Monday, November 17, 2014

DAY 7 ~ STRANDED ~ Interviews With The Authors' Helpers

If you've not seen the beginning of this week's post ~ check out DAY ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, and SIX first and come back to this.  Worth your time, I promise.

Don and Stephanie Prichard

A Marine Corps reservist sets sail on an anniversary cruise with his wife but ends up shipwrecked and bereaved on an uninhabited jungle island where he must protect the lives of three other survivors, unaware that one of them is responsible for his wife’s death.

 DAY Seven ~ November 17 ~ Interviews With The Helpers:

Dr. Betty Ray

AUTHOR: Dr. Ray, you supplied valuable medical advice for the book. What kinds of medical challenges did the castaways face on the island?

DR. RAY: Dehydration, diarrhea, sunburn, immersion foot, snake bites, wounds from animal attacks, knife and pistol wounds, land mine explosions, infections, shock—that pretty well covers it. Survival was an intense struggle for them.

AUTHOR: I guess so! What did you like about Stranded?

DR. RAY: Initially I read short isolated passages in the book relating to medical issues and wasn’t that impressed. Then you gave me the privilege of reading the entire book and it sprang to life. I was enthralled. I didn’t want to put it down. Catastrophe followed catastrophe but in a very believable way. It was so exciting I hurried through to find out what would happen next. Then I read the book a second time but much more slowly. What a wealth of detail I had missed in my eagerness to see what would happen next! This is an extraordinary adventure story with many thoughtful treasures waiting to be discovered and pondered along the way. 

AUTHOR: The book would have had a few gaping wounds without your medical intervention, Dr. Ray. Thank you for all your advice, both on the medical front and with other insights as well. Your enthusiasm for the book has us walking on clouds!

Brenda Bryant Anderson

AUTHOR: We met Brenda at Don’s and my very first writers’ conference and were fortunate to form a critiquing partnership with her a few years later. In fact, Brenda taught me more about writing than any class or workshop or person. Big hug to you, Brenda!

This year you published your debut novel and a prequel to it. What are their titles and what else is coming up?

BRENDA: Chain of Mercy came out in September. That's book 1 of the Coming Home series. The prequel, Pieces of Granite, released on November 11. Two additional books in the series, Memory Box Secrets and Finding Home will come out in 2015.

AUTHOR: Brenda, you’ve been very patient and flexible working with my sporadic schedule over the years. What did you particularly like about Stranded?

BRENDA: There are a number of things I love about Stranded, but one of my favorite

elements is the true-to-life detailing. The book is obviously written by someone with military and post-Vietnam era knowledge. And it's those little details that give the story depth and believability.

Besides that, I love the characters. Since the book is written by a husband-wife team, the reader gets a more authentic feel for the female and male protagonists than books written solely by a man or woman. Another plus of having you two as co-authors is that the story appeals across gender.

And then there's the story that you don't want to put down, which made critiquing difficult. I always wanted more!

AUTHOR: Thank you. All I can say is that your critiquing was an amazing help, and Don and I can’t thank you enough! Readers, be sure to check Brenda out at

Natalie Hanemann

AUTHOR: Natalie is a former fiction acquisition editor for Thomas Nelson Publishers, who "retired" to face the full-time challenge of raising four lively children. She now does freelance editing, so we hired her to do two edits for our finished manuscript: a developmental edit and a line edit. Natalie, please explain the difference between the two edits.

NATALIE: A developmental edit looks at the story from a more broad perspective, examining the overall plot (does the story hold together, does it resonate, is there enough tension to hold our attention, do we care about what's happening), characters (do we relate to them, do they grow, are they dimensional, are there too many, too few), themes (spiritual growth, shown in multiple ways). 

A line edit happens once the story is intact and we're done slashing and adding. This is a much closer examination of the story. At this stage, I cut extraneous sentences, trim redundant words, clarify murky sentences, fix grammar, align the text to match CMS (Chicago Manual of Style) standards . . . along with a thousand other little things.  

AUTHOR: Natalie's advice on the developmental edit helped us make several significant changes, while her eagle-eye on the line edit saved us from--oh my!--many embarrassing errors. Pats on the back weren't lacking either. With her permission, here's a taste of the encouraging comments she wrote in her editorial letter to us:

"Your level of research and detail really makes this story sing. I enjoyed experiencing island life in all its glory (or gore!). The four characters of Jake, Eve, Betty, and Crystal were unique, relatable, and easy to visualize. No one will ever say, after reading this book, that you have cardboard characters! You have a true talent for developing characters.

Another obvious talent that was evident was your ability to maintain tension in the manuscript. You would raise us up to a moment of extreme stress and then let us recover, just like the characters did."

AUTHOR: Natalie, your edits were a blessing to us--sort of like the cherry on top of a hot fudge sundae that brought it to completion--and we thank you for your excellent help! Writers, you can check Natalie's website at or email her at


CHECK DAY ONE'S POST to find out how to win this e-book or get an exchange for another on Amazon. . .DRAWING TO BE HELD TONIGHT ~ After 10PM

Last opportunity to enter drawing ~ SEE BELOW DIVIDER ~ POST A COMMENT  ~

~ Thank you coming to Journeys To Joy for this special week with this great couple ~ 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

DAY 6 ~ STRANDED ~ Devotional ~ Don and Stephanie Prichard

 Day Six~ If you've not seen Days 1~5, be sure to go back and see those before reading this one ~

Don and Stephanie Prichard

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why does He allow evil in the first place?

In the overarching theme of God’s sovereignty in Stranded, those are the questions that eat away at Jake’s and Eve’s hearts. The questions gnaw at our hearts too. Few of us have escaped personal trauma in our lives, and some of us have been whopped up the side of the head by them.  

Yet the Bible tells us that affliction and God’s goodness go hand in hand.

Wait—don’t I mean sometimes? Sometimes affliction and God’s goodness go hand in hand?


The Bible says always. Always is the big picture of God’s sovereignty. The beyond-the-sky, looking-down-from-the-heavens picture. The one that’s hard for us to handle and that generates the two questions at the opening of this devotional.

That’s because what we tend to grasp is the smaller picture. The down-on-earth, below-the-clouds picture—yep, the sometimes picture.

Sometimes, because our eyes look at circumstances and those circumstances hurt. The tsunami that wipes out hundreds of thousands of people. The war that kills thousands of soldiers. The thief who steals our credit card. The spouse who commits adultery. Rejection, exclusion, hate.

A fallen creation and a fallen creature. Those are our circumstances. And we are right to cry—and cry out—because of the pain they bring. But not to cry out at God. Not to blame Him. Not to question Him.

Why? Because God is not a fallen Creator. He is sovereign and He is good. He is in control—even over evil. And He is accomplishing good—even during evil. Those two great truths give us the always picture.

When we can’t lay ahold of the always because the circumstances and the pain are too close to see God’s goodness, we can still cry out to God and receive His comfort. We can still lift our eyes to the heavens and receive His healing grace. We can still trust that He loves us and find He is working on our behalf. 

In the end, we are the benefactors of God’s good sovereignty. Evil and its pain will be used by God to make us wiser, kinder, better able to love our neighbor and our Savior. We can say with the psalmist, “It was good for me to be afflicted.” Psalm 119:71

But those who reject Him and fault Him? They are left with only their pain.

A Marine Corps reservist sets sail on an anniversary cruise with his wife but ends up shipwrecked and bereaved on an uninhabited jungle island where he must protect the lives of three other survivors, unaware that one of them is responsible for his wife’s death.

CHECK DAY ONE'S POST to find out how to win this e-book or get an exchange for another on Amazon. . .DRAWING TO BE HELD Monday November 17th.


TOMORROW ~ DAY SEVEN ~  STRANDED ~ Interviews with Author Helpers