S’up Saturday

Hi all. Wow, what a year. On a personal level, not so hot, but things are looking up. (Especially when I look up.)

Writing wise, this year has been the best. I’ve learned more about the publishing business than I could have dreamed. Publicity, marketing, editing…and of course, blogging!

I started this blog less than a year ago and it has really taken off. It’s one of those things where you look around at what you’ve got and think, what the heck just happened here? I realize it was a God thing. I want to be writing novels, but God also wants me promoting Christian authors.

Besides the interviews we do here on Novel Journey,
Ane Mulligan

and I have started a sister site just for
novel reviews.

It’s in infancy. We’ve only got a few up so far and are working out some kinks, but we’re hoping to get the word out to readers about it, and not just CBA readers. We’re really looking to get the word out to those who don’t even know there’s such a thing as “Christian Fiction”.

Until Left Behind, I sure didn’t.

Next week we have an interview with Chris Well and a contest.
Stop by on his interview day (Monday Jan. 2nd) and leave a comment for him, to be entered to win one of 3 copies of Forgiving Solomon Long.

If you miss out on that, the very next day we’ll be reviewing his book and you’ll get a second chance to win one of 2 copies by leaving a comment under the review.

Chris was very generous to give away so many copies. From what I hear, the book is fantastic!

A Sing Along!

My only requirement is that you sing this song out loud, sitting at your computer to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music….

My Favorite Things – Writer Style
(by Trish Berg www.trishberg.com)

Fingers on keyboards and coffee for power
Spending all day in my sweatpants unshowered
Finding the right words to make my thoughts sing
These are a few of my favorite things

Queries through e-mail and columns and edits
Contracts and deadlines and due dates I’ve met
Writing all night with the moon glowing bright
These are a few of my favorite things

Publishers asking for my book proposals
Phone calls and IM’s and agents who know all
Bright sunny mornings when I can sleep in
These are a few of my favorite things
When the e-mail Says ‘no thank you’
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad
(Repeat verses as needed)

Contest Announcement & Name Dropping

I’ve mentioned in January we have some great author interviews including: Robert Whitlow, Randy Ingermanson, James Scott Bell, Bill Myers, Susan Meissner, Cindy Thompson, Rachel Hauck (and several others who are in the works). These interviews are among the best!

Tomorrow we have a contest announcement, so stay tuned in you like to win stuff. I personally hate anything free, but maybe you’re different?

Hope to see you Saturday!

Meissner’s, In All Deep Places reviewed

In All Deep Places
Susan Meissner
ISBN# 978-0-7369-1665-3
Release Date: 1-01-06
Fiction – Contemporary, Christian

Reviewed by Kelly Klepfer

Some go for quick escapist fiction, along the lines of fast food gulped en route to the next stop. I prefer to ponder the words, like a county fair judge might determine the subtleties of the perfect apple pie.

Susan Meissner serves up wonderful word pictures like, “He scampered off, returning a moment later with a faded rag frozen by time and neglect into a stiff terry-cloth fossil,” in her new novel, In All Deep Places.

Luke Foxbourne, carries a burden that comes to a boil through a series of events. The reader is taken to the segment of time that branded his life, and continues to haunt him. Ms. Meissner gives us insight into her protagonist’s confusion and sorrow with, “‘I don’t understand You,” Luke whispered aloud, but he was afraid to whisper anything else. He was afraid a cosmic hand would reach down out of heaven, pluck him from the tree house, and fling him to the frozen ground.”

My eye has been trained to seek flaws in writing. I suppose a lot like the judge who notices a smidge too much salt, or the wrong kind of apple. It has become, for me, a sign of good fiction, when I get lost in the story and respond to the lives of the characters.

I read Ms. Meissner’s novel in three sessions – devouring what I could fit into the very busy holidays. Her characters, her writing lingered. I’d find myself clinging to a neatly turned phrase or trying to squeeze the had-to-do’s into smaller time bits so I could sneak a look at what might happen next.

In my opinion, Ms. Meissner writes Christian Fiction the way it should be written, with threads and hints and God webs interwoven into not very rosy pictures of broken lives. In All Deep Places contains tinges of hope, an aroma of life, a slight glow of light, and a lingering trace of poignancy. And that is the stuff of life, the moments when we are forced to think, to face our smallness and the immensity of God.

This is the second of Ms. Meissner’s books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I intend to continue consuming her books, going back and picking up the two I’ve missed, and eagerly awaiting the next one.

If you only read books with talking animals or those that end with the words “happily ever after” you might not share my opinion.

If you prefer your fiction to be a little more like real life with spots of word weaving magic, I think you’ll like In All Deep Places.