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!
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.
Book covers are designed from different perspectives. The author wants the cover to graphically display the purpose and heart of the book.. The artist tries to display his or her artistic abilities . The publisher wants a cover that “sells!” The reader hopes the cover will tell her what this book is about.
Not every reader realizes that the author seldom has any control over the cover. She may give suggestions– even a rough design, which may or not be used. And as most authors’ contracts say, ‘the final decision rests with the publisher’.
Over the years I’ve had cover designs I’ve loved, and some I haven’t appreciated. I received a suggested cover from Paternoster in England for Women as Rick Takers for God— a silhouette of two women’s faces, nose to nose, as though in confrontation. Instead the book was about women as leaders in the church around the world, joyfully and lovingly serving God. I guess my disconcerted call from Turkey, where I was visiting my son, convinced the publisher he should try again. And try he did with a creative cover that stands out from the rest.
I have included here the cover of my latest book, Daughters of Deliverance. Do I like it? Welllll– yes because it is very colorful and attracts readers, which will please the publisher and probably my pocketbook. But it doesn’t tell the story. In fact, if you haven’t read Daughters of Deliverance or the information on the back cover or on Amazon — what does it say to you?
Tell me, what do you look for in a cover? What causes you to pick up the book , or click on Amazon’s picture to open and read? I’m about ready to make suggestions for the sequel to Daughters of Deliverance. It is titled The Queen’s Daughters. Consider yourself the artist for a moment. You know little about the story — you really don’t have tie to read all the books you work on. How would your cover fit the title?
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.
Writing a book has many stages — but the most difficult for me is to promote the book. Selling anything is not pleasant, even when it’s as great as Daughters of Deliverance.
When my husband and I were in college (he wasn’t my husband then– not even my room mate)one summer we decided to sell World Book encyclopedias. You probably don’t remember those beautiful red bumpy- textured covers with a black and gold title. They really were a great family product– full of pictures in the years before TV.
The training class was superb. It sounded so easy. Just walk up to the door and knock. A harried housewife answers and you tell her about this wonderful product that will entertain her children by the hour. And educate them at the same time.The harried house wife goes back into her kitchen for the jar where she’s been saving for “something special,” brings out $100, and you’ve made a sale.
No, it didn’t work like that. Instead I didn’t want to knock on that front door. I even prayed that there would be no one at home. You can imagine that I sold very few World Books. To be honest — none! My husband made 100% more sales than I did. He sold one– and we quit.
That must have been sixty-eight years ago. And here I am selling books again. But this one is fun. I wrote it myself about a courageous, persistent, caring woman who obeyed God by rescuing women from mistreatment and slavery. Readers are telling me they can’t wait to read The Queen’s Daughters — the rest of Katharine Bushnell’s story — coming out Sept. 1
So glad for others who help sell my book. Those wonderful reviewers who keep moving the Amazon algorithm up — how else can you get Amazon’s attention? And I’m thankful for a very young journalist from the Highlands Ranch Herald who took time to hear my story, and write it.
I don’t even have to knock on your door. You can go directly to Amazon to read it for yourself.
Sorry that you can’t read the article . It’s really pretty good, except I have 18 grandchildren instead of 8. Couldn’t figure out how to enlarge the type. Just trust me. It’s good