Contemporary Christian Fiction discussion

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Price of Trust

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message 1: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments My 13 year old had to spend a night in the hospital with a very serious sinus infection, so he had to have IV antibiotic. He is home now and doing well. The positive from it is that I got to read The Price of Trust while I was there :) Can't wait to discuss it. How is the discussion organized? Do you go by each chapter, wait for everyone to read it? This is the first book I am doing with you all so wanted to have an idea of how it 'works'.

message 2: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments I'm sorry your child was sick ~ that's never fun, and I'm glad he's doing better.

Honestly, I don't know how to run it, as this is my first ever discussion. Others have taken chapter by chapter, while other book groups take and have the readers ask specific questions. If you have thoughts, write them down and I'm sure we'll find time to chat.
If you'd rather do a chapter by chapter, I'm sure that would work great too.

Anyone else have an opinion?

message 3: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments That sounds great, Trish! I'd like it if you could please start this off as I really don't have a clue as to what I'm doing...

message 4: by Teric (new)

Teric Darken (tericdarken) | 144 comments Oops... See what a doofus I am... Amanda told the campers to rise and shine over at the "March Winner" thread, so I've already posted twice over there. I've FINALLY learned how to vote in the forum, now I just need to learn where to post!

Following are my two previous posts, the latter includes a question for discussion:

Message One:

Amanda wrote: "Is everyone ready to have a book discussion?! Great! Because I am too! Hope to see y'all tomorrow, bright and early :)"

Alright, so here I am with a bag of water and a glass of chips... It's bright and early, Amanda... 12:03 a.m. to be exact. And where are you? Hellooo, hostess with the mostess... I'm ready to discuss The Price of Trust!


Message Two:

YAAWWWN... still waiting. 05:19 hours.

(*looks for his cereal bowl and the mainline for his coffee intake)

(For those who may not know, Amanda and I have an ongoing, friendly rivalry. All is meant in good humor. Don't let the cherub face on her book cover fool you.)

Alright, Amanda,

You said bright and early. So, being as that I'm the only happy camper around at the present, I might as well kick off the first question:

I've read in an interview where you stated you had initially written The Price of Trust for your daughter. Can you give us a little background or insight into that? What made you decide to turn a personal story into a public one?

Thanks, friend, and blessings!

message 5: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Good morning, Teric! Glad to see you on here already ~:)
And yes, I'm a happy camper. Mornings are good to me. It's night-time that I turn into a pumpkin.

So, Teric asked about why I turned a personal story to a public one.

I've always written. I'm a picky reader and when I can't find a book that I like, I'll write my own. So, when hubby *had* to have a new computer for school, he said I could use it ~ (probably not a good idea!) I started typing a story for my kids, my daughter especially, because I wanted her to know that she doesn't have to put up with abuse. I wanted it to be an encouragement.

When I had finished the book (102,000 words) I was really excited and I mentioned it to hubby that I was finished. He printed it out, and asked me to try at least one time to have it published. He had to use Scriptures on me, I was so reluctant. He even wheedled and said he'd be rather upset if I didn't. So, I tried ONE time, and the rest is history.

I guess you could say that this book was actually a love letter to my children.

message 6: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 74 comments I think I posted somewhere else too. I'll go find it and copy and paste it here.

message 7: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 74 comments I've never participated in book discussion before, so I will observe for just a bit till I get the hang of things. Ok...I will ask this (twisted my own arm). Who do you like to read Amanda? What authors influence you?

message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Hi Darlene! It's nice to see you here! Thanks for stopping by, and for twisting your arm. :)

Let's see. Authors that influence me. I'm more of a classical reader. I like the oldies like Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, even William Shakespeare, as well as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

When I found out that oftentimes Charles Dickens would write about a specific society issue, that caught my attention and made me look at his writings differently. And love them even more.

Jane Austen because she had the gift. All the obstacles she had to overcome just to be published, definitely not something to shake your head at! Plus, who in the world doesn't know about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett? I'd love to create characters like that.

William Shakespeare has some of the most beautiful stories out there that just speak to my little romantic heart! I think The Twelfth Night is my absolute favorite. I didn't care for Romeo and Juliet though, because I'm a happy ending only person. <---that is a major hint for all my writings...

C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien because the good guys always won. ;) And, I was always surprised at C.S. Lewis's ability to write an allegory. I just don't think I'm that creative, so I love his writings.

There are so many more that it would be difficult to name them all in one place!

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Amanda, the classics are the best. I'm more of an adventure lover, though Austen is definitely up there in my list of classic favorites. Alexandre Dumas is also up there. D'Artagnan's still one of my favorite characters of all time.

I have a question for you that's more of a writer-to-writer thing than about your book (which I haven't read yet, sorry. Will get to that!). How long have you been writing? What got you into writing? And, lastly, how long did it take you to write Price of Trust?

message 10: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 74 comments Amanda, what Christian authors do you read? Besides C.S. Lewis that is. Is any part of your novel true to life? Or is it entirely fiction?

message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Elisa wrote: "Amanda, the classics are the best. I'm more of an adventure lover, though Austen is definitely up there in my list of classic favorites. Alexandre Dumas is also up there. D'Artagnan's still one ..."

Hi Elisa! Thank you for joining us ~ I'm always happy to meet new friends!

I've written for as long as I can remember ~ I would take pencil and paper and hide away and write little stories and hide them in my desk at home. I thought it was a safe place until just recently when my mother told me she read everything I ever wrote. Good thing I was always a 'clean' writer! :) As I got older, it got more advanced, but I remember actually finishing a full length novella during Government class! *blushing* Then college came along ~ that was an awesome time! I had the best English teacher ever. She'd give us a theme, and I'd happily comply. Never got under an A in her class, and I still have the stories. Hidden away, of course!

It took me about a year to write The Price of Trust because I didn't write religiously. I took my time and only when the need/desire struck. Now I'm either reviewing, writing, or editing.

message 12: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Darlene wrote: "Amanda, what Christian authors do you read? Besides C.S. Lewis that is. Is any part of your novel true to life? Or is it entirely fiction?"

Good morning, Darlene! It's nice to see you here today :)

I read a variety of Christian authors, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, Jerry Jenkins, and Janette Oke for a while. I've been finding there's a lot of new Christian authors that I'm looking forward to reading, so that's exciting!

Is any part of the novel true to life? In short, yes. But it's mostly a work of fiction. In all of my stories, there are elements of situations that I've been through or dealt with. I look at those awful times and hope that maybe I could be a help to someone else one day.

Thanks for your questions!

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Amanda, it's honestly nice to hear about your stories. I know I haven't read the book so I can talk about that, but I'm honestly impress with you completing a book within a year! I've been at the same story for four years, haha, so one year and not even doing it hardcore is amazing.

Hats off to you.

It sounds like you had a positive, very creative environment for your writing to flourish. And that's always a great thing. =)

Oh, and I think that every book has facets of a writer in it, whether we realize it or not when we're initially writing it.

I guess my other question would be why Christian fiction? I noticed on your blog that you said you write only "clean" fiction. What exactly does that mean? (I'm such a question freak, sorry if that was too much).

message 14: by Darlene (new)

Darlene | 74 comments Are you working on book 2? If so, is it a sequel? Or a stand alone?

message 15: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (courtneymel) | 15 comments I am a youth leader at my church and we have a couple of young girls that have struggled with abuse and I really found this book to be great to pass on to those girls! I've had my own personal experience with abuse too and to put it in to words would be hard but I like that you did just that Amanda, for your daughter! Truly amazing! Are you working on any other new books?

message 16: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments Some of us were having our own little discussion under the topping of book discussions rather than this general one :0 Copy and pasting my question from that thread

Amanda, it isn't typical to find an author that writes a love letter to her children that has physical and mental abuse as part of the plot.
What would you say is symbolic in your story of the abuse? Would you say the symbol of the physical abuse to Carly represents the abuse the world gives to God's children?
What other people and circumstances in the story are symbols for something in our Christian walk?
Melanie :)

message 17: by Steve (new)

Steve Groll | 18 comments I hope this doesn't put you on the spot, Amanda, or embarrass me because I wasn't paying close enough attention, but I am soooo curious about who was making the prank calls to Carly at the store. I know it wasn't the ugly man who bought boxes of nails because Carly caught him peeking at the number to pass it on to Ian long after the calls started. And who was the guy at the mall who confronted Kelly and Carly? Are these just mysteries we have to ponder? Thanks.

message 18: by Melanie (new)

Melanie (melanieinoh) | 28 comments I always figured it was Ian making the prank calls?

message 19: by Steve (new)

Steve Groll | 18 comments Maybe Billy?

message 20: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments All right, I'm so sorry that I've been MIA today. I needed to help my parents out and then church tonight. So I'm getting back here, and I'll answer in order.

I think we really need to decide where we're going to go! I think Trish had it set up on the other board. Let me send you the link.

But, I've been posting on both as well, so whichever you comment on, I'll answer! :)

message 21: by Amanda (last edited Mar 02, 2011 07:39PM) (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments Here's the link to the actual thread, but I'll answer both ~ it's not a bother!

First and foremost, I'd like to thank each of you for taking the time out to read my book. That's a little scary for me, as it holds so much of my heart!

I'll start with Melanie's comment. Melanie, you asked "What would you say is symbolic in your story of the abuse? Would you say the symbol of the physical abuse to Carly represents the abuse the world gives to God's children?"

Yes and no. When Carly entangled herself with a man such as Ian even against her father's guidance, she set herself up for a world of hurt. As parent's, we're not to keep our children to ourselves when they grow up, but to train them up and teach them. No one loves their child like a parent, and no one wants their child to succeed more than a parent. So it is with God. He, our Heavenly Father, wishes to protect and guide us, and when we just don't listen, we end up reaping the rewards, or paying the consequences.

Now, I also wanted to show that physical as well as mental abuse happens to Christians too. It's not just a secular problem, and as Christians, we need to seek God on everything, even matters of the heart in an effort to guard against these things. Again, Carly went against the guidance of her father and ignored his warnings, just as we Christians sometimes ignore God and make our problems worse.

When Carly finally opened up to Joe is symbolic of when the Christian finally gives everything over to God and submits. Submission in our society has been changed to mean something ugly, but it's actually a freeing experience. When we submit to someone who loves us more than life itself, there is such happiness that it's incomprehensible. That's what Joe and Carly's love for one another represent.

Billy is an example of what hatred can do. He's the symbol of the world. He hated the fact that he was losing someone he thought he could love and he wanted to strike out at that person, almost causing her to lose her life.

Sam & Sue are symbols of how Christians should be an encouragement to one another. So many times I've seen Christians hurt other Christians that it's discouraging and depressing. We were meant to bear one anothers burdens, not BE a burden!

There are more, but I'd like to know what symbolism you found, and tell us your thoughts!

message 22: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Stephan (amandastephan) | 140 comments All righty then! I think I've answered all the questions on the other discussion board ~ sorry I had things so messed up and difficult! Sometimes I'm just an airhead. Here's the link:

message 23: by Aileen (new)

Aileen Stewart I read this book last June and was blown away by the quality of writing Ms. Stephan demonstrated. I have read many Christian Romance novels, some just mediocre, some good, and a very few that I considered intensely delicious. As far as I am concerned, Ms. Stephan's novel falls in this latter category. I am seriously looking forward to her next offering!

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