Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Sometimes Amazon reviews of your book make you want to cry. Sometimes they make you smile. This one made my day. It described my book better than I could. I wanted to share it with my followers. I also would like to give away a print copy of my book, The Big Debate to say thanks to my readers.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog post. I will randomly choose the winner next Wednesday, June 5. Make sure you leave me an email address or a way to contact you if you are my winner.
Frank's book, The Literary Loom, warms a place in my heart as one of the best Young Adult novels capable of steering youth on a course to knowing whether or not God lives. Two well-written and memorable characters, both of whom I grew to love, Josh and Ester, suffer major teenage problems that prevent them from fitting in at school and from being anything except loners. One believes in God, one doesn’t.
When pushed together by an evil, control-freak teacher, Josh and Ester turn for help with a class assignment to Ester's loony but lovable uncle who has invented a fascinating machine, called the loom, which allows them to travel into books and step into the lives of famous historical figures. Wouldn't that be cool?
Together in the loom, Ester lives the life of heroine Joan of Arc, while Josh takes on the role of her devoted page, Sieur Louis de Conte. Joan, of course, willingly places her neck on the stake to be bound, then burned, for claiming she hears the voice of God. How'd you like to feel that? Maybe not, but Ester does, and Josh—as Louis—is the last to touch her hand. His witness of Joan’s divine conviction to save France from English rule produces one of the major questions of the book: Why did God care about freeing the French from British rule when so many other countries had fallen to them?
The book is worth reading for that answer alone—and don’t cheat by reading author interviews! But truly, this is one book not to be missed because halfway through, Josh is challenged to a debate to prove there is a God. To discover the truth, Josh ventures back into the loom, first as General George Washington, and then as priest William Tyndale. Just as Ester’s character arc takes a growthful leap into self-confidence from having lived as Joan of Arc, Josh’s character arc curves high when he is strengthened by the power of George Washington, who on the battlefield bows his head and utters fervent prayers before he makes life and death decisions that risk the lives of his men. And as Tyndale, racing down back alleys and grasping a satchelful of translated holy documents while being chased by the law, Josh experiences the burning passion Tyndale held onto to his very death as he dedicated his life to bringing the word of God--the Bible in English--to the common man. But remember, Josh doesn't even believe in God. So, when his adversary frames him to fail at the debate in front of the entire school, Josh has to decide whether or not to wimp away, forever controlled without freedom, or to stand as firm as Tyndale, as certain as Washington, and as convinced as Joan of Arc. But they did that because they believed, and Josh doesn’t believe. Is there a way to believe? Is there a way to know for sure? I highly recommend reading this book to find out!
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Last month I finally reached 200 followers on my blog. I should be celebrating, but ironically I'm trying to decide whether to quit blogging or not. My life has taken on a new complication and I'm having all I can do to scrape up time to write my books. I've decided I've got to streamline my life; cut out all of the superfluity. Will that include blogging? I'm not sure yet. I haven't decided yet if blogging is a good or bad thing for new authors.
I originally started blogging because I was told by numerous individuals, at numerous writing conferences, that if you are to be a successful author, you must have a blog. Although I think author blogs are nice, and if I'm a fan of a particular book, occasionally -if I have time--I check out the author's blog. But it certainly isn't a determining factor in my decision to read or buy their book. To me, the number one and two factors in my reading choices is if the book is well written, and has a story I find conducive to my taste. Right now, I feel my writing time would be better spent on molding my manuscript than blogging.
So here's the big question: if I stop blogging, will it affect my writing career adversely? I doubt it will adversely. Perhaps not at all. Will I be sorry if I quit blogging? I don't have an answer to that? Are there bloggers out there that only post once a month? Is that a possibility until I can get past this new complication in my life? Or should I, perhaps, blog about this new venture/complication, even though it has nothing to do with writing, or any of the other "creative" things pictured on my blog header? Or should I use my blogging time to work on my manuscript?
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
A week or so ago I was interviewed by Nick Galieti The Good Word, a podcast about new books by LDS authors. Before I share the link to the podcast, I've got tell you about his studio.
It's located in downtown Salt Lake City in the old Sam Weller's bookstore, (now the location of Eborn Books). I found the studio so very unique. I felt almost disoriented as he led me through a labyrinth of book shelves to an obscure corner of the store. He opened what appeared to be a closet door and bid me to enter. Exposed cement beams revealed the age of the century old building. Fabric hung from the crumbling ceiling to soften the lines and add a touch of decorative flair--or perhaps it was there for acoustical purposes. Maybe both. A white leather sofa sat tucked away in the far end of the small room. That's where I sat--quite comfortably I must add. That help ease my nervousness as I experienced my interview. Nick sat kitty-corner in the room, if you can call any spot in the odd-shaped room kitty-corner from anything. He had his mic and all sorts of recording gizmos at his reach. I had a simple microphone positioned in front of my mouth.
The interview went much smoother than I had anticipated. He was very easy and enjoyable to talk with, and was able to pull some responses from me that I had never really thought of before. I enjoyed doing the interview, and I hope you will enjoy listening to it.
Nick Galetti is known for his insightful interviews with LDS authors. You might want to book-mark his site.
Here's the link for the podcast about my book, The Big Debate on the Good Word.