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Behind the Stories
by Petra van der Zande
7/07/2007 / Book Reviews
Behind The Stories: Christian Novelists Reveal the Heart in the Art of Their Writing.
By Diane Eble.
Bethany House Publishers.
Diane Eble interviewed 40 Christian authors and shares their failures and successes through chapters arranged in similar groups. There are many recognizable aspects, like the desire to write but there is no time, or your family thinks it's a waste of time and you lack the talent anyhow. Or that a Christian shouldn't write mystery novels.
The book admonishes us not to let fear of failure limit us from reaching our dream. It suggests we pray that God will bring someone in our 'young writer's life' to offer encouragement, support and practical knowledge. Writing isn't a selfish pursuit, but it often takes time to adjust to this new way of thinking about ourselves. This was something many writers used to struggle with.
"Dream big and have a back-up plan", Karen Kingsbury's father advised her. She is now a well-known and successful Christian writer. Through this book you meet many kindred spirits whose wisdom and practical insight can be of tremendous help and encouragement. These writers know about deep valleys and high mountains, the failures and successes and share them with us.
"Creative ideas come in a moment, creative productions come after long, sweaty hours plowing the rocky fields of the mind," Alton Gansky said.
Lawana Blackwell challenges us to "take that dream off the back-burner and start cooking". Dee Henderson had this internal sense of readiness, the overpowering desire to be a writer. The surest sign for Lizz Curtis Higss that she was called to write, is that she is happiest when writing, together with an overwhelming sense of rightness and satisfaction. It's not always easy, but right.
This book is full of treasures, lots of encouragement, and gives that much needed nudge we need in order to admit: yes, that's my desire too. I need to allow myself to write, recognize my talent - God's gift, which may grow into a vocation and a calling.
"Behind the stories" gives a realistic picture of how a Christian writer ticks and encourages us to follow our dreams.
Petra van der Zande, (often writing under her pen-name Christina Boerma) is a free-lance writer, living in Israel. Together with her husband, they are foster parents of 3 special needs children.
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