BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

BOOK CLUB ENCOUNTERS - FEATURING AUTHOR CRESTON MAPES



AUTHORS BIO: Creston grew up in northeast Ohio where, as a boy, he had a type-set printing press and his own neighborhood newspaper (one or two issues, anyway).

In college he was mentored by a one-of-a-kind journalism professor - a free-lancer for National Geographic - who encouraged her students that they could make a living writing if they worked hard enough.

Graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in magazine journalism, Creston packed up his Mustang and headed for the Gulf Coast of Florida where he began his career as a reporter at a bi-weekly newspaper. Two years later he transferred to a daily paper in central Ohio where he was a city hall reporter, feature writer, and photographer.

When he received a call from Ross Lenhart of Phoenix Communications in Atlanta in 1986, Creston and his wife made the move. For four years he served as a creative director for Phoenix, traveling to college campuses coast-to-coast, and helping the Phoenix creative team put together high-end marketing materials for some of the finest colleges in the country.

After discovering his need for Jesus Christ in the late 1980s, Creston was led to put his talents to work in Christian ministry. In 1990, he became creative director for Dr. Bruce Wilkinson (Prayer of Jabez) and Walk Thru the Bible Ministries in Atlanta. Creston and his group created, wrote, edited, and produced monthly, color magazines for clients such as Ligonier Ministries, Biola University, and Coral Ridge Ministries.

When he realize "management" was the farthest thing from his forte, Creston chose to give free-lancing a go in 1991 and has been at it ever since. In the past 17 years he has written marketing and magazine copy for clients such as Coca-Cola, The Weather Channel, Focus on the Family, ABC-TV, Johnson Controls, Haggai Institute, The Southern Company, Oracle Corporation, In Touch Ministries, BellSouth, Stein Communications, Mission to the World, and many others.



Creston is still actively writing for many of these fine organizations and is especially enjoying creating inspirational fiction. His debut novel, DARK STAR: CONFESSIONS OF A ROCK IDOL, was published by Multnomah Publishers in June of 2005. The sequel, FULL TILT, hit shelves in March 2006, and a third stand-alone novel, NOBODY, released in September 2007.

As he has for 22 years, Creston resides in the Atlanta metropolitan area with his hometown sweetheart and four marvelous children. He loves reading, painting, morning runs with his dog, family outings, watching hockey, going on dates with his wife, meeting friends for coffee, and spending time in God's Word.

Creston is hard at work on a fourth suspense novel.

Which do you prefer? Live, on the phone, or the on-line author chat? Why?

I love doing the live book clubs, because it gives me a chance to interact, explain, discuss, and get to know people. I am a people person and love to socialize and possibly help others through what I have to say about my stories and Christian walk.

Please describe a book club experience that really moved you, encouraged you. Why did it touch you?


All of the book clubs I've done have been special, because the attendees have kind of reaffirmed why I write novels. The enthusiasm and excitement passed along by readers is really encouraging.



What surprised you most about doing a live book club event?




It's simply great to now that most everyone in that audience has read your book. That means you're going to have a really good and deep discussion. These discussions can range from tear-filled discussions about the transforming power of Christ, to fall-on-the-floor laugh sessions about my crazy, unplanned book-writing process.



What surprised you most about doing the on-line book club chat?





Well, I guess more than surprised, I was enlightened by the fact that, it takes a lot of effort for someone out there in cyberspace to learn about the online book chat, remember it, read your book, and actually get to the computer on the date and time of the event. Unless you're a really, really well-known author, and even if you are, these can be a tough draw.

(Hey, Creston, I enjoyed the On-Line book club discussion and LIVE On-Line Chat you had with the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Book Club. I first got to know you there.)


What do you like most about the book club experience?





Interacting with people who've read my novels. What a complete blessing. It's our chance, as authors, to kind of bask in the good things people have to say.....It's events such as these that can keep you going in those long, solitary hours of writing/editing/marketing.


Did you get an unexpected reaction to a book your read? Didn't expect your audience to find something on one of your books or react they way they did?
What I hear MOST from book club readers is this: "Because of the covers of your books (kind of dark), I never would have picked them up. However, since we were reading it at book club, I read it, and boy was I surprised! Love the story...." So, that has been insightful.














First photo, North Metro Ladies' Book Club, Atlanta, GA. A wonderful, fun group of ladies and this just happens to be my "home" church (North Metro First Baptist). Notice John the bodyguard in the picture as well. John comes to most of my signings, even the ones for women!










Second photo was the first ever author visit at Gems of Joy, with the ladies at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Toccoa, Georgia. They know how to party. They pre-sold close to 50 copies of my latest novel, NOBODY. Great discussion and lots of laughs!



















Perhaps the wildest group ever were the ladies from the Parkway Presbyterian Women's Book Club of Alpharetta, Georgia. Since my first novel, DARK STAR, is about millionaire rock star, Everett Lester, these fun ladies had a "Backstage Party," complete with all kinds of great finger foods and beverages. It really felt like we were "backstage" before a big concert. Great book discussion at this one.






































Can't forget your group, Nora, Finding Hope Through Fiction Book Club; when it was just starting out. It was fun to crash your book club at Borders when you had Amy Wallace speaking about her first book Ransomed Dreams. You had no idea who I was until Amy showed up and said my name. You all welcomed me--it was fun. But even better was actually speaking to your group at Life Way about my then new book NOBODY! Your group sure can laugh!

Thanks Nora
Regards,

Creston

CRESTON--I appreciate you stopping by and sharing book club encounters. I know that my groups have enjoyed you speakig to them. It was fun to hear of the many working titles for your books and the exciting adventures you've had investigating facts to put in your book to make them believable. It's been quite fascinating and fun to listen to all you go through to write a book. I'm EXCITED to hear you are currently working on a NEW book. You'll have to stop by again and TELL US ALL ABOUT IT!!

BLESSINGS to you in your writing adventures Creston.
Nora :D

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