International Christian Retail Show teems with authors,
musicians—anyone who creates unique ways for Christians to minister not
only to those who don’t know Christ but to the Christian community.
It’s exciting to discover what God is doing in the lives of authors
(the story behind the story) and how He is transforming them through
story. I hope these snippets from this incredible group of authors
encourage you and intrigue you to read their works.
author of Words, Christy winner for First Novel,
and Lost and Found
Where was that
story for Lost and Found inspired in your heart?
It came from my own experience,
when I was unraveling my life from a destructive relationship. During
that time, a friend quoted Madame Jean Guyon to me, and I asked myself
the question: “What would a modern-day Madame Jean Guyon look like?” So
I took my emotions and experiences and began to weave a story around
What do you
hope that your readers will take away from this novel?
I spent my whole life as a
people pleaser, placing people in the place where only God should be
and allowing them to have more control over my life than God did. So I
wrote Jenna’s character very much out of my own experience and heart. I
hope others will learn the consequence of placing people in the place
Christy nominee for Dry as Rain
Gina said this
about the Christy Awards:
Christian authors truly want to
see books that will change lives nominated for the Christy Awards,
whether or not it’s our book. As authors we support one another. We are
brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s as it should be.
I’m still the same person, I’m
still the same writer, I still have the same advice, so the Christy
nomination does validate my work as a writer.
Christy nominee for How Huge the Night
fascinating to discover the story behind this award-winning book!
I really believed in this book,
so the Christy nomination is a kind of validation for this story.
The story is based on a true
story of a little village in the middle of nowhere that became one of
the safest havens for the Jews in Europe during World War II. A town of
about 3,000 people saved the lives of about 3,000 refugees. The village
is not far from where I grew up, because my parents were missionaries
Mom learned that American’s
didn’t know about this heroic village. She started the book when I was
about thirteen—wrote and rewrote it several times—and got tired of
being told to rewrite it. So my dad suggested that I help her rewrite
it. It was a great experience.
Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee,
coauthors of Forbidden, nominated for the Christy
Award, and Morta
How are your
readers responding to the series?
Tosca: They are getting tattoos
of the cover art!
Ted: My readers have always been
Tosca: I want one!
Was it easier
or harder to work on the second book?
Tosca: Much easier. It takes
shared experiences to earn trust between each other. We fought less
while writing Mortals than we did writing Forbidden
Ted: We both have strong
personalities. The key is to learn each other’s strengths and respect
them. Trust them. She has strong prose, poetic writing, great
descriptions—all the things we need to build a world.
Tosca: Ted has great trademark
strengths in plot and pacing, characterization and theme.
Freedom Series, last in the trilogy: The Deliverer
In her own
Almost 30,000,000 people
worldwide are held involuntarily in sex slavery, forced labor, or for
the donation of human organs . . . many of them are children as young
as eighteen months old. The U. S. State Department’s conservative
estimate is that 300,000 minors—two- to sixteen-year-olds—are being
held for sex slaves in the Unites States alone. The average preferred
age is between eight and fifteen years old.
New Hope Publishing challenged
me to write on the subject. Research included talking to law
enforcement, investigative journalists, people involved in rescuing
these slaves, and survivors. Once I’d interviewed an investigative
reporter who’d witnessed an undercover cop bust a man trying to buy an
eighteen-month-old child as a sex slave, I couldn’t walk away from this
As I’m completing the fictional
series, I’m getting calls from Homeland Security, colleges,
churches—everywhere—to talk to and educate people about this growing
Josiah for President,
releasing October 9
taking Amish fiction in an entirely new direction!
Josiah is asked to run for
president, which goes against his Amish ways, so an internal struggle
takes place throughout the novel because he feels he’s doing what God
has called him to do. Josiah has learned an important lesson in
forgiveness, which enables him to maintain his personal integrity
before very aggressive political opponents. He says to a friend, “You
hang on . . . and you let go. The fact that I’ve forgiven . . . doesn’t
alter the truth. But not forgiving would alter my future.”
Josiah’s story is applicable to
all of us. He remains true to himself and maintains his integrity. He
doesn’t have to give away his whole heart, even though he sacrifices to
follow God’s leadership but remains true to his beliefs.
I hope my book can help others
avoid the extremes of stuffing emotions or exploding emotions . . . and
stay centered on soul integrity. “Soul integrity . . . brings the
passion of the exploder and the peacemaking of the stuffer under the
authority of Jesus, where honesty and godliness embrace the balance of
each other” (p52).
Progress is possible if we are
brave enough to look at our reactions and examine them before God,
because reactions have a direct impact on all relationships . . . they
influence other’s lives.
winner of Christy Award for The Queen
Where do you
get your ideas, and how do you get into the minds of your characters?
Each book begins with a
question instead of an answer. The question in this book is “What does
it mean to forgive yourself?” Does it mean anything? Nowhere in the
Bible does God encourage us to forgive ourselves. All of the characters
have different ways to ask the same question. All of them come to a
different answer. Their journeys to their answers are what this novel
is built around. Because they all struggle with forgiveness, it does
create a lot of emotional struggle in the course of the story. All of
the characters experience deep growth in one way or another.
the need first-generation Christian parents have:
Children have so many outside
influences today. We need to influence the filter between their
ears—the child’s brain—and introduce them to the Word of God and basic
virtues early. If there is a vacuum, something will fill it. Anyone who
touches the life of a child can influence them in a good way.
introduces the abstract concept of twelve virtues to the concrete world
of young children. The virtues were chosen from a list given to parents
who rank them.
Bowman, God’s Big Promises for Kids and God’s
Big Ideas for Kids
the love she has for her audience!
Adults reading to children may
not know the Lord, and reading Scripture promises to their children can
transform the adults’ lives as well as the children’s. Many parents are
first-generation Christians, and some tell me that they are learning a
lot through my books. I’m writing to two audiences, and I hope the
adults reading my books will be convicted, encouraged, and blessed, as
well as the children.
Big Ideas is
a little more abstract—God’s commandments to His children. Not the Ten
Commandments, but God’s commands throughout Scripture that direct us
how to live our lives as His children. Promises is
more comforting, while Big Ideas is more
convicting. The books are marketed as a complimentary pair.
The Christmas Pony, The Best
Friend, and River’s End
fun to ask this prolific writer what she’s up to!
I’ve been doing a Christmas
novella for the last eight years. The Christmas Pony
is set in the Depression. The main character is a little girl who wants
a pony. Her mom, a widow, runs a boarding house and can barely afford
to put food on the table, much less feed a pony.
The Best Friend
is the second of Life at Kingston High series. The main character is
feeling left out, when a new girl befriends her and pulls her in a
negative direction. The main character of the first book returns and
helps her figure a way out.
The third book in the River’s
Call series, River’s End, will release in August. A
companion Bible study will release soon as well. The themes of
forgiveness and healing run through all of the books in this series, so
the publishers thought they would use excerpts to create a Bible study.
John and Mindy Clark,
Echoes of the Titanic
What is the genesis of
Our publisher suggested the
idea, and I immediately became excited because John is a huge
Titanic buff. John has always played a huge role in my
writing: my brainstorm and research partner, first reader, story helper
. . . he has always been a coauthor anyway. The idea was suggested four
years ago in anticipation of the Titanic’s
John has an instinct for story
like no one I’ve ever met. He can detect where the story lags, where
the characters need more development, and suggest ideas that take my
story from good to the next level of wow! I’ve never had as much fun as
writing with my husband!
Paul Young, The
Shack and Crossroads
about his writing journey:
Any art form is not about
someone getting out of your work what you put into it. The beauty of
creativity is the part that the Holy Spirit is all over. You write out
of your history and your experience, and others will see what they
think you put there for them. When some get upset about something I’ve
written, they’re not telling me about me, they’re telling me about
them. They’re bringing to the table what they’ve got. It a beautiful
part of the conversation.
Relationship is always
uncomfortable. The journey is not about trying to please God but about
learning to trust God. The world takes us to some very dark places. God
doesn’t take us there, He comes with us. He says, “I’m never going to
leave you nor forsake you.” If trust is the central issue, you cannot
trust someone who doesn’t love you all the time. God says to us: “I’m
still going to stay with you in the middle of things when your lack of
trust is going to be revealed so I can heal that place.”
He gave a
sneak peek into his new novel.
is coming out soon and will surprise you like The Shack.
This catches a man between life and death. The main character has to
deal with the roads he has crossed and those he has yet to cross. This
place of decision spins him into a place of consideration of decisions
he has already made and choices he has yet to make.
Mary DeMuth, Beautiful
A book about
spiritual warfare, Mary shares her heart about this misunderstood
The primary purpose it to
elevate God and make Him big in our lives. Many books about spiritual
warfare concentrate on the power of the Enemy, with God almost an
afterthought. The book focuses on the bigness of God in our lives—His
sovereignty and goodness.
Many people view spiritual
warfare as a wrestling match between God and Satan, giving them equal
power. That is a wrong view of spiritual warfare. Christ has already
David Teems, Discovering
Your Spiritual Center
speak for themselves.
My focus was Scripture itself.
“Let it toil in me. Let it search my heart. Turn on a lamp to all my
inwardness. Speak a word of comfort to all my distress. All these
benefits are written in this one psalm. It was glorious” (p19).
God’s Word is a map that will
spiritually center your life, and it is important to spend daily time
in the Word. God used a musician to lead me to Christ at a time when
music was the focus of my life. Then He led me to a church where the
pastor was a clinical psychologist (my area of education) who focused
on the power of God’s Word. God moved in a very specific way in my
life, and He continues to do that to this day.