From time to time I have the opportunity to participate in the creation of quality Christian literature by being a beta reader for a colleague or editing for a client. One such book was Cradle Snatchers, the latest in British author Henry Brooks’ Will Houston mystery series and definitely his best so far. Brooks is an enthusiastic young father with seemingly boundless energy and creativity. He has a sharp mind and is eager to use story to communicate ideas he feels very passionate about. I’m usually pretty impatient with agenda-driven fiction even when I agree with the agenda, but in Cradle Snatchers Brooks has given us fast-paced action and laugh-out-loud characters that slam home his human-life agenda with gut-punching force.
I met Tamara Jorell at a Minnesota N.I.C.E. meeting. N. I. C. E. stands for Novelists Inspiring Christian Excellence. It’s our local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers—except that Tamara doesn’t write fiction. She writes true stories—“narrative non-fiction,” as she refers to it. In a blog called My Blonde Life in the Hood she tells stories about her neighborhood in North Minneapolis. It’s a place that reminds me a lot of where we used to live in Indianapolis a few blocks from the Butler University campus. Tamara’s neighborhood is racially, economically and spiritually diverse, full of real people, not statistics or headlines. She and her family have made it a point to get to know those people and be available to them for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
I once attended a one-day writing workshop. At the end of the day the leader asked us to visualize where we would like to be in ten-years time in our writing careers. He probably suggested a book signing as one possibility. By that time I had done at least one book signing for my first YA novel, The Wooden Ox. The desire to do writing workshops in Africa may have already been in my mind. What I remember is picturing the book signing of one of my students. Recently I have gone one better—one of my Kenyan students was short-listed for the Golden Baobab Award for African Children’s Literature.
We’re trying something new today. I have often told you about books I have been reading. This one really had me thinking about my own cultural perspective, and since it was written by a colleague in American Christian Fiction Writers and fellow blogger on International Christian Fiction Writers, I have invited her to answer a few questions, as an “author interview” like we do on a lot of the book sites. There is even a chance to win a free Kindle copy at the end of this post. Let me know if you would like to see more of this sort of thing.
I've had a great time this past year working with Rob Skead on several YA manuscripts. (Not this one.) When he came up with this great idea for using his new digital picture book to raise funds for Feed America, I had to let you know.
Here's what Rob has to say about his new book:
I want to give a big thank you to LeAnne for inviting me to be her guest blogger. She is one of the “things” I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. If it were not for her editing and mentoring skills I would not have sold a story to Zondervan this year. What a blessing!
Yesterday I interviewed author Melanie Dickerson over on the International Christian Fiction Writers blog. (She's offering a free copy of her book, The Merchant's Daughter to someone drawn from those who comment before February 3. Come on over and check it out.) In my brain, I had done my blog for this week.
Wait a minute. That was International Christian Fiction Writers. It doesn't put anything on Times and Places. At writers' conferences they tell us that the best way to lose readers is to be irregular in your posts. Those of you who stop by are expecting to find something interesting, thought-provoking, worth your time--something that makes you want to come back for more next week.
Lin Johnson of Christian Communicator and Write-to-Publish used her skills to build up Christian writers and publishers in the developing world through Media Associates International. Read my interview with her at International Christian Fiction Writers.
If I hadn’t been focusing on children affected by HIV & AIDS in recent years, I would probably be spending my passion on Arab Christian children, caught between Israelis (who are often convinced that all Arabs are terrorists) and Muslims (who sometimes assume that Christians are sympathetic to Zionists.) Most only want to get on with their lives. The long-standing Christian population of the Middle East has been draining away as featured in a recent National Geographic article.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.