Murray is offering 6 commenters their choice of 1 PDF format of either these novels: THE LAST WALTZ or SWEET CHILD OF MINE or A ROAD CALLED LOVE or THE ROSE OF LANCASTER COUNTY or either devotionals ROOTED or STREAMS. Each is for personal use only and cannot be loaned or distributed. Details of each book are found either on Murray's website (see below for link) or on Amazon. The winner will be announced here on Friday, October 4th, between 5-6 PM EST. For convenience, please leave your contact information within your comment. Thanks!
I have served as a pastor for 25 years and also done missions work in nations as diverse as Ireland, Italy, Colombia, and Nepal. All during those years I was writing when I had free time. I used the stories in the pulpit in Canada and the United States, I used them on the mission field, reworked them as dramas and acted them out in churches and in the streets. Whatever kind of story I wrote one thing had to be consistent – fiction or nonfiction they all had to be stories that were carriers of truth.
In 2010, in God’s timing and not mine, doors began to open for writing contracts with publishers I never dreamed would be interested in me. Some wanted devotional and theological books but most wanted fiction for the millions of readers who were hungry for well-written stories that would inspire, challenge, motivate, and, yes, delight. So I set out to do those very things with the tales that began to fill my imagination.
I have always loved historical fiction because while technology and clothing and cultural norms may change, people do not. The human in the 21st century can connect with the human in the 17th century because both are living souls made in the image of God, both are broken, both seek redemption and restoration and wholeness, and both are trying to find their way in a world and a life and a faith that is not always easy to understand or embrace.
In the same way that contemporary fiction allows readers to see themselves in the stories of other people in the world of 2013 and 2014, historical fiction permits them to see themselves in the stories of people of decades or centuries before. What I like to do is take ordinary men and women, the same sort of persons that my readers are, and plunge them into extraordinary circumstances – the outbreak of World War One, the battle lines at Gettysburg, the deck of the USS Arizona on the morning of December 7th, 1941, the witness stand at a witches trial in Colonial America, a prison camp in Nazi Germany in 1945. I want my readers to get totally involved in the drama of the moment and all its difficulties and dangers and grace.
How will the men and women in my stories pray? How will the Bible help them through peril and outright disaster? How will they help one another when a loved one is lost in combat or to a terrible disease? What words will come to their lips when it is time to speak out and save a human life? When will they fight? When will they lay down their swords?
What begins to happen with my readers is they take on the same struggles and decisions and wonder what they would pray, what passage they would seek out in the Bible, how they would bear up under the loss of a child or spouse, what words they would find to speak truth at a trial where everything was lies. They choose to emulate the faith of characters that never gave up and never stopped believing. They too choose to live and love and overcome, finding God and his grace during the darkest moments of their lives. And by doing so, and living out the story in their own hearts and souls, they begin to grow.
For the day comes when for many what was once fiction becomes fact. Some are thrown into the extraordinary circumstances of 9/11. Some open the door to two uniformed officers with hard news about their son. Some must somehow survive the ravages of a hurricane that has destroyed their home and is threatening to destroy their life. Many have only the Bible and prayer to turn to when everything in their world is turned upside down and inside out.
That is why I write.
Author Murray Pura on Everyone’s Story: Why contemporary readers enjoy historical fiction. (Tweet This)
How does story serve an author and author serve story? Visit with Murray Pura for insights. (Tweet This)
Murray Pura: Creating characters that readers want to emulate in life. (Tweet This)
#ChristianFiction #BookGiveaway of Murray Pura to 6 commenters. Be one! (Tweet This)
Murray Pura was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, just north of the Dakotas and Minnesota. His first novel was released in Toronto in 1988 and was a finalist for the Dartmouth Book Award. Since that time he has published a number of novels, two collections of short stories, and several nonfiction titles including the Zondervan books Rooted and Streams and the Baker devotional Majestic & Wild. He has been a finalist for several awards in the US and Canada and in 2012 won the Word Award of Toronto for Best Historical Novel. His book The Wings of Morning has been nominated for several literary awards in the United States including Best Inspirational Romance and Best Historical Romance. Murray lives and writes in southwestern Alberta and is currently published by Barbour, Baker, Harper One, Zondervan, and Harvest House as well as several other publishing houses. His releases for 2013 include: Ashton Park, The Rose of Lancaster County, A Road Called Love, Seven Oaks, The Painted Sky, Whispers of a New Dawn, Beneath the Dover Sky, and An Amish Family Christmas.
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