Many of the characters in my book, Daughters of Deliverance are real. They are not famous, but people who played a part in a true story. As I did the research I dug around to find more details, but often I had very little facts to bring these people alive in the book. That’s when the fictional side of the story breaks in — the fun part when my imagination takes over.
If you read my book, Daughters of Deliverance-, you’ll remember Ella Gilchrist, the young missionary doctor who came down with tuberculosis in China. I found her mentioned in a few articles about Katharine Bushnell’s early life in China and when Kate accompanied Ella home where she eventually died of TB.
Of course, as I wrote about her illness, the difficult sea voyage and train ride across America to Denver. Ella grew to be a real person in my mind. I could see her perspiring under the mosquito net at Kuikiang mission, and shivering with fever on the uncomfortable train journey. Never complaining, always wanting to serve Jesus, apologizing to cause Kate more work. But she only lived in my imagination until a week ago when I received an email from my friend Mimi.
Mim encouraged her friend Karen to read Daughters of Deliverance — and there Karen discovered that her great-great aunt, Ella Gilchreist (CORRECT SPELLING !) worked with Dr Bushnell at the Methodist Mission in Kuikiang, China. Of course, Karen had never met her Great-great Aunt Ella, but she’d heard stories about her — and, SHE HAD A PICTURE.
I finally got to meet Dr. Ella– and she looked amazingly like the image I carried in my mind. If you haven’t read Daughters of Deliverance yet, keep this picture and when you meet Ella in the story, bring it out. Do you think my Ella in the book matches her picture?
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.
This week I was reminded to promote other books I’ve written. If you go to Lorry Lutz on Google, nine of my eleven published books are displayed. It’s almost embarrassing to note that some sell for as little as 48cents! Of course as far as books go, they’ve been around for a long time, and face hundreds of thousands of other books which have been published since.
Three of my books are on Kindle — The Soweto Legacy, When God Says Go, and Daughters of Deliverance. I have to admit, I like them all– but then I am prejudiced.
The Soweto Legacy was published in the 80s, but it deals with subjects as current as today. Set in South Africa when apartheid reigned, it tells the story of a mixed-race couple (a no-no under apartheid) and how their two families handled the delicate situation. Race and ethnic hatred contrasted with love, forgiveness and God’s care as the story comes to a dramatic conclusion.
When God Says Go resembles Daughters of Deliverance, in that it is about a brave,persistent, godly woman who spends her life relieving the suffering of others. Mother Eliza George, a daughter of American slaves, serves the tribal people of Liberia, rescuing girls from early marriage to old men, educating them in schools she’s founded, and starting churches with pastors she’s trained. But that’s just the framework of this true story . Her marriage to Mr. George — really out of convenience so she could stay in Africa–is just one of the quaint stories that emerge out her rich and colorful life. At ninety-five she’s still traveling through the jungle, carried in a hammock by porters, straddling across a log fallen over a swollen river, to bring the message of God to one more village.
Katharine Bushnell’s story of courage, persistence and faith is told in Daughters of Deliverance. She spent most of her life exposing what we call trafficking today— in the streets of Denver and Chicago, the forests of northern Wisconsin– and later in the barracks of the British military in India.(see my recent posts for more)
Even old books can be enjoyed — and fortunately they are all on Amazon for your enjoyment.
I think I’m a pretty normal author. I love writing and seeing my character develop. The launch of a book is a high point when I can actually hold the book in my hands or read it on my Kindle. But then there’s the concern — is anybody reading my book? Or was it just an ego trip, or something to keep me busy?
Royalties, of course, tell the story. But it takes months before the reports and royalties come in. In the meantime I wonder and wait. However, there is one indicator that gives me a hint that Daughters of Deliverance is being read. Every day I open the Amazon site where my book is offered. I check the number of reviews which tells me what my readers think about my book. Today I saw that 43 readers had written reviews (Thank-you for your response) and that Daughters of Deliverance received 4.8 gold stars out of 5. That’s soothing to my soul.
I scroll down the page which includes all the details about the book, like the number of pages, the ISBN number– all those important things readers don’t want to know. And there’s a short bio of me beside my ultra-glamorous picture . (I don’t look like that in the mirror.)
Finally at the bottom of the page Amazon lists the rank of 100 best-selling books in the Kindle store. I’ve been shocked to see Daughters of Deliverance in the top 100 books in Inspirational fiction, Christian women’s fiction, and Inspirational. Sometimes, like today it’s ranking 77, 84 and 90 out of 100. Other days it’s been in the mid-30s or 40s. Considering that there are more than 42,000 books in these categories, I admit I’m pleased. Right now the Kindle edition of Daughters of Deliverance is being given away, so here’s your chance to put this “top-rated” book on your Kindle free!
And, kindly write a review.
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:
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.
I had a pleasant shock today. Daughters of Deliverance rated ONE out of Amazon’s top 100 free Inspirational Fiction books. There’s still time for you to put Daughters of Deliverance on your Kindle for free through January 31. I check those numbers every day and there were days when it didn’t rank at all in the top 100.You can always buy either Kindle or print through Amazon books.
Publishing a book includes leaving yourself open not only to criticism but to undeserved praise. I’m so thankful for the more than thirty readers who’ve taken the time and made the effort to write a review on Amazon. ( I need more! )
Here’s an example which encourages me to do all I can to see that The Queen’s Daughters is published September 1,2017.
Although this is historical fiction set in the late 1800’s, the issues are as contemporary as today’s headlines. This is the story of Dr. Kate Bushnell, whose deep and authentic compassion for exploited women is matched only by her unflinching courage in the face of opposition. A good read. I’m eagerly waiting for the sequel, “The Queen’s Daughters”, which will complete the story of this extraordinary life.
I received a review that excited me several days ago which opens up a whole new readership I hadn’t expected.Since teen-agers are so worldly-wise these days,they would understand Kate’s passion to release women from sex-slavery.
While I was staying at my grandmothers house, I read your book ” Daughters of Deliverance.” I want you to know that I really like it and I think that you did a really good job writing that book. I can’t wait for the sequel. Henna, 16 years old. ”
Since teenagers are so worldly-wise these days,they would understand Kate’s passion to release women from sex-slavery.This opens up a whole new readership I hadn’t expected.
Well, I pulled a real goof the other day. It reminds me of the days when I had five active youngsters in the house, and two dogs– sometimes with a litter of puppies. Life was busy and I was often in a rush and inpatient — you know what it’s like to be a mother.
So now and then I’d try to get Rodney’s attention and I’d start with, “Nathan–Mark–Randy–Sheila–Rodney.” And one of the kids would laughingly add,”Shane– Floppy- Isipoogoo….” Those were our dogs’ names. It wasn’t really that bad, but they loved to catch me out.
So it must be the same thing with my books, which become like children while I’m working on them. I just noticed that I pulled out the name of one of my favorite books – Destined For Royalty—, in place of Daughters of Deliverance, in my blog the other day. Can’t believe I just caught the mistake now!
Sorry about that. Just be glad I didn’t go through all the other nine books before I got to Daughters of Deliverance.
By the way, several have asked for signed copies of the book. Contact me through my blog, give me your email address and I’ll let you know how to do that.