Monday, April 30, 2012

Ada Brownell's "Swallowed by LIFE"

Title: Swallowed by LIFE: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

Cover blurb: Do you know you are more than a physical body? An award-winning medical and religion writer, Ada Brownell, --through her research after the death of her daughter—shows why we have hope for eternal life, not only from a Christian point of view, but because of physical evidence.

Of her 17 years as a reporter, the author spent seven on the medical beat at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado, reporting on discoveries about the human genome, neurology, mental illness, cancer, disease prevention, treatments, medications, and more. She also is a religion writer.

1) How did this story come to you?
I began the research a few years after we lost our 31-year-old daughter to an aggressive form of lymphoma. I went through the New Testament and underlined every verse that had to do with eternal life. How uplifting! It’s everywhere because life is at the heart of the gospel. The Book of Acts is known as the history of the church, but everywhere the apostles preached “Jesus Christ, whom you crucified, is risen from the dead, alive forevermore.” When Adam and Eve sinned, God promised to do something about death (Genesis 3: 15) and gave His Son the horrendous task. Jesus completed the work at Calvary and He demonstrated His love for us there, and that message still resounds around the world.

The Word is full of information about living forever, but because I was a medical reporter I wanted to gather evidence that shows we’re more than a body. Part of that research was thinking. Although I covered many seminars on life and death issues, studied regenerative cell discoveries, a person only has to think about what he already knows. You can lose 50 pounds, have a mechanical or another person’s heart or organ transplanted and you’d still be you. Because of cell death and regeneration we aren’t even walking around in the same body we had last year.

As leaves on a tree wither and die each season, we all know our stay here is temporary, but it seems the majority don’t think about it, let alone investigate reasons for faith in God and Jesus’ sacrifice for us on Calvary.

Our daughter rejoiced in assurance of Salvation, but was curious about the physical and other aspects of the eternal, but it seemed most of the material out there was for the grieving instead of everyone who needs peace about it, reasons for faith, and definitive evidence we’re more than a body.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
The book originally was a three-section book. One section was about losses, difficult decisions (living wills; assisted suicide; different religious views on cremation). Another was about leaving a legacy for friends and family. I had a publisher who accepted the book, began the editing process, but went bankrupt. I became discouraged and put it aside. But the first section on being swallowed by life (2 Corinthians 5:4) burned in me. A few years later I resurrected the book, completely rewrote it and submitted it a few places. But marketing was a slow process and I decided I wasn’t getting any younger so I edited it again and researched print-on-demand publishing. I’d cut it to about 23,000 words (I thought that was plenty for the subject matter), went with self-publishing at CreateSpace using their editor and cover designer (I love the cover with the little sprouts coming up with a tombstone in the fog behind). The editor did a good job, complimented me on my writing, changed my AP style to Chicago Manual of Style, and urged me to update some of my footnotes, which I did.

3) Tell things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I won best actress in a high school one-act play contest and the judges (probably because I’m a redhead) told me I should go into comedy because I could be another Lucille Ball. (Might be true, because the following shows lack of common sense.)

I went out in 30-below weather in the middle of the night in Leadville, Colo., (two miles high) in only my nightie, a big fake fur coat and boots to thaw out water pipes in our mobile home. The snow was about three feet deep. I had to tunnel under and got my matches wet, backed out (brrr). My hand stuck to the frosty door knob and the door was frozen shut. I had to awaken my mother in law to help me get back inside. I didn’t want her to know I’d turned the bathtub water off (my hubby said to keep it running) while I took a bath. Next time, I wore a hat, wool pants, sweaters, gloves, and didn’t get my matches wet. I knew no neighbors in the mobile home park and was certainly glad when I got back inside. Needless to say, I kept the water running afterward.

Having a streak for the humorous might be why in Swallowed by LIFE that sounds so serious, I also have sprinkles of humor in good taste.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’m hoping to see my historical novel, The Belle of Peachville, published. The proposal has been seen by one editor and one agent. I also plan to release Confessions of a Pentecostal, as an e-book. I still have a few paperback copies and since Swallowed by LIFE came out there has been renewed interested in Confessions, which sold about 7,000 copies before going out of print. Used copies have been sold online for years by other people. I still write articles and stories for Christian publications and an occasional op-ed piece for newspapers. Soon I’d like to write the sequel to The Belle of Peachville and possibly a sequel to my teen novel, Joe the Dreamer and the Mystery at Sir Henry’s Castle.

5) Parting comments?
Thanks for inviting me to be your guest.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Swallowed by LIFE:


  1. Thanks, Dawn, for inviting me to be your guest. It's a privilege to share about my book here. Bless you!

  2. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  3. thanks for the chance to win this book sounds like a good book

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  4. "Swallowed by LIFE" sounds like a very interesting book. I enjoyed the interview with Ada. I guess one has to do what one has to do but I'm not sure I could have ventured out to unfreeze pipes. I suppose I could if I had too!

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for this giveaway.

  5. This sounds like a great book and would love to read it. Thanks for the opportunity.