Friday, March 1, 2013

Yvonne Anderson: Keep Possibilities Open

Everyone's Story welcomes the 2nd visit of author and all-round lovely woman, Yvonne Anderson. Many know Yvonne from her association with the awesome blog Novel Rocket, her own blog Y's Words, and through connecting with Yvonne at various social media sites. But, did you know that she spends most her her time on the planet Gannah researching her books? Be sure to view Yvonne's take below on the necessity of never saying no to find out more about this incredible planet, as well as Yvonne's secret source of strength! Also, Yvonne offers a very nice book giveaway. Do take a moment to say hello--she'd love to hear from you.

Book Giveaway:
To one randomly chosen commenter, Yvonne is offering the choice between either Book 1 or Book 2 of the Gateway to Gannah Series, or you may also select the opportunity to receive both books. Awesome--right? The winner will be announced here between 4-6 EST on March 8th. For convenience, please leave an email address within the body of your comment. Below is the synopsis of both books.


BOOK 1: THE STORY IN THE STARS
Ancient Gannah was well on the way to taking over the whole galaxy, until the people of Karkar engineered a virus that stopped them in their tracks. Now, eight centuries later, the plague has struck again. When the League of Planets receives the distress signal, Karkar-born doctor Pik is ordered to find a cure, despite his hatred for the whole Gannahan race. By the time he arrives on Gannah, it’s almost too late; Dassa is the only survivor. And she has a mission of her own.

Dassa and Pik survive a pirate attack, unsafe starcraft, food poisoning, vicious beasts, and a plane crash. But the hardest part is enduring one another’s company. The Creator who wrote the story of redemption in the stars has commanded her to share it with her reluctant savior. That’s not all He expects of her, but the rest is unthinkable.

BOOK 2: WORDS IN THE WIND
Dassa's landing craft crashes on Gannah 10,000 kilometers from the settlement just as a blizzard sets in. Injured, she takes refuge from the storm in Ruwach Gorge. In the ancient Gannahan language, ruwach means both “wind” and “spirit,” and Dassa’s not sure which meaning applies. Seeking food and shelter, she seems supernaturally led to an older-than-old stronghold she recognizes from ancient legends—stories she’s been taught were myths. As she explores, she uncovers indisputable evidence that many things she thought she knew are in error.

At the settlement, her husband, Pik, must not only try to find her, but he also must take charge in her absence. Rebellious settlers and a wayward daughter make it difficult enough. But when the animals threaten to break the ancient treaty and resume the old Wildlife Wars, Pik’s hard-pressed to hold things together. He’s afraid that if he ever manages to find Dassa, she’ll have no home to return to.

Alone in the mysterious canyon where reality and fairytale are flipped, Dassa wonders the same thing. Though separated, she and Pik learn together whom to trust and which lies lead to death.

Never Say Never by Yvonne Anderson

Though I’ve always loved to read, I never aspired to be a novelist. Though I met Christ in 1972, my first experiences with Christian fiction didn’t impress me, and for many years, I avoided any title sitting on that shelf. Though I enjoyed the occasional fantasy, science fiction always seemed too dark and depressing, too godless, or too full of technical jargon for me to enjoy it.

Nevertheless, today, I write Christian sci-fi.

I was in my forties when, much to my dismay, the Holy Spirit prompted me to write a novel. I prayed about it constantly. Asked God to stop me. But He kept giving me the green light, and I kept writing.

Early on, I realized there was no story worth telling other than, in one form or another, the “old, old story of Jesus and His love.” But… Christian fiction? I could never write that stuff, Lord!

Never say never.

In the next few years, I completed four novels, got involved with some knowledgeable people, learned much about the craft, burned the first two manuscripts, revised and re-revised the third, and set sail across the stormy Sea of Submissions.

And ended up shipwrecked. Standing in a Christian bookstore looking for similar titles to compare mine with when writing proposals. Deciding there wasn’t a novel on those shelves I’d spend my money on, so how could I expect someone else to pay their hard-earned cash for mine?

And resolving to never write fiction again. Ever. I’d misinterpreted what God was trying to tell me, and it was time to quit chasing something He never intended me to catch.

Never say never.

While nursing my wounds, I came across a little nonfiction book called The Gospel in the Stars propounding the theory that when God created the heavens and the earth, He put the constellations in the sky to tell early man the gospel story through pictures. It was an intriguing concept, and I wanted to explore it further.

What if, I thought, someone wrote a tale in which the characters discovered this story in the stars? The idea ignited my imagination, despite my having sworn off fiction writing forever.

Perhaps because I’d just been reading about stars, I gave the story an outer-space setting. I created a planet for the action to center around, naming it Gannah. I started writing.

And saw right away I’d found my niche. I could almost see God grinning, saying, See? This is what I had in mind for you all along. You just weren’t ready for it before.

I had such fun with that book I had to write another. Next thing I knew, I was offered a three-book contract. Now I’m drafting the fourth title in my Gateway to Gannah series. (Though this one’s not under contract, it’s necessary to bring it all to a satisfactory conclusion.)

So this, friends, is why I, of all unlikely people, write Christian science fiction: because God has a great sense of humor.

Author Bio:
Yvonne Anderson lives in rural Ohio with her husband of 37 years and one of her four grown kids. Her five grandchildren live in Virginia, which is entirely too far away.

Formerly a legal secretary, Yvonne works part time as a Virtual Assistant but spends most of her time on the planet Gannah researching her books. A member of ACFW, The Lost Genre Guild, Independent Author Network, and International Thriller Writers, she serves as contest administrator for Novel Rocket, named four times to Writer’s Digest list of the 101 Best Websites for Writers.

Yvonne is a regular contributor to the blog Speculative Faith and The Borrowed Book. She also shares a few wise words on her personal site, Y’s Words. You can connect with her on Twitter; on Goodreads; or, if you insist, on Facebook.
The first two books of her Gateway to Gannah series are available as print or ebooks on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. She looks for the release of the third in 2013.

Book #1, The Story in the Stars on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Book #2, Words in the Wind on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Yvonne's Ah-hahs to Tweet:
"Never Say Never." (Click To Tweet)
"He put the constellations in the sky to tell early man the gospel story through pictures." (Click To Tweet)
"God has a great sense of humor." (Click To Tweet)


25 comments:

  1. My reading tastes are varied, but something about this story line has grabbed my attention. I love the idea of God's story in the stars, so an author turning that in fiction sounds like something I'd want to read. Also, the Ruwach language meaning wind and spirit makes it sound to me that the author has a love for Hebrew (and possibly Israel) since the Hebrew word for Holy Spirit is Ruach HaKodesh. That may be the item that has caught my attention more than anything else.

    This is a wonderful interview that shows the unique personalities of both the author and God, and I enjoyed reading the entire post. The books are definitely going on TBR list. I'm looking forward to see what all God can do with a reluctant author.

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    1. Welcome, Crystal, to Everyone's Story. I'm glad you found this little but growing corner of cyber space. What awesome comments you've shared--you made my day, and I know Yvonne will be delighted to hear from you. Blessings.

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    2. Thanks, Crystal!
      You're absolutely right about my love for Israel. The only Hebrew I know, however, is learned from Strong's Concordance. It's spotty, but has supplied me with "Gannahan" words for the books. If you read The Story in the Stars, you'll see what I'm talking about.

      I especially appreciate your last statement, "I'm looking forward to see what all God can do with a reluctant author." At present I'm at a particularly reluctant place, and that resonated with me big time. Yes, Lord, show us what you can do with me!

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  2. What a beautiful story and grace-filled perspective! I have heard of the "gospel in the stars" theory but never looked into it. I am now intrigued anew! God is so amazingly creative, and what an awesome example of His initiating love--a love that goes to such great and creative lengths to draw us meager humans to Himself!

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    1. Hi, Jennifer. I love your visits! I have Yvonne to thank for introducing me to this idea and I'm very intrigued. Just as He told His parables, why wouldn't He also light up the night sky with His message, aware that so many looked to the sky for signs?

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  3. Hi Elaine, great blog:-) Hi Yvonne... thank you for this inspiring story...I smiled reading this...I know all too well that when God gives you a purpose, he is "relentless" until you carry out his plans...his way of saying the purpose is much bigger than you. Thanks ladies :-)

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    1. Thanks, Winsome, I appreciate your comments. And speaking of smiling, your name makes me smile. Your mother must be a dear, creative lady.
      And I agree -- God has a way of gently (or sometimes less so) pushing us in the direction He wants us to go. I just can't figure out why we're often so stubborn!

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  4. Winsome, welcome back :) I love learning from my viewers and guests--you just gave me a hugh oh-wow moment: perhaps this mighty desire to write and publish is "relentless" within me--and just won't simmer down--because He's planted these words within me to be shared. I'm not trying to sound egocentric here, but I'm getting what you mean. Coincidentally, take a look at today's Bible quote on the right-hand side of the page. Isaiah 55:8-9 Nice, huh?

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    1. Thanks Elaine...I found the verse...I will keep it close to my heart:)

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  5. I've read Yvonne's first book Story In the Stars. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to reading the second book. I grew up with "never say never" and can readily identify with that when the Lord asks me to do hard things. Thanks for a great post, Elaine! Anita

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    1. Anita, glad for your visit, glad you enjoyed Yvonne's segment. Your words have blessed me today.

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    2. Wow, I'm excited to learn someone's read my book -- you're in an exclusive club, Anita! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  6. Learn so much along the way
    Never now what he has at play
    But each step sure leads to another one
    As he too likes to have fun
    Awesome that you made it so far
    At your bar
    And now the cat hears God
    Wants him to go eat a yummy cod. haha

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    1. Hey Pat! Always a pleasure to see you here. Throw my cat a cod as well, and yours and mine can be the best of pals! Take care.

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    2. To reply with a rhyme
      that's aptly sublime
      I haven't the time.
      So this verse (boo hoo!)
      Will just have to do.

      And that's that.
      Thanks, Pat!

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    3. Very clever, Yvonne :)

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  7. I've read the first story in the series "Story in the Stars" - what an amazing read. I was able to relate it to some of our current modern day issues in politics, geographical, religious divides... for learning a whole new or blended language. Thank you Yvonne for the inspiration! Holley Henderson

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    1. Holly, thanks for your visit. Thanks for making both my day and what I'm sure will be Yvonne's day :)

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    2. Hi, Holley! What a nice surprise to see you here! I appreciate your constant encouragement. Give yourself a hug for me, would ya?

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  8. Bobbie RenoMarch 06, 2013

    I love Sci-Fi. I think writing Sci-Fi is the most difficult and challenging. The idea of "The Story in the Stars" is so intriqing to me. I want to read this. Fascinating!

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    1. Thanks Bobbie. I hope you have a chance to read it -- and I hope you'll love it! Thanks for stopping by to say hello.

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    2. Hi Bobbie--so glad you visited and enjoyed Yvonne's guest appearance.

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  9. Yvonne, thank you for your 2nd guest appearance on Everyone's Story. Once again you've been a great hit, especially with many international viewers. May you continue to have continued blessings on your novels. Thanks too for the awesome giveaway...

    And the winner of Yvonne's two novels, THE STORY IN THE STARS and WORDS IN THE WIND is Bobbie. Congratulations. Yvonne and I will contact you directly.

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  10. Thank you for having me, Elaine!

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