Monday, December 7, 2015
Can you imagine a new baby girl being unwanted for the very fact that she is a girl? Sadly, this is a common reality for many girls in South Asia. In this story, Mayuri and her daughter represent thousands of women in similar situations in Asia.
When a baby girl is born, an immediate mark is placed on the child. Not a visible mark. Not yet. That comes later in the form of a red dot in the middle of the forehead. Instead, when the little girl is born, a cultural mark is affixed to her the moment she takes in her first breath. Born in many other nations, she would be educated, challenged to be all she can be, and given as many opportunities as possible.
However, in India, she has little to celebrate with this thing we call "life."
Come read Mayuri's story.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Monday, November 2, 2015
Ruth grew up in a part of the world where women are reviled and abused simply for being female, but her father displayed an exceptional hatred toward her.
Ruth finally asked him the reason for his hatred, and her father shouted, “You should have been a boy!” Afterward, he stopped speaking to her altogether. But the story doesn't end with this pain and heartache – God brought restoration in Ruth’s relationship with her father.
Watch her story and find out what you can do to help women like Ruth.
Friday, October 23, 2015
Monday, October 5, 2015
Chapatis are unleavened flat breads and are often served with every meal in north India. They are torn into smaller pieces and used to pick up food from the plate. Much of a day can be spent cooking in an Indian household.
Friday, September 25, 2015
There are many "four-letter" words in the writing business. TIME is one of them. Come check out my blog titled, "Another Four-Letter Word," on what writers are supposed to do in this critical area in which we all struggle.
*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Monday, September 7, 2015
Gospel for Asia’s documentary film, Veil of Tears: Hope Is on the Way, is a glimpse into the suffering and hardship women in Asia struggle with on a daily basis.
Humans like to celebrate culture. Sometimes, though, culture isn't so glorious.
Click on the title above to see the trailer.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Come check out what I think is one of my best non-writing blogs to date!
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around, him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying…” (Matthew 13:1-3; NIV, emphasis added). Jesus goes on to tell the crowds about a farmer sowing seed:The Parable of The Sower.
Jesus told stories to communicate truth. So, how does that play out for us?
Come read my blog, "Parabolic Tales for the Ages."
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Monday, August 3, 2015
No matter where you live, if you are a young person (a child, teenager, young adult), you face challenges. Many are different, like hunger. Something children in America rarely experience this malady to the degree other children do in countries like Sudan and Ethiopia. Yet, many challenges are the same. Like drugs, which have infiltrated and infested most, if not all, "civilized" societies. But these are just a few.
Young people in Asia face a great deal as well. Besides hunger and drugs, they also must contend with disease, loneliness, human trafficking, alcohol abuse, and more. Gospel for Asia missionaries reaching out to youth know that they need the love of Jesus just as much as their parents.
As you pray, will you do so for the GFA missionaries and the Asian youth to whom they minister? Here's how you can do so specifically: Praying for Asia's Youth.
Friday, July 24, 2015
You’ve probably heard the news.
They join a long litany of publishers and imprints that have decided to get out of the Christian fiction market in one way or another citing the bottom line as the main reason. No one can blame them, really. It is a business. Businesses have to stay afloat.
So, what's the answer for authors? Come read my blog, "God's Still on the Throne."
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Monday, July 6, 2015
A small girl walks barefoot around a half-starved dog lying in her path. She picks her way over garbage and sewer-sodden ground as she approaches the rag hut that is her home. She is unaware that life could be lived any other way. This is a day in the life of a Dalit.
In light of our recent celebration of freedom here in America, it's hard to believe people like Dalits even exist. Some 300 million Dalits or “Untouchables” comprise the lowest rung of the still-practiced Hindu caste system. These people are despised, viewed as subhuman, and treated like dirt. They are made fun of in comedy shows like The Big Bang Theory by writers and actors who do not understand the depths to which depraved humanity can plummet. If they only knew, then maybe they would reach out to these "Untouchables" with all the resources they have instead of using them as a punchline.
Read about the lowest of the low HERE and pray for these little ones.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Ever wonder how authors come up with names for their characters? I’m not sure if they are unique or not, but I’ve used several methods.
Come read my blog, "What's in a Name? Memories, Perhaps?" to find out how one author does it.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Monday, June 1, 2015
How many of us have been caught up in the rat race by looking good on the outside, but at home, everything is a mess?
From the outside, Saachi’s life looked perfect. But on the inside, her life began to fall apart, and eventually Saachi believed death was her only option.
The human condition runs as deep and as common as sin. "For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Some people, however, have many more obstacles to hurdle.
Come meet Saachi and allow her to tell you her story.
Friday, May 22, 2015
David Koepp. Chuck Lorre. Brian Garfield.
Ever hear of these people?
Do Jurassic Park, The Big Bang Theory, and Hopscotch ring any bells?
Come read my blog, "Cheers! A Place Where Everybody Doesn't Know Your Name," to learn about these writers.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Imagine if you couldn't read these words.
Why would you even be here right now?
And think of all the things you do read on a daily basis.
If you could not read, how would that affect your life?
Give it a few minutes. Let your mind replay your average day. Don't forget the mail...and the cereal boxes...and the prescription medication bottles...and the driver's license test you took years ago...and the...
Now, how would you life be different today if you were never taught to read?
Or what if, in addition to not being able to read, you can't write either.
You're unable to even write your own name.
Would you say literacy is crippling? The ability to read and write is one of the most basic privileges a human can acquire. One we often take for granted here in the West (Oh, and by the way, thank God for your teachers who taught you these skills).
Yet, as commonplace as these skills seem, they are foreign to millions of people.
However, there is something you can do about it.
Gospel for Asia has a literacy program. With literacy comes so much more.
Come hear how Asian women, who are not allowed to attend school, are being helped.
Friday, April 24, 2015
This isn’t an article to suggest which writer’s handbook you should have on your shelf. Nor is it about who’s come out with the next best book on writing.
This is an article to ask you this question: Are you paying attention to what you are reading? To put it another way, when you read, do you analyze the writing? Do you notice the good, the bad and the…not-so-good?
Want to read the rest? Click HERE.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
One of the things I love about writing is meeting great people. In this interview, my friend, Dan Walsh, gives us some real advice about the world of Christian publishing.
Dan, Welcome! Let's get started!
Give us a short bio (Who are you, hobbies, where do you live, etc.; whatever you feel comfortable telling).
Let’s see…I’m in my late 50s; I’ve been married for 38 years. We live in the Daytona Beach area and have lived in the same home for thirty years. We have two grown children; one is married the other is getting married this summer. We have two grandchildren who, thankfully, live less than ten minutes away. Since I began writing full-time in 2010, I don’t really have any discernible hobbies except for hanging out with my wife and getting with my kids and grandkids. We do like to take walks with our dogs, or on the beach which is only a ten minute drive away.
How did you become a fiction author?
Back in high school, I thought that’s what I’d be doing for my career. Life took me in a different direction after experiencing a call to pastoral ministry at nineteen. I became a full-time pastor at twenty-eight and served full-time in the same church for the next twenty-five years. I never lost my desire to write fiction, just didn’t have the time to pursue it. In 2007, with my kids now grown I had some free time on my hands. My wife suggested I take up writing fiction again. I finished a Christmas novel that year, rewrote and polished it up in 2008. I submitted it to a few A-list agents and, to my surprise, two of them loved what I sent. I signed with one and she had a book deal with a major publisher (Revell) within 2 months. My first novel, The Unfinished Gift, did very well. It sold over 50,000 copies, won 2 Carol awards and still sells well every Christmas. That began a fairly long-term relationship with my agent and Revell. My 12th and final novel with them comes out in September, another Christmas novel called Keeping Christmas.
What are you working on now?
In 2014, I could see that a major shift in publishing was underway. Many of my author friends were no longer being re-signed by their publishers, some of whom went out of business and others began a major downsizing due to all these changes. I decided I should prepare myself to become an indie publisher. Sure enough, at the end of last summer my publisher chose not to re-sign me, but I was ready. Since then, I released my first two indie books. A suspense novel called, When Night Comes, which has done very well since its release in November (sold over 6,000 copies). And I just released a new 31-Day Devotional called Perfect Peace a few weeks ago. I’m currently writing the first novel in a new trilogy. It’s called Rescuing Finley. I hope to have it ready to release by the end of June.
What are some of the challenges of being a fiction author?
I could take a long time on this one. Let me see…I guess the biggest challenge is learning how to write well enough, and tell stories with enough suspense, that people don’t want to put them down once they start. No amount of marketing skill or social media expertise can make up for a poorly written story. But once a writer hones the craft well enough, I suppose the greater challenges they will face is learning how to market and promote your own books. Writers by nature are more artistic and creative, not typically gifted in the business side of things.
Piggybacking on the question above, what was your greatest marketing obstacle, and how did you overcome it?
I’m something of an oddball. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial bent. I started a business from scratch when I was nineteen, then became a church planter at age 28. Until the church had grown to a certain size, I pretty much had to wear all the business hats. But I liked it and found the challenges stimulating. The problem was, I couldn’t do both things at the same time (the administrative/business things and the creative/artistic things). After leaving fulltime ministry in 2010 to write full-time, I’ve been a “kept man” being with the major publisher. They handled most of the marketing activity themselves, leaving me free to mostly just write. In the last 6-8 months, since going indie, I’ve had to learn to do both things at the same time. It’s still quite challenging, but I’m finally through the rapids and into calmer waters.
Besides the usual things authors face, has there been an unusual event that changed your perspective about being an author?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint any singular event, but I can definitely say my expectations of what it means to be a published author have dramatically changed. Before being published, I used to share the perspective I think many people outside the publishing world still have. That is, that published authors become wealthy and famous. The truth is, 95% of published authors don’t even make enough off their writing to be full-time, and only 1% actually enjoy the kind of success typically depicted on movies and TV shows (like Castle).
What marketing tips have you learned from your experiences as an author which may help our readers?
In some ways, my answer to this question would be very different depending on whether an author is under contract with a traditional publishing house (like I was for my first 12 novels), or is an indie like I am now. Most of the tips I would share would better help an indie author because, as I’ve said, when I was with Revell most of the marketing was done by their marketing or publicity departments (I just did what they asked me to).
Most of the things I’ve learned as an indie only work because I have complete control of the process behind the scenes. For example, I recently did a promotion for When Night Comes that required me to make all my e-books exclusively available through Amazon. But I was able to promote the book on a large email service that reaches tens of thousands of readers in a single day. I priced the book for 5 days at 99 cents. During the promo, Amazon let me keep 70% of the royalties. It cost me $420 to do the promo but I sold over 2,500 copies of the book in 5 days and made back over 4 times the cost of the ad in royalties. I wouldn’t have the freedom to do that before and if my publisher did something like that, I would only receive a small fraction of the sales.
In your “past lives” (think jobs you’ve had in the past you no longer have – not trying to get “new-agey” here), are there any “Do’s and Don’ts” you can list for writers when it comes to marketing? (Think Ten Commandment-style here, but you don’t have to use the Thou Shalts J)
1. Be creative and courageous but not foolish.
2. Map everything out as best you can to minimize surprises. Trust God for the results.
3. Learn from what others have done, pay attention to what has worked for them. But don’t just do the same thing. Be willing to make adjustments, as needed, in areas where your situation is not the same.
4. Don’t major on minors. I’ve found there are certain marketing activities I enjoy but they don’t do very much to help book sales. Other things I don’t enjoy very much turn out to be very effective. The goal of writing is to write a great book; the goal of marketing is sales (a very different goal). In marketing, you need to major on the things that are the most effective.
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 marketer? If so, which one was it, and how did it affect your life as a writer?
I’m sure there are some excellent books out there, but I’ve actually learned way more from interacting with other indie authors on Facebook than I have from any books I’ve read. There’s one group called Christian Indie Authors (CIA) that’s been especially helpful. I’ve asked many questions in this group and often receive exactly the help I need within an hour or two. It’s better than Google.
If you were asked to be on an editorial board for a publishing company, responsible for picking and choosing which books get published that year and which ones don’t, what advice would you give an author, based on your prior experiences?
I wouldn’t pay attention to trends, unless the publishing company was some radical new venture that could have a book on the shelves within two months of its completion (which indies can do). Most publishing houses require a year. There’s no way to know if what is trending now will still be trendy in a year. I would suggest they write a book that completely hooks the reader from the first few pages and doesn’t let up until the end. I would help them remove all the parts of their manuscript readers would probably skip. To me, the best asset for a book’s success is still the book itself. A great book is much easier to market.
What Bible scripture has impacted your life the most, and why?
Having walked with the Lord fairly closely for 40 years, it’s hard to pick just one Scripture above all others. Lately, it might be Isaiah 26:3, which says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You.” This is a verse that anchors my soul and serves as the key verse for my new devotional, Perfect Peace.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers about you, your writing, or anything we didn’t mention?
Maybe just a way they can connect with me online if they’d like. Probably the best thing is to simply go to my website www.danwalshbooks.com. There are buttons there to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or send me an email. You can also preview all my books by clicking on the Books button, then click on any of the covers to get a preview.
Thanks, Dan! May God bless your future endeavors!
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister with a B.A. In Bible (Houghton College, Houghton, NY), an M.A. in Christian Studies (Wesley Biblical Seminary, Jackson, MS), and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership (National-Louis University, Wheeling, IL). He presently works as an assistant principal in a middle school. He also has several years experience as an administrator at the high school level.
A former Language Arts teacher, Kevin decided to put his money where his mouth was and write, fiction mostly. Now, years later, he is a member of the Christian Authors Network (CAN), American Christian Fictions Writers (ACFW), and Word Weavers International. He is the Chapter President of Word Weavers-Lake County (FL), and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (Winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge - A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1, as well as articles in The Wesleyan Advocate, The Preacher, Vista, The Des Moines Register and The Ocala Star-Banner.
Kevin is a huge fan of the TV series 24 , The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.
Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Page
Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson
Wednesday, April 8, 2015
My latest blog entry for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) appeared today, April 8, 2015. Come check it out!
Keeping it All in Perspective by C. Kevin Thompson
Monday, April 6, 2015
Faced with one of life’s most difficult decisions, Geeta had nowhere to turn. Her story is echoed thousands of times by widows in South Asia. She struggles for survival. Yet through it all, her faith in Christ remains strong. Listen to her story HERE.
Want to help? Click below to see how...
Widows & Abandoned Children Need Your Help
Friday, March 27, 2015
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Check out my latest blog which appeared on the Christian Authors Network, entitled, Annoying Marketing.
Don't be shy...you can leave a comment here or there after you read it.
Have a blessed day!
*Picture courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
Monday, March 16, 2015
Imagine being married off at age 14 and being taken away from your friends and family. In the United States, that amounts to being in 8th grade.
Imagine by the age of 21 years old you had lost your husband, leaving you to fend for your three daughters all on your own in a land where women struggle to find menial jobs that pay mere pennies.
This was the story of Shiuli, a young widow.
Click on the link and read the short story entitled, Nepalese Woman Finds Hope Amidst Great Loss
Friday, February 27, 2015
Everything You Need to Know about Writing You Learned in Kindergarten (A Seriously Write Blog entry)
Show vs. Tell.
The age-old dilemma for every writer. But if you went to kindergarten, you already know what to do.
Come read my blog, Everything You Need to Know about Writing You Learned in Kindergarten, and find out what you already know!
Thursday, February 5, 2015
My latest entry on More To Life Magazine's Blog was posted on January 16, 2015.
Click HERE to read the edited, published version.
To see my original, unedited version, it is below.
I’m an educator. Assistant principal. I have a Bachelors Degree, two Masters Degrees, and I’m ordained. I’ve written two published novels so far (more on the way) and have a non-fiction Bible study for writers being shopped to editors by my agent as we speak.
I’m not bragging (and if you knew me, you’d know that’s not my M.O.). I’m making a point.
Growing up, if you would have read that first paragraph to any of my teachers and asked them, “This is going to be one of your students at age 52. Which student is it?” My name would never have come up. Not a mention. Not a whisper. Not a chance.
Why? Because I was your typical boy.
Rambunctious. Often rude. Spoke my mind when it wasn’t in gear and kept my mouth closed when I needed to answer. Was intelligent but often applied it incorrectly. I didn’t know God and was a terrible reader (I would have been an Intensive Reading student if they had such things back then).
Would you want me in your class?
Then, one summer, we took a little weekend vacation to Daytona Beach. Got there on a Friday, and it was raining. So, that night, we stopped at a little mall after dinner. My mom, a big reader, dragged us into a bookstore, and I browsed around, lamenting our current state of affairs, until a book caught my eye.
It was 1975, and the movie had just come out in theaters. I wanted to see it, so I picked up the book. When I started looking at it, my mom, after surviving the small coronary she must have experienced, walked over and asked if I wanted her to buy the book. She had already promised to take me and my friend to see the movie, so she probably thought she’d capitalize on this rare opportunity.
Mom had purchased books for me in the past. Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders was the first one I remember reading. I struggled through it. It was about a dog being abused, told in first person by Joe himself. I liked dogs at the time, but not reading about them. So that became a swing and a miss for Mom.
Jaws, on the other hand, was entirely different. I devoured Jaws (pun intended) in less than two weeks. A speed record for me. A home run for Mom.
That book became the key which opened the doors to reading for me. After finishing Jaws, I was left wondering if sharks really do jump on the back of boats and if they really can get 25-feet long. That sent me on a quest to find answers because, deep down, I wanted to be a marine biologist at the time. What my mother didn’t probably understand was she, unwittingly, had tapped into something which I was DEEPLY interested.
That’s the key. If you’re like my mom and have a struggling reader, find that key. That interest buried inside. It may not be buried very deep, but for some reason, no one has taken the time to listen and hear the heart for reading, beating just underneath the surface. Once the key is found, find the reading material that revolves around it. Those of us who are struggling readers have tricked ourselves into thinking, “I hate reading.” It’s not reading we hate, actually. We hate being force fed things in school that we have no interest in. Year after year. Grade level by grade level. Until finally, we are convinced there is nothing good out there to read, or someone surely would have introduced it to us by high school, right? The system breeds a disdain for reading, ironic as that may seem.
If someone would take the time to find out what our interests are, then as we start to read about things we ARE interested in, and we start LEARNING new things. The key slides into the lock and unlatches the mechanism that has held us hostage far too long. Then, as we are afforded materials to read at this critical juncture, it’s not long before we’re finding them on our own…and the doors get blown off the hinges because LEARNING is FUN and ENGAGING. Comprehension increases, reading becomes easier, grades often improve, life becomes wondrous.
Now, here I sit. The doors to reading were blown off the hinges years ago. Yet, I’m still a slow reader. I only finish a handful of books a year. As a Christian, I often think to myself, “If I had not become a student who realized I love reading after all, where would I be in my Christian walk?” For us to grow in Christ, what must we do?
Read. God’s Word.
No small feat for a struggling reader, especially if you’re handed a King James version or are not a big World History aficionado. And worse if you still hate to read.
Yet, I think Satan has known this from the time Moses put quill to papyrus (pen to paper for us modern folks). “If I can get them to sin,” he probably thought early on, “and have the writings of God destroyed (Early Israeli history at the bottom of Mount Sinai), and if I can cause them to be carried off into captivity so they have no access to God’s writings (Babylonian-Assyrian periods), and if I can confound the writings of God with bureaucratic duplicity (from emerging Greek and Roman Empires through Constantine’s reign), and if I can make the people ignorant so they don’t understand God’s writings (Middle Ages when so much was written and preached in Latin), and if I can eventually make reading a nemesis for young people by capturing their hearts with an electronic age, filled with computers and gaming and cell phones, then just think of how many of these dolts I’ll separate from God for all eternity?”
By not taking the time to get our young people interested in reading so that they can read for themselves, in essence, we develop a de facto “peasant state” who has to believe the “lords” and “governors” of the region because they can’t read and think critically for themselves.
Aristotle said, “It’s the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
May I say, it’s a the mark of a Godly mind as well (Read 1 John 4:1-6; Galatians 1:6-10; Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 33-35, 38-39, 43-44; 6:1-4, 5-6, 16-17, 19-20).
You can’t know what God’s Word says if you never read and comprehend it.
C. KEVIN THOMPSON is an ordained minister, having served churches in New York, Mississippi, Texas, and Iowa. He is married (for 33+ years), has three daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. He speaks in churches on occasion, presently works as an assistant principal in a Central Florida school district, and plays the drums in his church’s praise team. He is a huge fan of the TV series 24 , The Blacklist, and Criminal Minds, loves anything to do with Star Trek, and is a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, too.
Kevin is a member of the Christian Authors Network (CAN), ACFW, and Word Weavers International, and his published works include two award-winning novels, The Serpent’s Grasp (OakTara, 2012; winner of the 2013 Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference Selah Award for First Fiction) and 30 Days Hath Revenge - A Blake Meyer Thriller: Book 1 (OakTara 2013), as well as articles in The Wesleyan Advocate, The Preacher, Vista, The Des Moines Register and The Ocala Star-Banner.
Facebook: C. Kevin Thompson – Author Fan Page
Goodreads: C. Kevin Thompson