Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Ada Brownell {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Ada...

Ada Brownell’s prolific writing career began in her teens when she was youth leader. She and her husband had five children of their own. She is a retired newspaper reporter, mostly at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado. Nearly 300 articles of her articles and stories have appeared in 45 Christian publications. Her books include Imagine the Future You, a motivational Bible study for youth; Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, a suspense novel; Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, a Bible study for the grieving, support groups, religion classes, those with a troubling diagnosis, those who fear death or are curious; Confessions of a Pentecostal, published by the Assemblies of God in 1978, recently released as an e-book. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

How to connect with Ada...

Blog: Stick to Your Soul Encouragement
Amazon Ada Brownell author page:
Purchase Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult [here]

Author Interview | Ada Brownell
Share a writing-related milestone with us?

...Last year, 2013, was an eventful year. My novel, Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult was released in January. In November, my motivational Bible study, Imagine the Future You, was published. I was surprised when The Pentecostal Evangel featured my book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death Resurrection and the Eternal, in their June 2 "Reading for Spiritual Health" edition. Also, my blog has grown to 1,000 or 1,500 hits a month.

...Interesting things are happening in 2014. I just completed a large blog tour. I have a speaking engagement in March for a group of retired railroaders. Two brick-and-mortar bookstores are stocking my books and one had to take orders because they ran out. Then a few days ago I sold my first copy of my out-of-print paperback, Confessions of a Pentecostal, on Amazon. I still have a few paperback copies, but released it as an e-book in 2012. Thanks to Shelley Hitz and Heather Hart, marketing is becoming more enjoyable as I learn and have more success.

...However, when I had free days recently for Imagine the Future You, at first I was disappointed when only 187 readers downloaded the book. A gal with a free novel had 10,000. Then it dawned on me. If I'd spoken to a group of 187 and they all got the book, I'd be thrilled. By the same token, if one person found Christ or was encouragement by my book, I'd be blessed.

How do you balance your time between writing and other actives? Any helpful tips, tricks, or suggestions?

...It helps to be a work-a-holic, but that certainly is not a "trick." I get up, have devotions, check email and if my husband isn't up yet, work a little while. Then I fix breakfast, make the bed, shower, perhaps start some laundry, and get back to work.

...Many writers don't understand that thinking is an important part of writing. For instance, yesterday while I was at the hairdressers, I thought about a requested article for a chap-book on grandparenting. I thought about my grandparents while the gal worked, the interesting things they did, and how their lives impacted me, although I never met my grandfathers. Then on the notebook I brought with me I listed seven things I want my grandchildren to remember. I had some other obligations, but I sat down and wrote the piece in an hour and a half later that day and sent it to a pleased editor.

...Today, while I went to Wal-Mart I thought about this interview, what I could say, and which questions I'd pick.

...I think about meals ahead of time, so I'm prepared. When I see something that needs done around the house, I often do it right then. That way work doesn't pile up.

...When I quit writing on a project, I try to stop in the middle of a thought—even stop before completing a sentence. Then when I come back I can easily pick up where I left off.

Tell us a little bit about your book.
Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth. After Joe Baker’s parents mysteriously disappear, he finds himself with a vicious man after him. Joe and an unusual gang team up to find his mom and dad. The gang is dedicated to preventing and solving crimes with ordinary harmless things such as noise, water, and a pet skunk instead of blades and bullets. Joe reads the Bible hoping to discover whether God will answer prayer and bring his parents home. In his dreams, Joe slips into the skin of Bible characters and what happened to them, happens to him—the peril and the victories. Yet, crying out in his sleep causes him to end up in a mental hospital’s juvenile unit. Will he escape or will he be harmed? Will he find his parents? Does God answer prayer?
...No fantasy. No wizard, but suspense that sometimes makes you smile. Christian payload.

What was one trial you faced when writing it? One success?
...I went through CreateSpace and was disappointed by their lack of photos from which to choose for the cover. I wanted a small castle similar to what is in my book. All CS had was gigantic castles. Then I was frustrated at the many errors which showed up in the final drafts after paying a huge amount for an editor.

...I would consider the positive reviews the book received as a wonderful success, and I was pleasantly surprised that adults enjoy the novel, written for teens. Then I understood. The sub-plot is about Joe's parents.

Who is your favorite character and why?

...I like all the characters a lot except the "bad guys." Often I almost believe they're real and living near here and I should visit them. (I'll do that with the sequel.) I think my favorite is Old Norton, an elderly botanist who traps animals and scrounges for edible plants so the prisoners can eat more nourishing meals. But Norton often plays tricks on Gorilla, the guard. Old Norton always sneaks away and never gets caught.

...One of my editors' favorite characters was Centipede, the leader of the Gallant Guardians gang. He's bold, full of faith, and will try anything.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?

...God answers prayer.

...Thank you, Emilie, for inviting me to be your guest.


Thanks for coming to the blog again Ada. Always a pleasure to have you. Glad to hear that 2013 was such a full year for you and I'm happy to see that 2014 is shaping up similarly. I love your advice about leaving off in the middle of a sentence or thought in your work. I think for some it could help to hop right back in to where you'd left off. And what a fantastic take-away. God does answer prayer and I love getting to see that in some cases. Thanks again for this great interview!

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