Welcome to the next behind-the-scenes peek at the making of Chip and the Book of Rose Leaves!
Let’s pick up the adventure where we left off, shall we?
Once I started jotting down story notes and ideas, I knew a very different story from the one I’d first imagined was taking shape.
Chip’s friends – Riley and Sara – disappeared as God helped me see that this was an adventure that Chip had to set out on alone (at least, at the start 😉)
But what was the point of the adventure?
I still didn’t know, until I read a beautiful devotion early one morning.
Prayers are instantly noticed in Heaven…. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears…. He may only look up with misty eye; but ‘prayer is the falling of a tear.’ Tears are the diamonds of heaven…”
Oh, when I read that, I knew God was telling me something. But He wasn’t finished speaking just yet…
Our God not only hears prayer but also loves to hear it… wherever there is a heart big with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony… He marks it down in the registry of His memory; He puts our prayers, like rose leaves, between the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last, there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom.”
I was captivated. I now knew what the title of this unexpected story was meant to be, and, while I didn’t know what would happen to Chip along the way, I began to understand where the adventure was leading him.
God is spectacular, isn’t He?
He knew the shape and breadth of this story, and He patiently led me, revealing bits and pieces of it at the perfect times.
This is part of what I love most about being a writer. At the end of the day, I’m not the one creating these stories. God is the Author. He knows every word of these tales, and He’s given me the privilege of being the first reader, the one who gets to put pen to paper as the Creator of the universe takes the time to tell me a story.
I’m so thankful for this indescribable gift.
Next week, we’ll explore the unexpected way God gave me character names and how the heart of this story kept taking shape!
If there’s anything you’d like to know about the making of Chip and the Book of Rose Leaves, please share in the comments!
And don’t forget to add Chip on Goodreads and please leave a review once you’ve finished reading!
Hello, fellow book lovers and writers! Welcome to the first behind-the-scenes look at Chip and the Book of Rose Leaves!
Every Saturday, I’ll be sharing more about my journey of writing Chip, creating the artwork, and binding the manuscript edition!
Let’s turn the first page of this woodland journal and let the adventure begin!
It all started on a chilly March morning, a little over a year ago. I had just sat down at my desk when a little rabbit nestled down in the grass outside my window.
That’s certainly not an unusual sight at my house, but this rabbit was different.
Set apart from the rest.
He had a big chip in his left ear, and I immediately suspected that this rabbit, in particular, had seen his fair share of adventure.
I would see him from time to time, chasing after other bunnies, snoozing in the afternoon sun, and taking his pick of our flowers (we planted them for his benefit, right?!) 🌸🌷
I felt a story beginning, but I had no clue where God was leading yet.
I picked out what felt like the perfect journal to use for a story about a rabbit and his forest friends and began to scribble notes.
My first thought was that this would be a simple story about 3 bunnies: Chip, Riley, and Sara. It would chronicle their adventures, their mishaps and mischief.
And I suppose that would have been an entertaining and sweet tale, but it was not the one that God was calling me to write, and it would have been a shame to miss out on the adventure Chip did, in fact, have.
Little did I know that over the next few weeks I would come across a beautiful devotion written by Charles Spurgeon, and God would use it to change everything…
But that’s a story for next week 😉
Join me here next Saturday for more about this altogether unexpected story that God gave to me and all the wonderful things that resulted from it.
If you’ve received your copy of Chip and the Book of Rose Leaves, please share with me! Tag me (@2125Books) with #bookofroseleaves 📖🌹
I’m so excited to see the book in readers’ hands and everyone’s coloring creations!
And once you’ve finished the story, will you please consider leaving a review on Goodreads? Reviews help authors so much and don’t have to be anything fancy. A simple 5 star rating and an, “I loved this book” is perfect!
I’m so excited to share my interview with C.D. Hulen as we continue to celebrate the recent release of his sci-fi novel, Abort!
Read on to learn more about the inspiration for Abort, C.D. Hulen’s advice for fellow indie authors, and his thoughts on how to include a powerful, faith-based message in novels!
I really enjoyed reading your novel! What inspired the story of Abort?
Thanks so much! Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what inspired me, outside of God of course (as all things work according to His will). This particular story concept came to me almost fully formed, which wasn’t super common for me. I thought it would make a good book, so I wrote down the idea and then promptly forgot about it for about 6 months. But obviously, I found it again, and here we are.
One common pro-life argument that is used to confront abortion is that of comparing unborn children to people in a coma who are going to wake up (both are dependent on others, neither are highly responsive, and both are in their respective states for a limited amount of time, i.e., the person in a coma will wake up and the child will be born). This particular argument was definitely an inspiration. After the initial stages of writing, I drew inspiration from other sources, such as my Christian faith, my Dad’s suggestions, Ray Comfort’s videos on abortion, and Paul Washer’s articulation of the gospel, in order to add more depth to the story.
Throughout the story, Mason wrestles with divided loyalties and the distinction between right and wrong. Was he a difficult character to write? What do you think makes characters like him so compelling?
Definitely one of the most difficult things about writing Mason was keeping the reader from being completely disgusted by him. What he’s trying to do is terrible, and readers generally don’t want to root for that, so it was a struggle to balance the sympathetic aspects of his character without excusing his actions. I think his relatability and understandability help make him compelling. Although the reader hopefully won’t agree with his mission, they can understand why he’s doing it, and can relate to the many trials he faces on the HS10.
Christian sci-fi isn’t a genre that I, personally, hear much about, and it was exciting to read your novel! What about sci-fi do you believe uniquely positions the genre to share a faith-based message?
There’s definitely not much Christian sci-fi in mainstream media—none in film that I’ve seen, and not a ton in literature. But anyway, I think science fiction can be uniquely poised to tackle current issues as well as delve into compelling allegories. The concept of Abort was perfectly setup for a science fiction setting—I didn’t even consider another genre! I also believe that with science fiction you have something that Fantasy can struggle with—a real presentation of the gospel. This can be done in contemporary and historical fiction for sure, but fantasy generally relies heavily on gospel allegories if it wants to approach the Christian theme (Jesus). Science fiction has the privilege of dealing with the real thing.
What are some of the obstacles you’ve faced as a self-published author and what enabled you to overcome them? Do you have any encouragement to offer fellow writers who want to follow that same route?
I think the battle against anonymity has been the hardest. I can learn how to write good prose, design a book cover, and develop compelling characters, but as an author who started with zero platform, it’s been challenging. I think what’s to be learned is that it’s all up to God. If He wants the book to go far, it will. If not, it won’t. I have to hold my dreams loosely, trust His plan, and be faithful. If the marketing of this book has taught me anything it’s that God is in control.
A note of practical advice for writers: keep writing, keep getting feedback, and write again. It’s a long slog sometimes, but the more you do it, the better you get. And if you’re a Christian who is writing fiction, don’t tack your faith onto it. What I mean is that the gospel isn’t an afterthought, so if you’re a Christian and writing a story, don’t force the gospel into it, allow it to permeate the entire thing. Don’t sprinkle the gospel onto your story, soak your story in the gospel. All or nothing. Don’t be afraid to be preachy but tell a good story, make it real, and give it over to God.
Can you share any details with readers about your current or upcoming projects?
Well, I don’t want to share too much, but I’ve always got story ideas in my head. People who’ve followed me for a while know that I’ve wanted to write a musical, as well as refurbish and finish my historical fantasy trilogy. I also have some more Christian sci-fi stories brewing which address the current issues of the woke church and Christless conservatism. All that to say, I’m not sure what I’ll do yet, but whatever it is, I want God to be glorified.
Thank you so much to C.D. Hulen for joining me for this interview!