C. Hope Flinchbaugh is a
Literary Agent for HigherLife
Publishing. She started her writing career as a freelance
writer/journalist for Christianity Today, Charisma, Focus on the
Family, and various other children, teen, and adult magazines. In the
last nine years, she authored four books with outstanding publishers,
Bethany House, Destiny Image, and Charisma House, while contributing
short stories or articles to other compilations. Hope loves to talk to
new and experienced authors who are seeking
publication. Most traditional publishers are cutting back on
the few titles that they are releasing each year and, while they are
less willing to take a risk on an unknown author, there are a few who
are looking for that one book that shines, that special manuscript that
grabs them when they read the first page. If that’s your book, then
Hope would like to see it! The Flinchbaugh home is full of laughter and
surprises these days as
she and her husband and three biological children recently welcomed two
new daughters from Burma.
Hope Flinchbaugh: God Detective
was hard to come down from my “Rocky Mountain high” after the
stimulating Colorado Christian Writers Conference in May and enter back into
the scramble of meeting three looming deadlines. I was pecking away
when my cell phone vibrated. A text message. One of my
teenagers may need me.
I opened the phone. “DO U WANT 2
GO 2 CHINA?”
I didn’t recognize the number,
but it was someone who knew me well enough to know that I love China. I
made sure my fourteen-year-old daughter wasn’t watching—she’s been
known to howl as I furrow my eyebrows to slowly thumb out a text
message. Coast clear.
“Who are you?” I text back.
(Okay, so I couldn’t find the proper usage of “text” or “texted” here
in Strunk and White—my kids say “text” so you can see who grabs my
high-tech grammar respect.)
I went back to my editing and
the phone vibrated again. (New technology could be called new
“I’M SO SORRY! IT’S ME DANETTE!
I’M IN ISRAEL.”
Dear Danette. I had the
privilege of editing and agenting her upcoming book, Don’t
Quit in the Pit, and she’d just signed her contract with one
of my favorite houses before she left for Israel. Now she was in a
different kind of pit (and her young daughter was with her) and needed
more than a literary contract.
“PRAY FOR US. THERE ARE MORTAR
BLASTS ALL AROUND US.”
I love my job! Some days I feel
more like a “God detective” than a literary agent.
The backslider gets bored with
himself; the godly man’s life is exciting (Prov. 14:14 TLB).
Exciting? Well, think about it. Merriam-Webster’s
Collegiate Dictionary defines the word agent:
“one that acts or exerts power; a means or instrument by which a
guiding intelligence achieves a result; one who is authorized to act
for or in the place of another: one engaged in undercover activities
(as espionage).” Exerting power? Undercover activities?
It’s like this. My senior
partner is the Lord Jesus. He’s been known to go on wild,
life-threatening adventures to rescue just one person, and he is
particularly famous for his best-loved, best-selling-for-centuries
book. You know, the book. He’s also my big brother
and creator and knows me right down to my corpuscles. Like him, I seem
to be wired by God for adventure. Today I am doing more agenting than
writing, but in times past I ventured out on writing assignments to
meet the poorest of the poor in the garbage dump in Mozambique, Africa,
I traveled in secret to the underground church in China to interview
house church pastors who were kidnapped by the Eastern Lightning Cult,
and I’ve been honored to meet and interview men and women of God who act
or exert power and are a means or instrument by which a guiding
intelligence (the Guiding Intelligence) achieves a result.
See what I mean? The world is full of God agents who achieve results.
My adventures brought me to experience those results—blind people
seeing, deaf people hearing, more than ten thousand people being born
again after one week of ministry in the bush, the brokenhearted orphans
receiving healing, the demon-possessed man being set free, a
traumatized pastor cradled in the arms of God. Now that’s what I call
exerting power and achieving results!
But what about that other word
that precedes “agent?”
The word literary
is defined as “relating to, or having characteristics of humane
learning or literature; bookish; of or relating to books; of or
relating to authors or scholars or to their professions.” No, I’m not
looking exclusively for scholarly adventure and action manuscripts. But
I’ve made a delightful discovery that even fiction books are small
mirrors of the person who wrote them—and what an honor it is to meet
the person behind all those pages! I find it an adventure just to meet
the next person who my senior partner, Jesus, brings into my life.
get me wrong. I am not just stumbling into this incredible network of
risk-taking people. I put my faith out there! I believe that God,
throughout my lifetime, will introduce me to His eagles—those who are
hidden on this planet (the God-spies engaged in undercover activities)
and those we’ve all heard
who are famous. It doesn’t matter to
me. They’re all famous in heaven. (I hope God lets me write his people
and events feature column in heaven.)
A few months ago I was working
with a dynamic African American pastor from Georgia named Andre Butler,
who has a large church in Atlanta and a hefty following on the
Internet. His little girl came out of preschool one morning and handed
a take-home paper to
her daddy. He read an article there about
preschool parenting and was surprised to find it was written by his
agent—Hope Flinchbaugh. These are the testimonies that help me know I’m
on the right path, doing the right thing, in God’s timing.
Okay, I am seeking to make a
point here—maybe this story will help. I attended one of my first
writers’ conferences beside the Chesapeake Bay in Sandy Cove, Maryland,
in the late ’90s and somehow managed to dine at a round table populated
entirely by editors and agents. Such providence! But talk about
nervous! It was all I could do to drink my water without spilling it.
(Incidentally, I’ve found most writers’ conferences to be a revolving
door of divine appointments with an occasional disappointment that I
try to erase from my
frontal lobes.) After listening to these agents
and editors interact, it dawned on me that they were just people—nice
people, caring people, but everyday folks who were just a little
farther along in their game than Hope Flinchbaugh. The longer I sat
there, the more I realized what an inside advantage I had with my
senior agent. He believed in me, cheered for me as I pecked out my
stories, and sat with me now during this moment mixed with intimidation
and awe. The more I listened to this table of experts, the more I
longed to talk to my senior partner.
After some time, I pulled back
my chair to leave. For the first time during the entire meal all eyes
were upon me. The editor beside me (who later published my first novel,
by the way) looked up at me and said, “Hope, leaving so soon?”
I paused and smiled at them,
making as much eye contact as possible. It was a proud moment, an
“I’m going down by the bay to
take a walk with my agent,” I answered, pointing upward.
I enjoyed the ripple of surprise
followed by eager handshakes and fast introductions. I turned and
walked toward the bay. Yeah. They were regular folks like me—and they
liked Him, too.
Advance Praise for I'll
Cross the River Hope's novel broke my heart for the pain
and suffering of our beloved North Korean brothers and sisters. We must
stand with North Korea to be a voice for the voiceless and a face for
the silent suffering of millions. This book stirs a deep hunger for the
light of His glorious love to break forth in the hardest and darkest
areas of the earth
Korean people are crying . . . who is listening? View
this video now!
This video is presented to you with hope that you will tell people
around you that you care.
are here to give a voice to the voiceless--- the victims of starvation
and communist brain washing in North Korea.