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The Because Fiction Podcast

The Because Fiction Podcast

Author: Chautona Havig

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Taking the pulse of Christian fiction, Because Fiction explores the lastest trends in Christian fiction, discusses genres, specific authors, new releases, and classics as well. If it's Christian fiction (or something readers love), we talk about it.
19 Episodes
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Over a century after her books were written, Grace Livingston Hill’s books continue to be popular among avid readers of Christian fiction—but why?  And if you haven’t read any, where on earth would you start?  The woman wrote over a hundred books!  Well, I’ve chosen six of my favorites, and in this episode, I tell you what they are and why! 6 of the Best Grace Livingston Hill Books You Should Read Links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. After reading The Angel of His Presence, I doubted I’d ever pick up another one of GLH’s books.  That one didn’t grab me, as I explain in the episode.  However, dear friends got me to reconsider my opinion on the books when they shared their favorites.  As a result, I can recommend six of them to get started with (or to read—either again, or to discover new delights from this prolific author!) Counting down from least to most favorite (almost…) we have: Cloudy Jewel—the story of a beloved aunt whose kind heart and love for her nieces and nephews save her from a life of drudgery.  A sort of Cinderella story. (Free at the time of posting) Aunt Crete’s Emancipation—another Cinderella-ish story about another aunt who received the love and affection of a beloved nephew who arrived to lavish it on both his aunts and his cousins but wasn’t met with a warm reception by all!  I mention a link to a website while I was talking about that book.  It’s HERE.   A Daily Rate—  A young woman in a miserable existence receives an inheritance that she uses to brighten the lives of others in a similarly miserable situation. (More of a romance than the others) The Enchanted Barn— The Hollister family needs a place in the country, and the only one they can afford is an old barn, so they fix it up into a lovely home. (Another more romantic story). The Obsession of Victoria Gracen— One aunt invests in the lives of her nephew and his friends, against the advice and to the shock of the town, resulting in beautiful things. (only available for Kindle in that box set right now) Found Treasure— Euphemia Martin doesn’t have a very good reputation—nothing sordid, just a girl who is known for being careless, boyish, and flighty.  A chance encounter with the town darling shows her the meaning of her name, Euphemia, and over the next years, she becomes the personification of who the Lord meant her to be. Our Sponsor: So, instead of a sponsor today, I wanted to point out that all or most of the Grace Livingston Hill books are in the public domain and can be read FREE at Gutenberg.org.  They are also available on Amazon.com and other websites, often free or for just a dollar or so on Kindle. In fact, here’s one collection of twenty-six of her books, including FOUR of the books I talked about today (doesn’t include Found Treasure or A Daily Rate. I even found a few on Kindle Unlimited. Often the hardback copies are inexpensive on sites like eBay.com. Like to listen on the go?  You can find Because Fiction Podcast at: Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-because-fiction-podcast/id1506386833 Castbox: https://castbox.fm/channel/The-Because-Fiction-Podcast-id2736372 Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/podcasts/portal/u/0#p:id=playpodcast/series&a=104264932 Libsyn: http://becausefictionpodcast.com RSS:  http://becausefictionpodcast.com/rss Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/43cOYWy7F7QtqRCqoB8Xc2 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-because-fiction-podcast
Do you ever wonder how some stories would play out in a different setting?  Like The Little Princess… but in the Chicago Projects, or The Little Mermaid—in reverse. Sandy Barela from Celebrate Lit Publicity and Publishing joined me a couple of weeks ago for a couple of hours of brainstorming, and this is part two of that session.  You can listen to the first part where we talk about books others have created from retellings and mashups over on Episode 13. The Crazy Things Some People Do for a Good Book How about stand in a hot room in the desert with the windows closed and all fans off to keep the recording as clear as possible?  Yeah?  Or stuff one’s self in a walk-in closet to do the same?  Yep. Sandy and I went all out to bring you our craziness as clear as possible.  You know, so you could hear us cackle, come up with nutty ideas, and basically have a good time that hopefully makes a bit of sense. We talked about mashups like mixing: Amish and Bronte Count of Monte Cristo and… Persuasion (and it was funny at the time, but I’m gettin’ ideas!) Anne of Green Gables—set in England in WWII Little Women—no, wait. Not telling on that one.  Hee hee! Shakespeare Horror Dickens. Although she tried to bring in Wuthering Heights (which for some reason we kept calling “withering—it’s really a better word for it, though… withers the soul), I managed to keep it out! And better than that, we gave verbal permission (verbal agreements are legal and binding!) for anyone to take any of these ideas and run with them because… Celebrate Lit Publishing (our sponsor this week) is having a CONTEST. Yep, that’s right. I’m excited to share that Celebrate Lit Publishing is accepting entries into a contest with a publishing contract as the grand prize!  All you have to do is go HERE and submit your initial entry by August 31, 2020.  It asks for name, email, basic story idea (what you’re mashing up) and why you’re excited to do this. Then, by December 31, 2020, you need to submit your first three chapters, a full synopsis (detailing the full plot—no cliffhangers. This is for a publisher, not a reader), and a marketing plan (how you plan to help promote your book). Celebrate Lit Publishing will choose one winner and, if publishable, offer a contract!  EEEP! Trust me, if I could enter, I would. But, well… I kind of can’t.  So, I’m just going to help with reading all the submissions. And then I’ll do episodes talking with the authors!  SQUEE! This was the second of a three-episode series on these mashups. Stay tuned for the next.  It has some of my favorites in it. AAAAK! Christmas Episode Recommendations: You can either call 442-242-0904 and leave a voicemail (try not to use the speakerphone and be in a quiet place) Or, if you prefer, you can send an email to podcast@chautona.com. Like to listen on the go?  You can find Because Fiction Podcast at: Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-because-fiction-podcast/id1506386833 Castbox: https://castbox.fm/channel/The-Because-Fiction-Podcast-id2736372 Google Play: https://play.google.com/music/podcasts/portal/u/0#p:id=playpodcast/series&a=104264932 Libsyn: http://becausefictionpodcast.com RSS:  http://becausefictionpodcast.com/rss Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/43cOYWy7F7QtqRCqoB8Xc2 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-because-fiction-podcast
Ever wonder what makes someone start writing? What about where ideas for characters come from? Have you been eager to find out what’s coming in the Independence Islands Series? Have we got an episode for you!  This week, we’re chatting with author Melissa Wardwell about her author journey, her books, and her inspiration for some of the characters in her first book in the Independence Islands series, Scrumptious Independence.  Not only that, we get a sneak peek into her upcoming books in the series, too! Note: links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no expense to you. How the Love of 2 Grandmothers Inspired This Series Each author in the Independence Islands contributes to the series as a whole, but their books also form an independent series within the series.  Melissa Wardwell’s series follows Beth Stevens in her quest for independence from familial expectations and utter dependence on God. In this episode, Melissa talks about how both of her grandmothers inspired the character of “Gram” in Scrumptious Independence. Mingling the good food of her childhood with faith, love, and encouragement, So, thanks, Melissa for sharing all about: How you started writing The books you already have in print Why you chose to join the series How you chose your food truck for your business Your thoughts on the collaboration process The characters of Beth and Gram Your books in this series & where you’re going with them And all the stuffness This week’s sponsor is: Celebrate Lit Publishing And even more specifically, the upcoming Independence Islands Series.  All of the Merriweather Island books begin releasing, one a month, starting July 28, 2020. All books are up for preorder and for each book you preorder, you can request a collector’s postcard including a map of the island (with special places related to that book marked, and a unique offering from the author—a gardening tip, a list of books to try, or as with Melissa’s books, a recipe!  Collect all the cards and receive a special bonus book written just for series superfans!  To find out more and how to get them, go HERE.   Links are likely affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Dual Power of Convenienceby Chautona Havig All they wanted was a happily-never-after. It was supposed to be a match made on paper. With him halfway across the globe, they’d never have to see each other again. So what’s Richard doing back on Merriweather?” Scrumptious Independence by Melissa Wardwell Armed with an inheritance she never expected and orders on how to use it, Beth sets off for Merriweather Island and fulfillment of a lifetime of dreams. Or so she hopes.” Secret Beach Boyfriend by Kari Trumbo She met Rafe on the beach when she was just five and it seemed like fate tied them together. When a chance encounter returns him to the islands twenty years later, Annie finds her beach friend has grown up and now needs her help.” Her Merriweather Hero by Rachel Skatvold Falling in love wasn’t in Tyler’s orders, but a new deployment to Iraq is. How can he convince Kendall not to go AWOL when she hears? What can he do to convince her that they’ll make it… together?” Mishaps Off the Mainland by Tabitha Bouldin Everything’s falling apart, and Mel’s dream transforms into a nightmare. She thought this was what God wanted for her life, but can you blame her for second-guessing everything?” Restoring Fairhaven by Carolyn Miller Max much prefers the fictional world to the real, and the gardening girl’s interruptions means he’s driven from his writing cave far too often for his liking. How’s he supposed to craft stories with her distracting him all the time?” Don’t miss your pre-order bonus! Click here for more details. Thanks again to Melissa for being on the show and as one who has read her book, I can assure you that you want to read Beth’s and Scott’s story.  It’s beautiful to see what happens there. Be sure to check out Melissa’s book, What God Brings Together.  About the Book: Can they walk through the doors God opens for them and allow forgiveness to restore what was taken so long ago? Marriage was forever, at least that was what Emma thought, but an unfortunate turn of events brought her world crashing in around her. Determination to make a good life for her three children spur her to push through the pain of rejection and loneliness she battles. A chance meeting with a disfigured handyman sparks an unusual friendship that turns into more. The only thing holding her back is the memory of her past and what should have been. His body’s disfigurement and self-torment keep David living in the shadows of society. After spending time with Emma and her children, he begins to hope for something he knows he doesn’t deserve. Unwilling to listen to the self-doubt, he hatches a plan to put right what was wrong in his life. If only she would let him in. Like to listen on the go? You can find Because Fiction Podcast at: Apple  Castbox  Google Play Libsyn  RSS Spotify Stitcher
Need a good book to read? Ask an author for a recommendation! You may be surprised at how perfect that recommendation can be. I was! This week we’re talking about why going to a favorite author for book recommendations might just be a way to find your next perfect read. When I asked for recommendations, author Sarah Monzon suggested T.I. Lowe, and I just finished reading her book, Driftwood Dreams, and have I got stuff to talk about! Note: these will likely be affiliate links! Driftwood Dreams by T.I. Lowe  The whole Carolina Coast Series (Including Beach Haven, Driftwood Dreams, and Sea Glass) My Review of Driftwood Dreams. Additionally, you might want to check out Sarah Monzon’s books as well. I recommend: (These are affiliate links) Book Nerds & Boyfriends (available on KU)  The Isaac Project (available on KU)  12 Days of Snowmen (only .99!) Molly  Jocelyn (not Jolene!)  3 Excellent Reasons Why Authors Offer Great Book Ideas Authors often know books that are similar to their content, style, or feel. Asking an author might just get you what you are looking for! Many authors have studied the craft of writing so much that they find nuggets beneath the surface that can really enrich your reading. Let’s face it. Authors want to keep readers satisfied while they finish their latest books, so they have a vested interest in helping you pick out the perfect book while you wait! While your friends are great resources to fill those TBR (to be read) stacks around your house, sometimes you need a fresh perspective. Many authors are insatiable readers (like me!) and even if they don’t know what book would be perfect for you, they probably know who does. Either way, you will have a suggestion that not only satisfies your desire for a good read, it might also save you a few wasted dollars on not-so-perfect fits for you! Then again, I would have said a romantic read like Driftwood Dreams wouldn’t be my cup of tea, and I would have been wrong. So glad I listened to author Sarah Monzon on that one! :D Like to listen on the go? You can find Because Fiction Podcast at: Apple Castbox Google Play Libsyn RSS Spotify Stitcher
Author Jennifer Sienes writes fiction that promises hope in tough times.  Drawing from her personal experiences and the stories of people who have lived some of those tough times, her Apple Hill series offers a rich look into the lives and faith of her characters. Her newest release, Illusions (affiliate link), is an excellent example of beauty from ashes. Sponsor: #BecauseFiction Magazine.  Check them out at becausefiction.com and don't forget your promo code: becausefictionpodcast  Valid until I change it from the show notes. Link to Jennifer's Article/giveaway (ends at the end of June)  find her at JenniferSienes.com  
Once in a while, I get a hankering to read something different.  So, I give myself permission to do what I call a “free read” every now and then. That’s one where I get to read whatever I want. Well, recently, my decision to enjoy a specific free read got me thinking about one of my favorite books, Dear Mr. Knightley (review here) and then I wondered if there were more.  That sent me on a quest to discover more books like it–books that are retellings or mashups or both! Sandy Barela from Celebrate Lit Publicity and Publishing joined me a couple of weeks ago for a couple of hours of brainstorming, and this is part one of that session. Note: Links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. What Are The Best Genre & Retellings Mashups Ever? Well, I suspect that depends on what you think!  However, Sandy Barela and I came up with quite a few that we loved and wanted to share. From Austen to Dickens, Peter Pan to Wizard of Oz, we really hashed out a bunch. Including a couple of my own books!  That was fun! We talked about some great books with retellings and mashups including (affiliate links): Dear Mr. Knightley 12 Days at Bleakly Manor A Very Austen Romance Anthology Presumption and Partiality Mortal Sight No Space Like Home  Dust A Twist of Faith Operation Valentine Olivia Twist The Seamstress Winning Miss Winthrop The Christmas Carol Society Jack The Accidental Case Files of Emily Abbot We actually had to stop recording before we even got to the awesome mashups we wanted to create because well, time!  AAAK!  So, we’re just going to continue this episode in a few weeks… and maybe again in a few weeks after that! (just depends on how much time is left! Celebrate Lit Publishing (our sponsor this week) is having a CONTEST. Okay, I don’t know about you, but I love me a good contest, and we’ve got a doozy for you today. Celebrate Lit Publishing is accepting entries into a contest with a publishing contract as the grand prize!  All you have to do is go HERE and submit your initial entry by August 31, 2020.  It’s a short form that just requests your email, basic story idea (what you’re mashing up) and why you’re excited to do this. Then, by December 31, 2020, you’ll be expected to submit the first three chapters, a full synopsis (detailing the full plot—no cliffhangers. This is for a publisher, not a reader), and a marketing plan (how you plan to help promote your book). Did you get that part about where the grand prize is a publishing contract? (restrictions and limitations do apply) Since I can’t enter, I’m just going to help with reading all the submissions. And then I’ll do episodes talking with the authors who entered and see who’s doing what with their stories!  SQUEE! This was the first of a two or three-episode series on these mashups. Stay tuned for the next one or two. Like to listen on the go? You can find Because Fiction Podcast at: Apple  Castbox  Google Play Libsyn  RSS Spotify Stitcher
Today we have Christy Award-winning Australian author, David Rawlings with us to talk about his latest novel, Where the Road Bends (releases 6/2/2020), and what he hopes to accomplish in the lives of his readers. Hint: it’s really a simple concept with a profound impact. Note: this is an extra-long episode (about 55 minutes) You can get Where the Road Bends at your favorite retailer. Here’s my affiliate link to Amazon. Additionally, you can read my reviews of all of David’s books on my blog! The Baggage Handler The Camera Never Lies Where the Road Bends Learn more about David (and sign up to get short stories from time to time… I did!) at http://www.davidrawlings.com.au
In this episode, I examine Heather Woodhaven's "The Secret Life of Book Club" and see the spiritual lessons I learned from a fun read. Links below are affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. The Secret Life of Book Club by Heather Woodhaven. The blog post about how Kindle Unlimited works. Learn more about the Kindle Unlimited program on Amazon  
Author of the recently released The Joy of Falling, Lindsay Harrel tells us about how she came up with the idea for the book, what to expect from it, and how a book about grief turned into one of joy.  
From the website: True, riveting stories of American criminal activity are explored through [nine] unique stories of historical romantic suspense. Collect them all and be inspired by the hope that always finds its way even in the darkest of times. This episode discusses the first six! The White City The Pink Bonnet The Blue Cloak https://truecolorscrime.com 
Today we're talking with contemporary romance author, Tabitha Bouldin about her upcoming novel, Mishaps off the Mainland--book five in the Independence Islands series! This week's sponsor: The Independence Islands series:  This five-island, six-author book series features mobile businesses and a whole boatload of happily-ever-afters. Each author is writing five books, one for each island, and starting July 2020, these books will be released monthly. Authors in this first islands series include me, Melissa Wardwell, Kari Trumbo, Rachel Skatvold, our guest, Tabitha Bouldin, and Carolyn Miller! The first six books are all available for pre-order: Dual Power of Convenience Scrumptious Independence  Secret Beach Boyfriend Her Merriweather Hero Mishaps off the Mainland Restoring Fairhaven Don't forget. Those who purchase the books on preorder can request a collectible postcard that will be mailed to you in a protective sleeve. Each postcard comes with a special code, and those who collect all the codes will receive a free novel written just for this purpose by all of the authors. You can find out more and submit your request for your postcard HERE. Additionally, because Tabitha is here, we’re also highlighting her book, Macy’s Dream.
Definition of "Redemptive Fiction" for the purposes of this podcast:  Redemptive fiction is fiction in which one or more characters have a transformation in some part of their lives. Four kinds of redemptive fiction. 1. SALVATION. All In by L.K. Simonds. The video I mentioned. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Not My Will by Francena Arnold Mission Hollywood by Michelle Keener. Thatcher Sisters series by Beth Vogt My books with conversion as an important part of the story. Not a Word Discovering Hope. 2. “Worldly Past” Blog post that sparked this episode:  Okay, excellent examples of this kind of redemptive arc are… Mercy’s Fight by Tammy L. Gray Review/interview with Matt here. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers Shadows over England series by Roseanna M. White My strongest “worldly to saved” redemption arc. Mismatched Books recommended to me: When Hearts Collide by Sara Beth Williams.  3. Personal Redemption The Forgiving Hour by Robin Lee Hatcher Out of North Korea by Alana Terry Found Treasure by Grace Livingston Hill Delayed Justice by Cara Putman Charles Martin and his books--in particular, The Water Keeper. Shelter of the Most High by Connilyn Cossette.  Grayfox by Michael Phillips (and probably anything by him!) The "Grace books" by Christine Dillon.  My strongest personal redemption books would be: Not a Word Shattering Secrets 4. Symbolic  Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  David Rawlings' Books: The Baggage Handler The Camera Never Lies Where the Road Bends James L. Rubart The Pages of Her Life Rooms My books with symbolic redemptive elements: The Journey of Dreams Series Prairie Highlands Seaside (coming 2020/2021) Recommended to me books and authors. Joy Ohagwu Robert Whitlow (time to rediscover him) Valley of Shadows by Candace West. Homestands by Sally Bradley, Blog post on the future of Christian fiction/ Sponsor: This week, I'm sponsoring the podcast with a spotlight on Alana Terry's Whispers of Refuge series.  Purchases help fund the escape of refugees from North Korea. Box set of the series can be found HERE.
Today we're chatting about YA Dystopian fantasy novel, For Whom the Sun Sings by W. A. Fulkerson.  Hint:  I wouldn't read the publisher's synopsis.  Link to my review and Fulkerson's comments about his own book: https://chautona.com/for-whom-the-sun-sings-review/   This week's sponsor is my "Freebie Friday" and you can sign up to receive weekly notices of what went free this week at chautona.com/news.   
You get to the end of a book and there are those dreaded words. "If you enjoyed this book, would you take a moment to leave a review?  Well... what's the big deal with those, anyway? Today we dig into what a review is and isn't, how easy it can be to write them, best practices in choosing a star rating and more!  Links:  One of those review blogs I mentioned. The Quick and Dirty Guide to Easy Reviews How to Write a Helpful Book Review in 10 Easy Steps 5 Easy Ways to Help Your Favorite Author   Today's Sponsor is Celebrate Lit Publicity.  Check out their current blog tours and see what other readers think of the books, get your entries in for the giveaways, and see how simple and complex each reviewer chooses to get!  Maybe you'll be inspired.
It may seem like semantics, but there really is a difference between "Romance" and "Romantic Fiction."  So, I thought it might be a good thing to discuss.  What makes one or the other and why should we care? Authors discussed today include: Romance Authors: Jeanette Oke Lori Wick Mary Connaely Becky Wade Bethany Turner Pepper Basham Nicole Deese Liz Johnson J’Nell Ciesielski Siri Mitchell Romantic fiction authors: Roseanna White Joanne Bischof Karen Kingsbury Dee Henderson Terri Blackstock Colleen Coble Michael Phillips Romantic Tropes List (Victorine Lieske) Avid Readers of Christian Fiction Today's sponsor is the Independence Islands Series. Here are links to the books, the trailer, and all the stuffness. Series Trailer Information about the series Books Email me your favorite authors that I should discuss in a follow-episode on the differences between Romance and Romantic fiction at chautona@chautona.com 
No one likes every book out there, but some authors won me over to specific genres, so let's explore those, eh? Today, I'm exploring three genres that would have stayed off my  "to be read" stacks if it weren't for a few specific authors and their books. Note: links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Amish: Amish Beginnings  by Suzanne Woods Fisher       Sisters and Friends by Rachel J. Good       Biblical Fiction Connilyn Cossette Tessa Afshar Mesu Andrews     Fantasy C. S. Lewis         Gerald Morris       Andrew Peterson       D.C. Marino           Today's Sponsor is... Today's Sponsor is Celebrate Lit Publicity. Check out their current blog tours and see what other readers think of the books, get your entries in for the giveaways, and see how simple and complex each reviewer chooses to get! Maybe you'll be inspired.
After finishing another Pepper Basham contemporary romance, I just had to do a bit of ranting--raving? No... more like gushing over my recent read.   In this episode, we'll dive into: her humor her excellent characterization her brilliant use of description the spiritual truths she adds... without preachiness! The books we discussed were: (note: links are affiliate links) Just the Way You Are Charming the Troublemaker Jane by the Book You can find Pepper Basham: on her website on Facebook on Instagram on Goodreads Today's sponsor is my Meddlin' Madeline Series because book three, Fine Print was actually inspired by something in Pepper's book, Just the Way You Are.
Every lover of Christian fiction had a first book--their "gateway manna" to the genre. But what books were most popular? Bonus: a surprising story of when I planned the podcast, too. Some books mentioned (links may be affiliate links): Straight Down a Crooked Lane (Francena Arnold) Aunt Hannah, Martha & John (Isabella Alden) Man of the House (Isabella Alden) Twenty Minutes Late (Isabella Alden) The Reid Books (Isabella Alden) Jeanette Oke Lori Wick  Frank Peretti  Michael Phillips Dee Henderson Beverly Lewis Terri Blackstock Christy Barritt Alana Terry Colleen Coble Our sponsor today is #BecauseFiction Magazine. Authors, don't forget your promo code BECAUSEFICTIONPODCAST to get THREE free months of author spotlights. You can email me at chautona@chautona.com 
The Because Fiction Podcast Just introducing you to the podcast and what to expect.  Talking about why a podcast, what sorts of episodes you'll find, and how often you'll hear from me! Let's talk books! Links: #BecauseFiction Magazine Chautona.com Avid Readers of Christian Fiction (Facebook) Transcript: Hey, hey, this is the #becausefiction podcast where we chat about all things Christian fiction. I’m your host, Chautona Havig, and long before I was an author I was an insatiable reader. Shocker, right? Since bibliophiles tend to eat, sleep, and breathe books, we sometimes talk about them more than people around us who aren’t readers want to endure, so I thought it was time for a podcast where we did just that—we discuss Christian fiction in general. Specifically. And aaalll the bookness. So, hey, let’s… talk books! Now, for this “episode zero-slash-introduction,” I decided to anticipate a few questions and give you some answers so you know what to expect. So first, I assume…Why a podcast about Christian Fiction? I mean, can’t I just blog about this stuff? And I could. I mean I blog already a lot about things like writing (not on my blog, but elsewhere), about books, and authors, and I do a lot of reviews, and what I love and what I don’t, and where I see things going in the Christian fiction market. You’re right. I do that already. But you see, the blogosphere is limited because you can’t write twenty-minutes worth of reading on a subject and expect people to read all that. It’s too much. And sometimes you just need to talk out an issue. You know how it is when try to send a letter to someone and explain something it ends up all stilted and unnatural—too wordy and not really conveying your heart? But, if you have a conversation, there’s a give-and-take element, even if only one person is doing most of the talking. It pulls out the intensity sometimes. That kind of happens sometimes with books. I mean, sometimes I read a book and I really love it people and it’s hard for me to explain why and why isn’t always the point of a review. That’s more of a "what did you like or not like" about something. Customer reviews have a specific purpose that limits what you can say without spoilers and going too deep into all the nuances. The next customer is just looking to figure out if they want to buy the book. Not all my thoughts about it. This happened with the book All In by L.K. Simonds, who I really hope I can talk into coming on the show. I want to discuss her book with her. Because this is a prime example of a book that I loved but usually I wouldn’t have. There’s stuff in that book that usually turns me off. It’s not a spotless read, it’s messy, there’s language and it has some situations that aren’t my usual book fare! But all that stuff needed to be in there for a reason—it wasn’t gratuitous, or anything—but normally I would have had a problem with it. I didn’t. The book did what it needed to do for the audience it was intended to serve. I had a terrible time conveying that in the review, though, because it’s not the scope of the review. Okay. So we’re going to talk about stuff like that—just chatty and the funny things that I loved, and sometimes about spoilers. I promise I’ll let you know if it’s going to be a spoiler episode and stuff, and I won’t do it often, but it will happen now and then. Or, hey. It might be that I do a regular episode in the first half, and then say, “Okay, spoiler time. If you don’t want spoilers, I’ll see you next week!” Then of course, there’s the obvious question… Aren’t there enough podcasts out there already? I have a Socratic answer for you. Are there enough books out there already? Okay, I rest my case. No really, come on. There’s never too many. If someone wants to talk about books, there’s likely someone who wants to listen. And hey, if I’m the only one showing up, at least I get to talk about books. I’m happy! Life’s good. So that kind of leads into the next obvious question… Can you really talk about books THAT much? All right, sweetie. Let me tell you something… I can talk about ANYTHING that much. All right? Just sayin’. Well, so what’s it going to be like? Well, okay. Here we go. I have this mental picture. This is what I think about when I’m planning these episodes. All right? Picture me helping you clean your kitchen or fold the laundry. Maybe I’m riding shotgun with you on your commute, or sweating myself to death next to you at the gym—no wait. Nuh-uh, no! Don’t picture that. You really don’t want that, and neither do I. So… um.. how about me cheering you on at the gym. Yeah… let’s go with that. I can get with that program. Anywho, while we’re doing this, we’re just talking picture us just talking about books. The latest releases, what’s coming up, what I’ve read, genres we love, tropes we hate, complaining about this writing style or gushing over that one—we’re going to talk about all of it. And it’s going to be fun. Because it’s a podcast, and not a blog, (see how I did that?), you can take me around the house while you’re cleaning, or along for the ride on errands or your way to work, on a walk, or… if you must, to the gym. I’ll bring a clothespin and some Aarid Extra-Dry. I’m helpful that way. You can just be there and listen while you’re already doing something so it isn’t just one more thing to go online and find the thing and ugh. Right? It’ll be fun—so fun! Going back up to what we discussed a minute ago, What’s the difference between what I’m doing here and a book review? Well, for one thing, it’s going to be more than just reviews, we’re going to talk about the best books covering some situation. Like, for instance, the best WWII books that don’t take place in England or America. You know. We might get that specific. Or it might be what the best High Fantasy is in Christian fiction. That’s going to be interesting, because I don’t know! I have no clue. But I can’t wait to explore and talk to you guys and find out! It’s going to be fun. Instead of a regular review, we’ll talk about the books that I love that no one else seems to or… the books everyone else loves that I can’t stand. We’re going to talk about it. Because I have discovered that I’m not alone in some of my dislikes that I think everyone else loves. It’s cool to find people like you! And, when it comes to individual books, BecauseFiction will be more of a rant or rave about the book. I’ll still be kind—no, I’m not throwing the rotten tomatoes or anything—but I’ll be more candid than I would be in a review because this is more than just reviewing. I’m just talking about BOOKS instead of trying to help you decide if you want to buy that book, this is just discussing it for the book’s sake. It’s more like talking about it would with a friend over a cup of coffee (I’m drinking Coke, just thought you should know) or at a book club as opposed to what you would find on Amazon where you’re going, “Oh, do I want to buy this book… well, they said this about it.” It’s going to be… different from that. It’ll be more of a chat. Sooo… that brings us back to, What kinds of episodes will there be? Well, I shared some… but there’s even going to be things like lessons that I’ve learned from specific books. I mean I’ve learned some really cool spiritual lessons from Christian fiction, and I want to share that! I’m going to beg authors to write the things that I want to read that I can’t write. Y’know? I’m going to say, “Oh, I want this book. Isn’t there someone out there that wants to write this book, and I’m going to put out that idea. I’ll get listeners to send in requests for the books they’re looking for, because someone else might say, “Wait! That book exists!” That’s the key here. We’re going to engage. We’re going to talk! It’s going to be fun. Speaking of fun, I think it would be neat to have genre and trope wars with readers where people send in why they like this one better than that one. So some readers will say why this is best, and others will argue for another. We’ll see if anyone “wins.” Hint: Doubt they will. We all love what we love, but it’ll be fun to get to see why folks love what they love! It’s going to be fun! Then we’ll have authors on the show—I hope. I hope they follow through and want to do this. But my goal is to have them on the show so we can talk with them like a friend—like we’re just sitting down somewhere, and it’s like, “Ha! That’s my favorite author!” and the author says, “Hi! I remember you. You bought my book!” And she sits down and chats with us. He tells us about his life, and books and what he’s working on. Maybe she’ll tell us what she quit working on and why she just didn’t like it anymore or what she enjoys doing when she’s not writing. They can tell us where they’ll be at different events so we can meet them in person and talk books with them... in person. Because, you know… oh,! Oh! How about this one… …. We’ll ask authors what their favorite book is… that month. (Because we all know that asking for a favorite book is like asking who your favorite child is, right?) Still, we can torment them a little and ask for their favorite. Ha! That’s fun. Anywho…ha, ha! So… maybe you want to know where the name “BecauseFiction” came from? Now, you might be listening to this in the sidebar at the #BecauseFiction Magazine website, and technically, this is a separate entity. Because Fiction is my podcast, and I’m going to be talking fiction. But, I am connected with the #BecauseFiction Magazine and so we are also going to have these episodes on that website. I chose BecauseFiction for a kind of comical reason. So I was teaching at the SoCal Christian Writers Conference a couple of years ago, and when I got the email telling me the sessions I was supposed to teach, it said, “Fiction.” That’s it. Fiction. And I’m like, what do they want from me? Wait, what? So, when I met my roomie there, she asked what I was teaching, and I was like, “I’m teaching… fiction. Because… Fiction.” And that’s kind of become our phrase when we’re talking about this crazy world I’m a part of. It’s what it is BecauseFiction. So that’s where Because Fiction came from, and when it was time to name the magazine, I was like, “It needs to be that.” Because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about Fiction. So, with that said, I just have to say one thing and then I’ll let you go because this is just supposed to be a short introduction. Hi, how ya doin’! But! I do need to say this. My goal for this podcast isn't’ to replace anything. I’m not trying to replace people’s blogs or my blog. I’m not trying to replace conversation in Facebook groups. I’m not trying to replace anything. That would be really ridiculous. My purpose with this thing is just to expand the conversation about books that’s already going on all over the internet in the book world. Okay? I hope you’ll join me each week, I hope you’ll love the episodes. Please, send me an email at chautona@chautona.com. That’s c-h-a-u-T as in Thom-o- N as in Nancy-a. Chautona@chautona.com with any episode topics that you want to talk about. Send it! If I can do it, I will do it! And, as a reader or an author, if you want to be on the program, send me an email about that, too. We’ll see what we can do! If I can make it happen, I will. Hey, have a good day, and go read a good book.
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