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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guest Blogger R. J. Larson and The Prophet

Today, I'm thrilled to share with you an author who shares my beloved home city of Colorado Springs...along with several other Christian authors. You're going to love what she has to say about dreams.


R. J. LARSON is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women's Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman's Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.

by R. J. Larson
Published by Bethany House


Ela Roeh of Parne doesn't understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She's undignified, bad tempered, and only seventeen--not to mention that no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as the elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite's prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Yet she cannot live without Him....

Readers, buy your copy of Prophet today!


It’s always a joy to imagine a new plotline. To wander into different worlds and meet new characters whose thoughts or feelings strike a chord that I can relate to—or at least sympathize with in my own life.

As an author, I’ve been asked where I get ideas for my articles and potential books. Well, usually my inspirations strike while I’m rational, calm, awake, and reading the news, watching television, or listening to others. Usually.

However, at the risk of sounding cliché, the initial idea for my latest works first appeared in a dream. Two years ago, I woke up with a vivid image lingering in my thoughts. A frightened young woman kneeling in a dark room, praying, staring at a glowing vinewood branch, while trying to make a life-changing choice: Heed the call of her beloved Creator, knowing His offer meant that she would die young…or…ignore His call and live to be silver-haired and undoubtedly filled with regrets—and her desperate longing to hear His voice throughout her life.

What’s a gal to do?

No, not the young gal in my thoughts! Me. When this unexpected dream-image struck, I was already absorbed in an 1890’s plotline I loved. (Still love!) This new idea wasn’t something I wanted to pursue as an author. This new idea wasn’t historical, it was fantasy—a genre I loved to read, but hadn’t considered writing. I refused to wander into the fantasy realm. It wouldn’t work. Or would it? No. Absolutely not. I sat in front of my computer and faced chapter 8 of my cherished 1890’s novel and tried to concentrate.

By the end of that day, after consuming appalling amounts of chocolate and potato chips, I knew I was in trouble. The frightened young woman now had a name—Ela. And I couldn’t ignore Ela or her beloved Creator, who’d asked Ela to become His prophet. Worse, chapter 8 of my Victorian work in progress remained chapter 8. I’d made no progress because I’d been pestered by Ela, and I was fretting about her. Poor girl! What would happen to her? Could I help her?

*Deep breath.* I was being dragged into a fantasy realm.

In my thoughts, I was no longer enjoying tea and polite conversations in elegant Victorian parlors. I saw no silk gowns and experienced no adventures in the Rocky Mountains with a rambunctious young family. Instead, I saw Ela’s prophet-girl foes, sword fights, royal tyrants, monsters, and Ela’s charming but misguided suitors.

“Lord,” I prayed, “can’t someone else write this story? It’s not me.”

Yes…well…I’m sure the Lord smiled.

After days of resisting and making no further progress on chapter 8, I gave in. I emailed my dear agent, Tamela, explained my difficulty, and begged permission to write fantasy, which is not a genre she usually handles. Tamela—bless her!—agreed to consider this new proposal, PROPHET.

Now, almost two years later, one unwelcomed dream has led to three fantasy novels, the first of which is available through Bethany House Publishers. Will I ever return to my lovely 1890’s novel? I hope so. For now, I’m literally chasing my dream. Or, rather, my dream is chasing me!

* * * * *

Thank you, R.J., for sharing with us today.

Guest Question: Have you been trying to ignore a dream? If so, what is it?

ENTRY RULES Readers, leave your email address (name at domainname dot com/net) along with your answer to the question for your chance to win a FREE copy of the book above. If you do not answer the question, and your email address isn't provided, you will not be entered.

This week, the contest is open to residents of the US/Canada only.


squiresj said...

I have a lot of dreams but that is all they seem to be. I have a dream to work with Foster kids again like I used to. But my husband is just retiring this year and he doesn't enjoy having kids around as much as I do.
jrs362 at hotmail do com

Also have a dream to teach at church again but lost it when I had to change churches.

Sharon said...

I really can't think of any dreams I am ignoring, but that could be everything that is going on in life right now. My energy and mind is focused on my folks. Interesting thought to ponder.
Loved Kacy's Genesis series, looking forward to reading Prophet.
smoore at tcq dot net

RJLarsonbooks said...

Hi, SquiresJ! I'm praying the Lord blesses your dreams with new possibilities. You never know what might happen! :D

RJLarsonbooks said...

Sharon, thanks! I hope you're resting and taking care of yourself while you're taking care of your folks!

Love and prayers for energy!

Anonymous said...

Now & then I have had the same recurring dream that I have written my first novel!! Oh my, how I'd love to do just that, just not sure if I have that certain talent or have the patience to actually find the perfect words to put on paper that would inspire others. Enjoying and seeing the birth of a new Spring season all around me makes me think I just may burst out & surprise myself and stop ignoring those dreams and see where my thoughts & words may lead me. :)
oceanpearl at q dot com

RJLarsonbooks said...

Bobbe, have you joined ACFW? (American Christian Fiction Writers.)I've been a member for years. There is a yearly fee, but it is minimal, and it's an awesome online resource for Christian writers--the best!

If you're eager to test your dream and want input from other authors, I encourage you to find a crit group and get started! :D