In the summer of 1990, I discovered a new author. Actually, it was a team of a husband and wife who blew the walls down when it came to Christian fiction, which was a teeny genre back then.
Brock and Bodie Theone (Tay-nee) changed the way people perceived Christian fiction. They wrote hard hitting, emotional, deeply researched and 'full of guts' novels that had people chewing them up, but the books had a Christian world view. Literally millions in print and fans all over the world.
They wrote a series set in Europe at the beginning of World War Two and thank goodness our church librarian was a visionary and stocked multiple copies of each book. The books were so good, I'd plow through them in a day or two. And SO GOOD, my husband read them, too!
But, he'd say to me, "You know, YOU could write this good, I know it."
I just sorta looked at him like someone had dropped a piano on his head.
I finally started writing in 2011. And of course, my husband is my biggest supporter, I'd be nowhere near where I am now if it wasn't for his constant encouragement and support.
All along the road, as I embarked on research trip to the Navajo Nation, and grew to love a culture I'd only heard about growing up, one of my guiding principles was to be as thorough in my research as the Theones were. Have that research flow as seemlessly as possible so that my work didn't have the feel of a bored historian speaking in a nasally drone.
Nor do I want my work to read like a badly done religious tract.
One thing I learned that from the Theones, and some of my favourite writers, including Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Cathy West, Amber Perry, Tamara Leigh, Ronie Kendig, Joanne Bischof, and many others...is to write like you're sitting around a campfire...telling a story to your friends and you and only you can set the moment, the tone, the excitement level, and the need for the reader to turn the page and maybe just read one more chapter because it's 3am.
One of the things many professionals use to expand their platform is Facebook. Love it or hate it, Facebook is here to stay.
I noticed yesterday that I had 699 Facebook friends and laughed, because in high school, I think I had 6 friends, tops. But, really, who cares?
Ahem, I did, but anywaaaaaaaaaay...
I was looking at Facebook last night, and I saw a comment on a friend's wall from THE ONE AND ONLY Bodie Theone.
You know that move, the one where you move closer to the screen to make sure you saw something right? Followed by a very mature "whaaat?".
And then you click on the name, and fix your hair, because she could be watching.
Hey, I read sci-fi...
So, I boldly went Bodie Theone's Facebook page and click on "add friend". Then wheezed like a tween at a One Direction concert.
Then those really mature "I had 6 friends in high school" thoughts went through my head.
You know the ones..."What if she checks me out and thinks I'm nothing but a needy Klingon? Or she finds out the truth?? Which is that I'm a needy Klingon?"
I woke up this morning to find something interesting on my Facebook feed.
Bodie Theone and *I*, me, moi...are "friends".
So, what do you do when you have that "This cannot be real!!" moment and God hands you flowers and a wave from the past?
You squeal...and blog about it.
If you haven't already, feel free to follow me on my author page here:
And Twitter here:
Don't just tell a story, make it a part of a reader's world.