Higher Life
Hope Flinchbaugh

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

It was hard to come down from my “Rocky Mountain high” after the stimulating Colorado Christian Writers Conference in May Rocky Mountainsand 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 interruptology.)


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.


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.

Don’t 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

about 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 inside moment.

I'll Cross The River

“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 

North 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. We are here to give a voice to the voiceless--- the victims of starvation and communist brain washing in North Korea.