Category Archives: author

Something happened since I left the country…

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This blog has been put off for three weeks — for good reason.  I’ve been in Turkey to spend time with my children and grandchildren.  Now I am in Nairobi, Kenya helping some old  friends write the story of their ministry in Africa. It’s the most unusual writing experience I’ve ever had.

My friend Faye has spent more than two years going through boxes and boxes of letters, papers, pictures, journals.  Out of this great source of memorabilia, going back to 1948 when she and her husband, Don, were engaged, she’s pulled out five hundred pages of key material.   These are mostly single-spaced, legal size pages– and thankfully mainly in chronological order and bound into a book that weighs at least four pounds.

I am working with a team of two Kenyan women, less than half my my age who  are very sharp.  Both of their husbands teach at the Christian University where I’m staying.  It’s a kind of tag team.  Rosie pulls all the pertinent, interesting features from the  resource book and forms then into a chapter.  I receive the chapter and add additional information, re-organize if necessary to keep the story flowing, edit and make comments of things to research and verify, After Rosie and I go through to fine tune a second time, the chapter goes on to Katie who has her MA in communications.  She reads through the material again, and stops to deal with the comments and edits as necessary.

Our hope is that in the next month we’ll be able to pass our draft to Don and Faye — hopefully they’ll recognize and verify that this is their life.

We are a good thirty miles from Nairobi, on roads that are lined  with massive ten-wheelers rolling along like a Colorado coal train– when is the end ever coming? But we sit out on the patio after dinner and watch the sunset and unique cloud formations in the west.  I have yet to see a sunset because this is the rainy season, and it is usually raining over in Nairobi — seldom here.  We watch the day disappear  at 6:30 pm every night here on the equator; the flickering lights of the city start to turn on,; the planes turn to land over at Jomo Kenyata Airport, and the streaks of gold and rose peek through the clouds for one last moment.  All is quiet — even the birds have stopped singing.And it’s grown chilly.

I’m not lonesome for home  but find the peace restoring. I have a deep sense of confidence that God has given me this opportunity at almost ninety years old, to serve Him in a unique way.  I believe Don and Faye’s story of their lives and the university that grew out of their service will bless those who read it. I’m thankful for the privilege, and honestly wonder why I should be so blessed.

Oh yes, something also happened to Daughters of Deliverance since I left hone.  Today it ranked thirty-two out of 100 best selling religious fiction books on Kindle.  It probably helps that more and more people are writing reviews — fifty-two to date.  If you haven’t read Daughters of Deliverance, or read it and haven’t written a review, there’ still time. You will admire Katharine Bushnell, the woman this historical fiction is based on.  The sequel The Queen’s Daughters, is due out Sept 1.

 

Have you ever written a review?

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To be honest, until recently I had never written a book review. I can write some pretty vivid  reviews if the food in a restaurant is not well cooked or cold when it should be hot. And I’m pretty quick to complain if  a new printer doesn’t work properly But I guess I never thought that a review would encourage an author, or even help sell more books.

Today Daughters of Deliverance reached forty nine reviews. It’s been slowly climbing the Amazon rank.  It was listed #231 out of more than 200,000 books. I don’t know what that really means, but it’s better than being ranked near the bottom.  I suspect that reviews, whether conversations with a friend in the elevator about “the good book I just read,” or a written review on Amazon really does help promote a book.

I love the endorsement my 23-year-old grandson wrote. You’re probably thinking, “of course he’d tell his grandmother what she wants to hear.” But you’ve got to know that this grandson is a writer himself — and a philosopher who thinks deeply about the weight of words.  He’s honest “as the day is long” and wouldn’t perjure  himself to flatter me.  So when he wrote this endorsement, I was honored:

Katharine is a fascinating character.  She obviously trusts God immensely.  When she was struggling with the decision to leave David and her dreams of residency, to go to China, I shared in that struggle–feeling at least in part, the anguish, followed by rest in the Lord’s will.  It’s fascinating to see someone so determined to heal and fulfill her calling that she abandons the familiar. It strikes of yearning for more, for both herself and people she serves.  Joe

But before you give up even thinking of writing a review , please remember that there are as many evaluations of a book as  there are readers.  Some readers like Kate because she’s spunky; others might think she prays too much; or what do you think?

Join the growing number of readers and write a review at the bottom of Amazon’s page for Daughters of Deliverance.  Then you’ll be eager to read the rest of her fascinating life, The Queen’s Daughters, which launches on September 1. 2017.

 

 

How did I know I should write Daughters of Deliverance?

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How did I know I should write Daughters of Deliverance?

I was attending a conference — don’t remember what it was even about.  But I’ll never forget the conversation I had with my roommate one night..

“You’ve just got to write this woman’s story,” Mimi urged. “Katharine Bushnell has been lost to  history. She made a great contribution advocating for justice and equality for women, backed by years of study of the Bible and few people know about her.”

I laughed off Mimi’s suggestions. But the challenge had been planted in my mind.  I hadn’t acquiesced yet, but I wanted to know more about this women. When I began researching and reading about Katharine Bushnell, I couldn’t find personal  letters, or journals, or detailed accounts from people who had known her.

Discouraged, I made an  appointment with  a literary  agent  to ask his advice.  “Simple,” he said.  “Write it as historical fiction.” Voila! I could do that  I had all the facts of her life for the framework of the story — and fiction gave me the freedom to expand on that framework with how I think Kate would have acted.

Kate became so  real and alive, even my twenty-three-year-old grandson read the story and wrote: “Katharine is a fascinating character…It’s fascinating in part to see someone so determined to heal and fulfill her calling that she abandons the familiar.  It strikes of yearning for more, for both herself and people she serves”

Wow. Kate, as she has become to me, could even touch the heart of a young male adult. She was  was worth writing about. And your reading Daughters of Deliverance!

 

 

Rooting for another author in the family

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Big day for my family.  My grandson-in-law launched his book, Jesus Journey.  I know the grueling hours this father of three put in.  I couldn’t resist writing him this letter:

Dear Trent,

I know what this day feels like.  The “baby” has been birthed—a relief and yet a bit of emptiness. Didn’t you grow with the people you wrote about, the insights you discovered, the creative challenge every time you sat down at the computer?

 

And you feel so proud of this “baby” but you don’t want to act proud.  Yet in order to get the baby to grow, you have to talk about it – you have to SELL. You almost feel as though you are selling yourself.

 

It looks like you’ve had some encouragement from your publisher. I’ve received  some new ideas about promoting my book, Daughters of Deliverance, myself today.  I’ve wanted to do a Facebook author page, but don’t know how.  I’ve struggled to write faithfully on my blog—and not very meaningfully either.  But we try and God moves the book along because He wants people to read and learn and be blessed.

 

I was encouraged to receive this review just a few days ago from a woman who serves on the board of a well-known and impactful NGO:

 

Just finished reading Daughters of Deliverance and wanted to thank you for sharing the book with me.  It was an incredible story that I had not heard before and of course it was so beautifully written.   The theme of wrestling and listening for what God wants us to do next in life was powerful.

Lorry