CSFF Blog Tour – Your Favorite, Day 2


Because of my hesitation to declare a “favorite” I was tempted to turn one post into a “what is YOUR favorite” questionnaire or poll, but that’s probably cheating. For certain it would be a cowardly dodge.

I wish I’d thought to do what Jason Joyner is doing in his posts (here and here)—a count-down to his favorite. I wish I had the rich history of fantasy as a child, like Donita Paul had, so I could list out my favorite children’s books. I wish I’d thought to use one of my favorites to discuss good writing technique as Thomas Clayton Booher did with Blaggard’s Moon.

But here I am, left to my own devices. So I’ll devote today’s post to my favorite piece of Christian speculative NEWS.

Certainly one of the much talked of pieces of news is Kathy Tyers, author of Firebird, signing with Marcher Lord Press, but that’s not what I have in mind. Rather, this piece of news, which is actually news that news is coming, involves a much less known author. In fact, let’s see how many hints you all need for this one.

(1) CSFF featured a novel by the author connected to the piece of news I’m about to share (the news that news is coming).

(2) The work is the first in a YA fantasy trilogy

(3) about two of four brothers

(4) and a portal into another world

(5) opened by a viking runestone.

(6) Threads of Arthurian legend run throughout.

(7) The world in which the brothers find themselves, Karac Tor, is in deadly peril.

(8) Each brother discovers a unique power in this world,

(9) one that may help them against the dark forces

(10) stealing names.

(11) The third unpublished book in the series is tentatively titled The Song of Unmaking.

(12) The second is Corus the Champion.

(13) That one was canceled by the publisher weeks before release because of a change in direction away from fiction.

(14) The author himself is a him.

(15) He experienced the tragic death of his first wife

(16) and began writing fantasy for his four sons.

(17) Later he remarried a widow with four children of her own.

(18) Among his fantasy influences, the author mentions Patricia McKillip, Stephen R. Donaldson, Ursila K. Leguin, Madeline L’Engle, and Lloyd Alexander.

(19) His last name rhymes with figs.

So have you figured it out yet? How many clues did you need?

I’m referring to D. Barkley Briggs and his Legends of Karac Tor trilogy which started with The Book of Names.

And now for the news. This from an email and Facebook message Dean sent out:

Against all our collective wishes, the series seemed to die, and part of the dream died, too. Or did it? Die…or delay?

Hold on to your magic runes, friends! Adventure still awaits us all in the Hidden Lands. I have big news coming. Your patience and prayers will (hopefully) pay off very soon. Stay tuned…

So there you have it—news that news is coming. And it’s my favorite current piece of Christian speculative news.

Be sure to check out what other tour participants are discussing regarding their favorite Christian speculative fiction (links are at the end of yesterday’s post).

A Little Buzz


I have fallen down on my “pass along the news” job—the one you probably didn’t realize I’d shouldered. 😛 . It’s not an official job, of course, but I do like to keep readers here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction informed about whatever book or author buzz seems significant.

The biggest, I suppose, is that the Christy Award winners were announced at the International Christian Retail Show on Saturday. I am so happy to point out that three of these winners—yes, THREE—were books featured by the CSFF Blog Tour. Three. Even though there is only one Speculative category (called Visionary).

So here are your results, with the CSFF features in red.

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

    Breach of Trust by DiAnn Mills – Tyndale House Publishers

CONTEMPORARY SERIES

    Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson – Thomas Nelson

CONTEMPORARY STANDALONE

    The Passion of Mary-Margaret by Lisa Samson – Thomas Nelson

FIRST NOVEL

    Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent – Tyndale House Publishers

HISTORICAL

    Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin – Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group

HISTORICAL ROMANCE

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen – Bethany House Publishers: a Division of Baker Publishing Group

SUSPENSE

    Lost Mission by Athol Dickson – Howard Books: a Division of Simon & Schuster

VISIONARY

    By Darkness Hid by Jill Williamson – Marcher Lord Press

YOUNG ADULT

    North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson – WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Congratulations to all the winners, but especially to Jill, Athol, and Andrew. In my opinion, the speculative titles are getting better and better—these winners had stiff competition. It’s exciting to see.

An interesting announcement came out of ICRS as well—this one from the American Christian Fiction Writers. They have named their Book of the Year Award after Carol Johnson former Bethany editor who signed Janette Oke back in 1979. From now on the ACFW award will be know as the Carol Award.

All this talk of awards remind me of the Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction—a readers’ choice award. Nominations will close at the end of June, but rather than starting the voting process right away, July is designated as Read Christian Speculative Fiction month. What a great way to enjoy the summer!

Reading is especially important because only those who have read at least two of the nominations will be eligible to vote. Those who have a favorite author are of course welcome to vote—as long as they have read at least one other (hopefully more) book on the list.

By the way, anyone looking for the CSFF Top Tour Blogger Award poll to determine the June winner, check back tomorrow.

One final tidbit for today. Fellow fantasy writer, friend, and regular reader here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction, Morgan L. Busse, is now also a blogger. You can read her inaugural post (besides a short test), “In darkness there is light,” then subscribe to receive her articles via email. As I recall, her goal is to post every Friday. I’d say she’s off to a great start.

Fantasy Friday – Updates


Last call for nominations for the Clive Staples Award for Christian Speculative Fiction. You may still leave a nomination here or at the Award site. Remember, the actual award will be a Reader’s Choice, so please tell your friends to be ready to vote!

Wayne Thomas Batson reported that the Amazon blitz for The Curse of the Spider King went very well. No, it didn’t break into the top 25, which would have been exceptional, but moving up over 70,000 places ain’t so bad! 😉

Even now it is ranked under 6,000. A lot of books never reach that far up the best selling ranks on their best days! The current ranking means it is #3 in Christian tweener books, #7 in Christian science fiction/fantasy. And the book hasn’t released yet! 😮

Next up are the launch events. I’ve recently heard about the importance of having local success as a way to attract wider notice, and I think these speaking engagements and book signings are designed to garner media attention. I’m still waiting to hear about a potential exciting opportunity that will put Wayne and co-author Christopher Hopper in the national spotlight.

But here’s what I’m wondering about local efforts. How effective would it be to have a similar launch on the other side of the country? Wayne and Christopher both live on the East Coast. While I think it’s great that they have big plans for both their home states, what if they duplicated that in, say, California? Just thinking out loud. 😀

Now some not so good news. MindFlights, the online publication formed by the merger of Dragons, Knights, and Angels and The Sword Review announced that they need to cut back on the number of stories they publish in each monthly issue. They remain a paying market, but could use donations, even small ones, to help defray costs, especially of the print issue they’re planning that will contain the yearly best.

A note from D. Barkley Briggs, author of The Book of Names regarding the other books in the trilogy:

Finally, if you wish to send a note sharing your support of this series, I would love to compile all such correspondence to present on behalf of the fans of Karac Tor to any publishers I contact.

You can write to him at his site or on his Facebook or Shoutlife pages.

I’m sure there’s more info out there, but I’m out of time. You can always click on the link of your favorite author listed in the sidebar and see what’s the latest.

Book Bloggers and the FTC


I don’t consider myself to be a libertarian or anything, but I have to admit, I bristle at the talk of government regulation of book bloggers.

Seems the US Federal Trade Commission is passing expanded “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Book bloggers, they say, must include a line of disclosure so that their visitors know the blogger is being “compensated” for his reviews, “compensation” referring to the review copy of the book. 😯

Never mind that print media members have been receiving free books for years and years and years without any such disclaimer and will not now be required to include such a disclaimer (see Edward Champion’s article summary of an interview with FTC’s Richard Cleland). Seems the FTC views newspapers and magazines as fair and balanced but individuals as evil and corrupt. 🙄

As such, the FTC apparently believes poor, helpless consumers are being buffaloed by us greedy, lying bloggers who say we like a book when really we don’t, thus bilking book buyers out of … what? The responsibility to think for themselves? To think about the reviews they read? To compare and contrast one blogger with another and bloggers with print reviewers?

What mystifies me is that the FTC thinks blog visitors are too stupid to tell which bloggers are writing endorsements instead of reviews. Or that once burned they might continue to visit an endorsement blog and get burned again, and again, and again.

Above all this silliness is the FTC admission that they can’t in any way visit all the blogs and Facebook pages and Twitter accounts (yes, this also applies to social networking sites). Of course these guidelines also have no power whatever over bloggers located outside the US. So what do they accomplish?

And another question for those in the US. How is it that an agency we did not vote into office can pass new laws like this, for certainly, if they can fine bloggers up to $11,000 they are passing a law. Well, not “passing” a law. That’s what Congress does. I guess in this case it’s “declaring” a law.

Then my other question: Why is the government seemingly so concerned about due diligence when it comes to protecting consumers from bloggers but couldn’t manage to look into banks and savings and loan companies to keep them from mismanaging millions of dollars?

Makes me wonder about motives and priorities and such, ya know? 😕

Fantasy Friday – You Might Like to Know …


Lots going on in the world of fantasy.

First, Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper are running a couple interesting promotional events in preparation for the release of their co-authored book, Curse of the Spider King, book 1 of their series The Berinfell Prophecies (Thomas Nelson).

First is a campaign to blitz Amazon on October 7 with pre-orders. This is particularly aimed at readers who are already planning to purchase the book, but I suspect new readers will also be welcome. 😉

Before this first, they launched a forum to discuss the books in this new series — The Underground.

More recently they revealed a huge, giganto, fun, exciting contest they’re running to help get the word out about the book. They’re calling it, Build Your Tribe, Begin Your Quest. Sounds cool! 😎 And one of the prizes? A personal book signing party with lots of freebies for the winner!

And finally, they’re holding several extravaganza-type launch events. In Maryland, they’re speaking, signing, and performing at various places on October 16 and 17. In New York, they’ll be doing the same October 30 and 31.

By the way, the CSFF blog tour will be featuring Curse of the Spider King in November. I’m looking forward to reading this YA fantasy.

Speaking of tours and contests, Donita Paul has announced the closing date of her library contest for The Vanishing Sculptor. From her newsletter:

Library Contest
The library contest finally has an end date:
November 20, 2009

Why November 20? Because it is Mrs. Paul’s birthday, and we think it would be fun to give something away on her birthday. 😀

The Contest Image Gallery is almost complete, but we need more pictures of YOU (and your librarians)!

Remember your camera (or use your camera phone) next time you go to the library and get a picture of you with Mrs. Paul’s books on the shelves. Be creative! We want to see your faces!

NEW CONTEST RULE: You will be entered up to two times for each picture of faces you submit to webmaster@dragonkeeper.us.

If you have already submitted pictures or screenshots–thank you! They have likely been received. Our webmaster is working hard at getting them entered into the gallery, so your patience will soon be rewarded.

What else? There’s a new Christian fantasy forum called Holy Worlds.

Rachel Star Thomson won the September CSFF Top Blogger Award. Congratulations, Rachel!

Marcher Lord Press announced their new line of books/authors with special pricing if you purchase a number together.

Starlighter, first in the Dragons of Starlight series by Bryan Davis (Zondervan), can now be pre-ordered. Here’s the blurb from Bryan’s newsletter:

Jason Masters has heard his older brother Adrian’s tales about dragons kidnapping humans. Supposedly, almost one hundred years ago, a dragon stole away several humans and enslaved them on its own planet. These Lost Ones, as Adrian called them, live terrible lives as cattle. Yet, the Underground Gateway, the portal to the dragon planet, still exists somewhere, and a secret society of the same name has long tried to find it so they can rescue the Lost Ones.

When Adrian leaves to find the portal, Jason takes his place as the Governor’s bodyguard. Although the government has tried to cover up the evidence, he learns that the legends are true, and after being accused of murder and learning that Adrian’s life is in danger, he has to conduct his own search for the portal, a journey filled with danger and intrigue.

Aided by a gifted young lady named Elyssa and an eccentric escapee from the dungeon named Tibalt, Jason ventures into the wilderness to locate Adrian and the Lost Ones. Yet, what he finds on the dragon planet proves to the biggest surprise of all. Koren, a lonely slave girl, is a powerful being called a Starlighter, the slaves’ only hope for survival and rescue, though most refuse to believe that their ancestors ever came from another planet.

D. Barkley Briggs, author of The Book of Names, announced good news about his second (and, sadly, orphaned) book (NavPress is no longer publishing fiction):

UPDATE: I am securing all rights back from Navpress as we speak. Once the paper work is finalized, I hope to locate another publisher soon. How soon? Don’t know, but I’ve had a couple of random inquiries with no real effort on my part, so I’m hopeful. Please be patient. My personal schedule is tied up until at least the first of October. The good news in all of this is that Books 1-3 are complete! They just need a home.

I suspect there is more news in fantasy, but that should do it for today.

Discernment – The Realities


Announcements

First, Lyn Perry at ResAliens Blog has started a 2 Questions feature—mini interviews—and I’m his guinea pig. 🙄 Seriously, I feel honored to lead off for Lyn.

Next, have you noticed the new rating option WordPress now includes? You can’t see it yet from the home page (they’re working to change this), but if you click on a particular article title and go to that post, you’ll see the stars (after a moment) at the bottom.

I mention this for two reasons. Some of you may wish to give feedback but simply do not have the time. This system gives you a quick way of registering your opinion.

Secondly, the more feedback I get, the more I know what topics visitors here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction would like to discuss. So please feel free to use the rating system, though I hope you will also continue to give your thought-provoking comments.

Finally, for those of you looking for the July CSFF Top Blogger Award Run-off poll, you’ll find it here.

– – –

So back to the topic of discernment. I want to address some realities, based on my observations … so you may rightly question whether or not they are “realities.” I think they are. 😉

First, discernment requires awareness. Part of the problem is that readers or TV viewers or movie goers or gamers look at entertainment as a time to put aside the serious and just have fun. Escape. Play.

Nothing wrong with a little fun, escape, or play, but there is something very dangerous about letting our spiritual guards down. Think about it for a moment. Any potential temptations for a guy going to the beach these days? Would a wise youth counselor tell the guys in his Bible study to take the day off from fighting lust and just have a fun day at the beach? 😮 Please, tell me No.

But as dangerous as lust is to a hormone-driven teen, so is false teaching to the Christian. More so, because false teaching is really about Mankind and God and eternity and salvation and revelation—stuff that will not pass away.

I’m reminded of Nehemiah and the people rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem who “took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon” (Neh. 4:17b). That’s what you do when you’re alert to a threat.

A second reality is that discernment is work. It requires us to think about what we are seeing and reading and hearing. We need to do some evaluation, and who wants to do that when we are in relax mode?

Now I think about the parable of the five wise and five foolish maidens waiting for the bridegroom to come. The foolish ran out of oil for their lamps. The wise were prepared. Note, neither the wise nor the foolish stayed awake all night. So I’m not saying discernment means we can never relax. But we are prepared, as the five wise were, when the need arises.

Which leads to the final reality for today. Preparation comes by knowing God’s word. Without knowledge of the Truth, we have nothing to compare stories with.

The analogy of law enforcement officers assigned to catch counterfeiters is apropos. These professionals prepare by studying genuine bills to the point that the fake ones will be easily recognized.

So, for us, the real work comes in listening to the preaching of the Word of God, reading it, studying it, meditating upon it, memorizing it … until ideas that clash with it jump out at us, even when we aren’t intentionally trying to make a comparison.

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 12:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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Fantasy Friday – Recent Releases


There are so many new books coming out, I can’t keep up. Seriously. There are books I would love to see CSFF tour because we previously featured that author or the first in a particular series, but there are too many. Did I ever think I would say that about Christian fantasy? 😀

The down side is, these books are primarily middle grade or YA fantasy, so the genre is still lagging in the adult category. Nevertheless, I see progress.

And within a month or so, Jeff Gerke will unveil the next books Marcher Lord Press will publish. Thankfully, those will be for adults.

VanishingSculptorJust because CSFF can’t highlight all these books (though we do have plans to feature some of them), there’s no reason for me to hold back. Here are the recently, or about to be, released Christian fantasies I know about.

By Donita Paul, author of the DragonKeeper Chronicles (book 4 DragonFire) and participant in last year’s West Coast fantasy tour – The Vanishing Sculptor, WaterBrook (June, 2009)

By Wayne Thomas Batson, participant in both the Fantasy Four and the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tours, author of The Door Within Trilogy, The Isle of Swords, The Isle of Fire; and Christopher Hopper, also a participant in last year’s Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction tour and author of The White Lion Chronicles – tweener fantasy, Curse of the Spider King – Book 1 of The Berinfell Prophecies, Thomas Nelson (November 2009)

By Eric Reinhold, participant in the West Coast Fantasy Fiction Tour – Ryann Watters and the Shield of Faith, Creation House (May 2009)

North! Or Be EatenBy Andrew Peterson, musician and author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book 1 of the Wingfeather Saga – middle grade fantasy, North! Or Be Eaten, WaterBrook (August 2009)

By Bryan Davis, participant in both the Fantasy Four tour of the East Coast and last year’s West Coast tour, author of the Dragons in Our Midst series, the Oracles of Fire series, and Echoes from the Edge series (Beyond the Reflection’s Edge) – YA fantasy Eternity’s Edge, Zondervan (May 2009)

Hunter Brown and the Consuming Fire
By Chuck Black, author of the Kingdom series and the The Knights of Arrethtrae series (Book 1, Sir Kendrick and the Castle of Bel Lione) – middle grade fantasy, Book 3 Sir Dalton and the Shadow Heart, Multnomah (May 2009)

By Christopher and Allan Miller, illustrator and author of Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow, first in the Codebearer Series – tweener fantasy Hunter Brown and the Consuming Fire, Warner Press (September 2009)

– – –

If you haven’t voted for the July CSFF Top Blogger Award winner yet, please check out the eligible bloggers listed here and vote in the poll.

Published in: on July 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm  Comments Off on Fantasy Friday – Recent Releases  
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Bits and Pieces


Just a few things I thought you might be interested in—nothing deep. I learned from CSFF member Robert Treskillard that agent Steve Laube has joined the blogosphere. Agent blogs are some of my favorite, much as agent panels are at writers’ conferences.

I haven’t mentioned it earlier (though some of you may have noticed the link), but the Books and Such agents and associates (Janet Kobobel Grant and company) are blogging as well. These blogs provide great information, making it much easier to learn about the book business.

Four-time Christy Award winning author Karen Hancock is switching her blog over to WordPress (yea! 😀 ), so you’ll want to bookmark and link to Writing from the Edge 2.

Speaking of Karen, the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring her latest release, The Enclave in July. I’m a little over half way (it’s a big book by today’s standards—nearly 500 pages), and completely engrossed in the story. It’s all I can do to put it down and get myself going in the morning. I love the reading experience when it so puts me in the fictive world that I think about it when I’m away and look forward to going back. That’s what Karen’s writing does for me. Already I want to talk about the book and to recommend it to book lovers.

And speaking of CSFF, don’t forget to vote in the poll for the June CSFF Top Tour Blogger Award. It is a very, very close 5 blogger race and we need every vote.

Rewrite, Reword, Rework In case you’ve been wondering whether or not I’ll be discussing the writing craft again here at A Christian Worldview of Fiction, I should tell you, I’ve started an editing blog called Rewrite, Reword, Rework. I set it up primarily as a place where potential clients can go to learn what services I offer and what my rates are.

However, as I began working on it, I realized that venue would be perfect for what I’m calling Self-editing Tips. That’s the real blog. So far the posts are all shorter than the ones here and focused on some aspect of the how-to’s of writing. I’m actually having fun with it and am ready to start inviting people on over to visit. So count yourself among the invited! 😉

Thanks to Julie for choosing A Christian Worldview of Fiction for the “Humane Award.” humaneaward Here’s the definition Julie quoted:

The Humane Award is in order to honor certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn’t for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world.

Well, I don’t know as my commenters aim for sweetness, but I’m OK with that. 🙂 Better than OK, actually. I like comments that make me think, but I like encouraging ones too.

So here are my top five visiting bloggers who leave thoughtful or encouraging comments from time to time:

Fantasy Friday – News


Much to report. First, Marcher Lord Press, the new POD publishing enterprise undertaken by Jeff Gerke, has released three new books.

Mirtika Schultz posted about them on her blog yesterday. Brandilyn Collins posted about one of the books on Wednesday—Stuart Stockton‘s Starfire (more sci fi than fantasy), this being the book she used in her Kanner Lake series. How fun for the fans of those books to learn that Starfire is now actually available.

For those of you who don’t regularly stop over at Speculative Faith, the team blog discussing speculative fiction, you may have missed my advance review of one of these MLP releases—Jill Williamson’s By Darkness Hid. As a matter of fact, Jill has become a guest blogger slotted, for the time being, to post on Wednesday’s. You can read Jill’s introduction, story of finding speculative fiction, and thoughts on vampires in her initial posts.

In addition, Jill has an article out in the latest Issue of CFBA’s Christian Fiction Magazine Online – “Quest’s, Spells, and Vampires: What’s so cool about fantasy?” Besides pointing out why teens like fantasy, Jill gives a nice list of some of the newer titles by Christians (though some of these might better fit in the Middle Grade category).

And in case you missed it, the Christy Award nominations are out. Several bloggers (Nicole, for example, and Sally Stuart) have posted the complete list. I discussed the books in the speculative genre in a recent Spec Faith post.

Something I neglected to mention here. At Novel Journey, Mike Duran has posted Part Two of a panel discussion on Christian speculative fiction. And yes, I’m one of the panelists. So is Jeff Gerke and Lost Genre Guild founder, Frank Creed. Part I appeared a number of weeks ago.

No new information from D. Barkley Briggs. As you may recall, he announced on his Facebook page that NavPress decided, a month from release date, not to publish the second book in the Karac Tor series. The first in his YA fantasy, The Book of Names, was a CSFF blog tour feature back in January. In a tour that doesn’t shy away from tough criticism, the participants gave this book high marks, so it’s especially sad news. Many of us were looking forward to the second installment of an obviously continuing story by an obviously skilled writer.

And for fans of Karen Hancock, Enclave, her newest book is due to release this July. Evidently it’s closer to science fiction than fantasy, but the publisher’s description suggests a combination similar to her first book, Arena.

On a different topic, the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference is just now getting under way. It seems a little odd to me that I am here and they are there … 😦

Perseverance and Publishing


(Yes, an anomalous Saturday post—I owe you one from the week I was sick.)

How long do you keep after something if it’s not working?

Over and over I read on the Internet and in author interviews and in writing publications that above all else, a writer needs to persevere. I’m wondering, then, if that shouldn’t be true of publishing houses.

Recently the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association (ECPA) put on a Book Expo designed to supplant the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) trade show. The idea was that a books-only event aimed at readers, not bookstore owners and managers, would do more for the publishing business.

From all reports (here’s Thomas Nelson CEO, Michale Hyatt’s), however, the event was a dismal failure. While the organizers anticipated upwards of 15,000 people to attend, the numbers were closer to 1500. Discussion has flurried and those in the know have a sense of what went wrong and how the event could be improved. (Chip MacGregor voiced his opinion here and an “insider,” here.)

Apparently the problem was not with the product—the panels and author appearances received high marks. Where things broke down seems to be in the promotion, along with the cost and the venue.

I can testify that Internet promotion was nearly non-existent. I am involved in several writer groups and I visit a number of writer blogs. When I recently read that someone was getting ready to head off to Dallas for the book expo, my reaction was, Really, it’s here so soon? I thought about it a moment, then remember that when I first heard about the event I thought it was too bad it was so close to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference. I figured one would necessarily hurt the attendance of the other since few writers would want to leave home for Dallas, then turn around less than a month later and fly to California.

Apart from the poorly chosen date, I wondered why I hadn’t heard more about the event. From reports, evidently the ECPA executives assumed the publishers would promote it. Could be the publishers, in turn, assumed the writers would promote it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers thought, Finally, an event I don’t have to promote.

All the what-went-wrong discussion aside, some insiders have expressed doubts about a second ECPA book expo.

Are they so quick to give up? When writers are told to persevere, persevere, persevere?

Unfortunately, I see a trend. Recently D. Barkley Briggs announced that NavPress, the publisher of his YA fantasy, The Book of Names, was pulling the plug on book two. The amazing thing is, the book is edited, the cover designed, the pages typeset. In fact the book was due to release next month, but reportedly the sales numbers for The Book of Names don’t warrant going ahead with the project.

This is a repeat of what Kathryn Mackel experienced when Strang pulled the plug on her supernatural suspense after the first book, Vanished, came out.

What happened to perseverance? When a person or a business or an association takes on a new project, there should be some understanding that success won’t be instantaneous, that getting the word out to all the right people takes time and effort (and some money).

But here’s a bigger consideration for Christians. If we pursue something we believe God has led us to, doesn’t that require us to hang in there and trust that He will see us through? (Especially if “hanging in there” means honoring a contract?)

The fright-and-flight reaction of these publishers who lost a lot of money on the book expo, and of NavPress, which apparently lost money on The Book of Names, is similar to the reaction Gideon could have had when God sent home 99 percent of his army and the reaction Saul did have as his army deserted him.

In Gideon’s case, he trusted God and his gang of 300 achieved an incredible victory. In Saul’s case, he took things in his own hands, ended up incurring God’s wrath, and lost everything.

So back to the question: How long do you keep after something if it’s not working? As long as God wants you to. It seems like the right answer for writers, publishers, and associations alike.

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