Monday, March 30, 2009

Salty Like Blood- Launch experiment

OK, a HUGE thank you to those of you who purchased my new novel from on the launch day, March 24. Did it work? Only time will tell if it has a lasting result. Over the short term, here's what happened. At five o'clock, "Salty Like Blood" was ranked over 11,000. By a little after six, it had climbed as high as 133!

There are so many amazon categories. In the religious/mystery book category, the only book ahead of mine was "The Shack." No surprise there. The Shack has been an amazing seller for months now. In the Thriller/medical category, "Salty Like Blood" came in at number two behind "Scarpetta," a novel by Patricia Cornwell. Again, I'm in great company. In the literature/medical, I came in at number two right behind Jodi Picoult's new novel, "Handle With Care."

In the end, my hope is that my readers are challenged by the underlying theme of forgiveness, and amazon numbers can never measure that.

For those of you who participated in the "hour-buy" off amazon, your free books should have arrived by now.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Free book for your help!

OK, I've never been much into the self-promotion scene. It has always felt a little greasy. That said, when you know something is a work of grace in your life (like the ability to write a good story), promoting it should bring glory to the ultimate source, that is, my loving Father. So, here's the deal: I want to give away a few free books. My new novel, "Salty Like Blood" launches officially tomorrow, 3/24/2009. I want to encourage my readers to purchase the book from tomorrow between the hours of 5 and 6 pm. Why? Because if enough people buy the book in a short time, it is likely to get a better rank and perhaps gain the attention of fiction browsers. So, buy the book from tomorrow during the 5-6 hour and then contact me through email through this website. The first twenty people who email me a copy of their order from amazon will get a free signed novel (one of my earlier novels) by me.

That's a great deal. No postage. Nada. Just a free signed book for helping me launch "Salty Like Blood."

How's that for an offer?

OK, I'm done promoting. I'll crawl back in my writing hole now....


Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Novel Q&A

OK, I thought a new format for this blog might be fun. Below is a list of reader questions for my upcoming novel, Salty Like Blood which will be released on March 24, 2009.

· How did you come up with the concept for this story? I was initially intrigued with the idea of whether a parent could forgive a man for abducting/killing his or her child. I envisioned a scene where the parent and the perpetrator of this horrible crime could meet face to face. What would they say to each other? Would it be possible for a parent to forgive?

· Forgiveness is such a challenging issue. Do you think it’s possible for a parent to forgive the impossible? Not only possible, but necessary. Remember, until we forgive, we are bound in a prison of our own bitterness. Will it be easy? Never!

· Can you share a few things that might make forgiveness easier? It is never easy, but it is easier if we remember a few things. 1- The ground is level at the foot of the cross. In other words, we’ve all sinned. We come as sinners to forgive those who have sinned against us. 2- We need to ask God to let us see the ones who have hurt us through his eyes, the eyes of a loving God who gave his son to die in their place. 3- The person who hurt us is not our enemy. Often they are the victim of our true enemy.

· How is your life in Africa reflected in this book? In many ways, Africa has started seeping into my writing. My life as a surgeon has been a continuous source of drama, bringing me into contact with all kinds of human conflict…great stuff for fiction! A village hospital in Africa can be a difficult place to be, a place of human suffering and blood, a place of pain and sweat…exactly the type of thing we delight in reading about (to experience vicariously), but would love to avoid in our personal experience. The Somali character in this book was inspired by my work with the beautiful Somali people who are refugees living in Kenya where I worked.

* How did you come up with this title? I was looking for a title with layered meaning. I wanted to use a metaphor, and use words that aren’t immediately linked in people’s minds. This title came to me while I was walking up the rocky dirt road leading from my house in Kijabe, Kenya to the hospital. Often writing ideas come to me like that. I’m not sitting at the keyboard trying to think it out; I’m away, doing something else, and my right brain comes up with it. It’s as if I’ve taken the issue off the front burner to let it simmer on the back burner and suddenly, without trying, the answer comes bubbling up! Salty not only refers to the fact that forgiveness sometimes demands sweat, the salt image comes up over and over because of the salt water setting.

* Why did you choose this issue (the issue of child abduction)? Because it is such an emotionally strong issue. It is charged, like dynamite. The explosion is so great in the life of my protagonist, Dr. Conners, that everything unravels. I wanted to use a strong issue to show that forgiveness isn’t just necessary for the one being forgiven; it is absolutely critical to rescue the life of the one who needs to grant forgiveness.

* Do you always write with a moral premise in mind? Not always in mind, but the moral premise is always there, in every story, or the novel will be groundless, always floating about looking for sure footing. The moral premise gives the novel direction. Without it, the reader may be entertained, but little else. The stories that stick with you long after the book is closed, always have a controlling theme. For Salty Like Blood, I’d state it like this: Unforgiveness leads to a loss of control and self-destruction; Forgiveness leads to emotional healing and wholeness.