I’ve always loved Christian fiction, and I’ve seen the power of fiction to touch hearts and change lives, both firsthand and hearing about the experiences of others. But you know, in my quiet times with the Lord, reading a chapter from a novel just doesn’t seem quite appropriate. So a devotional with short fiction stories seemed like a great solution. When I found a publisher that shared that vision, we talked about the best themes for the first four books in a series. Christmas was a given, since it’s such a great time to share books as gifts and since there’s such a wonderful focus on Jesus during the holidays.
Could you give me a short synopsis on the book for my readers?
Each book in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series contains 21 engaging, inspirational short fiction stories written by new, intermediate, and well-known Christian authors. Each story is followed by a brief “Life Application” written by that author about how the themes and messages inherent in the fictional story can apply to the reader's daily life. 21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift is the second book in this series.
What made you decide to do a Christmas-themed book?
For many people and families, stories are a natural and beloved part of Christmas. 21 Days of Christmas contains fictionalized accounts of Mary and Joseph at Jesus’ birth as well as stories about modern-day people celebrating that important event. With 21 short chapters, it’s perfect for Advent. We are working on a Study Guide to accompany the devotional, for deeper personal study or group use. It will be available as a free PDF on the www.FictionDevo.com website or as a 99-cent e-book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
Since both of my kids are grown and out of the house—out of state, even—my husband and I travel from California to Colorado for Christmas every year to spend the holiday with my parents, my sister and her kids, and my younger son. My older son and his wife join us every other year. This year they’re bringing my new grandbaby!
What’s next? (future books, novellas, special appearances you want to mention)
21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships comes out next January, for Valentine’s Day. 21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Motherhood comes out in April, for Mother’s Day. If the first books sell well, the publisher will continue the series with more books.
What’s the best writing tip you’ve learned or been give that you’d like to share?
Learn all you can about the craft from reading books, studying books about writing, joining a critique group, taking online courses, attending writers’ conferences. When your manuscript is the best you can make it, hire a professional freelance editor to help you take it to the next level. Do this whether you’re planning to self-publish or shoot for a traditional publisher. You want your book to be the best it can be, and a freelance editor can help you get there. (If you’re not sure how to find a good editor, check out the Christian Editor Connection, www.ChristianEditor.com.)
What do you know now about writing and publishing you wish you had learned sooner?
I wish I would have realized what a long and complex journey writing for publication is. Like most people, when I started, I didn’t see writing as a “career” that required years of training and practice. Then again, having that information early on might have discouraged me from even trying! But I know now how incredibly rewarding it is to write something that someone you’ve never met will read and be blessed by. That makes all the time and effort worthwhile.
Any last words or tips?
If you believe that God has called you to write, do it. Don’t let discouragements stop you. The Lord knows who He wants to reach with the words He has called you to write, and He knows all about the journey it’s going to take to get from wherever you are now to that moment in time when those readers will hold what you’ve written in their hands. Trust in Him and in His timing. Don’t let the Enemy steal this blessing from you and from your future readers.
Want to learn more about Kathy and her writing? Here's some options for that.
My website: www.KathyIde.com
My Facebook page: www.facebook.com/KathyIde.AuthorEditor
Fiction Lover’s Devotional website: www.FictionDevo.com
FLD Facebook page: www.facebook.com/fictiondevo
Amazon order page for 21 Days of Christmas: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1424550513/ref=cm_sw_su_dp