Quality Resources for Christian Writers 
Newsletter #2
October 1st, 2013
A Book Review of Clothed With Thunder by Ashley Patterson

In Clothed With Thunder, Rosie and her newly adopted sister, Carrie were sitting in their 4-H class. Believing in God, they were horrified to hear of the supposed evolution of horses. Rosie and Carrie try to come up with a way to prove that God created all living things, even horses. But as they go along it proves to be harder than they thought, after hearing the opinions of others. With the help of Grandma, recovering from a broken leg, and their Mom, the girls prepare their own report on the creation of the horse. Will they be able to prove evolution wrong and still get the respect they deserve? Or will everything fall apart? 

 

The author, Vicki Watson, has done a wonderful job making these books. Being the third in the series, they just keep getting better and better. I love how the characters are homeschooled because not in many books, Christian or otherwise, the children are home-schooled. Being a homeschool student myself, it's great to find a series that has children that are homeschooled. I can't wait for the next book.

 ____________________________________________________

Read more of Ashley's reviews on her blog.

Are you an author or creator? Submit your book, product, app or resource for review.   

The Craft: Revisiting Old Friends To Inspire Your Writing
 

We learned so much more than we realized from those old books of our youth, the stories that shaped us and set that first flicker of a writing dream into our hearts.

 

Good Night Moon taught us to notice our surroundings, capture the nuance of our environment and describe it with endearment so that others will bond with the information as well.

 

In Little Women, Alcott's main character Jo is an experimenter. She's also an explorer.  This amazing character takes her love of writing and isn't afraid to experiment with different genre's to find her niche.  She pushes boundaries and proves that women can be both feminine and professional.  She is also a master at connecting others to her writing.  Just look at the games she enjoys with her sisters and the fantastic way they bring life to her page through reenacting her text in script form.  The reader roots for her and what little girl could walk away from that story not wanting to become a writer herself?

 

Mr. Popper's Penguin taught us to cling to our dreams even when they seem absolutely impossible and find a way to work them out even when the obstacles are insurmountable.

 

We learned from Winnie the Pooh that friendship is a solid theme never to be underestimated.

 

I'm a big fan of Arnold Lobel, especially his book Owl At Home. My favorite story is Tear-Water Tea.  It never says that Owl is having a bad day; he just has a hankering for a good cry I guess.  He sits down and cries into his kettle over a host of trivial things.  When he's had enough he gets up, wipes his eyes and puts the kettle on to boil.  As writers we could stand to do this.  Obsessing over non-issues can distract us for a while, but we need to put the kettle on and get past it to focus on the big stuff.

 

I quote C.S. Lewis in this Newsletter.  Lewis was a genius, packing his stories full of depth that both a child and adult could glean from.  He built strong allegory and one could say The Chronicles of Narnia has many themes.  For me, it all comes down to Turkish Delight. How easy is it for the enemy to tempt us away from our destiny?  If you were born to write, called on by God himself to pick up that pen, nothing can stand in your way no matter how delicious it may look.

 

My last example is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  This widely popular and iconic book inspires many writers to embrace symbolism and wit in their writing.  The theme is all about growing up, finding who you really are and embracing it.  The White Rabbit carries a clock which he constantly checks. Despite his obsession with time, ultimately he is a time waster.  He wanders from thing to thing without purpose. Carroll meant him to reflect the uncertainty that adults portray despite their age and assumed wisdom.  If you are checking your clock, stop. It's time. Time to do something brave, to take a chance, to follow that focused path laid out for you and embrace your "muchness".

 

There is so much to learn from our old favorite childhood books, from writing technique to life inspiration.  Why not take some time to revisit an old friend?

 

Market News: Trends in the Christian Children's Market

 

Are you thinking of writing a children's book? There are so many opportunities in today's Christian Market.

 

Here are some of them:

 

  • Several publishers (Christian and secular) report a need for creative nonfiction. There is so much opportunity within that framework. For example, consider writing a book about an animal from a Christian perspective. Include pictures and detailed facts about the animal and maybe add scriptures related to that animal on the bottom of each page. Another idea would be to write a true account of the history of the printed Bible and how different translations were created. 
  • Have you noticed that there is a growing focus on family ministry within our churches? This creates a need for content that equips parents and leaders to reach a wide audience effectively. Books which involve the entire family in worship, service, ministry or study are greatly needed. This is why I was extremely excited to list Don't Forget to Pack the Kids as a title for review in the CWA Review Crew.  Look for ways to include the whole family in your book concept.
  • Pay attention to the "tween" market. These children are floundering, developing and vulnerable. They need good advice from talented authors to engage them and steer them in the right direction while entertaining them, because let's face it, they are still pretty antsy kids.
  • One exciting trend in children's ministry is a focus on equipping children to reach the lost. Consider writing a story where children minister to their peers. Too many children believe they must be all grown up before they can "go and preach the Good News". Tell them through story how they can make a difference today.
  • Don't overlook the homeschool market.  Trends show that a successful series gains frequent purchases from homeschool readers. This means repeat business. If you write a series for Christian children, appeal to that market.

 

Whatever you write, make your topic fun and interesting. Think outside the box and deliver quality content that informs children while also leading them to a deeper knowledge of God.

Quotables

 

"No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally - and often far more - worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond."  

~ C.S Lewis

   

 

                                                                                                 
I hope this edition of Writer's Block has been an encouragement to you. I challenge you to spend some time this month looking back at the books of your childhood and learning from them.

One more quote because I just can't resist.  This one's from A. A. Milne:

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

I couldn't agree more. TTFN.
 

 Heather Randall
 Christian Women Affiliate LLC
In This Issue
A Book Review of Clothed With Thunder by Ashley Patterson
The Craft: Revisiting Old Friends To Inspire Your Writing
Market News: Trends in the Christian Children's Market
Quotables
Quick Links
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