Please welcome Stephanie Landem to “My Times and Places.” I first met Stephanie at a critique group we were both a part of and soon recognized a sister in the Lord. She was unpublished at the time. It has been fun to see her grow as a writer. I loved her biblical fiction, especially The Tomb, the story of Martha of Bethany. She just released In A Far-Off Land. It’s still biblical fiction in a way—a retelling of one of Jesus’ most well-known parables, this time set in 1930s Hollywood. It’s a wonderful read with great characters you will really care about!
Stephanie, the idea for this book obviously came from Jesus’ parable of The Lost Son (sometimes called The Prodigal Son). What made you decide on 1930s Hollywood as the right setting for such a retelling?
I met Stacy Monson through our local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. In fact, Stacy helped start Minnesota N.I.C.E. and I’m glad she did. The monthly meetings in St. Paul and the writers who come together there have been a big encouragement to me. Award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series and Open Circle, Stacy has become a critique partner and friend. She describes her stories as “an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life.” Unlike the typical Christian romance, Stacy’s books are always about something so much more significant than boy meets girl.
Her newest book, When Mountains Sing, releases today, August 7!
When the truth cost her everything, she thought there was nothing left to lose.
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.
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.
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