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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guest Blogger Ava Pennington and One Year Alone with God


AVA PENNINGTON  is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. She is the author of One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God, endorsed by Kay Arthur. She is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids, including Will I See You Today? and the award-winning Do You Love Me More? Ava has also written for numerous magazines such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse, and contributed to more than twenty anthologies, including sixteen Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Visit her website:

ONE YEAR ALONE WITH GOD: 366 Devotions on the Names of God
by Ava Pennington
Published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group


In the daily devotional One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God, author Ava Pennington examines the biblical names of God through 366 daily readings and helps readers discover what those names mean for their own faith.

Readers will learn how a particular name of God provides insight into his character, how those attributes affect them individually, and how they should relate to others. Pennington examines each of God’s names for three days, applying these three perspectives to our lives.

Each devotion looks at a particular name of God and includes a passage of Scripture, questions for reflection, and a prayer.

One year from now, will you be able to say that you know God better than you did before? Revitalize your devotional life with an intimate journey through the names of God.

The next 366 days will pass quickly—make each one count!

Readers, buy your copy of One Year Alone with God today! Also available at Barnes & Noble and


Wooed to the Dark Side?

I write non-fiction. All sorts of non-fiction, including devotions, personal stories, Bible studies, humor, editorials, and teaching pieces, to name just a few genres. I’ve published a devotional endorsed by Kay Arthur—One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God and co-authored two picture books—Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today?

But I don’t write fiction.

Oh, I’ve tried my hand at it a few times. I wrote a novel seven years ago. Finished it, actually. But I promise you, I will never show it to another person. My dear hubby has instructions to burn it in the event of my demise. Still, it was a terrific (maybe terrifying is more accurate) exercise in learning how much I didn’t know about writing fiction.

I did start writing another novel a few years later. Didn’t get very far before I put it away. I wasn't ready. There was still so much I needed to learn.

A friend suggested I join American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). I hesitated. After all, ACFW is for novelists, and I write non-fiction. Even if I did want to write a novel someday, I wasn’t ready to be wooed to the dark side just yet. I was doing quite well…or so I thought. Besides, how could learning to write better fiction help a non-fiction writer?

How could it not?

Whether the skill set involved voice, POV, plot, structure, dialogue, or character development, my non-fiction writing benefitted as I studied the craft. My articles are tighter. Descriptions are more vibrant. Teaching is clearer. Creative non-fiction short pieces are more animated, demonstrated by publication in more than twenty anthologies.

My fiction abilities are also improving. I wrote a short story published last year in Christian Fiction Online Magazine (have you CFOMed yet?). Of course, the more I learn, the more I learn how much I need to learn.

My first love is non-fiction. Writing One Year Alone with God: 366 Devotions on the Names of God wasn’t work, it was (cliché alert!) a labor of love. Spending time with the Lord, searching for the right words to describe His character and His ways, and experiencing the joy of sharing what He has been teaching me about Himself was an experience like none other. I hope you’ll find it a blessing in your own relationship with Him.

Still, that unfinished novel has been calling my name.

I may yet be wooed to the dark side. :)

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Thank you, Ava, for sharing with us today.

Reader Question: In what way are you stepping outside your comfort zone?

This week, there is no giveaway. But please do interact with our author, Ava, and thank her for taking the time to visit. As much as readers enjoy getting to know authors, we authors love to hear from readers too!


Cheryl said...

Congratulations on embracing the dark side, Ava. I started out writing nonfiction, but move to fiction, then switched from writing for adults to writing for kids. I guess I'm fickle. :)

I usually like to read books outside of my regular genres a few times a year. That's about as much outside of my comfort zone as I can manage.




Ava Pennington said...

Thanks for having me, Tiff. Looking forward to getting to know your readers!

Unknown said...

Though I learned to write for a variety of genres when I took the Christian Writer's Guild (CWG) course a few years back, I write nonfiction. "I have absolutely no interest in writing for children." And the children's story I had to write for the CWG won an honorary mention in Writer's Digest annual competition (and is currently under consideration for Clubhouse Jr. magazine). "I'm certainly NOT writing fiction!" You guessed it, another honorable mention in Writer's Digest annual competition, and I LOVED the process of climbing inside the character's skin. Moral of the story-you just never know when the dark side will come calling. :)

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

Oh Ava and Bethany, just give it up. Come over to the dark side. It's a LOT of fun. You get to claim voices in your head and have it be legitimate. *winks*

And Cheryl? There's no hope for you. LOL!

Jan Cline said...

I have always written non-fiction - until a fiction writing fried told me I should try fiction. I did it on a whim and really liked it. Didn't do too bad for not knowing anything about how to write fiction. But I still thought I was called to non-fiction. Then I went to the Mt. Hermon conference. God showed me that I was to pursue fiction. I have ever since and love it. I'm gladly converted to the dark side, even though I admit I was surprised to be directed that way!

Marti Pieper said...

I love this! I WANT to go over to the dark side, but I don't think it's the right time yet. I understand, Ava, because although I don't have an unfinished novel in any form, fiction keeps calling my name as well.

Thanks to you both for a great interview!

Ava Pennington said...

How fun! Looks like "the dark side" has been busy wooing quite a few writers! If there's one thing I've learned from experience (and from all your comments!) is never say never! :-)