KP Book Review: The Green Ember by S. D. Smith

In S. D. Smith’s The Green Ember series, rabbits walk on two feet, wear clothes, and carry swords, and each page urges you to keep reading. The main characters, Picket and Heather, are two young rabbit siblings whose father once told them legends of King Jupiter, but those are just stories. Or are they? Through unfortunate circumstances, Picket and Heather are thrust into a cruel world of predators, betrayal, and the rise and fall of kingdoms.The_Green_Ember

Action fills the plot and adventure is around every turn of the page.

I would define Smith’s writing style as simple, but not in a negative way, for it is a good kind of simple. C. S. Lewis once said, “Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else.” Smith’s writing serves as an example of this quote. [Read more…]

Profile photo of Christi Eaton
Christine Eaton is a student at Providence Christian College who loves stories and hopes to publish children’s books. Wearing flip-flops in December, frequenting the beach, and taking every opportunity to visit Disneyland, Christine relishes living in sunny Southern California. She can usually be found happily sipping tea, memorizing lines from the latest play she is a part of, caving into her addiction to chocolate, writing encouraging snail mail, or listening to music, which is usually something folky like Andrew Peterson or the Gray Havens, or some Broadway musical (and rarely anything landing between those two categories.) Art is one of her largest passions, and her walls are covered in her sketches and paintings. Christine yearns to use her skills to glorify God by illustrating and writing her own children’s books that will teach children more about Jesus. Some of her favorite authors include A.S. Peterson, Francine Rivers, Louisa May Alcott, and Andrew Peterson. She is so thankful for the opportunity to manage Kingdom Pen’s social media accounts and help out around the Kingdom wherever she can. From the encouragement, enthusiastic young Christian writers, and her fellow staff members, KP holds a huge place in her heart and she is excited about encouraging young writers to write well and glorify God through their writing.

The Prayer of an Author

By Lauryn Trimmer

prayerofanauthorpost

Dear God,

Thank you for making me able to write

Words that grow into stories.

Even though whether or not they are good stories remains questionable,

(The answer being almost positively no,)

Thank you for my efforts anyway.

Bless my family while they attempt to tolerate

The unexplained shouts of anger coming from my room

As my villain grows too villainous for my hero’s health. [Read more…]

Interview with Chuck Black, author of the Kingdom Series

Kingdom Pen is privileged to feature an interview with Chuck Black, author of the Kingdom series, originally hosted by Miss Leah Good on her personal writing website, Leah Elizabeth Good. Miss Good was very generous to share the interview with us and we’d like to extend our thanks to her and also recommend her website as a resource for novel reviews and writing content of all sorts. Swing by and check it out!

Chuck Black is the Christian author of both the Kingdom series and The Knights of Arrethrrae series. The following biography is taken from his website, Perfect Praise Publishing, where his novels are available for sale:

 

Chuck Black first wrote Kingdom’s Edge to inspire his  children to read the Bible with renewed zeal. This captivating expanded parable led him to write the Old Testament allegories, Kingdom’s Dawn and Kingdom’s Hope. Chuck added three more titles to the series, Kingdom’s Call, Kingdom’s Quest, and Kingdom’s Reign which were released in May of 2007. Chuck’s current works include The Knights of Arrethtrae series.

    Chuck is a former F-16 fighter pilot and currently works as an engineer for a firm designing plastic consumer products. He has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and served eight years in the United States Air Force. Chuck and his wife have six children.

    It is Chuck’s desire to serve the Lord through his work and to inspire people of all ages to study the scriptures in order to discover the hope and love of a truly majestic King and His Son.

 

And now, Leah Good’s Kingdom Pen featured interview with Mr. Black.

LG: How long has it been since you started writing the Kingdom books?

CB: I began writing the Kingdom Series books in 1999. I started with Kingdom’s Edge, the third book in the series. My inspiration for writing that first book was to find a way to help my children get excited about their faith, and to help them understand the spiritual warfare that the Bible talks about so often. The story of Jesus was the best place to start. All of the other books, including the Knights of Arrethtrae, flow out of Kingdom’s Edge.

LG: Do you have a favorite book out of the Kingdom Series or Knights of Arrethrae Series?

CB: That is a difficult question to answer. I like different books for different reasons. Kingdom’s Edge because it was my first and purest work. It felt as though God specifically gave it to me to write. Beyond that I don’t think I could pick one of the Kingdom Series books over the other. For the Knights of Arrethtrae series, it would probably be a toss-up between Sir Dalton and Sir Quinlan with the other four coming in a close second J.

LG: Tell us about your journey from self-publishing to traditional publishing.

CB: I self-published four of the Kingdom Series books because I did not want to take the long and usually unfruitful path to traditional publishing. We stumbled into a market in the homeschool community with the books that gave us an indication that there was a real need for a series of wholesome, exciting, Christian novels. After five years of watching the interest and the sales double each year, I came to a place where I was exhausted and could not keep up with the growing demand for the books. That is when I asked God to really bless the books, if it were within His will to do so. A few months later, Multnomah Publishing signed on for the books and we expanded the series from four to six books. Once those proved to be successful, I signed another contract with Multnomah for the Knights of Arrethtrae series. It has been an unusual journey all testifying to God’s hand working it all out.

LG: What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

CB: I would encourage aspiring authors to read a lot and to learn the techniques of their favorite authors. For example, how does the author develop the characters, is the story plot driven or character driven, how does he handle dialog, and how much detail is necessary to make a scene feel real. I would also recommend getting the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. It is an excellent resource for beginning writers. Finally, I recommend practicing your writing and having people give you honest and objective feedback. Before I decided to print 500 copies of Kingdom’s Edge, I printed five copies under a pen name. I then asked people for feedback. Be prepared for both the positive and the negative feedback and then adjust. Constructive criticism is the best tool for learning, if the receiver is willing to accept it.

LG: Do you have any new books in the works?

CB: Actually, I just signed a contract for a trilogy with Waterbrook Multnomah. I can’t give too much a way but it will be a modern-day spiritual warfare series. I’m excited about it, and I pray that God will use it to inspire people to serve Him with all heart, soul, mind, and strength!

LG: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?

CB: The central theme of all of my books is this…God is looking for hearts that are completely devoted to Him so that he might strongly support them (2 Chronicles 16:9). Find your passion for God through the talents and abilities He has given you and then say “yes” to the call and the adventure He has waiting for you. It will be the thrill of a lifetime…I guarantee it!

My website is www.KingdomSeries.com and if anyone would like to write to me, I can be reached at kingdom@perfect-praise.com. Thank you for the chance to share my heart with your readers.

Interview with Daniel Schwabauer

We at Kingdom Pen are here to announce that our upcoming issue (May/June) will include an exclusive interview with Daniel Schwabauer.

Daniel Schwabauer is an award-winning author, teacher, and creator of the One Year Adventure Novel, the Amazing Gospel, Amazing True Life Stories and College Boot Camp.

His professional work includes stage plays, radio scripts, short stories, newspaper columns, comic books and scripting for the PBS animated series Auto-B-Good. His young adult novels, Runt the Brave and Runt the Hunted, have received numerous awards, including the 2005 Ben Franklin Award and the 2008 Eric Hoffer Award. He graduated from Kansas University’s Masters program in Creative Writing in 1995. He lives in Olathe, Kansas with his wife and daughter.

Here are previews of a few of the questions Kingdom Pen asked Mr. Schwabauer:

   [Read more…]

N.D. Wilson Interview: Advice for Young Writers

During a live interview hosted by Classical Conversations’ founder Leigh Bortins, Kingdom Pen asked N.D.Wilson, “What advice do you have for young writers who want to get published?”

Here’s what he said:

“This is one of those things where I can give everyone the magic bullet, or give everyone the trick that will make it happen, and then like all good magic bullets it’s not actually that easy. So, the way to get your books published is to make them very, very good. That’s what it comes down to. [laughs] Get really good – which is another way of saying control what you can control, and don’t worry about what you can’t.

“What can you control? You can control the words on the page in front of you. You can control how hard you work to improve in your prose craft, in your description, in your character work and dialogue. You can go through exercises. You can write whole novels and throw them away, and start on the next one. Really try to get good, until you can walk through a Barnes & Noble, and without arrogance say, “Here’s this book, here’s this award-winner, here’s this one,” and not out of any cockiness or arrogance, actually just say honestly, “I think I’m as good as these people in my craft. I am as good or better.”

“Then the publishers actually do want to find you. They want good books. It’s their job to find good books and to print them. There are so many people trying to get published, because it’s a fun job.  There are so many people pursuing it, literally hundreds of thousands of people trying to do this every year. The best and only way that you can try to insure success is by making sure that you are getting better every time you sit down to write. God has made the world in such a way that he who is excellent in his work will stand before kings. Cream will rise. I’m really grateful, by the way, that my first attempts at novel writing weren’t published. I’m really happy about that!

“Shape it, work on it, grind on it. Love criticism; embrace criticism. Every time someone criticizes your stuff, and criticizes it harshly and rigorously, you get better: either because they’re right, and you need to learn to listen to them and then go and make changes, or you get better because they’re wrong and you have to think through why they’re wrong, and what it is about your book that does actually account for that criticism. So get good!

“I would say I’m really grateful for the path I took. New St. Andrew’s College was the best preparation I could have possibly been given to go on and write professionally. If I had gone somewhere to get an undergrad in creative writing, I wouldn’t have gained nearly the advantage that I was given. I’m grateful for that because it was really accidental; it wasn’t like I planned it that way.

“Also, read other stuff. You know, when you read, read, read, hopefully if you read my stuff (like Dragon’s Tooth), you’ll see things you like, things you’d like to imitate, and you’ll also see things that you’ll say, “Yeah, I know that’s not for me. That’s not my taste.” Or, “I would do that differently.” But never turn your brain off when you’re reading. Never turn it off and just receive. Always think like an author and a creator, even when you’re actually a consumer.”

Listen to the full interview here:

For more from N.D. Wilson, check out his website and blog, and find his books online here.