Kick this year's Christmas season into gear with the holiday tales from one of the world's favorite authors, J.R.R. Tolkien. His book, Letters From Father Christmas, is a compilation of all the letters his kids received from Father Christmas (better known as Santa Claus in the United States.) Yes, Santa actually wrote to his kids, Every Christmas, in response to the kind letters the Tolkien kids wrote him.
Each letter is a fun little story that reveals the life of a Santa Claus and the problems he faces in order to deliver presents to the children around the world. Being that this book is written by Tolkien, there are of course interactions with goblins, talking animals, elves and so forth. I imagine Santa wrote these letters along the same time Tolkien wrote his Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings series.
My lovely wife got this audiobook from our local library last spring and popped it into the CD player during a road trip. It was a load of fun. What was more funny is that at the same time I was also listening to a series of sermons from my pastor about wise and foolish people. The main character in "Wizard For Hire" could be considered foolish, but that's because living a normal life didn't seem to work for him.
His name used to be Brian, but he changed it when he decided to change his life. Now his name is Labyrinth, but you can call him Rin for short. Rin is a wizard for hire. According to my pastor's sermons, he is a complete fool. He doesn't plan ahead or worry about the future. What's worse is that he does a lot of stupid things, however that does make him an awful lot of fun to be around. On the upside, Rin is extremely lucky.
Back in the late 1990's, one of my favorite Christian bands was the Newsboys. In case you're not hip on who they are, they're a Christian Rock/Pop group that's still popular in Christian circles today. However their music was a bit different 20 years ago.
On their album, take me to your leader, there was a song at the end called 'Lost The Plot'. I always liked the song but my wife wasn't big on it. Nowadays I understand why. It sounds almost anti-God because the character in the song is lost in the reason why we're here. They yell at God and ask "Are you still listening? (Because we're obviously not.)"
I'm thinking about that song today because that's how writing can be. (No, I'm not yelling at God.) But sometimes you're in the middle of writing a book and everything is going well and you somehow get lost between the middle and the end. You think, wait a minute. How is this thing really going to end? Right now it doesn't make sense, my characters can't do that!
Last night I stumbled onto the movie trailer for the new Disney movie Artemis fowl. Now if my guess is correct, there's a good chance you have not heard about Artemis fowl. Because honestly, nobody I talk to knows about him. But I stumbled onto this book series more than a decade ago when I was delivering pizzas. I used to listen to audiobooks in my car and I enjoyed fiction books from the youth section because they were clean and easy. Artemis Fowl fits this listening habit and there are eight books in the series!
My entire family loves the Artemis Fowl series and we're so excited that Disney is creating a movie from the first book! There's lots of potential with this series! I just hope Disney does a good job keeping true to the story.
So let's review the story of Artemis fowl.
When I wrote the first book in the Noah Drake middle grade series, I felt I was being led by the Lord to do it. I had never written a book before, so being an author was totally new to me. But inspiration came because I was at a vulnerable crossroads in life.
My wife and I were actively searching my life's direction and we turned to an amazing man of God, an author named Dan Miller. His resources caused us to consider work as an author and speaker. But what would I write and talk about?