What is an author? Someone who creates with words.
Who is more creative with words than children? Encourage your child to write and be creative with their words. You never know, there may be a prodigy awaiting your encouragement. If they are artistic, support them with classes. Have you even fathomed what a good artist brings in today? Children can be authors and artists too!
I am so much like the movie, You've Got Mail. I love books. More importantly, I love bookstores. I remember going to various ones every weekend as a child. It was a family outing for us. I got a new book every weekend. We'd spend hours browsing through books because my mom so desired to be an author. Bookstores became a huge part of my life.
Now with online giants like Amazon selling books at deep discounts, the chains are even suffering, let alone the small independents that has all the history and knowledge. I encourage you to stop by your bookstore today and support them with a purchase of at least $20, even if you are sacrificing your Starbuck's money.
There are varying thoughts on Amazon's Kindle reader.
I personally love it. It's as easy on the eyes as a regular book versus the harshness of most backlit electronic devices. If you have the extra hundreds lying around, then invest in one, particularly if you are a veracious reader like I am.
When you write as an author, think about who will read it. Think about what it says to them today and what it will say to them in the future. Think about whether it is something you'd want your child to read or live by. You have the power, the power of the pen. Wield it wisely.
When I was growing up, my parents made me read. I had to bring my work home from school and complete every bit of it. When it came to those dull stories in those thick literature books, I hated to do them. Even so, mom made me read them until they spoke to me through my prejudice. I wanted something exciting and fun, not dull and lifeless as I assumed most of these stories were.
Now, I see children who tell me they've never completed even one book. Children now go online and get cliff notes, etc to complete their literature assignments. They'd rather do iPods and iPhones, but not books. It's a tragedy if we allow this to happen.
Books must survive this digital age, else will we lose a major part of our history and culture. Whether print or digital books, our children should be made to read. Reading expands the imagination, broadens horizons and can shape and mold good character. Don't allow books to die. Even if you don't care to read, make book purchases a part of your monthly budget and reading a part of your weekly schedule. Do it for the sake of a culture that is trying to sweep our children into a whirlwind of lifeless living.
I'm very happy to announce my interview with Lacresha Hayes, a publishing, pastoring, grantwriting, parenting, social reform maven. This woman is so anointed and special. I enjoy any chance I get to be a blessing to her. I think you'll find this interview to be a very special one.
Me: Hi, Lacresha. I'm glad you brought your tour to my blog. Give us an overview of your book.
L.H: Thanks, Kim. Raw Redemption is my first work of Christian fiction and it deals with issues of family secrets, incest and abuse, insecurities, fears and eventual healing and happiness. It deals with the issues of the heart. Since it has been on the market, several people have mentioned that I should do a Johansson family saga of books.
Me: In the book, Cheyenne has to overcoming losing both parents. She is molested by a wealthy but psychotic uncle. She goes through a bad marriage. She ends up pregnant. Are those the major themes of the book?
L.H: No. Actually, those are more like the issues she has to overcome. The primary theme is healing. I chose the death of the parents and molestation by an uncle as trials because those are some of the worst imaginable situations. Cheyenne beat them in the end, which is to signify that people can overcome any challenge with faith. Divorce is common place, and so is accidental pregnancies. I wanted her to be a real person and thus these trials made her someone anyone could relate to.
Me: This book has some highly sensationalized parts. What was the purpose in that?
L.H: When I read, I read for knowledge or entertainment. I knew I needed some pieces that were not as common and not as likely to happen to most people. Therefore, I used her inheritance and the family's secrets to make the book more entertaining without losing it's believable factor. Who doesn't want to dream? That's why I used what I used.
Me: Who do you think will enjoy this book most?
L.H: Young women, definitely, though there is much in there to attract men too. It's not for children.
Me: Do you have any other writing in the works?
L.H: Definitely! I have finished The Snare of a Strange Woman and Black Dakota is being edited. Snare is about the perils of sexual infidelity and is mostly aimed at ministers and leaders. Black Dakota is another work of fiction and is a Christian thriller. I look forward to both of these books hitting shelves before Christmas. I'm also writing and editing my entrepreneur series of books. I'm not sure any of them will see the market this year, though. I'll have to keep you all posted.
Me: Can you give us further contact info and purchasing information?
You may purchase discounted copies of my books on my Truth and Intimacy blog in the right sidebar from the pull down list. I'm in the process of adding buy links on my website. You can also order via Amazon or BN, Powell's and anywhere else books are sold.
Okay, so we all know that those are the powerhouses of online book sales. Seems BN is trying to compete with Amazon, but there's no stopping the super power. Amazon has a hand in publishing, distribution, printing, and secondary sales sources. There's books, downloads and movies. There's jewelry, electronics, and much more.
I've honestly began buying most of my books through Powell's and Diesel for my ebooks. However, I find myself on Amazon's website daily while BN is rarely ever a stop for me. How about you? Which do you prefer?
Most people have an imagination. Most of us can sit down and tell a story. Writing a story is not as easy, but with modern technology, even the worst writers can find themselves in print with a bestseller. With the popularity of ghostwriters increasing, many people are getting to see their names on the cover of a professionally published book.
Over the past two weeks, I've been outlining and brainstorming. I want to begin writing short stories to feature right here on my blog. I will keep everyone updated as I work on releasing my inner story. In the mean while, maybe you should consider what muse lives inside of you.
Just yesterday, I finally received my Michelle Sutton book, It's Not About Me. I ordered her book after she came highly recommended by several members of our book club. While I haven't finished it yet, I'm very pleased to say I have researched her and am very impressed with what I see.
Christian fiction is a booming genre, but often not appreciated as much as it should be. It can be just as effective at lessons and is often more effective at witnessing. Michelle's fiction has been talked about all over Goodreads and LibraryThing, as well as several Ning groups. If you haven't read her work, I suggest you grab up a copy and start reading.
John Hyde is the kind of man that inspires nations and generations with his integrity to Christ. I've read his book, What's the Problem with Jesus?, and I can tell you that he has truly tapped into some of the most challenging questions that hinder people from coming to Christ. Please, take your time to read and respond to this interview. This one is powerful!
1. John, could you tell my readers a bit about yourself?
I'm on the downhill side of life, most likely, unless I live to 120, then I'm halfway there! I experienced a severe attack from a deer over 3 years ago that almost took my life, 19 wounds, legs and arms pierced completely through, chest ripped open, holes everywhere. I have not and will not fully recover. But, it started me on another tangent to life.
I graduated from Texas A&M in 1972, taught Vo. Ag. a bit, then with to the Air Force, where I flew for six years. I completed my service, and shortly thereafter, God called me into the Christian Camping ministry, where I've been for nearly 30 years now. I'm serving in my fifth camp, been here 13 years, and have built most of it from scratch myself. The first year it was opened, 450 attended. Last year, 8500 came through. I am the only staff, but am praying that will soon change.
I have seen thousands of kids (and many adults) come to Christ while at camp. The atmosphere is truly unique. You are separated from the world for a while, no distractions, surrounded by friends who love God, and when the mix of music, worship, teaching, fun all comes together, lives are changed.
I hope to make just a few more years to get this camp, Messiah's Ranch Christian Camp, up to a certain point. Right now, I am constructing a new dining hall and kitchen. It will have a school bus within it as a mini-diner, a tree or two, cascading waterfall, whatever else I dream up.
My wife, Lydia, and I have been married 35 years, we have four grown children from 19 to 32, two grand daughters, 4 and 2. My wife is very involved as events planner for the Chancellor of the Texas A&M System.
2. What is your writing inspiration? And, how has your life experiences enhanced it?
My father always wanted to write, dabbled with it a bit, wrote many short stories, but could never quite take the step of trying to get something published. I determined years ago that I would write "someday", and would follow through. That "someday" came as I was healing from the attack, thinking about how precious and short life is, and how I could somehow sum up all I live for and thereby inspire others to seek the truth of Jesus Christ. My many experiences in life will serve me well as I write, hopefully, much more. In fact, there have been many brushes with death, but the deer was by far the most severe. Out of those close calls, I have come to understand well how God indwells us and sees us through.
3. Tell us about What's the Problem with Jesus.
I wrote What's The Problem With Jesus? in an effort to simplify the gospel as much as possible, and to appeal to the millions of empty hearts that have perhaps flirted with the idea of following Christ, but always seem to come up with some kind of excuse so as not to. And, there is so much misunderstanding about who Jesus really is and what His mission was while He was here. We're not much different than the people who were with Christ, yet rejected Him. I wrote the book in a conversational, almost in-your-face style, yet gentle enough so as not to scare the reader off. The idea was to confront the reader with their need to make their choice now while there was still time.
4. What do you think readers will gain from reading this book?
Hopefully, readers will gain eternal life after reading the book. That's the main objective, I think, of any writing that attempts to point people to Christ, wouldn't you think? I know that we live in very challenging times. I have seen such a decline in our country over my short life. People are searching for answers and coming up empty. The answers are right in front of them, but they choose not to see. Generally, a major crisis in one's life will eventually drive someone to come to terms with their mortality. I want them to experience the fullness of life all along the way after they have made that step of following Christ. I hope the book will inspire Christians to give it to their lost friends. I've already seen that the book has confronted a few Christians with what they thought they believed. As I said, I tried to make it so simple that the message is impossible to miss.
5. Are there any other literary works coming up in the near future?
I have many books swimming in my head, all waiting for me to sit down and get started. The demands of running a camp alone are much more daunting than anyone could possibly understand, so time to write is scarce. If I can ever find the right help at camp, I can write more. My next book will likely be about the Church, Lord knows how messed up it has become and is the reason so many people won't accept Jesus. Then I will likely start one that is staunchly about life, directed at those who accept abortion as no big deal. The rest I will save for now, but I think there are about 8 books at the moment.
6. What advice do you have for other authors?
Advice for other authors? Like I know a lot about being one?? Well, mostly I would say that people need the truth more than ever. Fiction and fantasy reading is ok to pass the time, but does it change one's heart? That's all I want to do is point people to the One who will change their hearts forever. I used to read a great deal in my early Christian years, seeking to grow into a mature Christian. The older I get, the more I realize I don't yet know. The mysteries of God are unfathomable, but worthy of our pursuit.
7. Please give us purchasing information.
The book is currently at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, a few other places I'm not sure of. It came out in January, I am learning how to market it, and it's not easy when you are not an established author. But I did notice recently that the book went from something like 1,655,000th place on Amazon to 840,000. But maybe that's because I purchased 50 books to give away in marketing efforts.... I don't believe it is in any stores yet as it may be print-on-demand. I long to see it there some day soon!
I can't stand to get those books that are mostly propaganda. It irks my spirit and frustrates me to no end. It seems that some reviewers are actually fooled by these books and ascribe the title literature to them. It's nonsense and dangerous to our children's young, developing minds.
I actually read a book whose title I can't remember. The entire book was about why children should be allowed to have public fits and tantrums. The book was about self-expression. But, at the heart of the book was the idea of discipline. The propaganda was that children who are allowed to be themselves without too much parental restraint grow up to be more independent and more useful to society. I wanted to ask the author, "In what world?"
Please take time to read books your children are reading so that you can address silly teaching and the propaganda that they will undoubtedly bump into in this literary society called New York Times reviews. You review books for your own family. Just because some big wig gives a glowing review does not mean that the ideas expressed would meet your approval.
While The Shack has met with many mixed reviews, the general consensus is that the book is pretty good. I finally got around to reading it and enjoyed every moment of it.
I think the weaker points of this book were the storyline could have been better developed, and the ending could have been better. Still, even with those issues, the book is worth a read and I think Christians should make a good faith effort to get a copy from the library or bookstore and read it.
I've read The Purpose Driven Life about five times now. I'm a big fan of Rick Warren material, even with his issues.
We recently did this book again at church in the new membership class. I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially the feedback from some of the new Christians. This book comes highly recommended by tons of pastors and I add my recommendation to theirs. This is a great starting and finishing place for believers.
Over the past three weeks, Tonya over at Living Waters Publishing Company has been constantly pestering me about actually sitting down and reading this book as soon as possible. I had so many others that I wanted to get into, but decided to see what all the fuss was about.
This book really put me on my toes. First of all, let's just say that the author didn't pull any punches. The book is straight-forward, common sense, logic about the truth behind this new age movement away from Jesus Christ. The theme throughout the entire book is basically a comparison with what we hold acceptable to what we find unacceptable about Jesus Christ. I passed the book along to another reviewer, hoping that I can do my part to spread the Word about probably one of the top ten books I've read in the past four years.
I wouldn't hesitate to get over to Amazon and order it now if I were you. I promise you an excellent read that will excite you and reignite your fire for Christ.
I love Colorado. I love the snow, the fairly mild summers. I love everything about this state, and particularly Denver. Still, in all the time I've been here, I couldn't find any reading groups. I searched high and low. Just when I'd given up hope, I got in on one that had become practically dormant over the last few years.
Last week, a new reader's group started at my church. It's called Eden's Reading Women. I love it. We've already met twice and most of us call each other daily just to see what's been read and if it had any biblical significance. If you're in the Denver area, check us out. Hopefully, we'll have a website soon. Praise the Lord for this wonderful gift!
Seems everyone is talking about Twilight. To my astonishment, some of my church sisters are even applauding the books. Of course, I refuse to actually purchase the books. I am very careful about where I put my money, but curiosity got the better of me and so I borrowed a copy from one of my sisters.
Now, the books are tintillating. Obviously, they would be. They are constantly ranking on the bestseller lists everywhere. Still, I was disturbed to know that my sisters that I pray and fellowship with at church every Sunday were not disturbed by the contents of the books. At some point, we have to make a stand. Of course, the book was entertaining, but there was a ton in it that was contrary to Christian standards, like most books in that particular genre. I don't fault the world for reading what they find entertaining. However, I do wonder how most Christians can stand firm against certain things, but then watch it and enjoy it in movies, books and magazines. I'm just wondering and looking at myself at the same time.
The hard times of today's reality is working its magic. People are starting to seek help for depression and addictive behaviors at alarming rates. Alcoholism is often overlooked for other more destructive drugs, but it is still around and is as dangerous as ever. If you're having problems with alcoholism or know someone who is, here are some wonderful books to give:
No More Letting Go by Debra Jay Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp Different Roads by Joyce Scarbrough Marriage on the Rocks by Janet Geringer Woititz
Though I've never read Chronicles of Narnia, I have the movies. I'm very impressed with them and plan to read the books eventually. The other day, I stumbled upon a group debating Christian Sci-fi and decided to join in. Needless to say, some felt that Christian material should be nonfiction only. Some debate that making up a lie (novel, etc) to represent Christ is an oxymoron. To those people, I say you're missing the point. Christians have a right to read both fiction and nonfiction without it taking them away from their beliefs. Therefore, I'm all for Christian genres expanding. In fact, I'm an avid reader of Christian Romance. Keep writing and hopefully we'll have more C.S. Lewis' pop up somewhere with spectacular stuff!
I was nearly thrown aback by the cover. Luckily, I read over the synopsis first. Leigh Laurence, the syndicated relationship article writer, has now moved further out in the water into books. I got this download, Uncommitment: Dealing with a Predator, only two days ago. I was absolutely stunned by how deeply spiritual this book was without even mentioning spirituality much.
Leigh is a Christian, I found out, but she doesn't use it in her writing much. So, this book is really a treat. She pulled off a crossover book her first time out the gate. No easy feat!
When I first heard of Chaplain Dan, it was through a group we're both a part of ~ FCW. I was delighted by his news of having a publication contract.
Chaplain Dan has written several bible studies and some poetry journals, all due out this year. What's amazing about this author is his level of sacrifice. He lost his wife not long ago, but there's not even a hint of sadness about him. He's the picture of a man, a Christian, a Christian man and an author.