Christian Retailing

Meet the Author
Karen Kingsbury PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Monday, 09 June 2014 04:15 PM EDT

KarenKingsburyLATEST PROJECT: The Family of Jesus (9781476707372, $19.99, July 1).

PUBLISHER: Howard Books.

What inspired you to write this collection of fictional stories of six relatives of Jesus?
God created me to be a storyteller. I’ve always seen my fiction as a way through the back door of the heart, a way to help a reader experience a deeper walk with God and maybe a better understanding of love and faith and family. At the same time, I have a deep love for Scripture, for the power and authority of the Bible in my life. The question became: What if I wrote a dramatic version of the stories of the family members of Jesus? These real-life characters paid a great price for their connection to the Savior. My goal was clear from the beginning—that I might use my storytelling to make people think deeper about the Bible and that in the process, they would find a greater love for Scripture.

What was your approach to writing The Family of Jesus?
Scripture is absolute and unshakable. I started with the verses that tell us all we know about the family members of Jesus. Those were the tent poles, but between those poles, I painted a storytelling fabric that could billow a bit. I would ask myself and the theologians I consulted whether a certain scenario was possible. Cultural relevancy, time period details all played a part. Then, where it was possible, I told a story. An example is this: Did Joseph bring Mary wild orchids? They did indeed grow in the valleys around Nazareth, so in my storytelling, that’s exactly what Joseph does. It’s fiction, anchored in Scripture.
Keep in mind, these were real, breathing people. People with heartaches and hopes and dreams. People who struggled like you and me. The Bible says in Acts 17:11 the Bereans were of more noble character because they examined the Scriptures. That’s what I pray this Bible study does, that it might take the reader deeper to a place where they truly examine the Scriptures.TheFamilyOfJesus

What was it like to imagine the thoughts, feelings, words and actions of these relatives of Jesus?
Deeply emotional. I found myself crying through much of the writing of The Family of Jesus. I tried to imagine the desperation in Joseph when he heard Mary’s news, the angst in Zechariah when he couldn’t speak after the visit from the angel, Elizabeth’s heartache at her inability to have a child, John the Baptist’s discouragement in prison the days before he was beheaded, James’s confusion over his brother’s claims of being the Messiah, and of course, Mary’s devastation at the foot of the cross. It wasn’t easy. But in many ways we’ve all been through moments that make us feel this way. As I wrote and cried and grew to love these characters, I could only dream of how the story would affect everyone who would read.

How is the Weekly Application and Group Discussion Guide organized?
The guide assumes the reader may be working alone or with a reader group. It allows and directs discussion to help differentiate between my storytelling and the absolutes of Scripture. It is organized by daily questions and group discussion questions. It leaves the readers the chance to choose how to use it and how deep they want to go.

What other products will be available?
LifeWay has done a beautiful job with The Family of Jesus Bible Study workbook. This workbook will be available in a kit for church groups or home groups, and included will be six DVD teaching videos from me, all filmed before a live audience. Those are very special 30-minute sessions where I tell the story of the character and then talk about the Bible’s teaching.

What are the other upcoming titles in this “Heart of the Story” collection?
Next year will be The Friends of Jesus. The year after that I’ll have The Followers of Jesus, and the fourth book will be The First-Hand Encounters of Jesus.

What else would help retailers inform their customers about this book?
My favorite comments so far have come from my editor and the team at LifeWay who have spent their lives studying the Bible and reading Bible studies. Several times those close friends and co-workers came to me separately and said, “I cried as I read The Family of Jesus. And you know what? I’ve never loved Jesus more.” One LifeWay editor said, “We need this desperately. May everyone read it and fall in love with the Bible all over again.”

 
Meet the Author: Todd and Tara Storch PDF Print E-mail
Written by Leslie Santamaria   
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 02:17 PM EST

ToddTaraStorch.FrankMarottPixels-CoppellTXTodd and Tara Storch, with Jennifer Schuchmann, tell how they got involved in organ donation efforts after the tragic loss of their daughter Taylor in Taylor’s Gift: A Courageous Story of Giving Life and Renewing Hope (978-0-800-72188-6, $21.99). The book releases in April 2013 from Revell/Baker Publishing Group.

Why have you decided to write your story of losing your 13-year-old daughter, Taylor, in a ski accident three years ago?

This was not easy to do. We have experienced a parent’s worst nightmare. But we had a choice (and yes, it is a choice) to accept the path that God put us on or crawl up in the grief and wallow in anger and sadness. We chose to find the good in this. We have had so many God-inspired moments in this tragic situation that we knew we had to share our story to help others. That is really all we want to do, to help others. Sharing our story helps give purpose to the pain. But, most importantly, we hope it will help others know that no matter what your circumstances, you can grab onto God’s hand and He will guide you—if you let Him.

Read more...
 
Meet the Author: Jennifer Toledo PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 June 2012 01:20 PM EDT

In Children and the Supernatural: True Accounts of Kids Unlocking the Power of God Through Visions, Healing, and Miracles (Charisma House, May 2012), author Jennifer Toledo shows how God is working today through children, not just adults. She demonstrates through supernatural accounts that youngsters have experienced miracles, prophetic evangelism, powerful intercession and more. Toledo and husband Jonatán are founders and directors of the Global Children’s Movement and pastors at Expression58 in Los Angeles.

What drove you to get involved with children and then write this book?

Ten years ago, I had an experience while sitting in the dirt with some street kids in Africa, where I heard the Lord say, “Will you teach the next generation the undiluted gospel?” I could hear such desperation in His voice for a generation to truly know Him—on his terms, without unbelief, without religion, without “church culture.” Just undiluted gospel. That encounter rocked my world and set me on a course of helping to connect children with God. The stories in this book are some of the incredible fruit I’ve witnessed on the way.

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Meet the Author: Wanda E. Brunstetter PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 10:01 AM EDT

Known for her Amish-themed fiction, best-selling author Wanda E. Brunstetter is helping children understand the simple life and morals of the Amish in her children's fiction. As the first of her "Double Trouble" series from Barbour Publishing, What a Pair! releases in June 2012.

Do you enjoy writing for children more than adults or vice-versa, or simply like both audiences?

I enjoy them both, as each is uniquely different, and they both give me a chance to express myself in various ways.

Who buys your children’s books? What’s the demographic?

Parents and grandparents buy my children’s books for boys and girls ages 8-12 (some even younger, depending on their reading level). Based on the fan mail I’ve received, I’d say that the young readers are from all over the United States. I’ve even received some mail from children in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

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Meet the Author: Andrew Klavan PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 January 2011 10:15 AM EST

Mainstream thriller and Hollywood script writer Andrew Klavan’s young adult “Homelanders” series has been optioned for a movie, as the April 2009 hardcover debut title, The Last Thing I Remember, is released in softcover this month.

Are you concerned that some of the faith element may be lost in the film?
“You hope it will stay true to the original, especially the theme and the ideas, but you really don’t have a lot of power. ... Summit Entertainment made the “Twilight” books (into films) that had a definite undercurrent of faith and morality, and they kept that stuff in. There is always a danger with this in Hollywood.”

With a long and successful mainstream career, what brought you to Christian publishing?
“What brought me to Christian publishing was I became a Christian myself, which I hadn’t been. I was born and raised a Jew and lived many years as an agnostic, even an atheist for a while, so it was a very slow conversion. ... So when Thomas Nelson contacted me and asked me if I was interested in working in the young-adult (genre), I just loved that, and before they finished the sentence, I said, yes, I’m interested.”

How has writing for the Christian market been for you, as your mainstream work is known for being quite gritty?
?“Working in young-adult novels, the vision tends to be a little softer anyway. I don’t deal with the same kinds of subjects with young people that I deal with for adults. It’s just not the same market, so in that way I fit in. I do sometimes feel that there is a narrowness to the Christian market that can hurt storytelling, and I’ve worked very hard to keep my stories immensely exciting, very fast-moving.”

How has coming to faith changed your writing?
“This really surprises me more than anyone. ... One of my great fears as I was struggling with the issues of faith was I didn’t want to lose my sense of realism. You can’t tell stories about life if you don’t see life as it is, in my opinion. The funny thing is that I found that embracing faith has made my view much more realistic. ... I have found that by embracing Christianity has made my worldview much more realistic ... understanding people much deeper, on the one hand, and I think much more compassionate on the other, so I have been very happy with the work I have produced since my conversion. It really has been an absolute pleasant surprise.”

For an exclusive, extended audio interview, visit the Christian Retailing book blog at www.christianretailing.com.

 
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