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Interview with an Author ~ Erin Davis 7 Feasts Bible Study

I am in love with my new bible study! I am digging into the Old Testament and specifically the 7 Feasts from Leviticus 23. There will be a  full review of this in a few short weeks, but I wanted to share with you an interview with the author!

About Erin Davis

A popular speaker, author, and blogger, Erin Davis has addressed women of all ages nationwide and is passionately committed to sharing God’s Truth with others. She is the author of many books, including Connected, Beyond Bath Time, and books in the My Name Is Erin series. She also contributes regularly to the True Woman blog. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing down chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

The Interview

Me:

Why is it important to remember the Bible is a book about Jesus and not a book about us? How does that change how we study the Bible? 

Erin: 

As women, we are hardwired to want to be pleasing. It is one of the ways we bear the image of God. We want to be good daughters, good wives, good mothers, good friends, good employees, and good Christ-followers. Often we open our Bibles with that goal, however subconsciously, in mind. We’re looking for ways to make adjustments in order to be better women. 

God is gracious to transform us through His Word. He will reshape you as you read, but the Bible is not primarily a self-help guide. Here is a truth I must remind myself of often:

The Bible is not a book about you. The Bible is a book about Jesus. 

When we open our Bibles looking for ways to improve ourselves, we will feel frustrated with ourselves and how slow the sanctification process can be. But when we open our Bibles looking for God, we are never disappointed. He is on every page! And a clearer, bigger, more awe-inspiring view of Him, can’t help but change us. We are better able to bear the image of God when we better understand the character of God.

Me:

Erin, why do you think so many people skip over books like Leviticus when it comes to Bible study?

Erin:

Well, let’s be honest, the book of Leviticus can feel a little dry. That is especially true if we see it as a book about a bunch of rules for the Israelites. But our desire to understand the book of Leviticus (and to understand every other book in our Bibles) will grow when we recognize that all of Scripture points to the Gospel. The Gospel is the key that unlocks our Bibles, even the hard to understand books and chapters. 

I interviewed a Jewish rabbi during my research for 7 Feasts. I told him that in general, Christians don’t read the book of Leviticus. He said something like, “That’s odd because the sacrificial system is so central to what you believe and that comes straight from the book of Leviticus.” Bingo! In many ways, Leviticus is the blueprint for Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. When we learn to connect the dots between the Old Testament, the New Testament, and our lives as Spirit-filled believers, suddenly streams of living water gush forth from the text and Leviticus isn’t dry anymore! 

Me:

As we learn about the Seven Feasts, what are the Seven Feasts of Israel?

Erin:

I’m so glad you asked! The seven feasts are outlined in Leviticus 23. In the broad sense, this was the calendar for the Israelites as they wandered toward the Promised Land. The feasts include:

  1. The Passover
  2. The Feast of Unleavened Bread
  3. The Feast of Firstfruits
  4. The Feast of Weeks
  5. The Feast of Trumpets
  6. The Day of Atonement
  7. The Feast of Booths

Me:

What do the feasts teach us about God?

Erin:

I’ve spent years studying the seven feasts, and I am still discovering more about God through them. I can’t unpack all of that here, but here are three things the seven feasts have taught me (or reminded me) about God:

  1. He is aware of our chronic spiritual amnesia and has mercifully established rhythms to help us remember His character. It was such tender mercy for the Lord to give His people an annual calendar that included seven points of remembrance. This helped them focus on the reality of His goodness even as they wandered in the desert. He does the same thing for us. He has given us so many reminders of who He is. 
  2. He calls us into real rest. More than half of the seven feasts include a command to Sabbath. Over and over in Leviticus 23, the Lord is extending this invitation, “Rest in this. Rest in this. Rest. In. This.” The “this” is His sovereignty, His tender care, His mercy, His grace. The seven feasts reveal just how much God cares about the true, soul rest of His people. We really can rest in Him. 
  3. God’s redemptive plan is revealed through the seven feasts. This reality really excites me! Jesus died on Passover. He rested on the Sabbath. He rose on the Feast of Firstfruits. He sent the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost. The seven feasts point forward, with remarkable consistency, to Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins. God was using the feasts to guide His people into a relationship with Him while He was pointing forward to the moment when He would make a way for us to all be in relationship with Him through Jesus’ sacrifice. It’s just so good! 

Me:

Wow…that is really eye-opening to think about! This leads me to my next question, what do we learn about the importance of Sabbath as we study the feasts?

Erin:

The concept of Sabbath is essential to the seven feasts. Before God began outlining the feasts to Moses, He described, in detail, the Sabbath. If we boil Sabbath down to it’s essence, Sabbath is a divine invitation to change the pattern. 

If we consider the context for Leviticus 23, we see that Sabbath was a relatively new concept for God’s people. They had moved from being slaves, bound to work for their masters all day, every day, to being free. When God handed down the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, Sabbath became a new rhythm for the free people of God and He reminded them of that when He outlined the seven feasts.  

The command to Sabbath is repeated in four of the seven feasts and both the feasts and the Sabbath are examples of ways God invites His people to change the pattern—to look up from our work and rest in His work; to stop gazing at ourselves and to gaze at Him instead; to unclench our fists and open our hands for the gifts He has for His children.

Me:

Finally, how does understanding creation tie into understanding the Seven Feasts?

Erin:

The Bible opens with rhythms. God spoke, creation responded. The sunset. The sun rose. Repeat. Whether we are attuned to them or not, our own lives all have rhythms. Years are marked by the passage of seasons. Days lengthen and then shorten, then lengthen again. Months are marked by the cycle of the moon. 

Creation points specifically toward the seven feasts. Astronomers recognize four primary moon phases. If we divide the number of days in the average month by the four phases of the moon, what’s the nearest whole number? Seven! A seven-day week is built into the framework of existence. It’s always been a part of God’s plan. The drumbeat established at creation continues through the Jewish calendar outlined in Leviticus 23. The seven feasts mirror the seven days of creation. Again, God speaks and creation responds.

One of the greatest gifts the seven feasts can give us is attention to the rhythms of our lives. God was writing in the planners of His people to help them remember who He is. He was establishing rhythms of work, rest, and worship to keep them tethered to Him, even as they wandered. 

As New Testament Christians, we are not bound to a strict observance of the seven feasts, but if we let them, the feasts will reshape our rhythms to shift our focus toward Him. The feasts can help us pay attention to, and participate in the other rhythms God has established for His people.  

I want to thank Erin for this interview! If you want to know more about 7 Feasts and what I am learning through this bible study, check back in the beginning of August to read my full review!

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Interview With An Author ~ Dan Seaborn

I have been spending some time reading a great book, Parenting with Grace and Truth written by Dan Seaborn. I can't wait to share my full review with you next week, but today I have a special interview with Dan himself!

Thank you for taking the time to spend with us Dan! Could you tell us a bit about your own family and what lead you to write this book for today's parents.

Jane and I have been married for 35 years. We live in West Michigan. We have four children. Our oldest son, Alan, and his wife, Annaliese, live in West Michigan as well. Alan works with me at Winning At Home. Our son, Josh, and his wife, Amy, live in Camden, NJ where Josh is a pastor at an inner city church. They are expecting their first child in February. Our daughter, Crissy, and her husband, Jonathan, live in West Michigan. They have our two grandchildren, Jackson and Naya. Our youngest daughter, Anna, lives home and works with the youth at our local Boys and Girls Club.

I wrote this book for parents because I encountered a time of parenting in my life that I never anticipated. Even though I worked with teens for many years I had never personally experienced the challenges of raising a child who is rebelling. In this book, I took the approach of understanding what it takes to balance grace with truth. I want to be a forgiving parent, but I don't want to move into being an enabling parent. Balancing these two things is very difficult. I try to address that topic in this book.

You and your wife call your list of values, "rules to die for." Why?

I wanted to establish some guidelines early on to make sure we had foundational principles in place with a Biblical base. These are rules we feel are vital to living a life honoring to Christ. If you begin shifting and changing the rules while you're in the process of dealing with your teenagers it can create a lot of confusion. Enforcing these foundational principles early on and sticking to them daily as we faced challenges helped protect us from that.

How do we help our children understand the importance of making good choices and how that impacts their future?

There will be some children that understand that naturally, but others do not have that type of discernment. You might be surprised as your children age how rapidly some of these things can change. You might be facing a situation with a child who made good choices all along then starts to make poor choices. The rules to die for were important because they were the foundation that I could point them back to to determine whether they were making wise choices or not. We could try to evaluate together whether their choices fit the type of living our family rules encouraged. All you can do is keep teaching the principles. Eventually they need to learn to make good choices for themselves.

Many of us are good at setting the "rules" but struggle with the follow-through. What are some ideas for consequences for violating family rules?

In our home we established the rules to die for and laid out the consequences when those rules weren't followed. If you were choosing not to follow the rules, we went so far as to say that you're choosing not to live in our home. That actually happened to us with one of our teenagers. It was a very difficult day, but we stood by our rules. In the long run, it has proven to be very effective.

How do today's television shows shape our parenting?

I think our parenting is shaped much more by the people around us, our faith, our own upbringing, and our environment than television.

We live in a culture that prizes being "busy." Parents often don't think twice about loading up their kids schedules and have dreams of their child being the best in whatever they do. Is there danger in this?

Yes, I have always said parents need to believe in their kids but there is such a thing as over believing in your kids and many parents fall into this. I believe we should encourage our children to be involved in the positive activities they enjoy and certainly support and cheer for them, but not force them to be involved in everything. Sometimes this can become a competition more for the parents than the children. We want our child to be the best at everything and we lose our focus of what is really important – spending quality time together! Be sure to keep proper balance!

Why is discipline often hard for us as parents?

Because we have to be responsible adults and we fear losing our child's friendship. We need to understand being best buddies isn't the most important part of your relationship with your children.

How can we help other parents, specifically single parents?

Put yourself in their shoes every now and then. If you know a single parent, try to relate to their life once in a while. Do what you can to support them! Think of practical ways you can help them and make their life a little easier. Take time to care!

You and your wife had a prodigal child. Tell us about that and how other parents dealing with this situation can cope.

This answer I feel could get very lengthy! If you want to have a phone conversation about this, let me know. I've learned a great deal through the challenge of having a prodigal child. It has been very difficult, but I now can relate and seek to love and encourage parents who are going through a difficult situation in a way I never would have been able to before. For this I am grateful. My wife and I learned to lean on the Lord, each other, and our friends in ways we never had before through this trial. It is important to surround yourself with people who love you and who have been through a similar situation. People who get it, can give you wise counsel, and encourage you to press on.

What should our main goal be as parents?

That our children grow to know and love the Lord. They need to see you modeling this for them daily as the parent! We need to be mature. Parenting involves a lot of dying to self. Being a good parent means most of the time the kids come first. Make sure you're setting a great example for others in the way you love your family.

Thank you so much for your time Dan! Parenting With Grace and Truth has been a great book for our family. It has opened our eyes to being more like Jesus as parents and this is how we want to be!

I can't wait to tell you all more about this next week, so please remember to check back! But, honestly, from what Dan has said today, who wants this book now? 


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An Author Interview With Jason B. Ladd

I have been reading a great book these last couple of weeks (when Moe Man hasn't been stealing it from me). One Of The Few by Jason B. Ladd has been such a great book! I could go on about it, but that is for another post! Today I have the honor of sharing with you an interview with Jason himself!

Jason B Ladd

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I never had that moment. I didn't become a writer because I wanted to. I became a writer because I had to. After deciding as an adult that the Christian worldview best explains life's biggest questions, I couldn't stop reading theology and apologetics. Then I needed an outlet. At the same time, I was becoming interested in sharing my story of transformation. A few years later, I'm a writer. Go figure.

  • Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?

My normal public countenance is rather stoic (befitting of one who bleeds Marine). But if you saw me with my kids, you might not recognize me. It gets pretty fun and crazy. There are performances involved.

  • How long did it take you to write your book?

I started writing in February of 2012. I had the bulk of the first draft written in about a year. Then my work schedule picked up and it was put on the back burner. At one point I didn't know if I would end up publishing it. But in early 2015 I set a release date of November 10, 2015 coinciding with the Marine Corps birthday. We had just moved to Alaska. I spent launch day in our travel trailer surrounded by snow.

  • What brought you to write this book?

I wanted to share my story with my kids. But soon after beginning the writing, I though my story might help others struggling to make sense of all the competing ideas out there.

  •  Pen or type writer or computer?

Computer. Have you seen my penmanship? I got a "C" in 3rd grade. My lowercase "a"s still don't connect at the top. It's terrible.

  • What tactics do you have when writing? (For example: outline or just write)

I had an outline early on, but it was simple: Marine, fighter (pilot), father, son (as in son of God). I took that and ran with it. Most of the rest was writing on the fly and re-arranging later.

  • What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

When I was shopping for literary agents, one was kind enough to accept a few sample chapters. He had been in Christian publishing a long time and was both friendly and frank. At the end of the day, his response was, "So you're a Marine and you became a Christian. So what?"

That was a bit hard to take at first. On the personal level, I disagreed. I believe everyone has a story worth sharing. On the book level he was right–being a Marine fighter pilot was my only Kardashian flare.

Seven months before publication, we lost a son when he was born. He had Trisomy 18. I added two new chapters to the book–the first and the last. Those chapters about Boone give the book the power to accomplish its purpose: to encourage people to develop the kind of faith that will carry them through life's most difficult circumstances.

  • What has been the best compliment?

The reviews have all been extremely positive. One of the latest described it as "a life changer." That's pretty encouraging.

  • What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

One reader left a review. She is a former Christian and heavily into Wicca. But she liked the book, calling it "actually pretty darn good."

  • What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

Many books have struck a deep chord, but as far as actually changing my life, I have to say the Bible. But that's more than just a book. If we're talking mere books, Lee Strobel's The Case for Faith was the first book I read about Christianity, and it was a great book for seekers and people with questions. I followed that with Frank Turek and Norman Geisler's I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist. That's a powerful one-two punch combination!

  • Who is your favorite author?

I love reading Malcolm Gladwell.

  •  What is your advice to Indie Authors? On writing? Marketing?

If you want to be a writer, just start writing. About anything. About everything. Start a blog and force yourself to put out three posts per week. If you want your book to succeed, get in the marketing game early. You will be responsible for most if not all of it. For Indie authors, find out what works. I created IndieListers.com specifically to help authors find out which free and paid book promotions are worth the time and money.

  • What's next for you? What are you working on now?

I've basically taken a whole year to learn how to market my book. But I've been toying with a few writing projects as well. I might put out a story on how my family and I moved to Alaska. Hilarity ensued.

  • Where can we find you online?

You can find me at www.jasonbladd.com. More on the book at www.OneoftheFewBook.com

A big thank you to Jason for spending the time answering these questions! I can't wait to tell you more about his book this week!!

 

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Author Interview with Maggie Paulus

I have been reading this really wonderful book. A book I will get to tell you more about in a little bit. The name of that book… Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: Search for Glory in the Everyday Grime. The author of this book is Maggie Paulus and she has agreed to answer some questions for us.

Author Interview with Maggie Paulus

Question: What inspired you to write Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: Search for Glory in the Everyday Grime?

Maggie: I have this friend who believed in me and wanted to see me write a book. She recognized in me a God-given gift and she planted that dream in my heart– that I could take some of my reflections on life and God and publish them so that perhaps God would take farther out into the world and heal some hearts and draw some folks closer to Him.

So, really, she inspired me. Everyone needs a friend like that. : ) 

 

Q: Maggie, you tell a lot of stories through your camera. How did you become interested in photography?

M: When I was about fourteen, my uncle gave me my first camera. It was just a cheap little thing from Wal-mart, I’m sure, but I vividly remember walking out into the yard with it and looking for some beauty to capture. I took pictures of weeds in my yard, my kitty, my dirt road, and the sky. I’ve been on a beauty-hunt ever since.

 

Q: Finding God in the Kitchen Sink intertwines short reflections from your daily life with pictures. How did you choose these particular reflections and pictures to share in the book?

M: I had been writing on a blog (and posting pictures throughout) for about five years. When Moody Publishers approached me about writing a book, I knew I wanted to write something along the lines of a devotional. My friend at Moody encouraged me to go back through my blog and see if I could recognize a common theme throughout my writings.

So, I sat there on my couch several days in a row, while my kids took a rest time, and I just prayed and asked God to show me what He had been teaching me the last five years. I found about five different themes. Then I asked Him to help me sort through all the blogs posts and pick out enough for a devotional book.

It was hard and intimidating at first. I kept thinking, “What if I don’t pick the right ones!” But, I kept trusting that God would give me clarity and direction. I had to remind myself that He had already given me words, I just needed to co-labor with Him to bring together something good and helpful to the world. It was a good exercise in leaning into Him. 

 

Q. What do you think are some of the biggest struggles that women in all seasons of life face on a daily basis?

M. When I look inside my own heart and consider the struggles that my friends in all the different seasons of life have shared with me, I think a common thread is fear. Fear of failing. Of not measuring up. Fear of loss. Fear of the unknown. The whole fear thing has been the cause of the greatest turmoil in my life and something I’ve written about a lot. God has done a great deal of healing in this area, but learning to put my trust in Him is a daily prayer of mine.

 

Q. You have three young children and a lot of your reflections involve them. How has God used them to stretch your faith?

M. Kids are so amazing. They’re insatiably curious and unabashed when it comes to asking questions and attempting to figure out life. It’s so interesting to me that even little kids want to know some of the same things that highly intellectual theologians and philosophers wrestle with. Things like, “Why does God allow evil?” And “Since God is so big then He always wins, right?”

I often find myself sitting a little dumbfounded at the kitchen table or in the bedroom floor over a pile of books going, “Um, God, did you hear that? How do I answer that because I was kinda wondering the same thing?”

So, in those ways, my kids stretch my faith and I realize that I’m here on a journey with them. I may not know all the answers (does anyone?) but we get to try to figure out some things together.

I’ve also found that my kids grow my faith. Jesus points to little children and tells us to imitate their faith. Now, He doesn’t say to imitate their knowledge, because they obviously don’t know a whole lot yet, but when it comes to believing in Him and in His Kingdom, Jesus points out that little children have what it takes. In those ways, I want to be like my kids. Just simply believing in His existence. And that He is good.

One time, when I was explaining to Gideon that not everyone believed in God and certainly not everyone loved Him, he quickly explained, “Yeah, but Momma, if they knew God, then they would love Him.”

 

Q. Your writing is reminiscent of Ann Voskamp and her book, One Thousand Gifts. How can we find gifts in our daily living?

M. Ann Voskamp has been one of the most impactful writers on my life. Some days I really struggle for joy. I’ve got a good life, but even a good life is hard sometimes. Pain and suffering in the world really weigh on me. In those moments, I start thanking God for what I see right in front of me. This cup of coffee, that blue-eyed kid, that patch of sunlight in the yard. Freedom.

This saying “thanks” to my Maker helps to restore my joy.

 

Q. What encouragement do you have for a young mom who is deep in the trenches of childrearing and just plain tired?

M. Hey, that’s me! I think I would say to that sweet momma, “Give yourself grace. Go make some coffee. And during your kid’s rest time, be sure to take a nap! Or just do something you really love. No house work during rest time, you hear?”

These things have really helped me have joy and feel alive, even when I’m not getting the amount of rest that I want to get.

 

Q. Do you have any favorite authors? Did they inspire you to write at all?

M. Two people come to my mind immediately. Ann Voskamp and C.S. Lewis.

Ann Voskamp is another momma who just started out blogging and has now written several books. I’ve followed her blog daily for many years now and she has impacted my life on such a profound level. I realized that I wanted to encourage others the way that she’s encouraged me.

And when I think about the impact that C.S. Lewis has had on my life simply because he wrote his thoughts down, it encourages me to keep writing. Because a book is an amazing thing. A book can go to a lot of people's houses that I cannot. And a book can stay up late at night and speak while I myself am getting some rest. And God can take a book and send it across the country or the continent and He can take something little and make it help a lot.

 

Q. What do you hope women will take away from the book?

M. Mostly, I just want folks to meet with Jesus. If they come away with a deeper sense of Jesus loving them or with the realization for the first time that God cares about them that would make me really happy.

 

Q. What did you find was the most challenging part of writing this book?

M. I’m a pretty random thinker and I get easily distracted. The hardest part was just sitting down to write! And not check Facebook a jillion times or get sidetracked with something else. Sometimes I would just set the timer and push through. I still do that when I’ve got a deadline.

 

Q. What was the easiest part of writing your book?

M. The easiest part was picking out the pictures! I just sent the graphic designer my favorite pictures and he did an awesome job with the cover and interior design.

 

 

Q. Do you have a certain space or time that is just for writing?

M. Yes! I’m finally in a “writing rhythm.” I homeschool my kids so the mornings are full with that. But, my kids still have a quiet time each afternoon in their rooms. So, I take about an hour or so and just sit down and read or write.

Since writing is something I really love to do, it’s actually restorative for me. I’ve noticed that all the other mundane things that I do in the day aren’t so hard when I’ve taken the time to write, because I come alive.

 

Q. During the writing of Finding God at the Kitchen Sink, what was your biggest lesson that you learned?

M. I was really intimidated at first when I sat down to write a book. I didn’t know if I would do it right. If it would be any good at all. But, I learned that I really can ask God for wisdom and creativity, for clarity and vision, and that He really would give me all those things I needed!

It was the coolest thing, to work with Him. It gave me more confidence in other areas of my life and in writing in general. Now, I really do believe that when I ask God for help, He’ll come. He’s faithful like that.

 

Q. What is your favorite chapter in Finding God at the Kitchen Sink and why is it that one?

M. Oh, man. This one is too hard. Ha! It’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid. The only right answer… “I love them all the same.”

(Yeah, I know. I totally copped out of that one.)

 

Q. Do you have plans to write any more books?

M. Yes! I told my husband that I think I finally know what I’m gonna be when I grow up. I’m a writer! I’m just gonna keep on going.

 

Q. What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?

M. I would say to my second grade self, “Stop begging God to let you marry Franklin Fall. Seriously. Just be patient. Enjoy your young life. You’re gonna love the guy God picks out.”

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Blog: http://maggiepaulus.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggiepaulusauthor
Twitter:   https://twitter.com/MaggiePaulus

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/maggiepaulus/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Paulus/e/B00MWI6MZ0/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/35315535-maggie-paulus

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Interview With an Author ~ Kathryn Fogleman

InterviewwithKathryn

Have you heard of the book Tales of the Wovlen: The Dragon's Son? No, well because it has yet to come out. But I have a treat for you today. I have an interview with the author of this book, Kathryn Fogleman. First, a little about the book:

 

After the brutal massacre in his village, a broken, grieving boy chooses to live with a golden dragon in the wild rather than go to the mountains to be with his own people. If only he had known then what that simple choice meant… Thirteen years later, Keegan, no longer a boy, learns that his younger sister survived the massacre and so sets off to be reunited with her. When Keegan accidentally interrupts a plot against a princess, what should have been a fairly simple trip turns into a complicated struggle for survival. A mysterious elder appears, full of wit and riddle. Mythical monsters shed their fictional skin and hungrily pursue Keegan and his dragon. Haunting nightmares begin to tear at his mind. As he continues on his quest to be reunited with his sister, Keegan is only just beginning to understand what it means to be The Dragons Son.

 

This book is a good, clean book for kids and teens. We are currently reading it as a read aloud, and I will have a review for you soon 🙂 Now, here is Kathryn with her answers to some awesome questions!

 

 

What inspired you to write The Dragon's Son?

I think it was when I saw the movie "Dragonheart" as a young child. I thought then how unique it was for a man and a dragon to work side-by-side and how rare it was to hear such a story. It had been the first story I had ever heard where a dragon was good, not bad. I decided I wanted to start making stories about good dragons after that.

 

 

What is the most challenging part of writing for you?

Actually sitting down, doing it, and then COMPLETEING it. I find that it is very hard for me to complete something. I get a story rolling, and then another idea bursts into my head and I have to turn it into a story and write it down. Then another idea rolls in and I have to write it down, followed by another, and another, and another. I really have to chain my brain down to the book at hand to get anywhere. People can't read my stories if they are only half-way finished!

 

 

Who is your favorite author?

This is a mean question. I like many different authors.

I like Frank Peretti and J.R.R. Tolkien because they are really deep, intense, and dark… without being evil. I like to read their work when I am in a darker mood.

I also really like Bryan Davis. I've never seen another author weave a story like he can. He creates a labyrinth and takes his reader on a twisty-turny high paced adventure through it! I read his books when I am in a bold sort of mood and have a lot of energy to burn on adrenaline. I will actually scream at his characters while I am reading, and that burns up a lot of this couch potato’s energy!

 

 

What books have influenced you most?

That is a tough question, especially since I read ALL THE TIME.

I think J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit made the most impression as far as solid plots and character building. Frank Peretti probably influenced my writing style the most though.

 

 

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Minimal. That is what I love about fantasy: you create your own world, people, culture, and history. You make it up. However, that being said, I did use a lot of what I have learned through the years from school and from personal experiences. Take the horses in my book, for example. I have worked with horses for most of my life, so I naturally used what I know about them and put it in my book. There was no research done, but I took a LOT of my own experience and knowledge and put it into the book.

 

 

What is the biggest lesson you have learned through this process?

It only took me three years to figure it out, but when I sent my book to the editor I finally learned the cold, hard truth: my editing skills…I've never had them.

 

 

When and where do you usually write?

When? Whenever the inspiration hits me, or when I want the inspiration to hit me. Sometimes I just have to sit down and start writing something – anything –  to get inspired and start working.

Where? On my bed. My bed and I have a long history of writing together.

 

 

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to write more books and learn how to sketch people so I can draw my own characters someday in the far, far future.

 

 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Sooooo….. you want to be an author?

Step 1: Learn HOW to write. Real writing is not just spelling correctly or knowing how to put a sentence together. Real writing is knowing how to express, describe, and feel things using words. Go read your favorite books and analyze them. Figure out WHY they are your favorites. SEE how the author made it real to you. How did they put the plot together? How did they flesh out their characters?

Step 2: START WRITING! Keep a journal. Write in it everyday. Describe how you feel that day, what happened to make you feel that way, and how it is affecting you. Look at pictures. Write down what you see and how that picture makes you feel. Be detailed! And of course, start writing your stories, whatever they are. Short, long, happy, sad, weird, incomplete – just start writing. Find your groove. And keep it up.

Step 3: FINISH writing. You can't become an actual author unless you publish something, and you can't publish something unless you have something to publish, and you won't have something to publish if you didn't finish writing your story. So FINISH IT! And don't get discouraged. I have to tell myself this often.

 

 

Now, a little about Kathryn:

 

Kathryn learned from a very early age the joys that reading a good book could bring. The fascinating stories from the Bible particularly set her imagination on fire. But it wasn't until she was 10 years old that she learned the real power of the written word. For the first time ever, the imaginary people, worlds, and creatures she saw in her head could finally come to life – on paper. Since then, it has become Kathryn's passion to write. Whether it is humor and thoughts on her personal blog, or the conflicts of the people and worlds in her head, she loves to write it out – for her own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others.

 

Follow Kathryn on any of these social links! And keep an eye out for what is coming up next week with the the launch of this book!

 

Website:  http://www.kathrynjfogleman.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kathryn-Fogleman/475623382492122

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KJFogleman

Pinterest Board:  http://www.pinterest.com/kjfogleman/

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Author Interview ~ Stacy Farrell

MereChrist

(This post contains affiliate links.)

 

 

Today I have a treat for you. I have an interview with one of my favorite authors, Stacy Farrell from HomeSchoolAdventure.com. Stacy has written so many good homeschool resources, such as Philippians in 28 Weeks, The Wise Woman and Philosophy Adventure. She has now come out with Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal, which is soon to be released! In anticipation for this new resource, Stacy has taken the time to answer some questions and I am happy to share them with you!

 

1. When planning a new book, how do you go about planning for it? Do you have a method you use, or is each one different? 

 

Proverbs 16:9 declares: “In his heart, a man makes his plans, but the Lord determines his steps.” If you had asked me this question 20 years ago, I would have told you how I outlined and scheduled and planned. I’m a planner by nature. However, I have learned the hard way that “unless the Lord builds the house, the workers labor in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

 

Each book I have written for Home School Adventure Co. has a unique story behind it—and not one would have been completed without the support of many faithful prayer warriors.

 

 

2. Do you have a certain writing space, somewhere you go *just* to write your books? An office, a lake cabin, a hotel? What do you love about that space? How does it inspire you?

 

Writing resources for Home School Adventure Co. has pretty much demanded everything I can give to it (and more!). So, wherever I go, my writing goes with me.

 

I am especially grateful to my sons for helping me lug around the backpack and bags that contain my laptop and research materials.

 

 

3. What would you say to a young person who aspires to be a writer? What advice would you give? Also, what would you tell his/her parents in order to help them be supportive in their child's efforts to pursue writing as a career?

 

Writing is hard work. Sometimes inspiration hits and the words simply flow. However, the writer who consistently writes can ultimately surpass a more talented writer who waits for the Muse before picking up his or her pen (or keyboard).

 

Think of eternity, always. Imagine that moment when you will stand before God and give an account for what you have done with the talents He entrusted to you. Let that guide all your decisions.

 

Parents, encourage your students to write every day. Then take the time to read and comment on what they write. Even if you do not consider yourself a writer, surely you consider yourself a reader. What is clear? What is confusing? Applaud their efforts and tell them the truth.

 

 

4. Would your advice be any different (from question #3) for an adult who would like to break into the business? How?

 

Pray. Listen. Obey.

 

“Count the cost.”

 

Luke 14:28 tells us to consider the price we must pay before undertaking a work, but there is also a cost associated with not undertaking a work to which He calls us.

 

That said, as parents and family members, we would be wise to maintain a measure of balance. Remember Solomon’s words: “The writing of many books is endless” (Ecc. 12:12). Books will pass away; people are eternal.

 

Do not allow your writing to interfere with your loving.

 

5. What is your goal with writing? Is it the same with every book?

 

My goal for every book is the same as my goal for life. I pray that all my efforts help people more fully know and love Jesus.

 

6. What other projects will you be working on in the near future?

 

In 2014, we hope to release a print edition of Philippians in 28 Weeks – King James Version.

 

 

7. What is one lesson you learned from writing this book?

 

Simple truth packs a punch.

 

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis tackles some hefty questions. Yet, upon pondering his answers, I realized that much of what he says distills down to common sense.

 

(Voltaire would argue that “common sense is not so common.”)

 

 

8. What books have most influenced you?

 

Different books have impacted me during different seasons of my life.

 

 

9. With all of the duties that you juggle, when do you fit in the time to write?

 

This is a great question. There is no denying that writing requires many sacrifices. Truth be told, all too often my sons have heard me say, “I need to concentrate. Please don’t talk to me right now!” However, because my sons need and deserve my focused attention during our school days, much of my writing is done before dawn (while my household sleeps), or late at night.

 

 

 

10. What is the Scripture verse that you would call your favorite?

 

At a writer’s conference some years ago, I came to believe that Philippians 2:14-16 might be my “life verse.”

 

I could not pick a favorite verse, but I can say that I feel particularly convicted to live out Philippians 2:14-16:

 

“Do everything without grumbling or arguing,

so that you may become

blameless and pure,

children of God without fault

in a warped and crooked generation.

Then you will shine like stars in the sky

as you hold out the word of life.”

 

 

stacyfarrell

Author Bio

 

Stacy Farrell’s worldview changed when she embarked on her homeschooling adventure in 2002.

Her background as a consultant and writer well-prepared her to teach communication skills; however, only hands-on experience (and much time spent on her knees) equipped her to mentor her sons through the character-transformation required to help them work toward their full potential.

 

Stacy has spoken at a variety of homeschool conferences and has published articles in leading Christian magazines. She wrote scripts for Willow Creek’s youth ministry, copy for Pastor Bill Hybel’s “Defining Moments” Audio Newsletter, and a broad range of material for corporate and non-profit clients. She also managed a law firm that specialized in civil rights litigation and constitutional law. Today, she loves to help empower students to recover territory lost by “fuzzy thinking” and low expectations. To that end, she created:

 

  • Philosophy Adventure™—Pre-Socratics – designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas

 

Although Stacy loves to write, speak, and teach, she considers her role as wife to Roger and mother to two precious sons to be her greatest work and privilege. You can learn more about her resources at http://homeschooladventure.com.

 

 

Like I mentioned earlier, Stacy has a new book coming out. It is called Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal. I will have a review of this book for you very soon! Right now though, HomeSchoolAdventure.com is offering a 15% pre-order sale! Head over and check it out!!

 

 

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