Monday, December 31, 2012

Ada Brownell's "Joe the Dreamer"

Title: Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult. (A teen novel.)

Cover blurb: Enter an area where people are missing and radicals want to obliterate Christianity from the earth. After Joe Baker’s parents mysteriously disappear, he finds himself with a vicious man after him. Witness what committed teens can do. Joe and an unusual gang team up to find his mom and dad. The gang is dedicated to preventing and solving crimes with ordinary harmless things such as noise, water and a pet skunk instead of blades and bullets. Welcome to Joe’s dream world. Joe reads the Bible hoping to discover whether God will answer prayer and bring his parents home. In his dreams Joe slips into the skin of Bible characters and what happened to them, happens to him—the peril and the victories. Yet, crying out in his sleep causes him to end up in a mental hospital’s juvenile unit, which is terrifying. Will he escape? Will he find his parents? Does God answer prayer?

1) How did this story come to you?
I started it right after I retired when I created an after-school and summers program for upper elementary students as an extension of the daycare at my church. The program was intense Bible memorization, teaching youth how to do puppet ministry (the children’s pastor taught that), doctrine education, combined with fun and field trips. But many students were unchurched (many gave their lives to Christ) and I wanted to create a mystery and allow students to feel the suspense and the miracles of Bible stories to whet their appetites for reading the Word themselves. During the summer, I read a little bit of my story after lunch every day. It was several years before I got back to it.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I tried marketing to three agents and a few traditional publishers, but it seemed to me they were looking for younger authors. One agent even told me she likes working with younger authors. I have another CreateSpace book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, written from my personal life, bible teaching; and job experience as a medical journalist that I published with Amazon (I wanted it to be sure to be available online). I’ve been pleased with that book, so thought I’d go ahead with a novel. My first book, Confessions of a Pentecostal, was published by the Assemblies of God and it sold 7,000 copies with almost no marketing before it went out of print. It’s now available for Kindle. I still sell it and there has been renewed interest in it. My husband bought most of the unsold paperbacks when it went out of print. But CreateSpace is a great place to publish, in my estimation. I used their editors and cover designers.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
(1) I got married on my 16th birthday. He was 20 and working for the railroad and for some reason chose a spitfire redhead for his wife. He was fortunate the Lord was a huge part of my life, and the Lord worked on my temper.
(2) I started writing ideas for youth services (I was youth president at my church) at age 15, and expanded to articles for Christian publications. My first article was published and made into a tract.
(3) I probably had 50 published articles and had worked three years as a newspaper reporter in a city of 100,000 before I ever took a journalism course and completed my college degree. I completed
 my degree after staying home 15 years with our children and free lancing, and was rehired. I worked 17 years as a reporter, mostly at The Pueblo Chieftain in Colorado.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I have a teen self-help book ready to go: Imagine the Future You. I also have a historical romance almost ready for publication, The Lady Fugitive. I still write articles for Christian magazines and occasional op-ed pieces for newspapers
5) Parting comments?
Thanks for inviting me to be your guest.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Blog:  You can find my books on Amazon under my name. Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult  should be listed there be soon. The link to Swallowed by LIFE is  and also is available on at, at , and Good Reads Confessions of a Pentecostal link is
Twitter: @adellerella

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