through books and movies involving vampires, zombies and survival contests, that the reality of death doesn’t carry the sting it once did. In high school my youngest son lost several friends to driving accidents. When another friend recently died, we asked how he felt and he replied, “I’m numb to it.” I fear that’s what we’re doing with our youth: desensitizing them to the horrors of death. In Dead Man’s Hand, Nick and his family discuss spirits and ghosts and the afterlife because I think it’s important for teens to wrestle with these questions before they’re tossed from a car and found dead on a slab of wet pavement.

You've spent the last few years dedicating yourself to helping others get published. Tell us a little about your publishing company and what motivated you to take on such a huge endeavor.

We started the publishing arm to publish devotional compilations for Christian Devotions Ministries. We wanted to give some of our devotional writers their own byline in print. Part of mission is to launch new careers for first time authors. We wanted to create a publishing house where writers who were happy selling from 2,000, to 5,000 copies of their devotional book. There is a big jump from unpublished author to “three-book contract” author and we wanted to serve as a stepping-stone for those writers.

My problem is I hate telling people no, especially when they have a solid project. When it comes time to reject a manuscript, it pains me because I’ve been and continue to be on the other end of rejection. I will delay saying no as long as I can in order to rework the e-mail. I try to give authors good advice for how they can improve their writing. The problem is, if I’m too nice, then they keep coming back and asking to resubmit the same project. My advice to those authors is, improve your writing and send me something new.

We currently have forty authors under contract, have published over thirty books and distribute around four thousand dollars a month in royalty checks. We pay our authors monthly, not quarterly, because we want them to feel like writing is a real job. In fact, I teach a class on how, if an author will write five books a year, they can make over twenty-five thousand dollars. And these are large books. Most are under thirty thousand words. The goal is to have five books that sell 125 copies, (print and ebook combined). a month.

I get jazzed when one of our books launches or sells well. I know what it feels like to see your book growing legs and garnering positive reviews so I get excited for our authors. Sometimes I think that’s how God feels when we’re doing the thing He’s called us to do. When we’re in our zone, doing the thing we love, we feel His joy. That’s what is great about working for God: sometimes you get paid for playing.

But the only reason I’m able to publish books and write full time is because four years ago I told God I’d work for Him full time. I figure if I was working for God I’d never be out of work. I may not make a lot of money, but he says there’s plenty of work and not enough laborers, so to me, that meant job security. I took a blank sheet of paper and signed it one day during my devotions and said, ‘Okay, God, I’ll do whatever it is you ask me to do, because I’m tired of working for other people. I want to work for You.’ Making up stories for boys, writing devotions, creating humorous romantic novels for adults, I get to do all this plus make dreams come true for other authors all because I agreed to work for God full time.

You're passionate about getting boys interested in books. Why do you feel it's so important to get boys reading fiction at an early age?

I fear we’re on the verge of losing the male reader. I don’t mean men and boys won’t learn to read: they will. But the percentage of males who read for leisure continues to shrink and this could be devastating for our country. We can’t lose half our population and expect America to compete on a global level. Reading forces the mind to create. With video the scene and characters are received passively by the brain. There is very little interaction; it’s all virtual stimulation, which is different from creation. When you read, you add your furniture to the scene, dress the characters, add elements not mentioned by the author. This is why readers so often complain, “the movie was nothing like the book.” It’s not, because the book is your book. The author crafted the outline of the set but each reader brings their emotions and expectations to that book, changing it forever.

In general, boys would rather get their information and entertainment visually. This is one reason books have such a tough time competing for male readers. It can take weeks to read a book, even one as short as Dead Man’s Hand. Meantime, that same story can be shown as a movie in under two hours. So in one sense the allure of visual gratification is robbing future generations of our ability to solve problems. I believe Americans only posses one true gift, creativity, and it’s a gift from God. Other nations build things cheaper and with fewer flaws. They work longer hours for less pay. But the thing that has always set America apart is our Yankee ingenuity. We have always been able to solve our way out of problems. That comes directly from our ability to create solutions to problems we didn’t anticipate. If we lose male readers and fail to develop those creative connections necessary for the brain to conceive of alternatives, then we will lose our position as the world’s leader.

What advice would you offer to parents to get their children interested in reading at a young age?

Watch for clues. If your child shows any interest in reading, reward the activity with trips to book fairs. I remember in grade school how excited I got when we were allowed to order books. All we had to do was check a box, (or so I thought), and wham! A few weeks later boxes of books showed up and the teacher began dealing them to the students. I didn’t learn until later my parents had mailed the school money for those books. I still have most of them.

footballBut not all children like reading and you can create an anti-reading environment if you push too hard. An alternative for boys are comic books, graphic novels, or simply cartoon books. I read a lot of Charlie Brown cartoon books and still remember the plot: Lucy has the football. Charlie wants to kick the ball. Lucy promises she will hold the ball in place but at the last moment… We know this story because it’s repeated, not in a novel, but in a cartoon.

Okay, we're going to be really nosey now, you've been married a long time. Tells us a little about your family, how you and your wife met and your family.

I met my wife at a stoplight in West Palm Beach, Florida. She was in the backseat of the car behind us. The driver honked and I crawled out the passenger window, a brown Pinto. The door didn’t work so it looked like I was a NASCAR driver getting out on pit road. The car behind us was full of girls from Meredith College. They asked where I went to college and I told them I went to Meredith, too. "It's a girl's school, you dork," one of them said. I told them I was taking Old Testament that semester, can’t remember the professor’s name, now, and one of the girls yelled, "Hey! You're in my class!” I explained when been surfing all day and didn’t have a place to stay and needed to hose off and asked if we could borrow their showers. They led us back to their hotel, my buddy and I washed off and left. Driving home a week later we came upon the same car in the slow lane of I-95. The girls were afraid we’d fall asleep driving home, my buddy couldn’t drive at night, so they agreed to put one girl in the car to keep us company. She’d get in, tell her life story and at the end of the hour, another would get in the car. Our last passenger was this cute girl wearing a funny Gilligan hat. She never said a word, not for the whole hour. We put her out, the girls drove off and I finally got home, exhausted. The next week I invited that shy girl to a Warren Zevon concert. Four years later, I married her.

You've freelanced writing newspaper columns for the last few decades on boating. Do you have an interesting boating story you can share?

All my boating stories are interesting. I collected the columns into two books, Hard Aground and Hard Aground… Again. The column began in the late eighties when an editor read a couple of essays I'd written about trying sail a boat with my wife. He seemed genuinely amused someone of my limited boating experience would think a woman of my wife's refined nature would enjoy peeing in a bucket in the cockpit of small sailboat. He informed me that I had correctly spelled the minimum number of words to meet his editorial standards and since someone on the staff had mistakenly sold one ad too many for the next issue, the publication was in need of some copy to balance out that page. I didn't know this at the time. I thought he was genuinely impressed with my writing abilities. I've been told I still suffer from this delusion."

The editor told me the column needed a catchy name. I purchased a few sailing publications and knew all boating columnist were subject matter experts. The only thing I was an expert on was running off the boat ramp, running aground on clearly marked shoals and running into the dock. I decided I would become an expert on making the best of tough times. When you run aground in a boat – in life - you have two choices. You can cuss and complain or you can grab a good book, kick back and wait for the tide to float you off. It's all a matter of perspective and pennies and I'm cheap so I usually wait for the tide.

Tell us about your ministry, Christian Devotions. How it got started, what you all are up to these days and what your plans are for the future.

Cindy Sproles and I started the ministry years ago to help authors publish their devotions. We’d go to writers’ conferences and on the last day find all these writers in tears because no one wanted their work. I had a web business and knew how to build web sites so I put up a home page and invited contributing writers. We figured we could at least give new writers a byline, even if it was only on the web. Cindy had been writing devotions every day for two years, partly because of something Alton Gansky said at a Blue Ridge Conference and partly as a commitment to God. The odd thing was, Cindy I didn’t know each other at that first conference but we both wrote down Al’s words. It was like God spoke to each of us separately to work together. Weeks after that conference I was under my willow tree doing my devotion when I heard God whisper: ChristianDevotions.com. I meant to register the domain but by the time I got to my upstairs office, I forgot. A few weeks later God spoke again. Once more, I forgot. Few more weeks past and this time I wrote it down in my journal and marched upstairs only to find that ChristianDevotions.com was taken. I registered ChristianDevotions.US, instead. The dot com domain is worth over ten thousand dollars, now. Procrastination has a price.

For months Cindy and I were the only writers on the site, then slowly God grew the readership. Now we have thousands of readers, a ton of subscribers who get the devotions daily in their email and Kindle subscribers who receive the daily devotion on their Kindle eReader (99 cents a month). We have a teen’s ministry, iBeGat.com, kid’s web site, DevoKids.com and last year we purchased InspireAFire.com. That’s our mission-oriented web site. We have a radio ministry, prayer team, finances ministry and of course the book publishing. We didn’t set out with a marketing plan to do what we’re doing. We simply responded to a need in the marketplace, walked the mountain with God and asked how we could help. Find a need and fill it.

What's one thing you wish I wouldn't ask you and pretend I asked you that question.

How I became a writer. I started my sophomore year of high school when I told my English teacher I wanted to write for Cat Talk, Millbrook High School’s newspaper. Mrs. Hough said, “Eddie, you can't spell and you’re a terrible grammarian.” But I wrote a couple of articles, and she seemed to like the way I could put words together, so I won a spot on staff. My senior year Mrs. Pollard begged me not to major in English. In fact, she was shocked I would even consider going to college red tiebecause I’d never be accepted. She was right. NC State rejected my application. A few days later I made an appointment with the admissions office. The day of my interview I wore a pair of red and white checkered polyester pants my mom made me, white shirt and a red tie. State admitted me into Industrial Arts, which I thought would be pretty cool since I thought Industrial Arts meant I’d get to paint buildings. I flunked English 101 twice before passing with a D. I graduated from N.C. State four years later with a degree in English/Journalism and four years of writing experience for the Technician. I’m still a lousy proof-editor but I learned long ago storytelling trumps grammar.

You're writing for children right now with Zondervan. Besides the upcoming Cadence Chronicles Series, what are your dreams for your writing future?

Each day I walk around my yard reciting the Lord’s Prayer. This is my conversational time with God. Part of that prayer time is me putting on the armor of God. When I’m about halfway fitted out I say, “Lord place across my chest your breastplate of righteousness that my thought may be pure, honorable and good and my dreams secure: my dreams of sailing around the Caribbean, writing a best selling novel and surfing reef breaks.” Beyond that I don’t have any grand writing goals.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Write devotions, don’t focus on the praise, book sales and reviews. surfingForget about trying to find an agent and editor. Once you’re successful, they’ll find you. Explore the wounds in your life and minister to others through your writing. If God allowed you to be hurt, you can speak to that with authority. The rest of us, cannot. Ask yourself where your passions lie. I love surfing. If I could do anything, be anywhere, I’d be in a hut on a beach surfing a point break alone. I love playing and hate work. This is reflected in the types of books I write. I love pulling for the underdog, this comes out in the ministry God gave me. Only you can write the stories God dropped in your lap and if you do not, they will die.

Where can we find out more about you?

Please come find me on www.Eddiejones.org

Thanks so much, Eddie!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

What your cell phone says about you

Cell phones. Smart phones. It’s hard to remember the days—a few years ago, really—when we fumbled through our busy lives without phones equipped with alarms and calendars and global positioning devices. They do so much for us. They say a lot about us too. I recently read about a guy at MIT who gave out 100 free mobile phones for a PhD project and then charted them over the next few months to examine how they were used and what the data revealed about the users. He did not listen to the calls. He only wanted the numbers, duration, time of day and location of calls. You probably know your cell phone works off towers and those signals ping off of other towers at an alarming speed as we move around the planet. You can’t go anywhere with your phone on that can’t be tracked later by an enterprising investigator. We seldom think about the information our cell phones record. By the end of the MIT study, the data revealed what time the phone users woke in the mornings, where they worked, where they shopped, what they bought, their best friends, vacation destination, favorite restaurants and hobbies. That made me wonder—coz I’m a writer and we wonder about stuff the rest of the world doesn’t care about—what would happen if I became the focus of a criminal investigation. What would my phone say about me? What would authorities discover that might help build a case against me? Here are my top three. 1. I spend a lot of time on the highway between Pike, Jackson, and Meigs Counties in southeast Ohio. Lots of places to dispose of evidence on those windy, hilly back roads and byways, btw. 2. I use that time to catch up on phone calls, mostly to my mother. 3. I never forward friends’ emails, even if said emails guarantee untold wealth and worldwide fame, and I delete the same friends’ pics of their grandkids without even looking at them. Now it’s your turn. What three things would your phone reveal should you turn to a life of crime?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THE ULTIMATE SURVIVAL MANUAL


333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive

A Book by Rich Johnson and the Editors of Outdoor Life


Reviewed by Molly Noble Bull


I don’t study the Mayan calendar to learn the future of planet earth nor do I look to other sources for that kind of information. I read the Bible and try my best to follow the teachings found in it, and the Holy Bible has a lot to say about the future of mankind as well as the future of the planet.
However on the physical level, there are lists of things to do that could keep a person alive during dangerous times and ways to prepare for whatever disasters might come. A good example of this is found in the pages of The Ultimate Survival Manual
Do you know how to survive in the wilderness? 
Do you know how to prepare for a coming disaster?
Do you know what to do to save yourself and your family after a disaster hits?
And what about urban disasters like terrorism or a nuclear attack? 
What should you do and when should you do it?
When should you prepare?
I cannot give you all 333 survival skills in this short article, but I can tell you that if you buy and read The Ultimate Survival Manual you will have a better chance of getting through it than if you don’t. And if you do the things suggested in the manual, you will have an even better chance.