Guest Author - BettyAnn Schmidt
Authors Behind their Stories
I’m a voracious reader, and recently picked up Behind the Stories by Diane Eble. The book delves into the lives of some of my favorite Christian writers. Karen Kingsbury is one. If you’ve read any of the Kingsbury books, you know her gripping way with words. I love how she weaves family stories together in a familiar way. I feel I know the large Baxter family personally from reading her “Firstborn” series. I've lived with them through family crises, death, birth, finding long-lost parents, sibling animosity, lost faith, and triumphs. These are the kinds of books that change lives of readers in subtle ways, and that, reports Kingsbury, is why she writes her books.
This book, Behind the Stories points out an amazing fact: Karen Kingsbury started out as a sportswriter for a Los Angeles newspaper. Quit a jump from there to authoring her long list of current titles. As I scanned the list of other authors, Randy Alcorn, Catherine Palmer, Janette Oke, Lori Copeland, Bodie Thoene, just to name a few, I knew this book was a keeper. I’m always anxious to learn about the people who write the stories we love to read.
Like Karen Kingsbury, each author in this book tells his or her reason for writing Christian literature, and the common thread is to change lives, to make a difference, to show God to someone in need.
Another of my favorite authors in this book is Randy Alcorn, who writes stories on the darker side—the place where demons inhabit the spiritual realm. As Christians we believe this realm exists, and for those of us who love great fiction but wrapped in a layer of truth, Alcorn is a master of this genre. His stories change lives just like the lighter (“chick lit”) of Karen Kingsbury.
I want to come away from a book with a new insight in some area, fiction or non. And that's what authors featured in Behind the Stories are doing. They help us to see differently. That's why we read books, to entertain but also to learn, to experience something new, and in the process add to our faith.
I hope you'll check this book out for yourself and let me know what you think. In the meantime, I'll be reading.