Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday's Book Video Block: The Restorer

Today we are featuring Atlanta poet fan favorite, Hank Stewart and Kendra Norman Bellamy's 357 AM. Hank came to my event, Third Thursady's last year and read an excerpt of this novel. You can listen to him read the excerpt here. He has a great voice.

Tuesday's Theatre Block: The Experience

Every Tuesday Christian Fiction Blog features a Christian Theatre production. Today's showcase is The Experience, a spin off of Unequally Yoked. To learn more click here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CFB Monday News Brief:

New Spec Fiction Publisher

Marcher Lord Press, a new publishing company based in Colorado Springs, Colo., plans to release its Christian fantasy and science fiction novels next October. Founder, former literary agent, 13 year industry vet, Jeff Gerke.

"I've always loved Christian speculative fiction-Christian fantasy, science fiction, time travel, supernatural thrillers, the works," Gerke said. "But I was always frustrated that these novels seemed to get short shrift in the industry. And so I decided to do something about it. - Gerke
Fantasy author steers movie watchers from Golden Compass
Best-selling children's fantasy author G.P. Taylor has issued an open letter to Americans warning of the dangers of the forthcoming movie The Golden Compass, an adaptation of British author Philip Pullman's novel Northern Lights (Scholastic,) controversial for its anti-Catholic themes. Starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, The Golden Compass is slated to be released Dec. 7 in theaters nationwide. In an e-mail message this week, Taylor, who lives in Scarborough, England, said that the reason he wrote Shadowmancer (Charisma House/Penguin Putnam) and the other books in the series was because of Pullman and "the damage that his books were likely to do to the Christian church."
Blair Underwood & BET's NEW Urban Ministry Narrative Series BET has chosen Blair Underwood to narrate its new, weekly series "Exalted." The show explores the lives of African American ministers as they prepare their sermons, lead their congregation, and perform weekly ministerial duties while at the same time deal with the challenges of everyday life. The program airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Steeple Hill Harvest Festival
Join Steeple Hill Authors as the celebrate with online games and chats. From Oct. 22-26.

CBS13 Sacramento's Apology to Tyler Perry
Last week, Tyler Perry sent out a request and a vent regarding his interview at CBS 13 last week when Mar, S. Allen, the entertainment reporter made barbs at Janet Jackson. This week the newstation gormally apologized to both Perry and Jackson. In an excerpt from Perry's message regarding the incident:

I'm sorry for that last email about the interview on the Sacramento TV station. I mean for the way that it started out. I try not to bring you any negativity in these emails, but I needed to vent to someone who would understand my plight. I mean I took a beating on that press tour. But the more they tried to get me down the more you all had my back. WOW!!! So much so that not only did millions of you pile into those 2,000 screens last weekend but after you all saw that interview that Janet and I did; you started an email campaign that ended in this man going on air and giving an apology. He got so many emails that it crashed the computer system at the TV station. The other employees couldn't get emails from what I understand. - Tyler Perry
NEW!! LI Historical Line

This new brand in the Steeple Hill imprint is a series of historical romances featuring Christian characters facing the many challenges of life and love in a variety of historical time periods.Set to launch in February 2008, we're excited to have this brand new addition!

My Soul Cries Out Tour
Urban Christian fiction author and one of my write-or-die chicks, Sherri Lewis will be on tour in Maryland and Texas through November for the My Soul Cries Out Tour.
If you have news that is related to Christian Fiction or Christian entertainment please hit me up at vidae at writing dot com. Thanks.

The White Witch vs My Flame Wielding Angel

Dee_2 "There is in every person an inward sea, and in that sea there is an island and on that island there is an altar, and standing guard before that altar is 'the angel with the flaming sword.' Nothing can get by that angel to be placed upon the altar unless it has the mark of your inner authority. Nothing passes "the angel with the flaming sword" to be placed upon your altar unless it be a part of the fluid area of your consent.' This is your crucial link with the Eternal."

-an excerpt from With Head and Heart, an autobiography of Howard Thurman.

This weekend I took my Girl Scout troop to see the play adaptation of C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe at our local community dinner theater. One of our big sister Girl Scouts--Lindsey-- who has a major part in the play is moving away, so the girls were excited to see her perform. It was a bittersweet moment for me. This young women epitomizes the kind of faithful, passionate Christian I hope for our daughter, Selah to become. I had hoped and prayed that Lindsey would be in Selah's life longer, because she looks up to her so much. And she was a fantastic cheap, babysitter.

So we ate and watched. As the story unfolded I watched our girls faces. They were locked in. They cried when Aslan sacrificed himself, and they cheered when the White Witch died. 9Lindsey was the White Witch, but they didn't mind!) But what happened next held my heart. I saw their minds churn until it ignited a flame that I know-- we parents know-- has always been inside them, that is inside all of us.

It is an eternal flame. Once turned on we cannot help, but seek it. We hunt it. We thirst for it. No matter what we do or how far away we think we are that light finds us and warms our very core every time. It is unstoppable only if we disconnect, drift away and get lost.

And that drifting concerns me. As an artist, a mother and a creation of the Master Artist why do I see myself as a vase when He created me to be an azalea? Why am I fighting my guardian angel? When did I become the White Witch?

Continue reading "The White Witch vs My Flame Wielding Angel" »

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fall into Thankswriting Contest

Have you shared your spiritual life story with yourself?

This fall I am attending a class about the life of theologian, Howard Thurman. In this class our chief objective is to think of our own spiritual lives. How did our faith find us? What have we learned so far?

I got to thinking. Hmm...I've made so many bad turns and wondered down winding roads leading me back to where I was afraid to go. I really need to figure this thing out before it's too late.

Well, two weeks ago I received an invitation to review-one of my gospel favorites- Amy Grant's memoir, Mosaic: Pieces of My Life So Far." What I discovered is that she--like me-- has struggled on her soul's journey, worried whether her children would find their faith, and wondered if her life as an artist was what God wanted for her.

She writes...

"I have been a part of several Billy Graham crusades since then. The last one was in Minneapolis in the late nineties. Before the evening started, I had a chance to visit with Billy.I felt pretty sure I was headed for a divorce, though no one knew it but me, and out of respect, I felt like I needed to tell him that my life was derailing. His organization sets a high standard. If I was going to stand on his stage as an invited guest, I didn't want anyone to be taken surprise by later events. He talked to me about his own children, reminding me that God is always at work in our lives, even when we take the long way home. The good news of the gospel was as powerful[to me] in the tiny curtained-off backstage area where we spoke as it was in the full-to-capacity stadium that night."

I invite you to read Amy's story and discover your own. This month Christian Fiction Blog is hosting the Fall into Thankswriting Contest. We are giving away three copies of Amy Grant's memoir through a drawing.

How to enter this contest?
  1. You must be a subscriber of Christian Fiction Blog.Subscribe to christianfiction by Email
  2. You must post a short comment about how Amy Grant’s music has inspired your life.
  3. And…pledge to write a piece of your own life’s mosaic to read to your family this Thanksgiving. (Girl Scouts Honor :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Christian Fiction Speedlink: Evil Email and Crimson Eve

Whew! Folks are blogging about faith fiction books this week. Here's the highlights:

Book giveaways: Collins' Crimson Eve. Pride & Prejudice at Callapidder Days.

Author interview: Robin Miller at Keep Me in Suspense

Publisher's POV: Harvest House editor, Nick Harrison broods over great writing at Charis Connection. Doubleday Religion joins Waterbrook Multnomah. Thomas Nelson's Mike Hyatt shares publishers expectations with literary agent, Chip MacGregor.

Book Reviews: A Family for Tory at TodaysBooks. All the Tea in China at Dear Author. BitterSweet at Reviews by Two. Within this Circle(Raney) and Chill out Josey(Warren) at Cataromance.

Blog Tour: Brandilyn Collins' Crimson Eve

On Evangelical Fiction: J Mark Bertrand and Becky Miller discuss what is wrong with evangelical fiction? Evil Email at Faithchick.

Bookban: Bloggers here, here, here, here and here are furious that first year St. Thomas college students are forced to read Atwood's anti-Christian, A Handmaid's Tale.

Author praise: USA Today loves Karen Kingsbury. J.K. Rowling talks Christian themes in Harry Potter at Filmchat. Sharon Finck questions What Trail?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CFB Blour: Christmas Eve

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing


(Zondervan October 30, 2007)



Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense™. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline “Don’t forget to b r e a t h e…® ” She’s so well known in the industry there’s actually a club for her non-readers. That’s right. The Big Honkin’ Chickens Club (BHCC) members are proud of the fact that they’re too wimpy to read Brandilyn’s intense fiction. Now and then one of them tries. Bribing works pretty well. (Just ask Deb Raney.) Somehow they live to tell the tale.

Brandilyn writes for Zondervan, the Christian division of HarperCollins Publishers, and is currently at work on her 17th book. Her first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows.

She’s also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons), and often teaches at writers conferences. Brandilyn blogs at Forensics and Faith.

Visit her website to read the first chapters of all her books.


Carla stared at the gun and David Thornby—or whatever his name was. Her mind split in two, one side pleading this was some sick joke, the other screaming it was all too real.

“Please. You must have the wrong person. There’s no reason for someone to want me dead. I don’t have any enemies.”

“Then you’d best rethink your friends.”

Realtor Carla Radling shows an “English gentleman” a lakeside estate—and finds herself facing a gun. Who has hired this assassin to kill her, and why?

Forced on the run, Carla must uncover the scathing secrets of her past. Secrets that could destroy some very powerful people...

Brandilyn Collins fans and reviewers are saying Crimson Eve is her best book yet:

“Collins tops herself by creating a suspenseful nonstop thrill ride … Truly the best Christian Fiction suspense title so far this year.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Crimson Eve is Collins at her very best. It left me feeling as if I’d climbed Mount Everest without oxygen … I didn’t think Brandilyn could outdo herself after reading Coral Moon. She did.”

“I’ve never edited a more tightly crafted, deftly woven, compellingly written book.” –a Crimson Eve editor, with 20 years experience

“This is your best book! I could not stop reading!” – one of many readers with similar responses

Read about Violet Dawn and Coral Moon, books one and two in the Kanner Lake series.

Do you know someone who’s never read a Brandilyn Collins novel? Surely no such person exists. However, should you scrounge up such a friend—someone who enjoys suspense—here’s a special offer from Brandilyn. Be among the first 50 people between now and October 21, 2007 to e-mail her assistant at gayle.brandilyncollins@gmail.com with the person’s name, e-mail address and street address. (Due to exorbitant overseas mailing costs, United States residents only, please).

A signed copy of Crimson Eve will be sent to your friend—free—along with an e-mail from Brandilyn announcing the book is on its way, courtesy of you. (Don’t worry. Brandilyn won’t spam these email addresses. She just wants your friend to know who to thank.) No worries that this story is third in the Kanner Lake series. Each book stands alone. Brandilyn is convinced your friend will so love Crimson Eve, he/she will surely reciprocate with expensive chocolate.

Sandi Glahn & 5 Deadly Sins

Every Wednesday Christian Fiction Blog will share an interview with rising Christian writers. Today Sandi Glahn will share her new book, Informed Consentwith us.

Dee: What’s Informed Consent about?

Sandi: Jeremy Cramer, the next Einstein of research, is a medical resident specializing in infectious diseases. While working on a way to revive water submersion victims, he makes surprising discoveries, while also living with massive guilt over incidental infections that occur (which he could have prevented). Even as his marriage teeters, his career continues to skyrocket. Then, with a few twists along the way, he finds everything he has fought for threatened by the most personal, most heart-wrenching, choices of all.

How did you come up with this story? Was there a specific 'what if' moment?

The story had a thousand or more “what if” moments. I’m pursuing a PhD in Aesthetic Studies, and I worked on the setting, characters, a lot of the plot, as well as my narrative voice during three novel-writing classes taught by a novelist who writes fiction reviews for Publishers Weekly. And I got some great feedback from fellow students who don’t believe in Christ about ways to address faith issues more naturally. I also took a Dante class, which influenced my choice to give my characters five of the seven deadly sins. (I’m saving the other two for a future work.)

But the elements in the plot designed to keep readers up at night came through a brainstorming session with medical doctor, William Cutrer, with whom I’ve coauthored three medical novels.

What is the most difficult part of writing for you or was when you first started on your writing journey?

I still struggle with expressing character emotion. I feel like I’ll insult the reader if I stop to say “the shock of the news hit like a two-by-four in the back of the head.” I figure if I tell the horrible circumstance, the reader has enough imagination to feel what any normal soul would feel. I want to say simply “His dad died in a plane crash,” and let the reader fill in the emotional blanks. Yet everybody experiences shock and grief differently. For some the room spins. For others it shrinks. For some it grabs in the pit of the stomach. Or it feels like a physical jolt. It’s part of my job as a developer of character to choose how this character will react and respond. When the emotions get intense, I need to slow down and let the reader enter the character’s head. But I’d rather get on with the plot.

Take us through your process of writing a novel briefly—from conception to revision.

Once I have a germ idea, I come up with the beginning, middle, and end. Then I figure out the in-between points. Next, I create the main characters. I have four pages of questions I answer for each. About thirty percent of novel-crafting for me is the pre-writing imaginative work on the plot and character sketches. Then I choose a setting. I ask myself how I can use setting to communicate something. I try to choose a setting that communicates on a deeper level. All the time I’m making these choices, I deliberate about the best way to tell the story. First-person? Third-person? Who will be the main POV character? Why?

After that I craft a proposal. It starts with a one-paragraph synopsis. While my agent shops it around, I develop the summary into a chapter-by-chapter outline. And then I make a file for each chapter and start dumping in ideas.

When my agent has some success, he calls. Here’s what happens from there…

Editorial person really likes it
He or she takes it to the marketing meeting
I wait forever for that meeting to happen
Marketing approves it
I wait for them to agree on an offer
They issue an offer
I reel from the shock of how low it is
I negotiate
I wait for them to draw up the contract
I receive and sign the contract
I write the book
I send the book to the publisher.
They send the first half of the advance
I spend it all in one place
I wait for them to edit it
I wait a while longer for them to edit it
They send back the manuscript with lots of changes needed immediately
I edit it again
I wait
And wait
They send a galley proof, which they need back immediately
I edit it yet again
I watch helplessly as the release date gets delayed--again
I wait forever for my progeny to arrive in the mail
Finally, I hold my masterpiece in my hands
I find a typo

Come back Nov. 12 to learn more about Sandi's writing process and how her faith keeps her spirit smiling. Think you may forget? then Subscribe to christianfiction by Email .

CW31 Response to Tyler Perry Fans

Ok, I sent an email to KMAX/CW31 this past Monday expressing my displeasure with reporter Mark Allen's questions to Janet Jackson. Here is there response to me. I'm sure everyone who sent a letter received the same response.

CW31's response...

Thank you for contacting CW31. We have reviewed the many comments we have received regarding our interview with Tyler Perry and Janet Jackson that aired on October 11. As a result of the numerous comments received, we have carefully reviewed the segment and have reassessed the approach taken by Mr. Allen.

While we certainly did not intend to offend anyone during this interview, we do sincerely apologize to anyone who may have been offended, including Ms. Jackson and Mr. Perry.

We take seriously the feedback we receive from our viewers and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.


I wonder how man y people responded?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday's Book Video Block: The Other Daughter

Miralee Ferrell's debut novel, Other Daughter, The: A Novel is the story of father and a daughter he has never known. Not as funny as Disney's the Gameplan, but filled with faith and as much tenderness.
You can read Novel Journey's interview of Miralee here.

Tuesday's Theatre Block: Why Did I Get Married

Today CFB is featuring Tyler Perry's hit stage play, "Why Did I Get Married?" His move with the same title is based on this play. I own this DVD and watch it almost every week. Why? Cheryl Pepsi's rendition of Keep Your Head up. Watch and Enjoy!

Related posts:
Tyler Talk

Monday, October 15, 2007

CBS Affiliate's Janet Jackson Low Blow

kEvery day it becomes harder and harder to defend my love for old fashion journalism, more like hateration and bully propaganda in my book. Last Friday during an interview on Sacramento[CA]CBS 13's Good Day show entertainment news reporter, Mark S. Allen low blowed Janet Jackson, one of the stars of Tyler Perry's #1 boxoffice movie this week, "Why Did I Get Married?" when he asked her about her infamous Boobgate wardrobe malfunction at Superbowl XXXVIII. "Anything happened to you at the SuperBowl?" Allen asked.

As a publicist, I am pretty sure that Janet's publicist gave CBS 13 a list of off-limit questions to ask, and that question had to be one of them. So why? Secondly, what was the relevance of that question? How did it relate to promoting this movie? And third, why hadn't this reporter asked Justin Timberlake the same question when was there in September?

Double standards? Or another attempt for the politics of mass media to debase African-American women? Here's a movie that shows black professional, married women with strong spiritual foundations, but all of that is embrued when Allen brings up a three-year-old incident. Sure Boobgate was the final straw that broke the FCC's back on indecency, but has the rules changed. Let's take a look at CBS daytime and prime time shows. Have the soap operas gotten steamer? Are vampires, demons, and serial killers headlining this year's fall lineup?

Mr. Allen, I hope your reporting earns you your just rewards.

Question: Chip Macgregor brought up an excellent question at The Writer's View Discussion two weeks ago. Have we did anything in the past that we would be ashamed of now as Christian writers?

How would you feel if a reporter trumps your interview about your latest Christian novel to remind me of your broken past? Would you use it to glorify God? If so, how? Any advice for Ms. Jackson?

CFB Monday News: Movies, Mothers and Marriage

Marriage Tops the Movies
Tyler Perry's faith based movie, "Why Did I Get Married?" won the #1 box office draw this weekend earning $21.5 Million on it's opening weekend. With guest appearances on Oprah, Regis & Kelly, the Portia Fox show on Atlanta's Vee-103, TP's media blitz toppled "The Game Plan," "Michael Clayton, and "We Own the Night." With numbers like this apparently, TP owns the box office. His next film, "Meet the Browns" is slated for a February 2008 release. But back to WDIGM...what did you like about the film? Do you think it was realistic?

More on Meet the Browns
A synopsis: Brenda, a single mother from Chicago receives a letter announcing the death of a father she's never met around the same time she loses her job. Desperate for help, she takes her children to Georgia to attend the funeral. But gets more than help, she gets a faith filled family and an opportunity to be loved.Angela Bassett stars as Brenda. I can tell you now that the movie is already a hit. Just with Angela in it alone. Madea will return and Jenifer Lewis will be back bold as ever, and big Mama, Irma P. Hall(The Lad. So you know I'm going to this movie for my 35th birthday. :)

The Christmas Shoes airing on CBS
The Christmas Blessing DVD, the sequel to the CBS TV movie The Christmas Shoes, is to release Nov. 6 in Christian bookstores. The movies are based on Donna VanLiere's best-selling books released by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Neil Patrick Harris, Rebecca Gayheart and Rob Lowe star in the film, which was seen by 14 million viewers in 2005 when it premiered on CBS. The DVD will release from GT Media, formerly known as GoodTimes Entertainment (EMI CMG Distribution).

Fox Faith's First Gospel Movie
TP has blazed such a trail that Fox Faith is releasing January 2008 movie based on another gospel playwright, Rev. Payton's hit gospel play, "A Good Man is Hard to Find." The CW's Golden Brooks[Girlfriends] and CBS' Hill Harper[CSI New York]will star.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why Did I Get Married Love Story Contest

Win a romantic getaway to Lake Tahoe with the one you love! Send LionsGate a story about how you make your relationship work and they will send the two of you to a romantic getaway to Lake Tahoe. Send email to whydidigetmarried @ lionsgate dot com. Include in the subject matter "contest submission." Click the pic for official rules.

To stay uptodate on Tyler Perry movies, plays, and promotion Subscribe to christianfiction by Email

Related topic:
3 Ways to Convince Your Hubby to take you to see Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?

Why Did I Get Married: the Movie

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Christian Teen Fiction Speedlink: Oct. 11

Blog Tours: Amy concludes Lisa T. Bergren's The Betrayed Blour. Kirsten Billerbeck's The Trophy Wives still moving along. Mary Demuth shares the success and suprises of her blog tour. Tricia Goyer at Writer-Lee.

Book Giveaway: Challies.com is giving away forty copies! of The Truth of the Cross by R.C. Sproul this month. Pilgrim Scibblings have the details. Joyful Days is giving away a used copy of “Memoirs of a Geisha”(non CBA title.) Callapidder Days gives away Wildcats in the House: Spiritual Stuff You Can Get from High School Musical

Author interviews: My buddy and fantastic Canadian Christian fiction writing phenom/journalist, Deborah Gyapong interviews our friend, Marci Laylock AKA Writer-Lee at The Master's Artist. Clint Kelly's interview at Deaf Characters... Nicola Beaumont on Families.com.

Author Contest: Tricia Goyer is giving away a heap of books. Marcia Laylock has the details.

If you want CFB's speedlinks emailed to you, Subscribe to christianfiction by Email. If you want get linked, keep me in the loop. Dee

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Rockstars, Homeless Millionaires and my fellowship date with Creston Mapes

Acclaimed suspense thriller author, Creston Mapes is my friend and write-or-die bro. Praise Jesus! With three books under his belt, he stepped away from his busy schedule and darling family to chat with me about rock stars, homeless millionaires and scheduling our next writing date.

Dee: Why release another novel before the end of the Rock Star?

Creston: How do you know it's not the end of The Rock Star Chronicles?...Just kidding, you're right, Dee. One more book needs to be written in that series. Actually, I have 3 chapters written. However, my publisher wanted to broaden our readership with this, the 3rd book in my contract with them. They thought the "rock star" stories and covers may be limiting our readership to young audiences.

The fact is, I was not writing to young people. The covers of Dark Star and Full Tilt may look like they have "youth" appeal, but they are written for all ages, and we've heard from fans of all ages--so that's cool.

Dee: Why a detective novel?

I didn't set out to write a "detective novel," per se. Since I worked as a newspaper reporter, that business has always intrigued me. I set out to write a fast-paced thriller about a confused newspaper man, and we ended up with Nobody....which, as you say, is kind of a "detective," "mystery." I guess I've come to like to call it a psychological thriller. I've always loved the newspaper business, the daily beat of a reporter, and all the power and thrill those guys have. It was a fun book to write. My
buddy, author Mark Mynheir (The Void), says he really feels like I found a good "voice" in this new book....the voice of the reporter, Hudson Ambrose. So far other readers and reviewers are agreeing and I'm thrilled with that.

Dee: Favorite sleuth?

Creston: Cigar....Raincoat....Columbo, of course.

Dee: Why Las Vegas?

Creston: Actually, my publisher suggested Las Vegas as the backdrop for this story. They really wanted to open up the doors to broaden awareness about my stories/books, and they thought Vegas would be a good draw.

Dee: How did Multnomah support you building this book?
Creston: Incredibly so. In fact, members of the fiction team and I brainstormed about this story before I went to Vegas. When I told them I had an idea about a homeless man, they said, "No way! One of the guys on the fiction team had the same thought." That was when it kind of clicked that this may be a good story. When you think of Vegas you think of poshness, elegance, luxury...but there is also the other end of the spectrum: 10,000 homeless peo
ple in Vegas, most within 1 miles of the Strip. However, the police don't allow the homeless to loiter around the ritzy section because it's not good for tourism.

Dee: Why this kind of murder?

Creston: The kind of murder it was didn't really matter. What mattered was, a homeless man -- who was RICH -- is now dead. And a confused reporter must find out how he died? Why was he rich yet living on the streets of Vegas as a homeless man? Why did many in the homeless community think he was an angel in disguise?

Dee: Why is Hudson the best man to solve this mystery?

Creston: Hudson is kind of a hard core guy. He has a nose for news. He is a great investigative reporter. He has a ton of nerve. And when he meets up with the lovely Holly Queens, well, nothing can stop him!

Dee: Why Atlanta's involvement?

Creston: I like to write about places I've been. Of course, I've lived in Atlanta for 20 years. Most always, I write about cities and towns I've actually been to. However, in the Rock Star Chronicles, the main female character, Karen Bayliss, was from Topeka, KS. I did a ton of research on Topeka. Was even able to do a 360 degree tour of the town on the Web. One girl at my publisher, whose hometown was Topeka, said, "I'm dying to know, have you been to Topeka? You must have. It was described so well!" Good research pays off!

Dee: Do
you believe in angels?

Yes, because the Bible says there are angels! Some we entertain without even knowing it! Think about that as you curl up and read NOBODY!

Holly Queens? Why is than name perfect for this character?

Creston: Man, that is a tough one, Dee. I'm going to have to come back to it.

Okay, I'm back....Holly is a lovely young lady who cherished her friendship with the homeless man, Chester Holte. When she finds out he's been murdered, she's determined to help Hudson Ambrose track down the killer. And she wins Hudson's heart at the same time! Does that answer it?

Dee: Why "Nobody" as a title?
Creston: We messed with a lot of titles, but ended up with Nobody, because people often view homeless people as Nobodies. The back cover reads: "They said he was a Nobody...They were dead wrong." Hudson gave himself up as "nothing" to
serve others. So, in the worlds eyes, he may have been a nobody. But in God's eyes, he was an angel and a saint. Someone who laid down his life for others....literally (hint, hint!)

Dee: Will we meet Hudson again?
I don't think so. Of course, the book is doing well, so there's a chance the publisher could ask for a sequel. That could happen some day. But I enjoy writing stand-alones. And I've started work on a new stand-alone novel that FEELS like the book I was meant to write!

Dee: Why the poem, "I Stand at the Door" at the beginning of this book?
Creston: This poem was shared with me by Jud
Wilhite, pastor of Central Christian Church in Henderson, NV, just outside of Las Vegas. I was out there researching the book when Jud and I met. His church's theme is "reaching people who are far from God." The poem, a favorite of his, was written by Samuel Shoemaker, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. It's a beautiful poem about Christians getting SO far steeped in the church and its tradition, that we forget about the people outside the doors of the church. When Jud shared that poem with me, I knew it would be the theme for the book. Sam Shoemaker is long gone, but one of his daughter's gave us permission to run the poem at the front of the book.
Dee: Do all your stories have to have a message?
Yes they do, Dee, and here's why. I wrote professionally for many years before my work stopped and God nudged me to try fiction. Writing fiction is a ministry for me. It's very difficult, time consuming, fatiguing work. What I'm saying is, I can make a MUCH easier living doing my freelance writing, but God has called me to this. Here is the scripture God's placed on my heart as it relates to writing fiction:
"What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear
whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops."

-- Matthew 10: 27 --

Dee: Do you think Christian Fiction has an obligation to?
Creston: Hmm. If you're going to call it "Christian fiction" and it's part of the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA), then I would think it should have a Christian message. In fact, if it doesn't, why not just go American Booksellers Association (ABA)?

Here's the thing, I get a little frustrated with supposedly "Christian fiction" books that don't have any Christ-oriented message. I mean, if it's just a good clean book, that's great, I love those....but why put it in the CBA and call it "Christian fiction." In fact, wouldn't the author of such rather have his/her book in the ABA?

The other thing is, just because I say it should have a Christian message, I don't mean preachy and I don't mean hit the reader over the head with a King James. There are clever ways to let the Christian message rise up from the grass roots of the story.

Relating back to the question , speaking for me, my books will always have an element that seeks to draw the reader closer to Christ. That is why I write fiction. To testify, through story, the transformation and new birth that is available only thru Christ. Book writing is too difficult to do for any other reason.

Dee: Theme before story?
Creston: This time, yes, but not always. The theme arose out of the poem Jud shared with me, I Stand By the Door. With me, theme doesn't always come before story. I'm more of a seat of the pants, day at a time writer.
Dee: Advice for male writers?
Male and female: Treat your fiction writing like driving a long-haul truck....slam the door and get busy. (paraphrased from, I believe, Stephen King.

Dee: What's next for Creston?
I've started work on a 4th suspense thriller. This will be the book that I actually started writing almost 10 years ago. I thought it was time for that book back then, but it wasn't. Kind of like when Moses went to rescue his fellow Jews
.....but it wasn't time yet. So he went into the wilderness all those years, and God called him at the burning bush. That's what I feel like. This 4th novel...it's time has come. I am going to write it with a lot of prayer and zeal. And I am excited about what God is going to do with it. First, however, I hope to see Him set the stage for it with big sales of NOBODY and, in turn, more sales of Dark Star and Full Tilt!

Dee: When are we going to hang out again?
You tell me the next WORD meeting you're going to and I'll try to make it. If not then, how about coffee at Jittery Joes in Buford?

Dee: Oh, your interviewing the interviewing now? Ha! Cool, Word or Jitter Joes at month's end. :)

Creston: Thanks a million, Dee.

If readers want signed copies of NOBODY, they can get them at SignedByTheAuthor.Com.
The books are also available in stores and online outlets everywhere! Bless ya.
www.crestonmapes.com (check out the new tunes).

You can also chat with Creston tonight at
5 p.m. (E.S.T.) THE VIRTUAL PEW LIVE Listen live online at: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN LIVE

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday Theater Block: Hope of Christmas

Since I've been getting a lot of hits and searches for Christmas play, here's a scene from Hope of Christmas the Stage Play. Enjoy

Tuesday's Book Video Block: The Making of Isaac Hunt

Today CFB is showcasing my faith*in*fiction buddy, Linda Leigh Hargrove's debut novel, "The Making of Isaac Hunt."

Monday, October 08, 2007

Does Your Writing Life Need a Resurrection?


Last week my computer crashed. Seven years of magazine articles, book reviews, critical essays, short stories and novels gone. My computer was old, too old for a recordable CD drive, too old to remove everything, and too expensive to store properly. My James told me not to worry. He would slave my hard drive and retrieve my files for me on his days off. But I have a secret. Don’t tell a soul. When that computer crashed a huge burden lifted from me. I felt free.

Continue reading "Does Your Writing Life Need a Resurrection?" »

Friday, October 05, 2007

Christian Fiction Speedlink

1. Bookgiveaways: Camy Tang is giving away Kristen Billerbeck's The Trophy WIves Club. Tamera Alexander(Bethany House) has a book giveaway. I didn't know she once lived so close to me. Click here for details. Another Bethany House book giveaway, Beverly Lewis' The Parting at Callapidder Days Blog.

2. Author Interviews:Tamera interview at Beth Goodard's Blog.

3. Book signings: My old faith in fiction buddy turned great author, Melanie Dobson"Together for Good" hosts a Faith Writer's booksigning tomorrow at Christian Supply Store, 10209 S.E. Division St. Portland, Oregon. Randy Alcorn, "Deception"; Melody Carlson, "These Boots Weren't Made for Walking"; Leslie Gould, "Scrap Everything"; Robin Jones Gunn, "The Christy Miller Collection"; Jane Kirkpatrick, "A Clearing in the Wild"; Bonnie Leon, "To Love Anew"; and Patricia Rushford, "The Trouble With Max" will join her.

4. Blog Buzz: Lynn Perry blogs at The Lost Genre Guild on Faith and Fiction

5. Industry News: ECPA/Dickinson Press Book Cover Award Finalists annouced. TL Hines(Bethany House) second novel, "The Dead Whisper's On" finaled for best mid-size publisher. Great news, TL. Literary Agent, Chip MacGregor list what' working and what's not in publishing.

6. What is speedlinking?

Want to be considered for next week's CFB speedlink Subscribe to christianfiction by Email.

Happy link reading.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

Interview Recycled: Olympia Vernon's Eden

Interview: Olympia Vernon
By Dee Stewart
July, 2004

Olympia Vernon's first book, Eden, is a tragically written struggle of an adolescent girl fighting against nature, her maturity and her mortality. Receiving rave reviews from Publisher's Weekly and the American Library Association Vernon's debut novel has been compared to such acclaimed authors as Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. This year alone she has received the 2004 American Academy of Arts and Letters Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, the Robert O. Butler Award for Fiction in 2000 and two Matt Clark memorial scholarships. This summer she releases her second novel, Logic, which is already receiving buzz and critical acclaim.

Ms. Vernon graciously chatted with me about her writing philosophy, the fact that she has no literary influences and how she can't sleep for the voices haunting her thoughts.

Dee: After you got this sentence in your head- "One Sunday morning, during Bible study, I took a tube of fire engine red lipstick and drew a naked lady on the first page of Genesis"- how long did it take you to write Eden?

Olympia: I don't remember. I, too, like Maddy, was in "a place with no calendars." I knew nothing of food and clothes and phones and creatures, only the world I was in, another place, another rhythm altogether. When I finished, I walked out onto the balcony and there were lights fluttering in the sun.

Dee: You say that the origin of Eden is something you can't pin down or say. Why is that?

Olympia: Only God knows where Eden emerged. I was not in this land but another one of dying women and floating stars and there emerged Eden.

Dee: What is your writing philosophy?

Olympia: I have none. I write until the characters are done with me. Sometimes, they go pee or drink a beer and I breathe until they are ready to come home to the page.

Dee: Can we agree that the Lord has something for us to say and apparently we haven't said it enough, so it has come back again? Or is that just my crazy talk?

Olympia: Yes, God gives us all something to say. The choice is ours. The choice is up to the person. You can either use the gift that you are given or let it buildup in your mind and soul and never be used. I often wonder where unused gifts go, if they lend themselves to your children after you are dead or they die with you in your grave. God has something for me to say, for the characters I write to say, and I am only executing that love through the characters and their lives.

Dee: I host an online column and forum where I've spoken with many published and self-published writers. Most of them say that the publishing industry is racist? When I read your response on this topic at Mozaicbooks.com I was thrilled. You said,

"A writer must first write the novel of his or her life. The novel that causes one to lose sleep and body and pride. The novel that comes straight from the bone. If this is done, when this is done, the doors will open. And he or she will walk through, regardless of what race he or she is." Do you think that some of us writers are too focused in trying to make a profit or a name for themselves instead of putting their focus in their writing?

Olympia: Each writer's story is unique to himself or herself. My focus is ALWAYS on the characters. Nothing else matters. If I think there is racism in the world, my characters tell that story. If there is injustice in the world, I allow the characters to speak. It's not my job to worry about what the world is doing, only to write the story and injustice of the earth through the characters. If you focus on these things while writing, your writing becomes purposeful. Let the characters create the purpose. If they catch on to your internationalisms, they won't come out to play.

Read the entire interview here.

Who Would You Like Me to Interview?

Every Wednesday starting next week I will begin posting interviews of Christian Writers. Today I will repost an old interview from the blog. If you want to nominate someone to be interviewed here. Here are the guidelines. They must be a Christian screenwriter, author, songwriter, playwright. That's all. You can leave your nominations here in the comments section.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday's Theatre Block: It's Your Season Cinderella

Every Tuesday Christian Fiction Blog will spotlight a gospel play. Today's spotlights is Parable Players' It's Your Season, Cinderella. The play is a biblical take on the CinderElla Fairy Tale. To learn more about the writer, Catrese Meyers and her troop, Parable Players. Check out there myspace page here. If you want your church or theater group featured on CFB, then go to my About Me page and contact me off loop.

Tuesday's Book Video Block: The Restorer

Every Tuesday Christian Fiction will begin sharing book trailers of Christian Fiction titles. If you are an author and you want your trailer featured at Christian Fiction Blog, please go to my about me page and contact me.

Today's offering, Sharon Hink's The Restorer. Stay tuned. On Thursday I will be reviewing the 2nd book in this series, The Restorer's Son.

Mom's Overture by Anita Renfroe

If you missed Christian Comedienne, Anita Renfroe on Good Morning America this morning, then here's the video of one of her funniest songs, MomSense. I saw her this summer at Women of Faith. To me her funniest song is her rendition of Faith Hill's Breath. Thought I'd hit you with some humor this Tuesday. :) Listen, then comment.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Genesis Winners Announced

Congratulations to this year's Genesis Award Winners. I have a few notes for some of my friends. :)

Genesis Award Winners

Contemporary Romance
3rd place: Jennifer Hudson Taylor, By His Plan

2nd place: Jennifer Lynn Cary, On The Court

1st place: Audra Harders, Rough Ride

Historical Romance

3rd place: Audra Harders, Precious Possessions
2nd place: Jennifer Hudson Taylor, Promised Blessings
1st place: Pam Hillman, Stealing Jake's Heart

Romantic Suspense
3rd place: Suzan Robertson, The Circle Game (Way to go, girl!)
2nd place: Dineen Miller, Manna Reign
1st place: Marci J. Burke, Shadow of Doubt


3rd place: Rebecca Grabill, Out of Darkness

2nd place: Chris Mikesell, Revival (What!!!!!)
1st place: Sally A. Apokedak, The Kisses of an Enemy (good going, Sally)

Historical Fiction

3rd place: Marcia Gruver, Love Never Fails AND Yvonne Anderson, Mom's Mirror
2nd place: Tina Helmuth, Hidden Snares
1st place: Carla Stewart, A Dandelion Day

Young Adult

3rd place: Sally Apokedak, Prisoners of the Throne (again!)

2nd place: Linda Fulkerson, The Rod of Schmazel

1st place: Rachael Phillips, Song of the Orphan Train

Contemporary Fiction
3rd place: Myra Johnson, Pearl of Great Price

2nd place: Angie Poole, Gravehopping With Myrna
1st place: Jennifer Griffith, Gumbo Ya Ya

Women's Fiction

3rd place: Kathleen Sprout, The Choice

2nd place: Ane Mulligan, When the Wind Blows (Ane, stop entering!!! :) so i can go for it next year)

1st place: Kristine Pratt, Identity Theft


3rd place: Janet Rubin, Beneath the Steeple
2nd place: Gina Holmes, Deception Burning (You, too, Gina!!!)
1st place: Jane Robertson, Curst Be the Tie

Chick/Mom/Hen/Lady Lit

3rd place: Jenness Walker and Tracy Bowen, Bliss

2nd place: Georgiana Daniels, Honey Do Inc.
1st place: Carrie Padgett, Oh Shop It


Who's nanowrimoing with me next month? Honey, I lost my novel this week. So I'm starting from page 50. Might as well start over. I'm behind by a day. Watch my catch up.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Amazon's Breakout Contest

Click here for details.

Only the first 5000 submissions can enter, so enter today!

Anyone entered? Anyone have drawbacks as to why not?

First Chapter Preview: Demon

Demon: A Memoir

Chapter One

It was raining the night he found me. Traffic had slowed on Massachusetts Avenue, and the wan light of streetlamps reflected off the pavement. I was hurrying on without an umbrella, distracted by the chirp of a text message on my phone, trying to shield its illuminated face from rain and the drizzle off storefront awnings. There had been a mistake in my schedule, an appointment that I didn’t recognize and that I had stayed late at the office for — until six forty-five — just in case. Our office manager was texting me from home now to say she had no idea who it was with, that the appointment must have belonged on Phil’s calendar, that she was sorry for the mistake and to have a good night.

I flipped the phone shut, shoved it in my bag. I was worn out by this week already, and it was only Tuesday. The days were getting shorter, the sun setting by six o’clock. It put me on edge, gnawed at me, as though I had better get somewhere warm and cheerful or, barring all else, home before it got any darker. But I was unwilling to face the empty apartment, the dirty dishes and unopened mail on the counter. So I lowered my head against the rain and walked another two blocks past my turnoff until I came to the Bosnian Café. A strap of bells on the door announced my entrance with a ringing slap.

I liked the worn appeal of the Bosnian Café with its olfactory embrace of grilled chicken and gyro meat that enveloped me upon every arrival and clung to me long after leaving. That night, in the premature darkness and rain, the café seemed especially homey with its yellowing countertops, chipped mirrors, and grimy ketchup bottles. Cardboard shamrocks, remnants of a forgotten Saint Patrick’s Day, draped the passthrough into the kitchen, faded around their die-cut edges. A string of Christmas lights lined the front window, every third bulb out. On the wall above the register, a framed photo of the café’s owner with a local pageant queen, and another with a retired Red Sox player, had never been dusted. But no one, including me, seemed to mind.

I stood in the entry waiting for Esad, the owner, to notice me. But it was not the bald man who welcomed me.

It was the dark-haired stranger.

I was surveying the other tables, looking for inspiration — chicken or steak, gyro or salad — when he beckoned. I hesitated, wondering if I should recognize him, this man sitting by himself — but no, I did not know him. He impatiently waved again, and I glanced over my shoulder, but there was no one standing in the entryway but me. And then the man at the table stood up and strode directly to me.

“You’re late,” he said, clasping my shoulder and smiling. He was tall, tanned, with curling hair and a slightly hooked nose that did nothing to detract from his enviable Mediterranean looks. His eyes glittered beneath well-formed brows.His teeth were very white.

“I’m sorry. I think you have the wrong person,” I said. He chuckled.

“Not at all! I’ve been waiting for you for quite some time. An eternity, you might say. Please, come sit down. I took the liberty of ordering for you.” His voice reminded me of fine cognac, the Hors d’Age men drink aboard their yachts as they cut their Cohíbas.

“You have the wrong person. I don’t know you,” I insisted, even as he steered me toward the table. I didn’t want to embarrass him; he already seemed elegantly out of place here in what, for all practical purposes, was a joint. But he would feel like an elegant fool in another minute, especially if his real appointment — interview, date, whatever — walked in and saw him sitting
here with me.

“But I know you, Clay.”

I started at the sound of my name, spoken by him with a mixture of familiarity and strange interest, and then I studied him more closely — the squareness of his jaw, the smoothness of his cheek, his utter self-possession — wondering if I had indeed met him before. But I hadn’t, I was certain of it now.

Sample from Demon / ISBN 1-60006-123-0
Copyright © 2006 NavPress Publishing.
All rights reserved.
To order copies of this resource, come back to

So far this novel is one of the best novel's I have read. Great job!! Dee

Pen to Paper Literary Symposium

Get your manuscript critiqued, learn how to write a stage play, get inside info on the music biz, hear from the "frugal" promoter, Carolyn Howard-Johnson and get wise advice from best-selling Christian fiction author, Victoria Christopher Murray - and MORE. Great connections at the Fourth Annual Pen to Paper Literary Symposium this weekend in Dayton. Click here for details or watch the slideshow of the previous sympsium below.


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