Moving forward…

It amazes how much life imitates art. It seems that the story of Winter coming to publication matches quite well with the personal story within the book.

This book has always been an outcast, just like Winter is an outcast. Nobody has really understood it. There are readers who have loved it, but there have been many professionals who wouldn’t give it more than just a passing glance. It has struggled in the corner trying to find someone to give it a chance.

In a group chat the other day, I pointed out that this book is as much about misperceptions as anything else. Most Christians have a predetermined view on what a Christian should look and act like. And if anything doesn’t fit their “mold,” then it’s not Christian. It’s not welcome in the “club.”

God doesn’t have a mold. In fact, God has a habit of choosing the most unexpected people. Once, he took a Jew and made him an Egyptian Prince in order to save his people. Later, he made another Jew an Egyptian Prince in order to rescue his people. He’s used murderers, pagan priests, prostitutes, and fishermen. You know who he almost never uses? The very ones you might expect…the pious and devout, the religiously minded and the saintly. No, God uses sinners, because sinners show him more glory. And if God can use the most unlikely and unlovable sinner, then we can ALL have hope. What hope is there for the world if God only uses the most Godly of us all?

That’s why my book is about a Goth Christian. Winter is an unexpected and unlovable person, whom God chooses. He doesn’t ask her to change. He just asks her to do. And she does. How many of us can say the same thing? We think we must be holier than we are now before God can use us. We think we’re not ready. But sometimes, God just wants us to do. He wants us to be who we are and serve him regardless of what we think about ourselves. Let me tell you a secret…you will NEVER be good enough to serve God. Never.

And so, life imitates art. There are questions and stares and reluctancies about my book. More than 100 publishers and agents gave it not so much as a second look past a query letter. But I am thankful that one publisher did. I am thankful that Grace Bridges took the chance. More than that…she believes in me and Winter. She’s called us her “secret weapon.” Well…we’ll see about that.

I’m also thankful for this blog group and the members who threw their lot in with me and this crazy NAF idea. As I move forward into the next phase of my writing career, I have the privilege to partake in one of the cool features we have at NAF. If one of us writes for at least six months as a Featured Author and then has their book published, that Author has earned the right to become an Alumni. We’ve had one already… PA Baines. And now I get to be the second.

As the founder and administrator of NAF I don’t really plan to go anywhere. Sure, I may not blog weekly, but there are many things behind the scenes that happen. And I don’t think anyone else wants that headache just yet.

Also, as administrator I have the opportunity to announce my replacement on the Featured Author bar up there. And that is the talented Tymothy Longoria. He’s been a Contributor for a little while and will now be stepping into the role of Featured Author.

I may not blog as often over here, but I will try to blog more on my own site now. After all, that’s what we’ve encouraged Alumni to do. (By the way, in case you’ve never noticed we have Feeds at the bottom of the website to the Alumni blogs.) If you’ve enjoyed reading the things I have to say, please subscribe or whatever it is you do, at www.KevenNewsome.com or connect with me on FB at www.facebook.com/thewordcrafter. But you’ll still find me lurking around here…at the very least, once a month.

Oh. And don’t forget to buy my book! CLICK HERE

About Keven Newsome

Keven Newsome is an musician, theologian, and a bit of a nerd. He enjoys a variety of musical genres, from Christian rock to movie soundtracks to KPop. A former band director, he plays about a dozen instruments, given a couple of weeks to practice up. His theological work has included a book on multi-generational ministry and a thesis on the theology of communicating with the dead. As for his nerd-card, he enjoys the fandoms of The Legend of Zelda, Doctor Who, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Lord of the Rings. With a music degree from William Carey University and a theology degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Keven actively serves in ministry as both pastor and worship leader.

22 comments on “Moving forward…

  1. Proud of you love….and our second daughter!

  2. You made it faster than most, Iguana (Paul took 14 years, if I remember correctly).
    By the grace of God, I expect good things of you in the future.
    Thanks for including me in the ride.

  3. My Dearest Kevin,

    So proud and yet so sad to see you leave the inner ranks. I know it is for the best but it won’t be the same without you,

  4. I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it: “Mediocre? Not for me.”

    What a post about Gods supposed “mold”.

    There is NO mold.

    I enjoy being the “kind of Christian” God called me to be. I’m humbled by it. God even used as the KJV pust it…an ass.

    I thank you Keven. I bless you. Sheesh.

    Time to write.

    Be blessed!

  5. You know how i feel about Winter. And I’m proud of you, Keven. You’ll always be Cap’n over here :).

  6. Actually it was Deborah Cullins Smith who first called you a secret weapon – right after reading the sample chapters! But I certainly agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for signing on with my motley crew – we’re *very* lucky to have you!

  7. Looking at the names across the top….not seeing yours there….*sniff*…..

    Oh, yeah, there it is–in the Granny Flat ;).


    At least we have Tymothy now!

  8. I think you know how very much I love and respect you. Congratulations. Now get to that Granny Flat and have some tea with Paul. Watch out though, he hoards the cheesecake. 😛

  9. Welcome to the granny flat and massive congratulations on seeing Winter take her first steps in the world! I’ve got cheesecake in the pot and the tea is setting in the fridge (yes, it’s that kind of granny flat). I’m looking forward to the day when the Alumni section has more members that the Featured Authors section. Wouldn’t that be something?

  10. Keven, your tenacity and persistence are inspiring.

    I find it odd that editors claim to be looking for “fresh” and “original” work, but then when they get it, they don’t know what to do with it. One hundred rejections, on a book that is so fabulously original and pertinent … hard to fathom.

    • Thanks! I don’t understand it really either. It’d be one thing if they’d asked for samples and come back with “your writing just isn’t ready yet.” But that never happened. Which is why it’s been so frustrating for me just trying to figure out what to fix.

  11. I missed hearing about the 100 rejections before now… I can only shake my head at that. Does not compute at all. I guess it helps that yours is exactly the specific kind of book I set out to find and publish – and that can’t be true of too many publishers, now can it? 😉 I still reckon anyone should have liked it anyway, but their loss is our gain.

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