Deanna Klingel’s book, Avery's Battlefield, was released March 18, 2011, by Journey Forth Publishing (BJU Press). This is the first of a young reader historical fiction series set in Virginia during the American Civil War. The second book, Avery's Crossroad, is due out in September. Visit Deanna at www.BooksByDeanna.com.
Since Deanna attended Write2Ignite! Conferences in both 2010 and 2011, Jean asked her if Write2Ignite! had anything to do with this success.
Here’s Deanna’s answer...
After a heart-to-heart prayer one morning, I was dashing out to my lit class at Brevard College. I quickly checked email and saw this peculiar drawing on the screen. It looked like children all connected in gym shoes in bright colors making a number 2. What in the world was this? I didn't have time to study it so I hit print and took off. The next day, there it was on my printer.
“Oh, yeah, I forgot about that thing. What is it anyway?” I read it. “How did I get this? Who sent this to me? Christian Writers? Well, I'm a writer who is Christian, but a group of Christian writers? Really? Who knew? And they are inviting me to go where? Greenville. Hmm. Just down the mountain. Only $90? That's nothing compared to other conferences I'd been to. Maybe.”
I put it aside and internally fussed and argued for days, while I continued to pray. Then one day I just found that paper, sent in my money and passed GO!
I was nervous about it. What do Christian Writers write? Will I be out of place? And I still don't know how or why the invitation was sent to me; perhaps it was a mistake. I shyly went.
First it was Vonda Skelton. Her keynote made me feel that I did belong there.
Then the workshop with Nancy Lohr. I was stunned. She spoke directly to my heart answering all the questions I had asked God just days before.
I discovered her alone in a class room while I was changing classes and I poked my head in to tell her how much her words had meant to me and to thank her. She invited me in and asked me to tell her what my experience had been that made me so reactive to her words. I told her the history of Avery and Gunner. She asked if she might have a look at the manuscript. She gave me an address to send it. I believed she was generously offering to critique it for me. I had no idea she was an acquisition editor, and I'd never heard of Journey Forth.
So, yes, Write2Ignite! had everything to do with getting my questioning prayers answered, and in a bigger way than I had imagined. Isn't that just like HIM? He always exceeds. Nancy and her staff loved Avery and Gunner and felt they had a future with them. And I love working with them.