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Interview With Author – Tracie Peterson

Posted by Cyle Young on August 9, 2012 in iBegat Books, iBegat HOME |

More than fourteen years ago, my momma and our good friend and mentor Mrs. Tracie Peterson met, and God has blessed us abundantly since. Mrs. Tracie and Mr. Jim Peterson are two of my favorite people in the entire world, and I’m blessed to have done this interview with Mrs. Tracie. She’s definitely an inspiration and a blessing.

Tracie Peterson is the author of ninety-plus books and is an award-winning, best-selling author. She’s an amazing person and loves to help other authors. She and Mr. Jim have both served as editors, in addition to Mrs. Tracie earning the 2011 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2007 RT Career Achievement Award for Inspirational Fiction. Her love for the Lord and persevering spirit is—and always will be—inspiring to all those around her.

I hope you enjoy this interview, and pick up a few of her books. Believe me, they’re beyond fantastic! J

God bless,

Kayla

To find out more about the amazing Tracie Peterson – visit her website:

http://traciepeterson.com

 

KAYLA:  How did you begin writing?

TRACIE: I’ve always loved to write and tell stories. When I was little, my mother would give me a piece of paper and pencil when we were in church. She did this to keep me quiet. She’d tell me to write a story and I would, even before I knew my letters. After church she would ask me to tell her my story. I credit her with helping me become a storyteller. I knew I would have her attention while I told my story and that gave me incentive to create.

KAYLA:  What was your first published thing?

TRACIE: The first thing I had published was a short piece for a magazine. Then I did a volunteer column for a Christian newspaper, and finally, in 1992, I received my first book contract from Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. It was published in 1993.

KAYLA:  What do you like most about writing?

TRACIE: I love telling stories that help people know God better. My writing is a ministry, and for me it’s all about helping people to fall more passionately in love with God.

KAYLA:  Is there anything you dislike about writing?

TRACIE: Hmmm, that’s tough. I like just about everything. Writing is such a neat journey and I love the places God takes me on these little trips. I learn a lot with each book I write. Just as I hope the reader will grow closer to God, I hope to grow closer to Him as well.

KAYLA:  What helps you write (I.e. Chocolate, hugs from family, your favorite black and white TV show, cooking a big meal, wearing mismatched socks, singing your favorite praise song, etc.)?

TRACIE: I can write just about anywhere, but I love to have it quiet and have everything in order. I always work better in a peaceful environment. I have a back deck writing porch during the summer months. There’s a canopy over it and a nice view of the mountains. It’s a great place to write.

KAYLA:  Have you ever had Writer’s Block, and if so, how did you get through it?

TRACIE: I can honestly say that I haven’t had true writer’s block. There have been times when I didn’t feel like writing because of things that were going on in my life, but I pray and push through it because I feel called of God to do just that.

KAYLA:  Who has helped you the most in your writing journey?

TRACIE: God has given me the interest, talent and drive. My husband Jim is always supportive and helps me with research. Other friends and family are on my prayer team and help encourage me and pray for each of my books.

KAYLA:  Where is your favorite place to write?

TRACIE: As I mentioned above, I love my outdoor writing room. I like to write in my bedroom and office, too.

KAYLA:  When do you write the most: on a deadline or not?

TRACIE: I’m pretty much always on deadline. I try to write most every day. If I’m not writing, I’m researching and planning the next book.

KAYLA:  Why do you write?

TRACIE: I’m very flexible and write most anytime. I like to get my writing done first thing in the morning, but it doesn’t always work out that way, so I try not to worry about the exact time I work.

KAYLA:  Is there anything you would like to say to old/new writer’s?

TRACIE: To old writers I would say: 1) never stop learning – read, talk to others, watch documentaries, whatever it takes – learn, 2) remember where you came from and why you write – knowing why you write is critical to your peace of mind, and 3) Trust God for His direction – spend time in the Word and pray.

KAYLA:  Is there anything you would like to say to Tweens/Teens?

TRACIE: To Tweens and Teens I would say, I know how hard it can be to be your age and in the place where you are. You’re not really children, but people will treat you that way. You’re not really adults, but you feel like you should have more say in your life. It’s a hard place to be, but time will pass and you will come out on the other side, hopefully stronger and wiser. I encourage you to enjoy the journey, put your focus on the Lord and trust that He truly has a plan for your life—because He does. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength and learn to laugh at yourself. There’s nothing in this life that is more important than a relationship with Jesus and the love of family and friends.

Blessings,

Tracie Peterson

 

 

Fourteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com

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Down to Earth Mystery: The Double Cousins and the Mystery of the Missing Watch

Posted by Eddie Jones on August 8, 2011 in iBegat Books |

My Rating: Bucks
Reviewed by: Esther LoPresto
Written by:  Miriam Jones Bradley

The “Double Cousins” are the children of a pair of siblings who both marry another pair of siblings. In this story, Carly and her sister Molly are the double cousins of Dorie, Max, and Chad.

All of the cousins enjoy visiting their grandparents’ ranch in Kansas during the summer. Grandpa Milton tells the kids a story about his grandfather’s brother who left Kansas in the 1800s for California. But he never returned. Grandpa challenges the kids to solve the mystery. Left with only a pocket watch, Carly and Max dive into the mystery. Questions arise even more when a homeless man, Slim, comes to work on the farm for the summer.

Packed with kid-friendly adventure and excitement, Miriam Bradley’s first mystery is fun for all ages. In the vein of the Boxcar Children series, the story contains no violence or any other kind of objectionable content, simply enjoyment and mystery. She also based the setting and some characters on her grandparents’ farm and her cousins. I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!

I had the pleasure of meeting and making a friend of Miriam at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. It is also a pleasure to review and help promote her book! (The author provided this book for review.)


ESTHER LOPRESTO

I am first and foremost a Scribe of the King. It is my desire to serve God through the written word. I have been creating stories since age three. I would tell them to entertain my family, but didn’t start writing them down until age eight or nine.

Since then, the need to write has been insatiable. At age nineteen, I had my first book, Where’s My Other Sock?, published by Tate Publishing. Then, I graduated from community college with a degree; not in anything writing related, but in accounting. Currently, I’m hunting for a bookkeeping job and working on several books or story ideas. In my stories, I challenge the reader’s imagination with adventures into the fantasy realm. Some stories lean towards mystery/suspense or general fiction, and I try to write for all ages. I find my inspiration from JRR Tolkien’s works and from the Randomness of everyday life.
SDG. (read more…)

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iBeGat.com’s “End of Summer 20.11 Writing Contest!”

Posted by Eddie Jones on August 1, 2011 in iBegat HOME |

End of Summer 20.11 Winner!

Meet Danielle Dodge, our End of Summer 20.11 winner! Not only did she win first place, she did so by submitting her essay on her passion for writing. Often, stories of summer’s highlights involve outdoor adventures, fantastic trips, family reunions, or some other new adventure. Danielle took her love for writing and discovered she not only loves writing, but she truly has a calling to cultivate her craft and serve God and his people through story.

Congratulations, Danielle! Have fun spending your $20.11 on Amazon and we would love to see you write more for iBeGat.com!

Click HERE to read Danielle’s devo!

 

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Book Review – “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

Posted by Eddie Jones on April 11, 2011 in iBegat Books |

Daring, romantic, and dangerously death defying. The Hunger Games is absolutely the most exciting on-the-edge-of-your-seat kind of book!

The main character, 16 year-old Katniss Everdeen, begins her story with having the responsibility of taking care of her mother and sister. To care for her family, Katniss and her best friend Gale, hunt and trap in the woods, an act forbidden to the Districts. Katniss and her family live under the evil rule of the Capitol, the rulers of the twelve districts. The real action begins with the coming of the annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games occur because of a rebellion in the past from District 13. Now, as punishment, the Districts must send one male and one female, between the ages of twelve and seventeen to be given as tributes to the Capitol. The Capitol then takes the helpless children and puts them in an arena where they are to fight to the death. All the Districts are forced to watch on live television as the contestants’ battle it out. So when the sister of Katniss is called for the Hunger Games, Katniss naturally volunteers in her place. Katniss and the male tribute, Peeta Mellark, are rushed through frenzied appearances in front of the Capitol and then are sent into the arena.

The rest of the book is a heart stopping adventure as Katniss forces her way through the Hunger Games, along with Peeta Mellark, who Katniss has mixed feelings for. Only one must come out of the arena. But will it be Katniss? Or will she have to sacrifice herself to save Peeta from an untimely death? Find out in this three part series, The Hunger Games!

Interested? Intrigued? Visit http://www.scholastic.com/thehungergames/ to learn more!


BLAKE MOON

Son to a farmer, 16 year old Blake lives in rural New Mexico with his parents, two sisters and a brother where they raise cattle, wheat and 4H livestock. He can drive a combine, pull a plow and milk a goat! Blake is a veracious reader: Done with homework? Read a book. Free class time? Read a book. Road trip? Read a book! When he’s not reading, Blake is a very active leader in his school and community where he is President of his 4H club, a member of FFA, BPA, FCA, Student Council, FCCLA (in which he competed at a national level) and, his favorite–journalism. (read more…)

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Interview with Tony Nolan, Author of “Hurt Healer”

Posted by Eddie Jones on April 8, 2011 in Haley Snyder, iBegat Books |

Swaying to the music, you look up to the stage. Your eyes stay there as the music stops and a man takes the microphone. Instead of singing, he speaks words encouragement and comfort; words of conviction and guilt, and love and acceptance. He speaks words of life that pick you up from your low ground, and make you see God with all his glory and love. That preacher that changed your life, his name is Tony Nolan.

Q: I saw you at Winter Jam 2011 and you told a little bit of your story. Do you remember anything from before you were adopted, or have you been told what happened?

A: I mention in my book that I was young then and don’t remember much but it is amazing how your emotions have a photo graphic memory. I remember too much.

Q: What was your life like once you were adopted?

A: I look back and thank God for the things my new parents provided for me food, shelter, clothing etc…But we were pretty starved for love. The good times outweighed the bad times but the bad times were really bad; with a lot of fear, rejection and tension.

Q: When did you find Christ?

A: He found me really. 2-24-89 someone shared the gospel with me and it blew my mind. I had always thought Christianity was a sort of God club that I would never be able to join because I was not good enough but when I really heard the Gospel it showed me that I was welcomed in not based o my goodness but the goodness of Jesus! I was swallowed up by the love of God!

Q:  How did your life change when you found Him?

A: He freed me from drugs and self sabotaging habits. He gave me purpose and direction and invited me to trade in living for my small story of ME for a vital role in the grand story of God!

Q: At Winter Jam 2011, you said that your adoptive father told you he wished he didn’t spend $200 dollars on you. Do you have any relationship with him now?

A: Do you have any relationship with him now? He passed away when I was 15 years old.

Q: As a kid, did you suffer any bullying because of what your birth mother was?

A: Yes, I was constantly beat up. I hid most of the time while I was growing up knowing that each day I went to school was just another day of pain and fear.

Q: How did you start traveling with Winter Jam?

A: I did an 87 city tour with Casting Crowns and God saved 46,000 people at it and Winter Jam heard about that and invited me to come and preach for them. It is an honor to serve my King in this way and He is the only reason it happens. I am a goober…but I sure serve a God who is mighty to save when we preach the Gospel.

Q: In your blog, there is an entry entitled “making a difference.” In it the is an e-mail from a guy who says hearing you speak is what led him and his friend to Christ, and then a couple years later his friend died in a car accident. He said “Even though Sarah is gone I know that if it wasn’t for God’s calling for your life she would be in a very different place right now.” How does it make you feel to know that God is using you in such a big way?

A: I am filled with wonder and awe at a god who is working in lives so that they can be prepared for eternity. He loves people and He wants them to know that. I have a great purpose in life keeping it focused on that very thing

Q: How do you keep in contact with all of the people who fill out the “I’ve Decided” section of your website?

A: I email them just like I am doing now. We have time in life for the things that are important to us.

Q: What is your job currently?

A: It’s not really a job it’s more of a calling…I just wake up each day and serve our Lord and he keeps showing me where I need to be.

Q: Does your family travel with you when you go places to speak?

A: Not all of the time but most of the time. it is very expensive to lease a Bus and I’m just a preacher…so that means I don’t have any major record company paying for it…but I do have a God who meets my needs…but every dollar I spend to have my family with me is worth it

Q: What was it like when you went to China to adopt Fei Fei?

A: It was an awesome adventure with God!

Q: Do you have any other kids?

A: Three others.

Q: If so, how old are they?

A: 14, 12 , and 8

Q: If they’re old enough to understand it, what do your kids think of your testimony?

A: they think God is awesome for saving their dad

Q: What was it like while writing Hurt Healer? Was it hard to write your story for everyone to see?

A: I bleed from my soul over that book. It was worth every drop of blood knowing that others will be inspired to move forward in the power of God’s love

Q: “Through the pages of his life story Tony Nolan challenges and encourages us to reach out fearlessly and let the hurting see God in us. Hurt Healer compassionately and practically gives you the goods to pull it off right now!”  -Toby Mac, recording artist and author of City on Our Knees

How did you go about telling your story, but making it more than just a testimony?

A: I don’t know really, it’s not like a “Story” that I tell, its memories and they happened and they are filled with pain, joys and purpose….so I just wrote about it and people all over the country are finding it very inspirational. To God be the glory!

Q: What is your goal for Hurt Healer?

A: That every single person on the face of the earth would taste and see that the Lord is good and those that trust in Him are blessed!

Now that you’ve heard the amazing story of this inspirational man, don’t just sit there. I challenge you to go out and do something. Don’t let this not change you; don’t try to make God not speak to you.

FaceBook


HALEY FAYE SNYDER

I’m Haley Faye Snyder. I’m 13 years old and in eighth grade. I’ve lived in the same Christian home in Kentucky since I was born. I have one little brother and two loving parents. I go to Westport Baptist church and have my whole life. (read more…)

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Book Review – “The Witness” by Josh McDowell

Posted by Eddie Jones on January 28, 2011 in iBegat Books |

International Adventure: “The Witness” by Josh McDowell

(2 July 2010; 192 words)

Marwan Accad, a security agent, is the only witness to Rafeeq Ramsey’s murder. After some investigation, he becomes the prime suspect in the murder. Marwan goes on the run in a chase covering both sides of the Mediterranean. From Monte Carlo to Casablanca to Cairo, he relies on his brother Ramy and his friend Kadeen to keep him hidden from French Inspectors Goddard and Lemieux. Along the way, Marwan has to use false identities and he meets Dalia Nour who sends him into a whirlwind romance.

The descriptions in this book are excellent and the action is amazing! From page one, the reader is thrown into Marwan’s race to clear his name. Obviously, there’s a lot of violence involved, but it’s not graphic. There are also minor drug and alcohol references.

When it comes to Marwan and Dalia’s romance, again, nothing is graphic, but there is innuendo. The only thing I found odd about the book was some similar character names: Ramsey (the murder victim) and Ramy (Marwan’s brother); Colette (Goddard’s partner) and Claudette (Ramsey’s wife).

Overall, a great read if you love action and adventure!

(Tyndale House Publishers provided this book for review.)


ESTHER LOPRESTO

I am first and foremost a Scribe of the King. It is my desire to serve God through the written word. I have been creating stories since age three. I would tell them to entertain my family, but didn’t start writing them down until age eight or nine.

Since then, the need to write has been insatiable. At age nineteen, I had my first book, Where’s My Other Sock?, published by Tate Publishing. Then, I graduated from community college with a degree; not in anything writing related, but in accounting. Currently, I’m hunting for a bookkeeping job and working on several books or story ideas. In my stories, I challenge the reader’s imagination with adventures into the fantasy realm. Some stories lean towards mystery/suspense or general fiction, and I try to write for all ages. I find my inspiration from JRR Tolkien’s works and from the Randomness of everyday life.
SDG. (read more…)

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An Interview with Best Selling Author, Terri Blackstock

Posted by Eddie Jones on January 21, 2011 in iBegat Books |

One of my favorite authors—and favorite people—is best selling author, Terri Blackstock. Terri’s books have sold 2 million and she has over thirty Christian titles, many of which have been number one best-sellers. I’m so excited that she agreed to let me interview her for iBegat.com. My personal favorite of Terri’s books is Double Minds (A MUST read! Of course, all of her books are).

I hope you enjoy!

-Kayla R. Woodhouse

1. When did God call you to be an author? (I love your story, so if you have time, I’d love to have your testimony.)

I’ve known since I was about twelve that I wanted to be a writer, but didn’t see it as a calling from God until much later. My first piece was published in my local newspaper when I was twelve, and I loved that feeling. I subscribed to Writer’s Digest and The Writer magazines, working hard to learn how to be a better writer. I majored in English in college and after I graduated, found a writers group and joined it. That’s when I began to learn the business of writing.

My first thirty-two books were published by secular publishers and I regret the things I wrote during that time. I was a Christian when I started writing romance novels and I intended to write only clean love stories. But in the interest of fame and fortune, I began making small compromises to sell more books. Those small compromises turned into big compromises, and eventually I was writing books I’m now ashamed of. All that time I was going to church and taking my kids to church, but I had this one part of my life that wasn’t lining up with my Christianity.

Eventually it took its toll on my life, and I finally came to the place where I got down on my knees and repented, because I desperately wanted to get back in fellowship with Christ, and I wanted to use my gift the way God intended. That’s when I started writing Christian novels. I loved reading suspense, so I decided to try writing Christian suspense. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to sell to Christian publishers because I felt tainted by my previous books. But thankfully we have a God who loves giving second chances (and third, and fourth, and fiftieth chances). During that time, the Christian publishers were just getting interested in finding suspense writers, so God’s timing was perfect. Since then, I’ve been able to write books that actually help people while they entertain and point people to Christ—the real answer to all their problems.

2. What is your favorite genre to read?

Suspense is definitely my favorite genre, which is why I write it. But I also like great books from other genres.

3. What is your favorite part/piece of a manuscript to write?

The end; but other than that, I like writing dialogue. That comes very easy to me. I love listening to people talk—the rhythm of their conversations, their inflections, their word choices. So it’s pretty simple for me to reproduce.

4. What is your favorite food?

Potatoes. I think I must have a lot of Irish in me. I like them cooked almost any way. I could have them with every meal.

5. Double Minds is my favorite book of yours. :) What inspired you to write it?

It was inspired from my own experiences when writing for the secular and Christian markets and was feeling that pull early in my career to write for fame and fortune. It wasn’t until I was walking more closely with Christ that I realized that glorifying God was the reason he’d given me my gift. I made Parker a singer/songwriter rather than a novelist and was able to show the same type of struggle using the Christian music industry.

6. Where does your inspiration come from for your stories? For example; chocolate, watching a movie, reading a newspaper article, etc.

Usually it’s inspired from some lesson God has taught me that I want to pass on to my readers. Or, I’ve gone through a trial that I think my readers can relate to. For instance, my Intervention Series was inspired by real-life struggles with my daughter who dealt with drug addictions. My Restoration Series came from my struggles with American materialism and the belief that God was going to have to do something to get America’s attention.

But there are times when I’ll read an article in a magazine or see a documentary on TV that gives me an idea for a book. I guess, to a fertile imagination, anything can be a seed. Anything that comes to my attention is fodder for a book.

7. How much time do you take writing each manuscript?

Nine months for each book; so it’s kind of like having a baby. For the next couple of years I’ll have two books a year out, but one of those is a rewrite of a book that I originally published as a secular novel (my favorite of all my secular books), and the other is a collaboration with another writer, Dave Lambert.

8. Is there anything special you’d like to share with the readers/teens of iBegat.com?

I hope they’ll check out my Intervention series about drug abuse. I’m sure it’s not news that even Christian teens can fall prey to drugs. My daughter was raised in a Christian home and she was in church three or four times a week with her best friends in youth group. But when she went away to college and was going through a period of depression, she experimented with drugs. Before she knew it, she was in total bondage to them, and that bondage lasted several years. Intervention was inspired by that experience and features Emily whose mother sets up an intervention for her. On her way to drug rehab, her interventionist is murdered and Emily disappears. Her mother has to go looking for her, not sure whether she’s hiding or was kidnapped. Vicious Cycle, Book Two in that series (releasing February 22nd), continues the story of Emily’s family, but this time focuses on another girl who’s a crystal meth addict. Lance, Emily’s fifteen year old brother, tries to help this pregnant addict, and winds up getting into more trouble than he ever dreamed.

iBeGat.com readers may also like my book Predator, which has to do with an online predator who targets his teenaged victims through their social networking site. I want everyone who uses Facebook, Twitter, or any other social network to read this. They need to understand how predators find their victims and how easy we make it for them.

9. And last but not least, if you could say one thing – just one – to the world, what would you say?

I would tell them that there’s nothing they’ve ever done that’s too bad to be forgiven. Jesus loves them so much that he was willing to take on their punishment and because of that, they can be washed as clean as snow. All they have to do is confess their sins and turn away from them, and trust that what Christ did on the cross was enough to wash them clean. It’s the greatest, most important story ever told, and it’s absolutely true.

Thanks again, Kayla!
Terri Blackstock



KAYLA WOODHOUSE

Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com (read more…)

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Interview with William P. Young, author, The Shack – by Haley Snyder

Posted by Eddie Jones on November 2, 2010 in Haley Snyder, iBegat Books |

“Does that mean, “ asked Mack, “that all roads lead to you?”

“Not at all,” smiled Jesus…”Most roads don’t lead anywhere. What it does mean is that I will travel any road to find you.”

William P. Young, The Shack, Windblown Media; 1st edition (December 6, 2007)

I had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Young about his life and his experience writing The Shack. He is a very interesting and inspiring man who followed God’s plan for him even before he knew where it was leading.

Q: I read that this story wasn’t ever supposed to be a book. What happened to make that change?

A: I wrote this story for my six kids. My youngest is 17 and my oldest is 30, so they’re not like little kids. I was just trying to get it done by Christmas. It was never intended to be a published novel. It came time for Christmas and I made 15 copies at Office Depot and went back to work. It was because my friends kept giving it away that I eventually actually published it, even though 26 publishers turned it down. A couple guys I knew created a publishing company and we pooled our resources and found a printer in Los Angeles, ordered a bunch of copies, and that’s how it all started.

Q: What did your kids think of their “present” being published?

A: They loved it, but it took them a while to read it. You give kids a book for Christmas, and it’s just, “Oh, thanks dad. We’ll get right on that.” So, it took them a little while, but they all are thrilled that it’s published and they have each been touched in different ways.

Q: What are the similarities between you and Mack?

A: There’s a lot of them because I had great challenges throughout my history like Mackenzie in the book. The story is really a metaphor of my own history. I had a difficult relationship with my father, similar experiences in bible school and some seminary, great sadness; it is an attempt to extract the core of the heart of the human being, my own soul, the place of the main character’s big purpose and struggle.

Q: Was it difficult writing it like it was someone else’s story?

A: Not really because it had so much to do with my own life. I like story because it gives you distance and in story you create a little picture like artwork or music that has a way of penetrating into your heart without asking for permission. So, story was a good tool to wrap up some of my histories.

Q: In your blog you wrote:

“We live in a world where ‘normal’ does not truly exist except as an idea or concept. For each of us, where and how we grew up plays a foundational role in our sense of ‘normal’, and only when we begin to experience the ‘bigness and diversity’ of the world are we tempted to evaluate our roots.”

Q: What was your normal as a child?

A: Well, my normal was being raised in what had survived of a Stone Age people group in the highlands of New Guinea, now West Papua. So, I thought everybody was running around with cannibals. That’s partly why I wrote that quote because “normal” to me was what would have been very not normal to most people. I was a missionary kid; I grew up with missionary parents, I was ten months old when we moved to the highlands. The tribe was spread out a bit over a hundred square miles, about 40 to 60 thousand people. They had never seen white people before.  So, normal was to me what other people would think very not normal.

Q: How has that normal changed as you’ve grown up?

A: Normal is just a reflection of your own life. Every person thinks that their life is normal and then re-evaluates it or grows up thinking it’s not as normal as they had thought, and then re-evaluates both one’s history and definition of ‘normal’. So, I don’t think there is such a thing as normal and ordinary. I think everything is pretty amazing.

Q: In your blog you also wrote

“Facts alone might help you understand where a person has been, but often hide who they actually are.”

What did you mean by that?

A: When we meet each other we tell you what we do but it takes a relationship and time to learn who someone is. So, when you meet someone it can give you an idea, but it doesn’t tell you at all who they are. It’s going to take time, and conversation, and openness, and relationship in order to tell who someone really is. That’s why infatuation will not work, because infatuation is based on not knowing someone. People are infatuated and then when they start to get to know that person, a lot of times they are disappointed because what they thought was there wasn’t really there. It was just a way to love themselves through some sort of object, even if that object is a person.

Q: What facts about where you have been hide who you truly are?

A: Well, again facts in general tend to take you on to deeper conversation. When I say that I grew up around Stone Age tribal people and I went to boarding school when I was six, when you say that, it doesn’t have the same impact as when I tell you that I was sexually abused in boarding school. I can then tell you how that experience became part of how I looked at life and how I spent so much of my life trying to find a way to be safe. That’s a whole level of conversation that doesn’t exist if I just tell you the facts.

Q: How has this book being published changed your daily life?

A: My daily life has changed. When I first wrote it I was working three jobs, so now I don’t work three jobs anymore. My life is quite busy because a lot of things have happened that weren’t a possibility before. I travel a lot; I just got back from a trip with my wife and one of my daughters. We went to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia, and the UK, for two weeks to talk about the book. That wasn’t a possibility before, so I live a different lifestyle now that it was before. We have been able to do some things, like start a foundation, which we couldn’t have done before. So, a lot of things like that, but who we are hasn’t changed. The book didn’t change anything that really matters.

Q: What would be your advice to aspiring Christian authors?

A: First, don’t get your identity tied up with what you do…this would apply to anyone actually, but especially to those who create. If you put your identity in anything that can be taken from you, it is just a matter of time. Write for people you care about, not for the ‘masses’…write something and share it with people who love you (they will love it and encourage you) and with people you don’t know (they will be more objective)…you need both.

Q: This book did not follow normal procedure because it was published by a friend’s publishing company. Did you still have to work with an editor? What was your experience with that editor?

A: Editors are indispensable. I would never publish a book without the skills of an involved editor. These people are highly skilled at what they do and will clean up your clutter as well as give you perspective.

Q: You also said in your blog:

“For me, everything is about Jesus and Father and Holy Spirit and relationships, and life is an adventure of faith lived one day at a time.”

Q: How do you live one day at a time?

A: It is a process, like almost everything that matters. You learn through experience and over time to give up control begin to rest in the grace of one day. It doesn’t come easily, especially for those of us who have learned skill of control so we don’t have to trust anyone. Learning to live inside each day is related to how truly you know that God loves you and therefore how deeply you can trust God. The wonder is that God loves and participates with us in the process, even of learning to trust.

Q: What impact were you hoping this book would have in your children’s lives when you first wrote it?

A: I just wanted them to have a picture of God that wasn’t the God that they grew up with. The angry, distance difficult God watching from a distance. I wanted them to have an understanding of the character and nature of God that pursues us and loves us with infinite and ferocious love.

Q: Many people have said that this book changed their lives and their walk with Christ. How does it make you feel to have written something that impacted people’s lives so greatly in such a positive way?

A: I’m absolutely thrilled, and humbled. I didn’t intend for that to happen, that was just something that God used it for, and I got to participate. So, thrilled to participate and thrilled that this has helped things to happen in other people’s lives.


The Shack has sold over 13 million copies and has been translated in 40 different languages. It is inspiring people all over the world. Will you take the step and let it inspire you too?

HALEY FAYE SNYDER

I’m Haley Faye Snyder. I’ve lived in the same Christian home in Kentucky since I was born. I have one little brother and two loving parents. I go to Westport Baptist church and have my whole life. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was six and then re-committed my life to Him when I was 11 at Boones Creek Baptist Camp. (read more…)

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1

My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay – Book Review

Posted by Eddie Jones on September 28, 2010 in iBegat Books |

My Hands Came Away Red—by Lisa McKay

My Rating: Bucks:
Reviewed by: Kayla R. Woodhouse

The story—Eighteen-year-old Cori signs up to help build a church on an island in Indonesia. She joins five other teens, expecting this to be an escape from her love life back home.

Six weeks into the trip, after the church has been completed, trouble erupts on the nearby island, Ambon and soon sets foot on their island. Cori and her new friends, including the pastor’s son, Mani, head into the forest expecting to complete the church with one final touch—a cross.

On returning they run into a massacre on Mani’s village.

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The pastor and many of the villagers are dead, the church is a pile of ash, and the teens barely escape with Mani’s four-year-old sister and are forced to flee into the mountains.

It seems that God has forgotten them as the teens try to survive hazardous conditions, Malaria, wild animals, and Muslim encounters.

Little do they know that the search for safety and spiritual answers has just begun.

What I thought about this book—AMAZING! My Hands Came Away Red is definitely a book that everyone needs to read. It opened my eyes to see all the things we take for granted, especially the people we meet day by day. (Think about what would happen if you didn’t have family, friends, or even just the little acquaintances here and there.)

I warn you—It’s a very hard read. Some awful things happen, I’m not going to lie. You may even have to hide under your covers at night. But as you read I guarantee that you will grow along with the characters.

God bless.

KAYLA WOODHOUSE

Thirteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com (read more…)

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