BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

GIVEAWAY 4 BOOKS & STEVE GROLL INTERVIEW



Q. Why write a YA Fiction book? What do you hope the take away is for you’re your young readers?

A. I am a children’s pastor, working with school age children. Over the years I have served as camp pastor, led children retreats, and have been guest speaker at Vacation Bible Schools. I started writing suspenseful stories as a way to introduce children to Bible truths. My goal is to write stories that are memorable, hold interest, and illustrate Biblical values and teachings. To expand my ministry, I used my stories as a springboard to write Beyond the Dead Forest for older children and youth to read and teachers to use. Because the book does not mention God, Jesus, or the Bible, it is used by some public school teachers to teach positive values to their students.
Celebrating at VBS

My Daughter at VBS











Even though the heroes in the book are twelve-year-old children, adults are among my biggest fans. Because the book is an action fantasy, Christians give the book to their non-Christian friends. The values that the book teaches spark interesting conversations about what it means to be a Christian.

Q. My daughter, Hilary enjoyed your book and had a question about the names you chose for your characters. Did all characters in the books names have different meanings like Stewborn was pronounced Stubborn?

Hilary is the first reviewer to pick up on this aspect of the book. Some of the names do have secret meanings. Just as Vardrayes is Adversary with the letters changed around, there are some names that are like anagrams. Others sound similar to significant places or things. For example, Agaphy is a character who illustrates the type of love God has for us. God’s love is selfless love called agape in Greek manuscripts. And then some names are just made up.

Q. Hilary read your book and got the sense that these children acted older than they were portrayed in the book. Her question is, “Why did you have Carter and Kat young kids instead of teenagers?”

A. There are several reasons for this. One is because some of the stories used in the novel were originally written for older children. The kids I work with are very smart. One little girl who skipped the second grade has read my book and says that she reads it often. Another reason Carter and Kat were written the way they were is because the middle age group like the characters they identify with to be smart and clever. Beside all this, most everything in the book is symbolic of something. The fact that Carter and Kat seem to mature rapidly as they journey is symbolic of the wisdom they gain through testing, spiritual growth that comes through contact with The Guardian, and the maturity that comes by struggling through hardships. This is a concept that you see in The Chronicles of Narnia. Four children rule a kingdom and lead wars against armies of creatures older, wiser, and more powerful because just being in Narnia makes them stronger and braver.

Q. Could you please share some of your Testimony with us?
My Dad and I on a Camping trip
A. My parents always made my sister and me attend Sunday school. The church I was attending when I was a young teen had potluck lunch after church once a month. We did not have to attend church, but our church had really good potlucks, so I did attend worship at least once a month. The pastor basically preached the same salvation message every Sunday, and I had heard it many times, but this one particular Sunday, I understood it. The thing that grabbed me was when he said, “Jesus loves you so much that if you were the only person who ever sinned, He would have come to earth and die on the cross just for you.” He was talking right to me. I was never popular or well liked as a child or teen. I only had a handful of friends, none of which I could call a best friend. My parents had recently divorced, so I was a lonely kid. That night, I went home and as I lay in bed, I remembered the sermon. Jesus loved me so much that He died on the cross just for me. I remember crying and thanking the Lord over and over again for loving me so much. After that, no one ever had to make me go to church again. Potluck or not, I wanted to learn all I could about my best friend who gave His life for me.

Q. Do you have a say in what the covers of your books look like? If so how does that process work? What did you want to show in having this cover for your book? Why have a dragon on the front cover, when the Adversary didn't reveal himself until the end? Just wondering!

A. We work with the design department to develop a book cover. To start, I talked with the designer, described the gist of the book, and what graphic design would depict what it is about. The artist comes up with three or four different designs. Once one is decided upon, it is perfected by making whatever changes the author wants. What I like about the cover of my book is that it shows the beginning and the ending of the book in one picture. The story begins in a dark, scary dead forest. The silhouetted dead trees against the evening sky set the mood for the adventure. The dead forest is a doorway into another world very different from ours. The dragon is symbolic of the strange, mysterious, dangers that lie beyond the dead forest. I get lots of compliments on the cover.

Q. What was the working title to your books Beyond the Dead Forest? Or did you always have those titles in mind for your book? What does this title mean to you? Or hoped it meant to the reader?


A. It’s funny, but I had a really hard time coming up with a title. I racked my brains for months as I worked on the book. I believe the working title was something like “The Eastern Path” I was focused on the aspect of the journey, traveling, and the path, but I didn’t like anything I came up with. It wasn’t until I decided to come at it another way that it finally hit me. Everything begins in and continues beyond the dead forest. I wanted a mysterious title that would intrigue readers enough that they would want to find out what the book was all about. I also wanted a title that was unique. There are many books with the same title. So far I have never seen another book with the title Beyond the Dead Forest.

Q. Why write Christian Fiction when you could write in any other market? What’s the draw for you?

A. Even though I have already answered this in the first question, I wanted to say that this is what I am about; I’m a minister. I have a calling and love of working with children. I want to create works that communicate God’s truths as well as entertain. For me to write just to entertain would make my work seem empty. Not that I have anything against books written just for entertainment. I’m just saying, for me, if I can entertain and teach a life changing message, then I feel that I have done well by my fellow man and my God.
QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK

Q. If you found a magic lamp and a genie was going to grant you three whishes – what would those wishes be and why?

A. My first wish would be for my wife to gain her sight. She is blind, and there are so many beautiful things I would love to share with her. My second wish would be for all the sick children in trauma centers and cancer hospitals to be healed so they can be kids again. Third, I wish that delicious fattening foods were good for you. (Do I really need to explain this last one?)

Q. If you could have super hero powers for a while which ones would they be and why? (You are the author here be creative)

A. Without a doubt I would like to fly. I do not trust airplanes, and I would love to travel and see the world. I think I could trust super hero flying powers as long as I was crash resistant too.  Then, I would like to have Jedi mind power where I could get everyone to agree with me. Would that make life too boring?

Q. What three things would you rather not live without?
A Picture I took of a Vacant Lot Behind Our Church

A. I would rather not live without my cat, computer, and camera. As annoying as my cat can be, I still like the feel of her lying on my lap while we watch TV. 

This is our cat!














And as totally maddening as my computer can be, I refuse to dash it to the floor (even though sometimes I think it might be worth it) because when it is good, it is very, very good. Finally, digital photography is the best. I enjoy photography and have worked as a photographer. As exciting as darkroom work can be, I am much happier with digital photography. No mess, no stinky chemicals, just great software that allows you to do virtually anything with your pictures.

Q. A friend of yours has as time machine that they are letting you use. But you can only witness two events in the history of the world? Which events would you like to witness and why?

A. I would love to witness the original Christmas, to see Joseph, Mary, Jesus, and hear the shepherds tell of their encounter with the angels. That is the most exciting thing I can think of. For my second journey, I would visit Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and Exhibition. I love amusement parks and especially live shows at amusement parks. The Wild West Show is a really exciting piece of Americana that would be a blast to see and be a part of.







Q. What movie impacted you the most as a child? Why?

A. I would say Cecil B. DeMille's “The Ten Commandments” had a great impact on me. I was just a child when it came out, and it was so powerful. It is bigger than life, scary, and inspiring. With powerhouse actors Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Edward G. Robinson, Anne Baxter, even today it is still awe inspiring. This movie just seemed to make Bible times real to me. It helped me to visualize the power of God’s hand in a way that you cannot do with a flannel graph board.





STEVE, ANY FINAL COMMENTS – THOUGHTS FOR MY READERS?

Thank you so much for this opportunity to share about my book. The interview was a wild ride and I enjoyed it. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to read my comments, and if you would like to read some of my teaching short stories, poems, articles, and some new Carter and Kat stories, visit me at:
http://www.authorsden.com/stevegroll You can learn more about “Beyond the Dead Forest” and a great contest at:http://beyondthedeadforest.com 


Steve

Thanks again Steve for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your books better. You are most generous in giving away TWO signed copies of your paperback book and also TWO AUDIO copies of your book. Wow!!!
Blessings to you on your writing journey.


Sincerely,


Nora :D
The Book Club Network
www.bookfun.org 



MANDATORY - PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing. Drawing will be for TWO paperback books and TWO AUDIO books!

DRAWING WILL BE - JUNE 2nd

For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can
1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (1) entry - please make a separate comment
Enter to win Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Groll@ http://ning.it/iAKNYw Please RT
3. Grab my button on my site and add it to yours (1)entry - please make a separate comment for each entry
4. Make a post on your blog about this drawing (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win (Use (At) and (dot) so that people won't be able to spam your email address) - I will contact the winner and need to hear from them within 48 hours to claim their prize! Winners chosen using Randomnumber.org.

ALL THE BEST TO YOU

Blessings
Nora :D

********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****

42 comments:

  1. Looks like a great book...thanks for the interview!

    Gail Mundy

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  2. I love reading great books. I do also love listening to them on audio. It's like you're reading a completely new book. It's really enjoyable. Especially when the producers get it right :)

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  3. Great interview! The kitty is sweet...I love cats. You know, I've read people answer the question about going back in time, to where would they go. I've never heard anyone answer Jesus's birth. That would be a great event to visit, that's for sure.

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    truebookaddictATgmailDOTcom

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  4. steve, thank you for publishing this book! i love the sentiments behind it. i think it has come across the world at the perfect time. x

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  5. Thanks for a chance to win. :)
    I'm a follower.

    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  6. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  7. Interesting interview! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to win a paperback book.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  8. I'm now following Finding Hope Through Fiction.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  9. I tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/#!/aikchien/status/66141087131107328

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  10. Love your testimony.

    janaevw AT gmail DOT com

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  11. Love your testimony!

    janaevwATgmailDOTcom

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  12. I would love to win an Audio version for my 13 and 11 year old sons. They listen to audio books all the time! martha(at)lclink(dot)com

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  13. Would love to have for niece who, with husband, trains missionaries in AU.

    Hope Name/url profile suffices for diection to leave email.

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  14. I would love to win this!!! thanks for a great interview!!!! Betsy

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  15. I looove the interview! Looking forward in reading the book.

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  16. Extra Entry:
    New GFC follower: We Fancy Books

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  17. Extra Entry:
    http://twitter.com/#!/WeFancyBooks/status/66857224139583488

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  18. Extra Entry:
    Grab the button @ http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com
    Right Side bar. Blogs We Love section.

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  19. Thank you for sharing this interesting, informative and revealing interview, Steve. Love and blessings,

    Regis

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  20. Thanks for the great interview! I love the idea of flying and agree that Jedi mind power would make life too boring. It was interesting learning that Steve enjoys photography. The picture of the vacant lot is BEAUTIFUL!!

    Kris
    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

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  21. New GFC Follower: Sakira

    --
    Kris
    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

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  22. Tweeted!
    http://twitter.com/#!/SummersKris/status/67055353036148737

    --
    Kris
    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

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  23. Grabbed your button!
    http://imaginaryreads.blogspot.com/

    --
    Kris
    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

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  24. Blogged about it!
    http://imaginaryreads.blogspot.com/2011/05/beyond-dead-forest.html

    --
    Kris
    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

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  25. Blogged about it! (entry two for blogging)
    http://imaginaryreads.blogspot.com/2011/05/beyond-dead-forest.html

    --
    Kris
    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

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  26. Steve,
    Since I've already read your book, and loved it, I won't enter into the drawing to give a chance to someone that hasn't read it yet! It is an awesom testimony that should be shared!
    I love your interview! You made me smile many times and I think I actually laughed out loud a time or two...Buffalo Bill huh?
    Many blessings to you and your testimony!

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  27. I love the title and picture on the front of the book and the fact that this book appeals to teenagers and young adults. Those who like the Twilight Series will certainly like this
    mystery. It's great that it teaches morals and values. As a retired elementary school teacher, I can tell you that since we can't teach Christianity or any religion in schools, morals and values is a must for children to be able to live successfully in this world. I enjoyed reading your interview very much and am excited to be in the drawing. Thank you!
    Judy Perry Drewett
    j_drewett@yahoo.com

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  28. Following via GFC

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  29. I want you all to know that I appreciate the many words of encouragement and great comments. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, and I will do my best to answer. Blessings to you all.

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  30. Knowing how wonderful your book is, it would be great to win it so I could share it with someone who would not have a chance to read it otherwise. You have a wonderful eye for beautiful scenery in surprising places and I think it is wonderful God has blessed you with many talents! I wish with you that your wife could see so she could enjoy your photographs as much as I and others do. God is really using you in so many ways! Blessings! Gailya K.

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  31. I enjoyed the interview and I would love to read your book. I also write YA and hope to influence the future generation with religious values. My goal, like yours, is to bring YA fiction out of the darkness and into the light. May be both keep writing.
    Diane Daniels, author of OVER THE MOON ddmcdaniels@gmail.com

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  32. I'd also love to be able to fly! That would be fun to travel through the sky wherever you wanted to!
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  33. GFC Follower
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

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  34. I liked the interview and liked that the author had some say in his cover. Some authors say they don't have any say!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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  35. GFC follower

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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  36. Tweeted

    https://twitter.com/#!/tessaa99/status/72176582470533120

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

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  37. BTDF changed the way I thought. After I read this book, I had a zeal about treating others as I would want to be treated. I almost look forward to someone treating me poorly so I can turn around and treat them kindly. It is amazing how many people I have gotten to lead to the Lord as a result.

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  38. I would love to win this book on audio for my hubby who listens to them while baling hay! Also I think my grandkis would love it, and I would love to read it an discuss it with them to see what they discerned before we talked about it. crmcc at setel dot com

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  39. Wonderful interview. Not sure if I am too late for he drawing or not...but that is ok. You ask some very original questions...I enjoyed it!

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  40. Guess I should leave my email address...just in case I am in time. darlene(at)darleneshortridge(dot)com

    ReplyDelete