Why I Write

zEdges cover with awardOn discouraging days you calculate the time it took you to write a book, divide that by the amount of money you made on it, and moan about writing being the poorest paying job on the planet. You wonder why you put yourself through all the work and ups and downs of writing for publication. Yet something deep within you wants to start planning the next book. Why? You are a writer.

To be fair, writers are not the only ones who feel this passion to create. Quilters search for patterns, dig through fabrics, plan, dream, measure, cut, sew, quilt. Few of them would make minimum wage for hours spent. Classic car guys seldom restore old cars purely for the money it earns them. Athletes, musicians, gardeners, and cooks strive for excellence rather than dollars.

I feel this when I write, yet as a Christian writer there is something more. I feel it when:

  • a 9-year-old girl says, “I read your book ten times. It taught me what I should be like when I moved to a mission field with my parents.”
  • a new reader finds my book and says, “Your book deeply touched my heart and life. There are so many parallels between my life and your novel.”
  • a missionary says, “I’m using your ESL Bible studies and one of my students just got saved.”
  • I don’t hear from readers, but know that God has led me to write and “my labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Cor. 15:58)

Writing books is a risky business. It doesn’t come with guarantees. I look to the Lord to lead me from project to project, do my best to write and promote, and leave the results with him. Most often I don’t see how God may be using my writing, but once in a while I catch a glimpse that God is using my writing in more ways than I can see. This is one of those weeks.

If you’ve been following me at all you know that the Lord led me, a few years ago, to write Edges of Truth: The Mary Weaver Story. Mary was a godly Christian woman from Marshalltown, Iowa who was providing childcare for an 11-month old baby when the baby quit breathing. Though Mary administered CPR and called 9-1-1, within a day the child died. Before long Mary was charged with first-degree murder. Some of the doctors were convinced that Mary had shaken and slammed the baby because of certain injuries that cause medical experts to diagnose shaken baby syndrome.

Editors and agents wouldn’t touch this story because they felt it happened too long ago and Mary wasn’t a celebrity. But Mary, her lawyer Steve Brennecke and I felt the Lord leading us ahead. We published this book in November of 2013. This story has moved my own heart as I wrote it and others have told how it has challenged their faith. Mary has spoken at quite a few events since then, some of them with secular audiences, to show how God worked in her story.

We wrote this story to give God the glory for the amazing things he did in Mary and Steve’s life, but we also wanted to shine the light on an American legal problem that continues today. Medical experts are using controversial interpretations of medical findings to accuse or convict innocent people of child abuse or murder. Each year hundreds to thousands of parents or caretakers are accused, and sometimes convicted, of child abuse because of unproven medical theories. This kind of evidence sent Mary Weaver to prison. Later she was completely exonerated, but we want our book to spotlight the problem.

In the last few months, two total strangers wrote to say their sons had been accused of abuse in similar situations.

This week we see a bit of progress. A coalition of accused families has launched a petition to be presented to Congress asking for an objective evaluation of today’s medical guidelines for diagnosing child abuse. This is a beginning of challenging mistaken medical assumptions that has endangered innocent families for decades. Mary, her story, and our book is one small part of that effort.

That’s why I write.

See the book trailer here.

If you would like to know more about this petition, check out these sites:

The petition itself: http://tinyurl.com/InnocentFamilyPetition

A companion website: https://protectinginnocentfamilies.wordpress.com/

List of example cases: https://protectinginnocentfamilies.wordpress.com/cases/

 

 

 

 

Celebrating a Milestone

zEdges cover with awardToday I want to celebrate the first anniversary of an amazing work of God. On November 22, 2013 we launched our book Edges of Truth: The Mary Weaver Story in Marshalltown, Iowa. Technical reasons have delayed this blog by nearly a week, but we want to celebrate God’s goodness to us with several offers for our readers.

How can we see God’s goodness in the release of this book?

The initial book launch

A year ago God gave us a perfect venue in Marshalltown, Iowa at a very reasonable price, along with free radio promotion during the day. Well over one hundred people packed the auditorium, many coming four hours or more for the book launch, and most staying for the entire evening. Mary, Steve, and I were in the same room together for the first time ever. Paul Rosenberg, Mary’s appeal lawyer, was there; along with Frank Santiago, the reporter who championed her case; witnesses for her defense; one of the jurors; and Mary and Steve’s family. We not only sold a lot of books, we were able to recognize people who played a key role in Mary’s defense. Most of all, we were able to give a clear testimony about God’s goodness in Mary’s story.

Since the launch

Our book continues to sell. One of the chapters has featured in Power for Living and Horizons, two different take-home papers. Mary has been able to speak to a number of different groups, both secular and Christian, and give her testimony. The book has been accepted as a library book in the prison in Mitchellville.

5-star rating

Reader’s Favorite awarded our book a 5-star rating. We’ve added their seal to the current cover of our book. It has been entered in three other contests and is eligible for awards that will be awarded in 2015. Any awards the book earns will help us to continue to promote the book. We need God’s help and leading as we continue to sell the book, and are thankful for any of this kind of help.

New release on Nook

Just last week we released the ebook edition of Edges of Truth on Nook. I’m looking for a few Nook readers to give an honest Barnes and Nobel or Amazon review in exchange for a free Nook version of it. If you’re interested, please send your email address to: brammers@vodafone.co.nz.

Goodreads Giveaway

Right now we’re running a Goodreads Giveaway of Edges of Truth. You can enter here. Three blessed readers will receive the book for free.

How can you help?

We’re always looking for more reviews. Maybe you look and see twenty one Amazon reviews and feel that everything that needs to be said about the book has been said. Why would we need more reviews? When a reader posted the twenty first review, that allowed this book to be suggested to Amazon readers when they order a similar book. Amazon works through algorithms, and having more reviews helps promote the book. Even negative reviews can help at times. If a book only has 5-star reviews, it’s easy to assume that only the author’s friends have reviewed it. The best reviews tell what the reader liked or didn’t like about the book.

Mary, Steve, and I all look back and see how God has led us through this long process and how God continues to use this story and are amazed at his goodness. May you also catch a glimpse of God’s goodness in your life today.