“There are three rules for writing a book,” a famous author once said. “Unfortunately, no one knows what they are!” It’s true—to some extent, the process of writing a book is shrouded in mystery, and is probably the main reason why so many potential authors are simply treading water. They just don’t know how to get started. Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book—Concept to Contract is an attempt to take the confusion out of the process. Based on Dave Fessenden’s regular column in Cross & Quill magazine and the seminars he teaches at Christian writers’ conferences across the country, the book presents eight steps every author must take to be successfully published. Concept to Contract merges practical advice with spiritual counsel, so that the approach emphasizes the inspirational impact of the author’s material. To produce a complete, publishable manuscript that will have a real ministry, you need to do a lot of praying, a lot of thinking, a lot of study, a lot of research—and very little actual writing at first—until the creative pressure, the spiritual burden, builds to a critical mass. At that point the book practically writes itself! Well, not really. But if you follow the methods Dave teaches, writing a book should be a bit easier, a bit less mysterious. Concept to Contract can show you how. Helpful, humorous, and honest, Writing the Christian Nonfiction Book: Concept to Contract is more like a comprehensive conversation on conceiving and crafting a quality book than a stiff, starchy how-to-write-a-book book. Laced with great quotations and personal anecdotes, it’s easy to follow and fun to read. Don’t be misled, however: Although this book eschews pedantic pedagogy, it delivers on its promise to clarify the process of crafting a concept so that it lands a contract. Thanks, Dave, for sharing these insider secrets!
Patti Souder Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference
Many would-be authors are passionate about their nonfiction topic, yet challenged to navigate the world of publishing. Dave Fessenden provides a focused plan for success. Read this book. No, do much more than read it—you need to study it carefully.
W. Terry Whalin author of Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams (www.jumpstartdreams.com)
The Case of the Exploding Speakeasy
Sherlock Holmes’ smarter brother helps Dr. Watson’s son investigate a murder in a 1920s Philadelphia speakeasy
Thomas Watson leaves London to become a newspaper reporter in 1920s Philadelphia, in an attempt to get out from under the twin shadows of his famous father, Dr. John Watson, and his father’s even more famous friend, the late Sherlock Holmes.
After two short years, with little success in journalism, and mourning the recent death of his father, Thomas suddenly finds himself caught up in the biggest story of his career: a suspicious explosion at a speakeasy, which kills the owner and his card-playing buddies.
Convinced it is not a mob hit, as the police and his editor think, Thomas is helped by Sherlock’s brother, Mycroft, recently arrived from England. Mycroft quickly solves the mystery but refuses to tell Thomas the solution, saying he should figure it out himself. With the scanty clues he has, can Thomas track down the murderer—before becoming his next victim?