Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Author Behind the Story Blog Series - Eva Marie Everson

 


I saw a cartoon recently. The principal of an elementary school was on the PA system, holding the microphone. The clock on the wall said 3:00 p.m. She said, "I know you all are excited, but please refrain from throwing books and running in the hallways. If you could at least wait until the students have left for the day, it would be greatly appreciated."

I'm hearing shouts of joy across the nation as students walk off campus for the last time in the 2021-2022 school year. Some of those exclamations are from the kids. Most are from the teachers. It's been two years of "Quarantine Hades." Two years many would just as soon forget and never relive. They are so excited to head into summer with the prospect of starting next year in a "pre-pandemic" state of mind.

Then, of course, you have the somber, tragic moments, such as what occurred in Uvalde, Texas, that demonstrate for the nation once again how much teachers and other staff members are truly on the front lines as well. You don't have to wear PD Blue, Fire Engine Red, or Military Green to be on the front lines. 

Therefore, as you transition into summer mode, remember your child's teachers in your prayers. Remember the other school staff members as well. In a day's time, they often spend more time with your child collectively than you do in a normal weekday.

And when you think of it, pray for us writers too. Developing stories readers want to read is hard work, as our next guest points out. And believe it or not, many writers out there are or have been in the teaching field at some point in their lives. 

Our featured author in this summer quarter has been a friend and mentor of this writer for several years now, and I am so happy and humbled to have her as a guest on ABTS.

So, pull up an Adirondack chair, grab a glass of sweet tea or lemonade (or mix it into an Arnold Palmer), and please welcome author, speaker, organizational president, contest organizer, and all around Grand Poohbah (just ask Mark Hancock about this title), Eva Marie Everson! 

Eva, in ABTS style and tradition, give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Eva Marie Everson?
 
Eva Marie Everson is a multiple award-winning author and speaker of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the director of all Blue Ridge Mountains CWC contests, including The Selah Awards. She and her husband live in Central Florida where they enjoy their children and grandchildren.
 
Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?
 
Like most writers I’d always had the notion of being a writer/author, but instead of choosing that path educationally, I went into nursing. In 1992, I contracted a disease that “sent me home” and kept me there for the next five years. But it was during this time that the Lord opened my eyes (and all the right doors) to the possibilities of entering into the publishing arena.
 
I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.
 
Favorite Song of All-Time: “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra
Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): Living Prayer by Robert Benson
Favorite Bible Verse: John 6:68
Favorite Movie: My Favorite Wife
Favorite Actor or Actress: Cary Grant, always
Favorite TV Show: The Chosen
Favorite Novel (other than your own): Mr. & Mrs. Bo Jo Jones
Favorite Author (other than you): Nonfiction: Robert Benson / Fiction: Richard Paul Evans
Favorite Sport: To watch: Baseball. But I love to hike.
Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): Atlanta Braves!
Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: Anything English or History
Favorite Subject Now: History, especially biblical history
Favorite Teacher in School: Mrs. Boddiford, who recently passed away at the age of 101
Favorite Time of the Year: Christmastime
Favorite Place to Vacation: Long Vacay: Ireland / Short Vacay: Daytona Beach with the hubby (we go about every other month)
Favorite Drink: I honestly don’t have one.
Favorite Food: That list is pretty long.
 
 
When the words aren’t flowing, what is your favorite comfort food and why?
 
Cheez-Its.
 
Oh, now, I can relate. If I'm not careful, I can inadvertently perform a magic act during a sporting event or movie and make and entire box disappear.

For all the pet lovers out there, answer this question: Do you have any?
 
I loooooooooooooooove dogs (better than people!). And I’ve had quite a few. Right now, we have a cat, Vanessa. Or, she has us. Vanessa was my brother’s cat. When he died in 2019, one of his last concerns was over his cat. I promised him that I would take care of her and give her a wonderful life. I have kept that promise.
 
You have something in common with Mark Twain. He has been quoted saying, "The more I get to know people, the more I like my dogs."

Everybody seems to have a bucket list. Do you? If so, what’s on it? If not, why not?
 
I do. Recently it became so short because I fulfilled so many of the items that I decided to add to it . . . you know . . . without a bucket list, it gets a little scary. 😊 Still on the list (but not inclusive):
 
Be driven down the 7-mile Bridge in the Florida Keys at Sunset
Return to Ireland
Vacay in Bryce Canyon
Return to Bennington, VT
 
Do you have a crazy, interesting, behind-the-scenes story about the publishing world you’d like to tell your readers without boring them to death with industry gobbledygook?
 
I made an appointment to speak with an editor while at my first Christian Booksellers Association Convention back in 1999. We set the time for 2:00 the following afternoon. I arrived about 1:45 (always early!) and began a conversation with a man who sported a long ponytail, John Lennon glasses, and a safari-style jacket. He seemed a quite scholarly and so comfortable in his skin standing there with his arms crossed over his chest. I asked if he was with the publishing house, and he said he was . . . in a way.

We were standing next to a display of books that were to be signed and given away a little while later. I pointed to them and said that I’d heard a lot of good things about the author . . . that he was a great speaker and writer and that I should get a copy of his latest book. The man gave me a copy of the book “on him.” I asked if I should wait until the book signing (which was scheduled for 2:30), and he said that I could come back and get it signed then.
 
About that time, one of my friends rounded the corner of publishing house booths and, upon seeing us, went wide-eyed. “Ohmygoodness!” she squealed. “Robert Benson!” I assumed she meant the stack of books. The man beside me then moved in such a way that revealed his name tag from beneath his jacket. Yep, it was Robert Benson, who not only became a great spiritual influence in my life, but he is also a man I call “friend.”
 
Do you ever receive negative reviews from readers? If so, how do you respond when you see them?
 
Of course. And they hurt, especially when the review is a misunderstanding or what I feel is horribly unfair. For example, one reviewer of DUST said that there was sex on every page. Well, that’s not possible. For one, the book is over 400 pages . . . and I don’t know that much about sex. For another, there is not sex on every page. However, at the core of the story, we have two couples—one who, as young-and-in-loves decided to “wait until they get married.” This is not easy, but they manage to keep their relationship pure. As the years go by, and while they experience heartache as any couple would, they are blessed within their marriage. The other couple are in the throes of an affair. Everything they touch is destroyed, including themselves. Now, this is not the WHOLE of the story, but it’s in there. So, I have to wonder if the reader was not so affected by those two choices perhaps because of her own life story that this is what resonated with her.
 
I have also had reviews that lead me to realize that the reviewer has had a very cloistered life. That’s great for them. I did not and most people I know have not. I write about those characters. I write about those lives, lives that get caught up in the muck and the mire of life but who find the goodness at the end of it all.
 
But my favorite is this one: I’m giving it one star because I didn’t have time to read it.
 
What?
 
I wish reviewers understood how hard we work at what we do and how much their words can cut. I also wish they understood how a one-star review based on not reading it or their misunderstandings can hurt us as well. Or, if they simply don’t understand the industry (the reviewer who said, “I’ll never read her work again because she doesn’t capitalize the pronouns for God” which was followed by others saying, “Thank you for warning me.” Well, dear reader, that is the choice of the publishing house, not the author . . .).
 
But I digress.
 
Oh, I loved the one about my first Blake Meyer book being a "cliffhanger" (it was the first in a six-book series). The reviewer wrote it as a "warning" to all those readers who might get snookered. Now, every time we watch a TV show, and it leaves the viewer "hanging," I shout out, "Cliffhanger!" I guess you could call it passive-aggressive author therapy. Ha!

Eva, what are you working on right now?
 
Forty years ago, I read a Dear Abby column that told a story so unimaginable, I tucked it away in my storyteller’s brain only to bring it out every so often and “work on it.” I built my characters, my setting, etc. for years before I started writing in earnest.
 
Beth Bettencourt is the story of a 28-year-old woman who, one November morning in 1962, wakes to the sound of a man snoring in her guest bedroom. She calls the police but, the following day during his arraignment, feels guilty after realizing this stranger in town, Marty, had simply gone to the wrong house. Beth changes his life by giving him a place to stay and work (he’d just been released from the army), and he changes her life by forcing her to come face-to-face with her past and present demons.
 
Marty is everything she never knew she needed . . . but is he everything he claims to be?
 
That sounds interesting...and November of 1962, eh? That's a great month and year...just sayin'...

Has your writing crossed over into other areas? If so, how? If not, will it?
 
I write both fiction and nonfiction, books and articles, for adults and children. I didn’t intend for it to be this way, but that’s the way my career evolved. Then again, there is the being president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference. I never intended it to be this way, but God moved in another direction than the one I saw fit. 😊
 
As a writer, what is “success” to you? And has that “definition” changed over time as you have traveled down the writer’s path? 
 
Success does change and should change over time. Success, initially, is getting at least one thing traditionally published. Then, it’s getting another thing published . . . and then it’s getting better at what I do. My last book should be better than my first book. Success can then also be having one of my books named as a finalist for an award and then, with that accomplishment, winning that award in subsequent years. Success can then move on to being recognized favorably by those within the industry. Finally, and most importantly, success comes at the end of this life when Jesus says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
 
What’s the craziest thing you have ever done?
 
I tend to have a daredevil mentality. Not like I would jump out of an airplane without a parachute, but that I don’t always see the consequences “if things go south.” Back in 2007, while traveling the land of Israel with my friend Miriam Feinberg Vamosh for a book we were writing about Israel—a Jewish woman and a Christian woman traveling, photographing, and writing about the land together—we went up to the Church of the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. While there, Miriam said, “There is a wonderful scripture that says, Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name. Sometimes,” she said, “on rare occasions, you can see Mt. Hermon from Tabor.”
 
I looked northward and, there in the sky, I could see the snow-capped glory of Mt. Hermon. I said, “Like now?”
 
Miriam was stunned.
 
I knew I had to get not just a good photo of the moment, but a great photo of the moment. We went up this staircase on the side of the church, but the view, while fine, was not impressive. Then I spotted this ancient wall that, if I could somehow get to the top of it, and then shimmy to the middle of it, I could get the most wonderful photo ever. I pointed this out to Miriam, who said, “How are you going to get to the top of the wall?”
 
I said, “With your help.”

So, here I was, being hoisted up an ancient “I hope this doesn’t crumble from under me” stone wall by my friend. Once I got to the top, I sort of straddled on top and reached down for my camera. Then, with that secured around my neck, I began to shimmy along the wall’s edge until I got to the middle. I took several photos, then shimmied back, straddled on the wall again, handed the camera back to Miriam, and then said, “Now, how am I going to get down?”
 
I rolled onto my belly and, clutching the wall, headed feet-first. My arms stretched until Miriam caught my feet, and then I let go and came tumbling down. No one was hurt in the process and the photo that we used in the book (Reflections of God’s Holy Land, A Personal Journey Through Israel, Thomas Nelson, 2008) was amazing. I still sit in awe of that moment whenever I look at the photo.
 
Why do you live where you live?  
 
I live in Central Florida because my husband’s job moved us here in 1992. I remain here because this is where two of our three children live and three of our grandchildren as well. I’m not a fan of Florida heat, and I could probably list a few other places I’d rather be, but this is where God planted me, so I’m gonna sit here and bloom!
 
We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?
 
Because I’m the president of Word Weavers International, I gravitate toward books on leadership and, in particular, being a godly leader. The book Discipled Leader by Preston Poore, was an icing-on-the-cake kind of book for me, especially seeing as it came during the pandemic. The style was conversational, which I appreciate, and showed the successes and not-so-successes of a man truly trying to live, work, and lead according to God’s principles.
 
When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you?
 
If you don’t grab me within the first page (and sometimes two pages), you won’t keep me long enough to know if the rest of the book is good. There are too many good books out there to waste my time on a book I had to struggle to read.
 
A title catches my attention first, then the subject matter. But if that first page doesn’t grab me . . . our time together on Planet Earth is done.
 
What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?
 
Moses said, “Now show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18).
 
Eva, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and allow our readers a chance at getting to know you.

Readers, if you want to find out more about our guest this quarter, you can visit her on the following websites: 
 
Eva Marie Everson’s Amazon Author Page
 
www.EvaMarieEversonAuthor.com (you can join my newsletter (Southern, monthly) subscription here.
 
www.instagram.com/evamarieeverson
 
www.facebook.com/eva.marie.everson
 

Until next quarter, enjoy your summer, and we'll see you again on the Florida Front Porch in September!


Kevin


Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Author Behind the Story Blog Series - Susan Page Davis

Some of you may have noticed that we made changes to our monthly format, and we did. We now feature an author every quarter. These changes went into effect in January 2022 and were NOT COVID-related. :-)

These occurred because of a new blog I began. It was to be a book, but I felt God's leading to transform it a blog instead. It's called THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM: VIEWING THIS LIFE THROUGH THE EYES OF THE ALMIGHTY. It begins with my journey and the transformation that has taken place over the last few years (so if you want to get to know me better, this would be a great way to do so) in order to get a running start at the overall goal of the "book": focus on the Creation Account in Genesis and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 for the purpose of seeing how God views life as King of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is at hand, I hear. :-)

We've posted the Introduction and some of "Chapter 1" thus far. Each section that was to be a chapter is being broken into blog posts, tying to the previous in some way, having a closing "Thought of the Week" section at the end, and being a standalone devotional at the same time. No small feat when these chapters were originally one cohesive whole. So far, the reviews posted on social media have been great. It goes live each Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. EST. Feel free to follow it so you can be alerted each time it goes live.

So, that's what I've been working on...along with continuing to write the fiction I love...and continuing this blog (oh yeah, and working that thing we call a J-O-B during the day). :-)

This blog has become, by design, a database of authors through which readers can learn more about said authors and find their books, if their genre interests them. There are other writings on here as well by yours truly, from my days of being a writer for Seriously Write (as well as some other musings).

However, the main impetus has grown to be the Author Behind the Story blog series, which I love doing too. That brings us to our next guest on the Florida front porch, where the temps have been more summer-like than spring. We really have not experienced spring temps this year. We went from winter to near summer (almost 90 degrees last Saturday!) and the season we call "The Pollenation."

Grab a glass of iced tea, pull up an Adirondack chair, and let's welcome author Susan Page Davis!

Susan, in our traditional manner, give us a quick bio of who Susan Page Davis is...in fifty words or less. Go!

I grew up in Maine, but I now live in western Kentucky. I’ve authored more than one hundred published novels and novellas. I write in different genres—mystery, romance, historical, suspense, and even a few children’s books. Most have a faith thread, some romance, and some mystery.

Over one hundred books? Wow!

Before you ever got a notion of becoming a writer/author, how old were you, and what were you doing in that time of your life?

I started writing stories as a child, but as an adult I seriously began trying to publish my fiction at about age 45. At the time, I was a correspondent for a daily newspaper, covering local news. My first published fiction consisted of short stories in Woman’s World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Then my first novel, Protecting Amy, was accepted for publication, and I haven’t looked back! Book #100, Cliffhanger, released February 1 this year.

Those are some pretty huge publications. That's awesome.

Sometimes our readers like to know about an author's personal life. Whether they are married...do they have children, etc. Are you married? Single? Have kids?

I’m married to Jim, a retired news editor. We have six grown children and eleven grandchildren.

Hmm....you're a former correspondent of a newspaper...he's a retired news editor...I'm seeing a connection here. 

For all the pet lovers out there (and there are many), answer this question: Do you have any? (And notice I didn't ask just about cats and dogs, which is what most people think of...I'm a fish tank kind of guy, myself.)

We have a very naughty cat named Arthur. He’s a short-haired orange street cat our daughter rescued and adopted. If a closed door exists, Arthur wants to be on the other side of it.

I'd say he was ill-named. Arthur sounds so proper. He sounds more like a Cool Hand Luke...

Besides storytelling, what talents do you have?

I’m a former spelling champion, and I used to shoe horses. I also enjoy genealogical research, needlework, and logic problems.

That's quite the variety. I'm sure your readers would see those interests peeking out of the page from time to time, an I right?

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?

I had a major stroke—a blood clot on my brain—at age 43. My oldest son was away at college, but our five younger children were at home. I believe my husband saved my life. He made me take two aspirin (NOTE: That could have been fatal if I’d had the other kind of stroke, an aneurism, so “don’t try this at home.” But in my case, it was the perfect thing to do.) and calling the ambulance. For two days I couldn’t read or write. We were home schooling, and our two youngest children had not yet begun to read. I wasn’t sure what we would do if I wasn’t able to teach them. But God restored all my faculties. After nine days of tests, I was released from the hospital, but they never found out what caused the stroke. I was a news correspondent at the time. A couple of years later, I started seriously writing fiction.

We are glad you have recovered fully!

As a writer, if you had one thing you would do over again, what would it be?

I would start seriously trying to be published sooner. My first published book released when I was 50.

Amen. I'm right there with you. 

Tell us about what project you are currently working on.

The Sister’s Search will release July 19. It’s the third and final book in a historical series, Homeward Trails, set in the 1860s. A grandmother in Maine has hired an attorney and his investigator to find her three grandchildren. Twenty years earlier, they were abandoned by their father and adopted by three very different families. In the first two books, Ryland searched for and found the two boys and brought them back to visit their grandmother. Now he’s trying to find Jane, who was only an infant when she was adopted. His journey takes him to post-Civil-War Texas, where chaos and violence are the order of the day. Meanwhile, Jane (now Molly Weaver) is searching for her adoptive brother, who’s in a fix. Just when things are looking up, a stranger shows up claiming to be her “real” father.

What surprised you the most during the research for the book you are currently working on?

After the Civil War, Texas was not readmitted to the Union until 1870, five years after the war ended.

No wonder Texans have always had a bit of a chip on their shoulders when it came to being part of the U.S. Now, it makes sense. 

When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you?

I’m an eclectic reader. I love mysteries, but I also love history, intrigue, and a bit of romance. I listen to my sisters and close friends. If they say they loved a book, chances are I’ll try it. I also subscribe to several daily email lists of new and discounted books. The main character must be someone I can love, or at least someone I can cheer on. If the lead isn’t likable, I’m not interested. Of course, some characters start out unlikable and change along the way, and I’m open to that. And their goals and motivation have to make sense to me.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?

We’ve all had a lot of tough happenings in the past few years. A verse that I’ve taped to my monitor and reread often is Psalm 48:14. For this God is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even unto death. That reminds me that God doesn’t change. He’s our solid rock, and no matter how bleak this world looks, He is in control.

Amen. It's His Kingdom. His Creation. HIS-tory. 

Susan, we appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedule to give our readers and glimpse into your life and writing. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover?

One thing that’s been a joy for me is visiting the settings of many of my books. A lot are set in Maine, where I grew up and spent most of my life, and a few are in Oregon, my husband’s home state. We lived there for a year. But I’ve also been able to visit places like Alaska and Arizona, where I was able to visit a lot of fascinating places and do research at archives, libraries, and museums. Texas and Idaho are other settings with fond memories for me.

I’ve now lived in Kentucky almost twelve years, and only in the last two years have I started writing books with this setting. I felt that I wouldn’t sound genuine until I’d lived here a while. At last I felt confident enough to write Blue Plate Special, the first book in my True Blue Mysteries series, set in Calloway County. The reception has been terrific, and I’m glad I took the leap.

Kentucky and Texas versus Oregon or Maine? Yeah, just a little different. :-)

Susan, it's been a pleasure having you on the front porch, sharing your personal stories with our readers.

Readers, if you'd like to find out more about Susan and her writing, you can find her at these "cyberspatial" locations: 

Website: https://susanpagedavis.com

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/susan-page-davis

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanpagedavisauthor

  

We'll see you again in June!

Kevin

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Author Behind the Story Blog Series - Erin Howard

Have you noticed it? The shift in mentality? Ever since the pandemic, people have had time to evaluate things. What seemed so important on February 2020 suddenly were not so much after March 2020. I know, for me, a great many things crystalized. God has used the last nineteen months to sharpen my focus and has forced me to make decisions...ones I am happy I've made.

One of those decisions is to spend a lot more time in His Word...much ore than I was spending before. More time in prayer. More time focusing on His will, as opposed to mine and everybody's else's.

As a result, I've decided to change the format of this particular blog. Instead of having an author featured every month, I have decided to change that to once a quarter, meaning we will feature an author each March, June, September, and December.

Another change is the creation of a new blog which will appear on my website once a month, beginning the third Monday of January. It will be a "devotional" type of blog, wherein I will post a portion of a chapter of a new book I've been writing that I decided to reveal in this way, instead of going through traditional publishing means. You'll see it appear on my website under the "Author's Blogs" section and will be called The King and His Kingdom: Viewing This Life Through the Eyes of the Almighty. Be on the lookout in January 2022.

Therefore, as we shift on this blog from once a month to once a quarter, we welcome our last, but definitely not the least, author to the Florida Front Porch! Please welcome to ABTS, Fellow Scrivenings Press author, Erin Howard!

Erin, in ABTS style, give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Erin Howard?

Hi! I’m Erin R. Howard, YA fantasy author of The Kalila Chronicles, freelance developmental editor, and a small business owner of a retail store where I can fuel my craft addictions. I live in Western Kentucky with my husband and three kiddos.

What educational background do you have? 

I have a BA in Creative Writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. I went back to school in 2012 after having two of my kids and then opened a retail store and got pregnant with my third child, all while going to school full-time online. It was a crazy, busy, and stressful time, but so worth it.

To help our readers get to know you a little better, what makes you cringe? 

I absolutely cringe at the sound of Styrofoam rubbing together. If it happens while we are in the car (take out boxes or drinks), they will immediately yell, “I know, I know, I’ll get it!”

I think we all have our pet peeves when it comes to noises, right?

If you had your life to live over again, besides being an author (which we guess would be your obvious answer), what profession would you choose? 

A movie director/producer.

Besides storytelling, what talents do you have? 

I love to crochet and do anything craft-related. Before I opened my retail store, I taught cake decorating.

Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author? 

My son was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2016, just two days after Christmas. He was in treatment for almost three years. He is doing well and has been finished with chemo for two years, but this experience changed everything. There was the Erin before he was sick and the Erin after.

I'll bet. And we're so glad to hear about his progress! 

Do you ever receive negative reviews from readers? If so, how do you respond when you see them? 

I have. It’s something that every writer faces because our stories are not going to be for everyone, and that’s okay. It doesn’t make it easier, but I try to remember that when I see one pop up. I think since I write about the supernatural, it’s easy for some people to get upset because it doesn’t follow the scriptures 100%. I am a Christian. However, I write clean fantasy. It’s not going to be theologically sound because it’s fantasy. I write about darker themes so readers can find light in their darkness and know that there’s hope.

Tell us about what project you are currently working on. 

I’m working on a brand-new series called Gates of Deceit. It’s a YA dystopian series about a teenage girl that gets locked out of her community and has to survive out in the forest they are all forbidden to enter. It’s suspenseful and keeps you on the edge of your seat. The first book, Beyond the Gates, releases May 2020.

How do you come up with the names for your characters? 

I love to look up names in Hebrew or Latin that have meanings that pertain to the themes of my story. I also love names that are spelled differently with the letter “K." For example, my main character in The Kalila Chronicles is named Viktor instead of Victor.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus, and why? 

A long time ago, I dreamed the angel Gabriel sat down with me, and I got to ask questions about spiritual warfare. So I think I would have to go with that.

Interesting choice. Not your typical "person" chosen. :-)

When you are looking for a book to read, what are the things that are important to you? 

I love to read, but I’m always so busy that I have to be very picky at what I pick up. I have a wide variety of genres that I enjoy, but fantasy is my favorite. IF the cover catches my eye, then I will read the back cover copy. IF that sounds interesting, I will turn to the first chapter. IF the opening sentence is a hook, I will keep reading, but it has to keep my interest within the first few pages, or I put it down.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why? 

The verse that carried me through my son’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. A few months before he got sick, Ex 14:14 came up in my Bible reading, and I started studying it in Hebrew/Greek Study Bible. I wrote out everything that God told me that day about learning how to be still to let Him fight for you. When Gabriel got sick, I believe it was my sister, sent me that verse, not knowing that I just spent months studying and thinking about it. It was my confirmation that Gabriel was going to be okay.

How awesome! God is good. What a great way to wind things up! Erin, is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover? 

Thank you so much, Kevin, for having me on your blog! I love to connect with and hear from my readers, so I hope that you will check out my website and follow me on social media. I’m most active on TikTok, FB, and Instagram.

You're welcome!

Readers, if you wish to read more about Erin and her writing, you can find her at these cyber-locations:

Website: https://erinrhoward.com/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@erinrhoward

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/E.R.H.Fiction/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErinRHoward

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erinrhoward/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/erinrhoward/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/c386-H

Crafty Pages YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCchg-XMNW2b7GTjnfF2wYHg

Once Upon a Page YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEiu-jq-KE-VMIjbtmGLbJA

 

Readers, thank you for stopping by! And remember, we will continue building this "database" of authors, it will just shift to four times a year.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas, a joyous New Year, and don't forget to check out my new blog in January!









Kevin 





 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Author Behind the Story Blog Series - Liana George

What a difference a month makes. Ninety degrees in FLA thirty days ago. Struggling to make sixty degrees with almost forty-eight straight hours of rain the next. Then, a week from now, forecast says it will be back in the low 80s.

At least there's no snow to shovel.

And if you're thinking of moving down here, just know that 1,300 other people a day beat you down here over the summer. Schools in many areas are seeing the biggest enrollments ever. 

But we still have as many "Now Hiring" signs as any other state. So go figure.

A new normal, for sure.

And there's something else new around here...or should we say, someone new. A new author, to be exact. Let's welcome to the Florida Front Porch Scrivenings Press author, Liana George!

Liana, in ABTS style, give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Liana George? 

I’m a wife and mother turned professional organizer and author who loves to read good books, travel extensively, vacation at the beach (so I can scuba dive), and watch tennis. I like to think I’m a curious curator of life’s less notable, yet note-worthy, stories.

Besides storytelling, what talents do you have?  

I’m good at organizing spaces and projects, can clip a chicken’s wings so it doesn’t fly away, and have a knack for finding things my husband can’t.

Well, to be honest, isn't that last one kind of an "every wife" superpower? :-)

If you had your life to live over again, besides being an author (which we guess would be your obvious answer), what profession would you choose? 

I would have been a professional tennis player. I’m fairly athletic and fell in love with the sport at an early age, but my parents felt it would be better for me to play soccer and softball. I played tennis quite a bit as an adult, but by then it was too late to pursue my dream of being a Wimbledon champion.

Based on the different personality profiles out there (Meyers-Briggs, etc.), what profile was the latest one you took, and what were the results? 

Enneagram, and I’m a 6, the Loyalist. I find that to be very consistent with my personality as I value truth, loyalty, and honesty, and I don’t like chaos, being judged, or feeling abandoned. I’m extremely dependable, caring, and warm (in my opinion!).

What makes you cringe?

Reptiles - particularly snakes - politics, and lemons.

Interesting trio. All slimy in some form or fashion. Ha!

What’s the craziest thing you have ever done? 

Rode a donkey up Mt. Sinai (Egypt) in the middle of the night to see the sunrise!

Tell us about what project you are currently working on. 

I just finished the rough draft of the second book in my Hopeful Heart Series, Perfectly Placed and will begin editing it in the next few weeks. Excited to continue my protagonist’s story!

What surprised you the most during the research for the book you are currently working on? 

That if you are a foreigner arrested in China, you can request that a pastor or priest visit you in jail (but no one else other than an Embassy liaison or your lawyer).

Tell us about your writing day. How do you go about writing? 

I’ve found my best writing times are between 10 am and 5 pm, so those are the times I set aside to write. The first few hours I do freelance writing for an organizing company which jumpstarts my brain to get into the writing mode. After lunch I work on my novel writing, which I do all in long-hand. My goal is to write Monday-Friday, but I’m not rigid with my schedule.

Has your writing crossed over into other areas? If so, how? If not, will it? 

Yes, it has. I’ve always wanted to write a devotional about being organized and what the Bible has to say about the topic, but I put it on the backburner for years. I was recently introduced to another writer who had already self-published a book along the same lines, and we’ve decided to team up and write a book of organizing devotions that we hope to present to agents in the spring. I think being a fiction writer really helps with this project as sixty percent of a devotion is storytelling, so I’m able to use my fiction experience to crossover to non-fiction without too much trouble.

If you had one person you could meet (think outside the Bible here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be and why? 

Lin Manuel-Miranda (creator of the Broadway hit, Hamilton). I think he’s a creative genius, and I’d love to see him in action, ask him where gets his inspiration, and observe his work routines to see if I can learn anything from him that I could apply to my own life.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus, and why?

Sara. Like me, she spent a lot of time following her husband around the globe and wandering around. I’d like to know if all that moving was hard, what did she learn from it, and what would she have done differently.

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why? 

Acts 18: 9 – 10, “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking; do not be silent for I am with you.” For me, this verse was God’s confirmation to me concerning my communication talents (speaking and writing), and to be bold in using them. This was especially helpful when I was doubting myself as a writer early on. But as He can only do, He spoke this truth into my heart, and I’ve claimed this verse as my own and as my motivation for what I do.

Liana, it's been a pleasure. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover? 

My goal is to write stories which are full of humor and heart. When a reader finishes my debut novel, Perfectly Arranged, I hope they will feel as if I kept that promise to them.

Readers, if you'd like to get to know Liana better, here are soe places on the web where you can find her: 

Connect with Liana at: www.lianageorge.com or through any of these social media platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LianaGWriter/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lianaygeorge/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/liana2404/

YouTube: https://bit.ly/BGOSYTchannel (organizing videos)

YouTube: https://bit.ly/LGWriterYT (writer videos)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/liana-george/

Amazon Author page:  https://bit.ly/LGAmazonAuthor

Goodreads Author page: https://bit.ly/LianaGeorgeGR

BookBub Author page: https://bit.ly/LianaGeorgeBB

Newsletter signup: https://bit.ly/LGWsignup



Until next time!


Kevin 

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Author Behind the Story Blog Series - Brett Armstrong

I saw a meme recently. It showed a beautiful, serene photo of a country road traversing through a canopy of trees that displayed all the colors of fall. The caption read: "It's Officially fall!" Then, in a smaller font at the bottom, it said: "Offer not valid in Florida."

Isn't that the truth.

It's been in the low 90s. It's humid. Orlando almost set a record a few days ago, which would have broken the record set back in 1919.

Therefore, if you have any fall-ish weather you want to send our way, please do.

Our next guest on the Florida front porch may welcome this warmer weather, as he hails from West Virginia, which, if memory serves, if a little farther north than Florida. :-)

Please welcome fellow speculative fiction and Scrivenings Press author, Brett Armstrong!

Brett, give us a quick bio. In fifty words or less, who is Brett Armstrong? 

I’m a Christian, thirty-four-year-old husband and dad from small town West Virginia who works with infectious disease data by day and write novels across multiple genres by night. Though lately I’m centered on fantasy and sci-fi. I like gardening, sketching, and race a mean Mario kart.

Brett and I have talked about this before. Being a person who works with infectious disease data for the state, you can just imagine how his last eighteen months of life have been, right? Our hearts go out to you, man.

I’m going to give you a shotgun list of favorites. List your favorite in each category and then tell us in one sentence why it is your favorite.  

Favorite Song of All-Time: "Amazing Grace"—Of course the spiritual context and beauty of the song would be enough, but it’s also a stark memory I have from every family funeral I’ve been to (and that’s been quite a few) and because of that the song keeps me grounded in remembering how much more lies after all our senses offer us now.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book (other than your own & besides the Bible): Not a Fan by Kyle Idelman— Idleman is very to the point and puts things into perspective really nicely, in terms of the kind of sincere devotion Christ deserves compared to what is often encouraged in western believers.

Favorite Bible Verse: John 10:27-30—I know that’s three, but together they offered me a lot of comfort as a young Christian and so much more as the years go by.

Favorite Movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade—This is a tough call between Last Crusade, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the King, but the dynamic between Indy, his dad, Sallah, Marcus, and the message woven into it put Last Crusade over the top for me.

Favorite Actor or Actress: Harrison Ford—He’s been in Star Wars and Indiana Jones and I’ve enjoyed pretty much every movie I’ve seen him in, plus he does his own stunts.

(Did you know he was a set worker as a carpenter in the making of the first SW Movie, trying to break into show business? He was given a chance to read the Hans Solo part and wowed Lucas.) 

Favorite TV Show: The Chosen—This was tough, because I’ve seen a fair amount of TV shows and liked quite a few from Psych to Star Wars: Rebels to The West Wing, but The Chosen pushes me to mull things over for far longer than any other show to date.

Favorite Novel (other than your own): The Silver Chair—I kind of surprised myself with this pick, but there are moments in the story that I carry with me into life and I could read or hear this book a thousand times and not grow tired of it.

Favorite Author (other than you): I fail…it’s a five way tie between CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Timothy Zahn, HG Wells, and William Shakespeare—they’ve all impacted me so much as a writer and for such diverse reasons that I can’t choose.

Favorite Sport: Basketball—I played soccer for my high school, but there were a lot of after school pick up games and church league seasons that forged memories I still treasure.

Favorite Team (Can be any sport, any level): WVU Mountaineers—I grew up a WVU fan and after spending six years at WVU I’ll always pick WVU to win, no matter the sport.

Favorite Subject in School Growing Up: History—I’m an English and Math lover, but I’m a take-the-history-textbooks-home-to-read-for-fun level History nerd.

Favorite Subject Now: Apologetics—I’m cheating here, because it incorporates history, language, math, science, philosophy, theology, and more into one nice category.

Favorite Teacher in School: I had too many great teachers from elementary school through college to pick and I realize that’s a true and rare blessing.

Favorite Time of the Year: Fall—I used to hate it as a kid, but now I revel in that crisp chill and the building excitement of the holidays spent with family from Halloween to Advent in anticipation of Christmas.

(Then, don't move to Florida - fall gets cancelled every year in favor of an extended summer) 

Favorite Place to Vacation: This is another non-answer I suppose, but anywhere I can be with my family—We’ve been blessed to travel to the Smokey Mountains, several beaches, historical sites like Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown, and others, but what makes all of the most special was the people I shared each experience with.

Favorite Drink: Water—I’m so uninteresting, I only drink water and orange juice really, and of the two one is essential for life.

Favorite Food: Pumpkin anything—I don’t understand why people think they have to wait for the fall to eat pumpkin dishes; it’s a super food, sold year-round, and makes things delicious.


For all the pet lovers out there, answer this question: Do you have any? 

We have the world’s chattiest cat. Like Rambo-machine gun-rapid fire meowing-chatty. But he’s also perhaps the most mild and agreeable cat I’ve ever seen. And we’re pretty sure God sent him to us for a purpose.

For years a gray cat would come to visit our house. Our neighborhood is pretty rural so most people let their pets wander freely so we never thought much about him other than he was a nice cat and really liked hanging around our house (especially since we started feeding him). Late last year he showed up at our house over the course of several weeks looking matted and with a bloody ear. We asked around and found out no one knew to whom he belonged. But after seeing him bleeding with no care, we decided to adopt him. Little did we know that once he got in he’d never stop talking (he regularly says what sounds like, “Hello!” and he doesn’t stop until we respond with, “Hello, Kitty.”). When he wants something, he determinedly chatters at us till he gets what he wants, particularly his treats. One night though he was particularly vocal. He came in my bedroom and wouldn’t stop meowing till I got up and followed him. My son was asleep so I definitely didn’t want the cat’s noises to disturb him. I started to get him some treats and head back to the bedroom when I noticed he wasn’t paying any attention to the treats. He was looking at the door to my son’s room, which was shut (ironically to keep the cat out) and he meowed at me a couple times. I’ve seen dogs do this, well in TV shows at least, and thought I would check it out. It was a good thing I did. My son had a lamp with incandescent bendable lights that he wanted on when he goes to sleep and that night, they had been bent away so they wouldn’t shine in his eyes. The lamp’s bulb houses were melting and smoke was rolling off them. I turned off the lamp and unplugged it right away and went back outside without my son stirring. The cat was just sitting there expectantly, like he was saying, “I told you.” If we hadn’t chosen to adopt our new kitty friend and the lamps had been left alone, I could see how they could have readily started a fire. And being in my son’s room, by his door that would’ve been terrible. I don’t know that our cat was intentionally being heroic, but when I explained to my wife what happened she agreed that our chatty little friend was a gift from God at just the right time.

What a cool story! My grandson would agree. Cats are the best, he would say.

Of all the stories/books you have written, which one is your favorite? And what compelled you to write this story? 

This is a really tough question, because as cliché as it sounds, I do prize each story I write equally. The themes and beats of the stories vary and that means that no one of them speaks more loudly to my heart than the others. Though if I’m really getting into slight diminutions in value, my first published novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, does feel a little different from the others. It’s the most openly artistic book I’ve ever written, because it started as a short story in a college fiction writing course. I was nervous sharing it in my secular course because it is the most spiritually direct of my stories. It’s about a 4th Century Roman Senator who is a Christian in secret during Diocletian’s persecution and his secret is betrayed, so he loses everything.

To my astonishment my classmates embraced the short story version enthusiastically and encouraged me to turn it into a novel, even offering to help however they could. So, when it came time to choose my capstone project, I knew that DQR needed to be it. Most of my books are sci-fi and fantasy, because that’s the kind of stories that usually come to me, but DQR just flowed. I love history and historical fiction, so it shouldn’t surprise me, but even with genres I enjoy the stories don’t always come that readily. It’s probably the most impactful of my stories because it’s about persecution, loss, and choosing to forgive as Christ does. Most of my books address the notion that Christians must remain faithful to Christ in the face of opposition. The world and the teachings are Christ are on opposite courses and at some point, all cultures reach a place of hostility to genuine Christianity. In that respect I wrote it to encourage believers in the west like me who have never faced that sort of persecution. But there are places across the globe where following Christ is incredibly and immediately dangerous. The Bible instructs to pray for those who are suffering for faith in Christ as though we are suffering along with them (Hebrews 13:3). So, DQR is also meant to encourage us in the west to do that for our brothers and sisters abroad.

As a writer, if you had one thing you would do over again, what would it be? 

I’ve done so many things wrong in my publishing career it sometimes feels like it would be easier to point out the few bright spots of things that I did right. Among the things that traditional publishing wisdom frowns on is my choice to write two series at the same time. It breaks the established publishing model for a series having quick yearly (or even semi-annual) releases to keep reader engagement and interest high. It also divides your interest and effort and depending on how different the series are can force you to make some giant leaps back and forth between the two. Which if you’re writing different genre series like I happen to be, you’re also going to be breaking the publishing rule about sabotaging reader expectations, because I can attest that not every reader enthused for a dystopian sci-fi series will happily pick up an epic fantasy one. Which is probably what I would change. So, bear with me, because this might not make a lot of sense at first.

I wouldn’t go back and change the series I’m writing or doing them at the same time or even how far apart the books were published. Quest of Fire has met the book a year pace so far, but my dystopian sci-fi Tomorrow’s Edge series had a three-year gap between book one and book two. Book two and book three will be at least two years and if my day job doesn’t relent from its added pressures, I may be doing well to get the final entry to readers in three years as well. What I’ve discovered is that anytime the Lord allows me to take longer with composing a book there are elements that enhance and enrich the book far more that wouldn’t have made it into the story if I had kept the schedule the publishing world and I would like to adhere to. So, it’s not the what or the when or the how I would change in doing two series at once, but the who. And by that I mean, I would change myself. If I could go back, I would go into it without the naiveté. I wouldn’t presume that all readers who like anything I write will like everything. I wouldn’t assume that everyone who read and reviewed one book would do so for another and be more proactive in branching out and forging new publishing world relationships. I’d be conscientious to market the two series differently, focus less on cross marketing my two series together and rather find others marketing like books to work with so each series would get the best chance to succeed respectively. A lot of publishing and how you view your career is colored by how much pain it took to get you to where you’re currently at. I think with a bit of knowledge I could’ve avoided a fair amount of pain, but still produced the books in each series each of which has been a blessing.

Tell us about what project you are currently working on. 

Based on some guide points from my Quest of Fire publisher, I’m realigning my writing schedule around getting the fourth entry in the Quest of Fire series completed. At present the plan is to have it ready for release this time next year. The overall series is meant to be seven books, four novels and three novellas in alternation. Each novella is meant to complement the novel that precedes it. Being a small press author, I’m not really allowed to write books that are six or seven hundred pages long, but the conflicts and characters for Quest of Fire really need space to develop. The next novella, which I call Quest of Fire: Devastation, is telling a story around one of the main characters from the novels who goes in a different direction from the other protagonists and puts him on a path that will help establish the primary conflicts and villains of the next novel. World building is extremely important to me and Devastation will give me the chance to better build out the Commonwealth of Ecthelowall during the Middle Era of the Lowlands. I also enjoy foreshadowing and being able to tell sweeping narratives in the novels and then step back and do focused character building and offer additional perspectives around the events in both the preceding and succeeding novels is super exciting. It might be another of my publishing mistakes to think that readers will embrace this approach to storytelling. But it’s one I’m very much enjoying and the best way I can think of to tell such an expansive story with the constraints of where I’m at in my writing career applied.

As a writer, what is “success” to you? And has that “definition” changed over time as you have traveled down the writer’s path? 

This has definitely changed over time. At varying points I have and still do look at critical success (reviews and contest wins) or financial success (plentiful sales). The problem with those metrics is that often enough I don’t experience what I’m expecting or wanting in those categories and that leaves me feeling like a failure. Yet every time I want to quit and go the Lord and say, “Okay, does this mean I should stop?” the Lord has given me a reason to keep writing or the peace to stay the course until the sting of whatever has laid low my self-esteem. The more I stay in writing and keep going without being sent away from it by the Lord, the more I look to different measures for what constitutes success. Early in my publishing career I prayed that I would write what the Lord would have me to and how and when He lead. I often say I want to be a brush in the Master Artist’s hand. To that end, if He wants to use me for little things which do not garner critical or financial success, then I want to be wholly committed to realizing what He envisions for the projects that I’m given. It isn’t easy to remember that, because I’m a little competitive by nature and the commercialized world we live in really wears at you because it very much offers up success as an intersection of critical and financial wins. Which as I learned from a keynote by best-selling author Brent Weeks, is something of a moving target. The higher you climb, the more aware you become of how many others are higher still on that ladder than you. Keeping a healthier attitude for me then becomes something akin to keeping the lyrics of the Casting Crown song “Nobody” in mind:

“And if they all forget my name, well that's fine with me; I'm living for the world to see Nobody but Jesus”

It’s still a regular struggle, but when I align that to be my metric of success, then I find myself much less stressed and much more grateful for every opportunity I have, however big or small. It lets me treasure when readers say a story challenged them and stayed with them long after finishing or encouraged them in their faith. It isn’t an award or best-seller status, but it is a blessing and privilege and success for me.

If you had one person you could meet (think ONLY Bible characters here) and could spend as much time as you wanted with that individual, who would it be besides Jesus, and why?

I would love to meet the Apostle John. Like nerdy, fanboy level excited to get to talk to him. John’s Gospel has touched me the most deeply of the four. It would be fascinating to get to talk to him about what it was like starting out as a young man following the Messiah and going from someone who wanted to call down fire from Heaven to consume those who mocked Christ to writing in his old age about love being what defines us as believers. To have been the only member of the twelve at the foot of the cross. To have seen Christ personally and been so close as to name himself the beloved disciple and yet be so consumed in awe-filled terror that he collapsed at the sight of the glorified Christ in the revelation on Patmos. The breadth of his experiences and their uniqueness and how it impacted him and how some things like the threats from his people’s leaders, his brother’s execution, and seeing all those who walked closest with Christ in His first coming perish—most martyred—while he lived…that would be truly something incredible. If we are permitted speak with the Apostles in Heaven one day, John is most certainly the one I’ll be making a beeline for.

Why do you live where you live?

Family. I’m an only child of two parents who were coming to a close of their potential window to have children. I was a surprise to them and they most definitely made me feel treasured and loved growing up. Being the youngest member of my familial generation, I’ve also been to a lot of funerals. Some for family members I never really got to know, some for those that hurt deeply to lose and it seems unfathomable to think of the world without them in it. In particular I wish I’d gotten closer to my grandparents.

Small town West Virginia isn’t a bustling metropolis. I went to undergraduate school at West Virginia University in Morgantown, and that’s about the closest one could find to a multicultural and thriving area in the state. Innovation and expansion abound there and I often miss it and realize my day career would likely be doing far better by worldly standards if I had stayed there after graduating. Though it would likely have already led me out of state, because a lot of the opportunities presented to me during my final semester was for companies offering jobs in other states and countries. I won’t lie and say that when I look at my state pay check and think about all of the skills and things I’ve learned that will likely never get used now, I don’t start thinking about the proverbial greener grass. But every time I see my son with my parents that grass looks much less verdant.

We know “Readers are leaders, and leaders are readers.” Is there a book you’ve read in the past five years or so that has helped you become a better you? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life?

I’m ashamed to admit it given I’m a fantasy writer, but until five years ago I had only read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia series. Reading The Silver Chair and The Last Battle in particular have made a huge impact on me. I’ll never forget the first time I completed The Silver Chair. I had just found out that one of my closest friends growing up who had gone forward to accept Christ on the same night I had as kids had become an atheist. In college I saw him reading apologetics books, including CS Lewis’s works. I contacted him right after seeing it and asked if he’d be willing to talk to me about it because I couldn’t believe it.

As it happened, I had been reading through the Narnia series finally and finished up The Silver Chair the night before I was supposed to see my friend for the first time in years. He looked and sounded just like himself. We saw a movie together, had lunch, and talked for most of the time as we had in years past. Then the conversation turned to his decision to renounce the Faith. His reasons didn’t seem as surprising or compelling as I had expected from someone who had no doubt read the counterarguments to those he presented. Which seemed to underscore the sequence from The Silver Chair I’d read in which Puddleglum the Marshwiggle after being browbeaten by a witch who tried to convince him and the other heroes that everything they believed in was a lie proclaims, “I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.” It’s all about faith. After every argument is heard, every evidence examined, there is still that choice like unto the beginning in the Garden of Eden. We either choose to believe God or not and The Silver Chair articulated beautifully for me so many things that I was sorting through at that moment in my life. I pray that someday my stories can do the same and put to words what someone is thinking and needs at an important moment in their life. That those words will help them to stand firm in the Faith and press on to lay hold of “the prize of God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why? 

The verses that have most impacted me over the years would have to be John 10:27-30. Early on in my walk with Christ I was really concerned that there was something, anything, I could do to sabotage the new life I had been called to. Whether spiritual forces or my own weakness and foolishness (the latter being my primary concern), I worried I might make a wreck of everything. Before I encountered the encouraging words of Romans 8:38-39, I was directed to Christ’s words in John’s Gospel by an uncle who I respected very much. In some ways though less direct and explicit than the hope-filled promise found in the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans, I find Christ’s words here far more comforting. Perhaps it is because the Creator of the Universe is speaking them Himself. Or the tender imagery of being in the hands that were nail-scarred for my healing and redemption protectively holding me. The notion that I a sheep, given to wandering and utterly without defenses of my own, am securely held in the hands of the One Who formed me and knows every misstep I will take and every trial and tribulation ahead and yet assures me I cannot be snatched out of His holy, holy, holy hands. On the days when I give this passage serious consideration, meditating even for a while on it, I have to admit that the comfort makes facing each step ahead in life easier.

Brett, we're so glad you agreed to be a part of our growing family here at ABTS. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, or anything we didn’t cover? 

Just that I sincerely appreciate you having me on your blog and those who have made it this far reading what I had to say. I know I’m a small-time author and not the most socially vibrant among many by far, so any time I have the chance to connect with other readers and writers like this, it means a lot to me. It’s a tall order in our busy world where finding a quiet moment to read anything seems tricky, but I hope some of you gentle readers will try one of my books, particularly my most recent release, Quest of Fire: Shadows at Nightfall. And I hope it encourages and enlivens your faith and sense of adventure. Whatever the case, it would be great to hear from those reading this and have some conversations and learn what some of your answers to these questions would be.

It's so rewarding when someone reads our stories, isn't it? Time is precious, and for them to take the time to obtain and read one says a great deal to an author. And when they like it (because let's face it, not everyone is going to like everything we write), and they share that with others, it sends an author over the moon.

Readers, if you want to learn more about Brett and his writing, you can find him at these online locations! 

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8281587.Brett_Armstrong

Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/brettarmstrongwv    

Twitter:        https://twitter.com/BArmstrongWV  

Instagram:    https://www.instagram.com/BrettArmstrongAuthor

Pinterest:      http://www.pinterest.com/ChristianKid044 

Website:       https://BrettArmstrong.net  

Most Recent Book: https://scrivenings.link/shadowsatnightfall

 


Until next time,


Kevin

www.ckevinthompson.com