Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Parents stolen by cult? Author Interview with A.B. Brownell


Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth.

After Joe Baker’s parents mysteriously disappear, he finds himself with a vicious man after him. Joe and an unusual gang team up to find his mom and dad. The gang is dedicated to preventing and solving crimes with ordinary harmless things such as noise, water, and a pet skunk instead of blades and bullets.

Joe reads the Bible hoping to discover whether God will answer prayer and bring his parents home. In his dreams, Joe slips into the skin of Bible characters and what happened to them, happens to him—the peril and the victories. Yet, crying out in his sleep causes him to end up in a mental hospital’s juvenile unit.

Will he escape or will he be harmed? Will he find his parents? Does God answer prayer?



Ada Brownell has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. She has a BS degree in Mass Communications and worked most of her career at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo., where she spent the last seven years as a medical writer. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books.

To connect with Brownell on social media and other publications, click the following links - Facebook, Twitter, Confessions of a Pentecostal and Swallowed by LIFE.

For more information about the author, click here. For the book, click here.

Ten Questions with Author A.B. Brownell

What should readers know about your latest release? Does it differ from your past books, offer a new perspective on a familiar topic, or shed light on a unique situation?

Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult is a new genre for me. Although I’ve written fiction for teens for Sunday school papers, this is my first published novel. My first book, Confessions of a Pentecostal, non-fiction, was published by the Assemblies of God’s Gospel Publishing House. My second, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, is an Indie book that came out in 2012.

Joe the Dreamer draws on some of my experiences as a newspaper reporter, especially the years as a medical writer. I’ve been in a juvenile unit of a state mental institution similar to where Joe lands. I learned about seizures from neurologists I interviewed. I also wrote about teen crime and gangs.
What was the main inspiration for the new book? Had the idea been on your mind for a while or just popped into it one day?

I started the book while teaching at our church day care in an after-school and summers program for upper-elementary and middle-school youth after I retired. The kids needed something exciting and relaxing after lunch so I wrote a chapter one day and read it in class the next. The students were so excited about it they didn’t want to wait until the next day to continue the story.

My goal, however, with this type of story where Joe’s parents disappear and the kid is trying to believe God will answer his prayers and bring them back, was to interest the teens in reading the Bible themselves. In his dreams, Joe slips into the skin of Bible characters and experiences the fear, disappointments and triumphs of Joseph, the breath of lions on his neck while not being harmed, fire licking at his body without being burned, and walking on water with Jesus. 

The dreams which help him experience what he reads about the night before cause him to shout out in the night and that what makes his uncle think he needs psychiatric help. The psychiatrist is delighted to mess with Joe’s brain and put him in the institution because he’s the leader of the radical bunch that enslaves Joe’s parents.
Why do you feel compelled to write—in your genre or at all?

I think much of the teen fiction today leads youth away from God instead of to Him.
How has travel been involved in your writing and/or research? What’s been your most memorable research experience?

Visiting a Hopi Indian Reservation in Arizona. I stopped there doing research for a series of stories, “Showdown with the Hopi Gods.” I sold the series to a Sunday school paper.
Who has inspired you the most on your writing journey—a loved one, fellow author, favorite teacher?

My first two editors of Christian magazines were wonderful. When an article wasn’t quite there, they told me what I needed to do—shorten it, include an illustration, etc. I took a couple of correspondence courses, and the instructors inspired me also.

I wrote and was published for years, however, before I met another writer personally except for one reporter I met briefly when I was a correspondent in a little Utah town. Most of the time, I was inspired because I had something burning in my heart and wanted to share it. I believe that was the Holy Spirit and He is the Best Teacher.
What surprised you the most about the writer’s journey—publication, representation, platform building, the writing itself?

I was almost offended when it dawned on me that money is the bottom line in traditional Christian publishing. If you have a readily recognized name or you have a following such as a preaching or teaching ministry your chances of being published rise to the top no matter how you write.

I’m still amazed that so many well-known people use ghost writers. I’ve done some of that for ministers, making articles out of their sermons so I do understand—and I also have grown in my knowledge enough to know publishers can’t survive unless they make money.

Writers also need to make money. I went back to work in the newspaper business in order to send our children to college, although I enjoyed free lance writing. Now the name of the game for me is marketing.
If you could rewind time to when you began your pursuit of publication, what would you tell yourself?

To write every day. Read more biographies because they are full of great illustrations and quotes. Never stop until I complete a project, then polish, polish, polish.
Now to have some fun with travel

What’s your favorite place you have visited?

I’ve loved all the wonderful scenic places my husband and I have visited, as well as the tourist attractions. But I think my favorite place is where I grew up in Fruita, Colo--fruit country near the Colorado National Monument and Grand Junction, Colo. I do love the springs and falls in Missouri, where we live now.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Or would you return to somewhere you’ve already been?

I’d go to Hawaii and perhaps the Holy Land. Well, I’d like to take a cruise to Alaska, too.
And now a fun tidbit—if there was one special travel destination just for writers and you were the founder of it, what would the name be and would it be located?

I’d choose Glenwood, Colo. Beautiful mountains, an Olympic-size hot springs pool, in a small-town atmosphere. I’d call it Dunamis Wordsmithing Workshop.

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