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Combat!- Part II

“In the Christian life, one fact is crystal clear: we are at war. It involves every Christian—and collectively the entire Church—and it is a holy war. It does not involve physical combat; it is against spiritual enemies. It is a hard-fought war, demanding everything a believer has and is…To do their part in this war, individual believers must engage the spiritual enemies with the weapons and equipment with which God has endowed them. We can learn about all of this through God’s Word, but His truths are also illustrated through the events that have occurred in human military history. This book uses both, surveying the military history of Israel from Abram’s operation to rescue Lot through the fall of Jerusalem and examining our spiritual warfare in the light of military history and modern military organization.” (From the back cover.)

Write2Ignite featured Dennis Peterson last April talking about his path to publication for his latest book, Combat! With the release of the book in February by TouchPoint Press, Dennis is now on the other side of the process. In this second interview he answers more questions about the book and how he plans to market it.

How did you research the military aspects of Combat?

 Having taught history for a number of years, and having conducted quite a bit of research as a history textbook author, I already had a good background in military history. I conducted even more specific research into biblical Israel’s warfare and military theory and strategy by reading copious amounts of material by experts in the subject–ancient historians, Sun Tzu, Jomini, Clausewitz, and veteran high-ranking officers from America’s modern military. I then applied what I learned from that research to the individual’s spiritual warfare.

Do you think of the book as a devotional? 

If it is, it’s an awfully long devotional! I see it rather as a Bible study. Each chapter has four or five (or more) discussion questions that relate to the information contained in the chapter.

How are you marketing Combat?

I posted Facebook updates on its progress all along the way, announced its release date as soon as I learned it, announced when it was available for preorder and where, and then announced its actual release. I also had several partners (I guess the term for them now is “street team”) who also promoted it on social media using their platforms, thereby broadening the reach of the news. I also printed business cards that showed the cover on one side and basic ordering information on the back and bookmarks, which also showed the cover and ordering information but also gave a description of the book and information about the author, and began handing out those at every opportunity.

Are you speaking to any groups?

I have spoken in one local Christian high school’s chapel. I am willing to consider more as opportunities become available.

Are you planning on holding bookstore events?

There are several local bookstores that I intend to approach to arrange book signings.

The believer is to “put on the whole armor of God,” as the complete Roman panoply shown here illustrates. Illustrator: Preston Gravely

What was different about writing and publishing this book?

 

The publisher of this book was different than the one for my first book. The previous publisher was an academic publisher that tended to market solely to libraries and schools, and they did little to help spread the word beyond their catalog. The current publisher has posted numerous social media announcements about the book. They even monitored my own Facebook posts about the book and shared them, further broadening the market. They expressed confidence in me and my work, even offering me a contract for my next book! The only negative aspect that I’ve experienced is not having access to my book earlier. The first publisher had author’s copies to me several days before the book was available to the general public.

Have you had any reviews?  Interviews?

I had the first customer review appear on Amazon as soon as the Kindle version was available. It was written by one of my former Basic Composition students, and it made me feel as though all my efforts in the classroom so many years ago actually had made a difference after all, at least in one student’s writing life! “Suite T,” the blog site of Southern Writers magazine, published Part I of a two-part feature story about the book on February 21. Here is Part II of that feature.  As for interviews, a reporter for the Greer Citizen newspaper interviewed me and devoted about 1/3 of a page in the paper’s entertainment section to a write-up about the book before it was released.

Thanks, for sharing all of this with our readers. In addition, TouchPointe has contracted Dennis to write his next book which is titled, Christ in Camp and Combat: Religious Work in the Confederate Armies. Look for an upcoming review of Combat! on this site.

Check out all of Dennis’s books at Amazon.com by searching “Dennis L. Peterson.”

Visit and follow his blog at: https://dlpedit.wordpress.com.

 

WELCOME OUR NEW DIRECTOR

The Write2Ignite Team is thrilled to welcome Jean Matthew Hall back to the Team as the Write2Ignite Director.

Jean was one of the original founders of Write2Ignite back in 2008. We thank the Lord that she is able to rejoin us.

Jean will spearhead our next big event in September 2020. YA-HOOO!

We asked her a few questions to give you the 4-1-1 on her. Keep reading!

What was the impetus for beginning W2I? What was your vision and work in those beginning years? How did you see it unfold?

In 2007 several of us got together for lunch at an SCBWI Conference in Charlotte, NC. We each expressed how we would love to have a similar gathering focused on our Christian faith and worldview. That conversation led to a brainstorming and prayer meeting. Thus, Write2Ignite was born.

Why did you step away from the leadership?

I led the Write2Ignite Conferences until 2014. At that time my personal life became very complicated. My husband was critically ill, my mother with dementia lived with us, and my daughter needed a full-time caregiver for her four children while she worked. The Lord told me it was time to step down from Write2Ignite and minister to my family.

What is bringing you back now? Please share your new vision for W2I and how the Lord led you to this new vision.

In 2016 my husband passed away. In 2017 my mother did, too. God told me it was time to relocate and give my daughter and her children some space. So, I relocated to Louisville, KY, to be near my son and his family. A few months ago, the Write2Ignite Team contacted me about returning to “duty!” After prayer and consideration, I agreed. And I’m glad I did. It’s great to be working with my old writing and conference buddies again.

I can hardly wait to show all of you what’s coming for Write2Ignite in September 2020.

We’re planning a BIG announcement on Friday, March 13. Be sure to check in with our website. You are going to LOVE it, I know.

Thanks, everyone, for making me feel right at home at Write2Ignite.

Please leave me a little message in the comments. I’d love to say “Hi” to you individually.

Jean is the author of the picture book Bountiful Blessings series published by Little Lamb Books. The first book, God’s Blessings of Fall, debuted in September 2019.

Learn more about Jean on her website , on FB at Jean Matthew Hall Author, and at  SCBWI .

 

Writing With Consideration by Darcy Hendrick

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Luke 12:27

I have always loved this passage, perhaps because among the many challenging instructions in scripture, this one comes naturally to me.

Consider the lilies.

My pleasure! And not just the lilies but a cloud streaked sky, how the rays of the sun shine through the window on a cold day, the mist rising from warm grass, snow glistening in the sun… The list of beautiful images from God’s creation are, I imagine, literally endless.

And God tells us in His Word very specifically, and more than once, (Psalm 8:3, Luke 12:24, Proverbs 6:6) to consider His creation.

This is not just happy instruction from an endlessly creative and loving God and Master Artisan. For the Christian writer it is endless source material. And if you write for children it is a playground of possibilities!

In my studies, one of my assignments was to write an article for a children’s magazine. That was basically it. It could be fiction or non-fiction on the subject of my choice.

As I was toying with ideas for subject matter I was also living my life and, as I have a tendency to do, looked up. I’m a sky watcher. Not for meteors or new planets, although I’m sure those are fascinating as well.

I simply love the sky. And as I watched I noticed, on more than one occasion, ravens soaring in ascending spirals. They would reach some invisible stopping point and leave the spiral only to soar back down and begin the ascent again.

I was fascinated and curious – a wonderful combination for a writer!

What were they doing? Why? And did they enjoy it as much as I fancied they did? It reminded me of a rollercoaster.

And so, these seemingly insignificant moments of curiosity became my article, Raven’s Rollercoaster explaining thermal dynamics and air currents.

Because I considered.

I didn’t just give God’s creative genius a passing glance. I stopped to look, and in looking I learned.

But I didn’t just learn about air currents and ravens, I learned a bit more about my Creator. I learned he delights in His creation, whether it’s giving ravens a roller coaster in the sky or giving me a special scripture to remember it by, long after my assignment was completed.

Luke 12:24 says, Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds!

 What a gift! A gift God gives to us and we pass along to our readers.

When we consider.

Whether your writing needs direction, inspiration, or a bit of child-like wonder, stop, look around, and consider the works of God’s hands. Inspiration may just be right in front of you.

So write with consideration and let God’s lessons begin!

********

Darcy Hendrick is a member of the Write2Ignite team. She lives in South Carolina with her fearless Yorkie-Poo, Baby. She delights in spending date nights with her grandson and finds endless inspiration for her writing simply observing the beauty of God’s creation.

What Write2Ignite Conferences Taught Me

My first attendance at a W2I Conference was in March of 2017.  I landed a scholarship which helped me enjoy the whole weekend. 

I brought a notebook of questions that God answered in every workshop I attended.  I still have that notebook with notes.  Reflecting on that wonderful weekend, I wonder, should I have been so surprised by how God showed up? I mean, as believers, we know God’s Word is truth and we can recount those scriptures that read, “Seek God’s Kingdom first and all these things will be added unto you.”  God does help us have the desires in our hearts as we live for Him.  The first thing I gleaned from this conference was a personal renewing of a desire to write about godly things for children and their families. 

CONNECTIONS

The second thing I learned about writing, and freelance writing in particular, is that people you meet at conferences can help change your life. Asking a question about poetry led me to meet with Brenda Covert during our one-on-one time.  Brenda introduced me to Union Gospel Press and she urged me to apply with them as they were open to new authors.  Months after submitting my application, I was offered an assignment.  They asked me to write devotions for singles.  So, I did.  Yes, this was a “paid and published” opportunity for me, a small step into a much larger world of writing and publishing.

RESOURCES

A third benefit is learning about various links, resources, and publications where I can continue to pursue writing projects. Currently, I have no assignments with a publisher, but I have been busy this summer entering writing contests and submitting poetry and short stories to magazines. I have been able to re-ignite my personal blog, and I have had some critiques done on a YA fantasy novel I ‘ve been writing for most of my life.  So my writing journey continues even to today.  Who knows what God may have for me around this corner of my life?

Diane Buie's pubs

Some of the magazines Diane Buie has been published in.

Diane Buie celebrated when she saw her articles in print. These included devotionals for children and pre schoolers; beginning with ages PreK up to  4th and 5th grades.  A few of the submissions to Union Gospel Press were Bible related games or activities to enhance faith development.


What about you: How have writing conferences impacted your writing or creativity?  How did attending this year’s W2I Conference in September change your life?  

 

The Blessings of Fall

Jean Matthew Hall founded Write2Ignite in 2008. For ten years she and I have encouraged one another in our writing and publishing pursuits. I was delighted when she received a contract for four picture books with Little Lamb Books; one for each season. The first  one, God’s Blessings of Fall in the Bountiful Blessings Series just came out in September; here’s a sneak peak into it with some of Jean’s words and some of Olya Badulina’s illustrations.

Sounds!

One of the first things I noticed about God’s Blessings of Fall are the sounds which Jean included. “A squirrel steps lightly, slightly on crisp leaves. Crackle. Crunch. He snatches fallen acorns nuts, and stuffs them into his chubby cheeks. His little nose twitches. His bushy tail swishes. His tiny feet leap and scamper to the top of the tallest tree.” Besides the onomatopoeia of the sounds of the leaves, do you hear the alliteration of chubby cheeks and tallest tree? How about the internal rhyme of lightly and slightly; twitches and swishes? Every spread includes one or more types of poetic language that will tickle the reader’s tongue and will keep a young reader’s attention.

Smells!

Not only are the sounds of fall represented, but also the smells, tastes, and textures. “Piles of leaves red, gold, and orange huddle around the roots of trees, then take to the sky! The rusty, dusty smell of musty leaves floats over fences and fields. Ah-choo!”  

Sights!

This sensory book includes some of the visual details one would expect in a book about fall such as geese flying in a V and owls hooting in a tree. But, there is also the unexpected prowling raccoon and spider hanging from dry cornstalks.

Tastes!

“Baskets sit piled high with apples ready for baking breaks and pies. Yellow apples, green ones with a sour thing, blushed ones that crunch with every bite. Some are shiny, red, and sweet. All so good to eat!”

Textures!

“Pumpkins rest at a cozy farmstand. Some fat and smooth as your skin. Some bumpy and warty, some tall and thin.”

This beautiful picture book will be a addition to your child’s or grandchild’s library; or as a classroom resource in a church library or Sunday School. For as the book concludes:

 

 

Look for two more books (probably winter and spring) next year. You’ll be sure to hear about both of them right here!

 

 

 

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