Currently Browsing: Authors in their Own Words

Labor of Love

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Paul J. Murphy, author of “Leading Well.” You can learn more about Paul by visiting his author Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

 

Something to Say

“I want to write a book.”  I was a young pastor in my late 20’s when I first voiced my author dream.  Ray, a seasoned friend and mentor, smiled and placed his hand on my shoulder, responding, “But you don’t have anything to say yet.

Thirty-five years later, I finally felt I had something worth saying, specifically, about living as a Christian leader. Leading Well is about the Purpose, Power, Personalities and Practice of Christian leadership. It is intentionally practical while also being theological. It is experiential, not merely idealistic. It is about inner development and outer skills.

But, how would I get Leading Well published? I enlisted my network, searching for publishers. This lead to direct contact with several major publishers. After reviewing my manuscript, they all politely declined, citing other big name authors who already have published books on Christian leadership.

Then, I received an email from Matt, a young man in his mid-twenties. Matt attended a church in Hollywood where I had served as an intentional interim pastor the previous twelve months. He mentioned that a man who had been his youth pastor had transitioned to work for a publisher, though Matt did not know much more than that. This information lead to several phone calls with Keith Ogorek, who usually began the conversation by saying, “Paul I am getting into a taxi in New York so I have a few minutes to talk now.”

Keith connected me to WestBow Press.  I now had a publisher!

 

Labor Pains

When my wife was in labor with our first child the attending nurse told us that 1 out of 100 women in labor “quit”. She explained that the woman would be far along in labor, but mentally hit the wall. These women literally got up off the bed and began walking to the hospital elevators saying, “I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want to do this.”

Labor, including labor pain, was what I felt during the publishing process. It took longer than I expected. Along the way, I felt frustration, anger, weariness, then finally peace and satisfaction.

I knew what I wanted to say, but in what order I was not always sure. Moving sections and then moving them again was wearying. Eventually, I had lost all objectivity about my own manuscript.

I sent the manuscript to twelve of my closest friends and colleagues, inviting their honest feedback. Eleven responded with varying versions of “good for you Paul”.  The twelfth, Dave, emailed me two pages of critiques saying “I suppose that perhaps there might be a good book in there somewhere, maybe….”.

For two days I nursed the sting of his critiques, and tried not to be defensive.  I asked another good friend what he thought of Dave’s critiques.  He felt Dave had valid, useful feedback.

So it was back to work, more ‘labor pains’ as I revised what I had already labored to write. In the Acknowledgements section of Leading Well you will find this sentence, “A number of friends invested time to read the draft version of this book, offering their compliments and constructive critiques.  The end result is better than what I would have produced on my own.”  That is my thank you sentence to Dave.

 

The Final Push

Finally I was ready to email my revised and improved manuscript to WestBow Press. WestBow reviewed portions of the manuscript and sent it back marked up with various change notes.  They insisted on a “release” (to avoid any invasion of privacy) from my deceased mother (tough getting her to sign a release, so they excused me) and from my elderly incapacitated father who could not walk, talk, chew or write. I felt like I had been pushing for months, years, yet still no baby – no birth. This was taking longer than I expected. Wasn’t my publisher supposed to HELP, rather than frustrate me?

After venting my anger and frustration, I took a cleansing breath and went back to pushing. I was actually closer to birth than I realized. I once again sent off my latest revised version of the manuscript. Instead of more change notes, WestBow sent me proofs to approve for publication. Several (uneventfully peaceful) weeks later, my newborn arrived: triplets – a hard back, paperback, and  e-book stub versions.

I will not tell you that Leading Well is perfect, but it is what I wanted to communicate. All the pain of writing, rewriting, revising, negotiating WestBow’s edits, and enduring Dave’s critiques was worth it. Leading Well is a better book for the struggle. Here is what I wrote in the introduction:

This book is for Christian leaders, whether in the ministry or in the marketplace.”

 

God’s Fingerprints

How do we experience the fingerprints of God upon us and upon the ministry He has given us? Leading Well is arranged by sections – the Purpose, Power, Personalities, and Practice of “leading well” as a Christ-like servant leader.

I have written this book to spark renewal in your own life, while equipping you to lead well in ministry.  I hope you will experience a caring arm around your shoulder and a firm hand in the middle of your back as we discover what it means for leaders to help Christian ministries meet the challenge of their calling.  Our calling is worth it.  The world for which Jesus gave His life needs the body of Christ to be who it is, because “if it is who it ain’t, then it ain’t who it is.

Who knows. Yet now, writing a second book does not seem so hard.

 

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


God Speaks Through Dreams

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Wendy Westerfield , author of “Adventures with Piggy.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

A Stirring Soul

In September 2015, I headed to Nashville for the DotMOM Conference. As a mom of 3 kiddos, I was ready to be recharged, encouraged, and with Jesus. I remember listening to Karen Kingsbury speak there. She was reading one of her children’s books, Let Me Hold You Longer. Karen had all the moms crying and wanting to go home to love their children better and show them Jesus.  At that moment, I felt a stirring in my spirit: God had more for me to be doing. I want to encourage moms and families, I want to share God’s love. I want to help build character in kids and let them know that with God they can do anything. My desire is that people are moved to see Jesus.

On October 26, I woke up from a dream feeling such an urgency from the Lord. I had an inexplicable feeling that God was up to something.  I wrote in my prayer journal because I knew I had heard Him and didn’t want to miss or forget anything.

My Prayer

Lord,   

I want so much to do something extraordinary for you. God give Matt and I a fresh new vision of how our family can serve you. How we can use our talents, gifts and experiences to lead people to You. We want to see them excited about you.  Give them the desire to live for You, not out of obligation but a longing to want to be more like You. Show us what that looks like.  Place people into our lives that can speak and encourage us.  Open doors for ministry. Open a new door for our family. God I feel like You said to write a book. Give me guidance and direction.

May this dream and desire come to fruition. Give me favor. Guide me in the right direction. May I feel Your presence always. Fill our house with Your presence. Touch our kids. Use them for Your glory. May they turn to You and love You. God my desire is to see our family serving together and ministering together. Give us a clear vision.

God Speaks

Soon after my prayer, God spoke to me for the first time about writing a book. I found it quite strange that He would want me to write. I am not the best writer. I never know where to put the correct punctuation and I am not a woman of fancy, big words. As time passed, almost a year, I continued to pray for God’s guidance and wisdom.  I still didn’t know exactly what He wanted me to write.

And then it happened…another dream. I woke up with the main character, as well as the title of my first book. I knew this was God. So I wrote, and that was the day Adventures with Piggy became a reality.

My whole life I have always been encouraged and told I could do anything. When it comes to things I’m not naturally good at, I tend to doubt myself or shrink back in fear. What I’ve learned through this whole process though, is that God would not put a dream in my heart if He hadn’t already given me everything I needed to fulfill it. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. If God has spoken to you, I encourage you not to let fear keep you from trusting Him and Dreaming Big.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Managing Family Wealth

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Kip Kolson, author of “The Legacy Family; Father, Son, and ‘Holy Coach.'” You can learn more about Kip by visiting his author website. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

An Inside Perspective

If your job involves helping people, you may feel limited to working only with those whom you interact directly. This was my situation. My work and message of hope was confined to four office walls.

I am the owner and president of Family Wealth Leadership, a wealth management and registered investment advisory firm. Working with business owners and their families, I’ve learned that wealth does not always bring happiness or peace. Unfortunately, more often than not, wealth creates complexity, discontent, and even relational conflicts.

Managing Wealth

Our company works to successfully build and preserve families’ financial wealth. After working with many families, we realized that wealth was often a catalyst for problems. Because of this, we decided to expand our services to include family coaching. There are hosts of people who do a good job of addressing the financial side of wealth management, but that is where it stops. Relationship counselors, therapists, and psychologist are necessary to work on the “people” issues. The problem is, most don’t understand that money and people are a toxic combination.

Money and people are intertwined: impossible to separate. Whether money causes people problems, or vice versa; they must be addressed simultaneously for progress to be long-term. We are one of the few firms that works on the four Ts of True Wealth; Time, Talent, Training, and Treasures. We believe the family, and everyone in it, has a desire to be significant. Significance can only be achieved through serving others and being a good steward of the four Ts of True Wealth. This is what family coaching is all about.

Family Coaching

Family coaching is a time-intensive activity. We only are able to work with a few families a year. Yet, we still wanted to help more people. We wanted to alert families of the historical statistic that 70% of their wealth will be lost each time it passes to the next generation and completely gone in three generations. Worse, often families will be in disarray and antagonistic. How could we help more people through the trial of wealth management? The answer was writing a book, thus The Legacy Family; Father, Son, and “Holy Coach” was birthed. This book describes the symptoms of what we call “affluenza” and the preventative treatments every family can use to unite their family and build a legacy. The “Holy Coach” was my metaphor for backing up the recommended treatments with truth and solid principles that have proven successful for thousands of years.

Fuel Your Passions

I am a first-time author and I have a passion for families because I believe as the family goes, so goes our society and world. Like all authors who write these types of books, I would like to think I might be able to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. Whatever your passion is, I encourage you to devote some amount of time every day to following through. I wrote a 300-page book on my smartphone which is always with me. I could write a little whenever I had a thought and some quiet time: like lunch, a waiting room, or airport. No matter how busy you are, you have enough time to achieve your significance. Just do it! Serve others rather than yourself, and be a good steward of your Time, Talent, Training, and Treasures.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


From Writing to Purpose

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Ifonia Jean, author of “Strength for the Journey.” You can learn more about Ifonia by visiting her author Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Follow Your Passion

Follow your passions and you will discover the path of your purpose.  That’s what I learned when I finally published my book earlier this year. I still remember all the hours spent brainstorming, reading, researching and writing. I worked on my book for five long years.

Initially, I had my mind set on writing a novel—a romance to be exact. Yet, I was not as passionate about writing this romance novel as I was thinking about it. I didn’t believe a tale of falling in love was going to give people the hope and strength they needed to survive the tests and trials of life.

There was (and is) just too much going on in the world, so much brokenness. I used to work for my local newspaper. The newsroom was always buzzing with bad news and filled with tension. Every time I looked up at one of the flat panel TVs on the walls, there was “breaking news.” Headlines were popping up on my computer screen through the company’s dashboard.  My co-workers were constantly expressing their anger, fears, sadness and doubt about something they read or watched.

Embrace New Opportunities

The negative news was a lot for me to take in sometimes, but I always felt moved to counterattack the national tragedies through writing. I had been writing an education column for about a year, until one day, my boss proposed that I write about my faith. She knew how zealous I was about my relationship with God. I thought it was a great idea and jumped on the opportunity for God to use me.

To my astonishment, the readers were responding to my faith columns. I was receiving hand-written letters and emails on a weekly basis from men and women in the community who were encouraged by my personal experiences and understanding of the Bible. I thought, surely this is a move of God.

One day, I had an epiphany—I would write a book about my faith, combining my personal experiences with biblical accounts of God’s power and faithfulness. If I could encourage my community, then I could encourage my country—not by my strength, but by the Spirit.

I was excited and empowered by this revelation. I knew I would need the strength of God to start and finish my book amidst all the challenges going on in my personal life. I was dealing with debt, infertility, challenges at work, family drama, etc. I was also having a hard time balancing my role as a wife and a student.

God Gives Us Purpose

Through it all, I thought about how God used Paul to encourage the early church in their faith. God also encouraged Paul, enabling him to survive the worst and best parts of his journey. Paul did not have a church to fund his missionary trips or a private jet to get him to different parts of the world. He relied on God to meet his physical and spiritual needs.

I decided that would be my resolve. I depended on the power of God to endure the grueling process of writing and editing. When I lost my job, I thought it was a sign for me to quit working on the book. For a while, I did. I could not deal with the stress of life and write simultaneously.

Thankfully, God put people on my path to cheer me on. He also opened doors for me to meet the financial obligations of publishing my book.  It’s refreshing to know that the God, who is fully aware of our shortcomings, empowers us to overcome any obstacle.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


Marriage and Schizophrenia

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Andrew and Stephanie Downing, authors of “Marriage and Schizophrenia.” You can learn more about the Downings by visiting their website, blog, or Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today

In Sickness & Health

My wife and I started writing our book titled, Marriage and Schizophrenia: Eyes on the Prize, as a creative outlet mainly for fun.  We enjoyed spending quality time together crafting the story.  However, our story is anything but easy to talk about.  As we continued with the writing process, we experienced a wealth of healing and began the process of reclaiming our voice.

Writing has a unique power in allowing healing to take place.  We found healing in our marriage through open communication and forgiveness. Slowly, we began to understand that everyone suffers on a relative level.  We came to the conclusion that suffering is suffering.  There is no way to measure suffering, no way to rank sorrow.  Schizophrenia, and the horrors associated with the devastating illness, are perceivable high on a “misery scale.” I have lived with schizophrenia for nearly twenty years now, almost losing my life several times from illness-related complications. Healing poured into our marriage when I realized that my suffering was no worse than my spouses, or anyone’s for that matter.  We both have an equal share in the miseries of earth.

Spreading Our Testimony

We decided to publish our book mainly because we felt our voice had been compromised. We felt many people had a misconception of our situation: not understanding why we were having success amidst mental illness.  God is the key to our success over schizophrenia and mental health issues. God is also the reason why we have survived as a married couple. WestBow has helped us begin the journey of sharing our testimony.

We had a hard time editing and finishing our book.  When we finally had a product that we were comfortable with, we had no idea where to turn.  Neither my wife nor I had ever considered ourselves committed writers, and we certainly didn’t know anything about the publishing world.  I remember breaking down one day due to the fact that my wife’s story needed to be heard.  Her patience, fearlessness, and compassion is incredible.  That same evening I was reading the Word of God on my Bible Gateway app, and an add popped up: “Fulfill God’s calling to publish your book…WestBow Press.”

A Christian View

Totally uneducated and in a naive state of mind, I filled out the questionnaire.  Several months later, and I’m now riding the waves of having our story available to the world.  Numerous people have found healing in our story, and I’m loving the lifestyle of writing.  I’m so grateful I took the leap of faith and filled out the free publishing guide. Hundreds now know that schizophrenia is not bigger than God, and I have a growing platform to share a Christian point of view in the world of mental health.  I highly recommend WestBow Press!

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 

 


A Dream and a Miracle Part II

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Debra Irene, author of “Helen’s Heritage: Life Stories of Helen Herbert Gillham.” You can learn more about Debra by visiting her websiteFacebook, and Twitter. To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

It Began with a Contest

In September of 2010, I traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, from Kansas City for a writers’ seminar and walked into a room full of extroverts and upbeat people who wanted to live their dreams. My goodness, all I wanted to do was figure out how to finish a little book. Mostly, I just listened to everyone else and the outstanding speakers.

I learned I needed to start a blog (something I told Brenda I would never do). I didn’t have time to print and publish my own book like some planned to do, I barely had time to write it! Also, I knew that I could wait forever for a traditional publisher. Lucky for me, an executive from Thomas Nelson spoke at the convention and mentioned that their new self-publishing division had teamed with Women of Faith for a writing contest where the winner would receive a free publishing package. That sparked my interest and I felt was the meant-to-be part of the program for me.

Realizing a Dream

I returned home to Kansas City, wrote my first blog (with Brenda’s encouragement), and contemplated how I was going to finish my manuscript by the contest deadline – just three months away. Brenda pointed out that my book was the style that didn’t have a specific ending and that I should stop writing when I reached the minimum number of words (10,000). I could write a sequel later. What a tremendous piece of advice that was. After all, I wasn’t writing a novel. So that December, I took a week’s vacation from my career job and devoted nine hours each day to reaching 10,000 words. I continued to work my supplemental night job; and by December 31, I was ready to push the button for the contest.

An Unexpected Prize

Reflections by Debra IreneAlthough I did not win the contest; I did receive a discount on a publishing package with WestBow Press for entering the contest and was able to purchase that package with an unexpected bonus in January. I watched the dream unfold, month by month, just like Brenda encouraged; and in April of 2011, I held my first copy of Reflections.

This was a very big deal to me, my own personal miracle. My mind was flooded with other book ideas. But the idea that took front and center was a project for my mother. She wanted to tell her life story and had no idea what to do. She didn’t have a concept, or a format in mind. Neither did I at first, but we started writing it down little by little. Meanwhile, I kept blogging: telling my own stories. Around that time, a few of my stories were published by Farm & Ranch Living, Country, and The Missouri Golf Post.

Five Years Later

I continued with my career job but dreamed that someday writing could be my career. Five years later, I held my second book published by WestBow Press, Helen’s Heritage: my mother’s story, her dream. This was a project very near and dear to me. Not only is it my mother’s life story; but it is a family documentation, a forty-thousand-word family history filled with short stories and vignettes. The book merges in seventy-five narratives from about 1880 through today. In addition to this latest work, I have enough blog material for another book when I am ready to compile it.

Someday, I will retire from my day job, but I can’t imagine ever retiring from my dream of writing. There are more stories to tell and more projects to complete. A dream, a miracle, and a Brenda in my life – those were the keys!

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


The Story of Mrs. Bumbleberry

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Kathleen Beining, author of “Mrs. Bumbleberry’s Garden.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Taking the First Step

I’ve always had a vivid imagination.  As a child, I spent a lot of time making up stories and pretending I was the main character.  When I grew older, my time spent playing make-believe dwindled. Although I never lost my love for making up stories, I never did anything with it.

Then in 2014, I was recuperating from surgery.  I didn’t feel that bad, I just wasn’t allowed to do anything.  I was bored sitting still and began thinking how hard it was to be inside all the time.  As I had these thoughts, it occurred to me that being stuck inside would be very difficult for a child.  That’s when the character “Katy” was born.

Creating Mrs. Bumbleberry

Mrs.BumbleberryI began writing my first story.  I started to think about Katy: how could she meet another character and who might it be?  Her neighbor, Mrs. Bumbleberry, began to take shape.  I thought about what a small girl and an older woman could have in common.  What would be the value in their friendship?  I realized, in this scenario, that there was an opportunity. The scenario is a perfect chance to showcase how Christian beliefs are practiced in daily life.  Soon my story was finished.  I kept thinking about what Katy could do next, and soon the second story was completed.  Within a week I had several other stories written for the series.

I decided to try and publish my stories. My web search led me to a “Christian” publisher who assured me they would love to publish my story. They promised it would be out within only six months. After nine months of unanswered phone calls and repeated mistakes, I had unacceptable illustrations that did not match page to page with the text.  I brought this to their attention twice.  When I received my first digital copy the mistakes were not corrected.  At this point, I hired a lawyer to get the rights to my story back.  I decided that was the end of my publishing career – God had other ideas.

Finding WestBow Press

Somewhere along the line, I visited the website for Westbow Press. Later, I Kathleen Beining - 1received a call from one of WestBow’s publishing consultants. I explained my experience with the previous publisher and my hesitancy to move forward. He said he understood and asked if I would be interested in having more information mailed to me.  I agreed.  I read the information packet and was impressed with the fact that there were several publishing packages from which I could choose.  The first publisher only had one. I decided to take another chance and started working with Westbow Press.

Publishing with Westbow Press was wonderful.  They walked me through the process and always responded when I had questions.  I am not the most computer savvy person, but everyone there was patient and friendly.  Three months later I received the first copy of my story, Mrs. Bumbleberry’s Garden.  The book arrived on my birthday which I took as a good omen.

Looking Back

It has now been two years since I signed with Westbow Press.  I have six children’s books published and just submitted the seventh one.  Though I’ve never personally met any of the people from Westbow Press, whenever I speak with them it feels like talking to old friends.  I thank God every day for sending me to Westbow Press.

People ask me where I get my stories.  I just smile and say “They are a gift from God.”  I truly believe the stories are His messages and I just have the honor of delivering them.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


A Call to Write by Jessica C. Jemmott

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Jessica C. Jemmott, author of “Simply Redeemed: Titus 3:3-5.” To learn more about Jessica, visit her website. Jessica can also be found on Facebook,  Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Hearing His Call

January of 2015image3authorphoto, the Holy Spirit instructed me to start a women’s community Bible study. He gave me the vision for it to be held at a local café.  Initially, my thought was, Starbucks is too small and inconvenient (oh, how we can put our God in a box).  I was excited about this move from the Lord and shared the vision with a small number of ladies. Then, of course, all of the excuses for why it was not a good time rushed through my mind.

Before I knew it, a year had passed. I allowed “life” to take precedence over my direct instruction from the Lord.

January of 2016, I was awakened again by the Holy Spirit. This time his call came at four in the morning, he commanded I “move with urgency!” My response was, “Okay, Lord, if I am to move with the Bible study at this particular time, I need you to provide three things: a location, the women, and guidance on how to lead this study in Your Word.”  Within a week I received direct guidance to my requests.

He Prepares and Equips

What I did not realize at the time, was that through His instructions the Lord was preparing and equipping me for more. Not only did he instruct me to gather women to lead through His word, but He was also preparing me to teach. Through this journey, I received the inspiration for Simply Redeemed: Titus 3:3-5.

As many writers, I did not realize that becoming an author was part of my life journey. Two years ago, I could not have imagined that my obedience to the Lord’s instruction would lead to the publication of my first book. When I eventually realized that publication was the next instruction, my response was, “how, Lord?”

Isn’t this always the sentiment expressed when we are “called” to do something difficult or new? When reflecting on this question, consider the biblical figures known for questioning what God “called” them to do? Perhaps you can explore your own experiences of doubt by comparing your situation to these biblical accounts.

Follow the Lord’s Instruction

When the Lord gives us instruction, our obedience is not just a “test” to see if we will complete the task. An instruction from Him is much more than a mere test.  Our obedience to the Lord’s call is bigger than the individual.  Our obedience is always backed by a purpose according to the Lord, with promises that will be received- for which He will get the glory!

covertitleandname How does your obedience to His call have purpose? There are various biblical accounts that can emphasize the importance of adherence to the Lord’s instruction. Throughout my personal experience, I’ve prayed that every individual who journeys through the pages of Simply Redeemed Titus: 3: 3-5 experiences the Lord in new and personal ways.

My vision was that many groups would be formed in churches, homes, and cafes everywhere; all with the purpose of journeying through the pages together. I can humbly attest that within just a few short months since the book has been published, groups are currently being formed both nationally and internationally. These people will glean from that which He has called me to do – write.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 

 


On the Question of Meaning

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from James Michael Castleton, author of  “Mending of a Broken Heart.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get a free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

All my life I’ve yearned for more
Than what this world can bring.
And as I struggled toward that shore,
I could not name the thing
Whose presence I have wanted
And whose price I’d gladly pay.
And so my journey has been haunted
By the promise of that day … [1]

An Early Perspective

The roots of inspiration must begin somewhere -mine began at an early age.James Michael Castleton

I was born in Los Angeles, California, when the last farms and orange groves had all but disappeared. The sleepy suburb where I grew up was nestled in the foothills of Laurel Canyon. We enjoyed a crow’s nest view of the valley. Our tiny home felt like an oasis with its wild mint, lemon and peach trees. The valley at night was a treasure of glittering lights, and the morning a repository of gold against the mountains.

It has been said that “beauty is the promise of happiness,” and our humble but wholesome circumstances impressed upon me an important lesson: life rich with significance is likely to be the one lived on simplest terms—a life that contains nothing less than required and nothing more than it ought.

I was blessed with good friends in high school, yet found that solitude was often my most cherished companion. Many mornings and evenings I spent hiking the myriad trails of the Santa Monica Mountains- witnessing more than one dawn break over Los Angeles from a dew covered sleeping bag. I have enjoyed solo map and compass cross-country trekking in the high country of the Sierra Nevada and have put more miles on my boots in those mountains than I have my car.

Longstanding Interest

I have long contemplated how people make sense of their lives and find the wherewithal to do what needs to be done with the sincerity of purpose that a meaningful life requires. I pursued such interests in college from the perspective of behavioral anthropology and cognitive psychology. Since then, I have continued to reflect on these issues during my more than 20 years of medical practice.

During this time it has become clear to me that the principle cause of mental and physical disease is the failure to find a satisfactory answer to the question of meaning.

A Personal Challenge Became A Call to Write

MendingofaBrokenHeartSeveral years ago, life brought me to the point where I had to address this question of meaning in earnest for myself. The result is Mending of a Broken Heart.

In my memoir, I endeavor to explain not simply how to live a meaningful life, but what it is to experience life as meaningful. The purpose of this drive is to help create- not simply imitate -a meaningful life. Meaning is not an end in itself, it is the byproduct of a way of life. In my memoir, I discuss how meaning relates to purpose and hope, as well as how it differs from happiness—also an essential emotion.

Mending of a Broken Heart is meant for the person of faith or the spiritually-minded. It is a personal journey told from a personal perspective. The lofty topics it dares approach are firmly embedded within the two lives that take this journey together.

Mending of a Broken Heart is written to act as companion along a difficult path. Hopefully the wisdom my memoir imparts will help shorten your journey to meaningful living.

[1] Castleton, James. “Pilrgrim ”. Mending of a Broken Heart: The Nature of Meaning and the Purpose That Gives Life Hope. Bloomington: Westbow Press, 2016. 346. Print.

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 


God’s Hand in my Publishing Journey

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Eva Schmidt, author of “Grace for Tomorrow.” To learn more about Eva and her book, visit her website or Facebook page. To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

My Journey to Publishing Grace for Tomorrow

Eva SchmidtAugust 18, 2016 was an incredibly special day for me. It was the day that my debut novel, Grace for Tomorrow, went live! Grace for Tomorrow is the story of two women’s parallel journeys of faith. Mary is a young girl who turns her back on God after experiencing a family tragedy while Francis is a young mother struggling to rescue her crumbling marriage. Both women embark on a dark and lonely path they never intended to tread.

Writing a novel has always been my dream but it was only after I retired from my career in municipal government that I sat down at my computer and started writing. I had a general story outline in my mind, although I never committed it to paper. Many times as I wrote, the details took care of themselves. It was like I was reading a story with a twist – and I was actually writing it! God was giving me a story to write and he revealed it to me through my fingers on the keys. It was a unique and humbling experience.

I completed my first draft of Grace for Tomorrow in December 2014. I wanted to get it published but wasn’t sure it was good enough. Struggling with a lack of self-confidence and insecurities, I nevertheless researched a host of publishers on line. All too soon, I realized that traditional publishers didn’t take unsolicited materials or only accepted certain types of manuscripts. By the beginning of 2016, I gave up. I committed the publishing to God – trusting that if he wanted the book published he would provide a way – otherwise the manuscript would remain a document on my computer.

His Guiding Hand

March 24, 2016, I received a phone call from a lady at WestBow Press, asking if I still wanted to publish my novel. Apparently they had a sale on publishing packages. I took this as God’s direction and signed with WestBow Press within the next few weeks. I was ecstatic that God had given me a Christian publisher! He truly works in amazing ways!

My experience with WestBow Press has been nothing short of amazing. I knew nothing about publishing but their friendly staff has guided me each step of the way. They were always just a phone call away and turnover times were within the allotted timelines.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 

 


Gary Savage & His Adventurous Nutrition Book

In this space, WestBow Press publishes articles written by our authors in which they share some aspect of their self-publishing journeys. The following blog is from Gary Savage, author of “Fletcher McKenzie and the passage to Whole.” To begin your self-publishing journey, get your free WestBow Press publishing guide today!

Book Preview

The protagonist of my book, Fletcher McKenzie is no ordinary 14-year-old boy. He will inherit his family’s food business in Western Maine in less than four years. Before this happens though, Fletcher has to save not only his family’s food business, but also his mother and comatose father.

Fletcher’s adventure starts when he discovers a mysterious ancient portrait of Mollyockett, a Pequawket Indian who lived in the 1700s. Mollyockett’s painted eyes seem to come to life and stare into Fletcher. After finding a poem on the back of the painting of Mollyockett, Fletcher’s Uncle lets him in on a family secret, warning; “What I tell you, you mustn’t tell a soul.”

When Fletcher discovers a passage that has been a McKenzie Family secret for generations, the fast-paced, page-turning adventure begins in earnest. The passage leads to another world called Whole, where Fletcher unlocks a secret power and battles an ancient enemy of the McKenzie family. The novel is so adventurous, that you’ll never know you’re reading a nutrition book!

Book Inspiration

  1. Tell us a little bit about your book and what inspired you to write it?

I’ve been involved with health, fitness and nutrition my entire life. Young readers and young adults are not likely to sit down and read a nutrition book. Most nutrition books are tiresome9781512754872_p0_v1_s192x300. It was my goal to make nutrition interesting and exciting.

  1. Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

I find inspiration for my characters in people that I’ve associated with most of my life. Many of my characters are based on true life people who were a part of my early childhood. The main characters in the book are actual historical figures from Maine history.

  1. What do you love most about self-publishing and would you recommend it to other authors?

I’m fortunate enough to have been published even before this book. Fletcher McKenzie and The Passage to the Whole is actually my first self publishing endeavor. Self-publishing gives me the control I had previously been looking for. I have a major say in the layout of the book, the cover and the final product. I would absolutely recommend self-publishing to other aspiring authors.

Writing and Marketing

4. What are you writing goals for next year?

I’m working on a sequel to this book. That in and of itself is a major task. There aeeabd586-a668-47b5-9bb9-21f60be91846re many colorful characters and unexpected twists and turns in this book. The sequel will build on those. It’s a lot of work!

5. What’s your favorite social media outlet for marketing and promotions?

I would have to say my favorite social media outlets are Facebook and Instagram. They both reach different market segments and are hugely popular.

6. What are some of your favorite reviews you’ve gotten of your work?

My favorite reviews are always from my family and friends. They know me and find laughter in the characters.

7.What advice do you have for aspiring author’s?

My advice to aspiring authors is to just do it. I know hundreds of people who tell me they want to write a book. Most of these people do not. Take the plunge and enjoy it.

 

– WBP –

WestBow Press authors who’d like to share a 350-600 word experience related to the self-publishing of their books are invited to do so by sending a message through the WestBow Press Facebook page and follow the WestBow Press Twitter account @WestBowPress. WestBow Press reserves the right to edit stories for content, grammar, punctuation, and length. 

 


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