You Aren’t the Hero

As a fantasy writer, the whole subject of heroism fascinates me. What makes a hero? Is it the big things, the small things, a combination of things both epic and mundane? How does one become a hero? Is it a birthright or a choice – or again, some combination of destiny and determination? Thankfully for all my lovely readers, I’m not going to delve into all those complex questions today. Today’s question is a little different, and it started with a brief email from my Wise and Wonderful Sister.

Remind me to discuss with you the idea of not wanting to be the hero of one’s own story….

There’s a whole host of character development stuff I could talk about, author-to-potential-reader, but I want to get real. So, let’s talk one-on-one, real human being to real human being.

You aren’t the hero, and neither am I.

As Christians – and if you aren’t a Christian, hold tight. I’ll speak more broadly in a moment – but as Christians, we ought to view not ourselves, but Christ, as the hero of an epic story that has been unfolding since before the world began. In this story, Jesus is the suffering, sacrificing, redeeming, triumphant hero. The rest of us can marvel at the grace of being welcomed into the supporting cast, of being called brothers and sisters and co-heirs with Christ.

In a broader sense – here’s where I’m talking to everyone, so thanks for sticking around – what if we aren’t heroes? What if we are supporting characters for the stories of the people around us? I’m not suggesting we all become sniveling doormats, but how would our lives and our world change if we looked at others as heroes, rather than expecting them to pander to us… or even, you know, to “Like” our Facebook statuses and “favorite” our Tweets and not unfriend us for excessive posting of food and feet photos?

I haven’t fully formed my thoughts on this heroism thing, but you can expect to see it pop up again and again in my writing. As I told my Wise and Wonderful Sister,

Fantasy is a great way of processing this kind of thing, at least for me. When I see how a theme plays out in a character’s life, it’s a little easier to apply it to my own.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the whole hero thing, whether as it plays out in fiction or as it plays out in real life.

Trailer Reveal: HUNTER by Renee Donne

Hunter trailer reveal banner
Anaiah Press is proud to present the trailer reveal for YA novel HUNTER by Renee Donne.

Hunter cover

Moving across the country isn’t Hunter’s ideal start to her Junior year of high school. She has no friends to hang out with, no beaches to lounge on, and she’s living just a few miles from the secluded hiking trail where her father died when she was a baby.

Living in Wyoming isn’t all bad, though, thanks to Logan, the handsome veterinary assistant at the animal clinic where she lands an after school job. And he seems just as interested in her as she is in him.

As Hunter begins to settle into her new home, she learns more about the circumstances surrounding her father’s tragic death, and it may not have been the accident everyone believes. Something dangerous lurks in the woods, and Hunter might be the next victim.

Release Date: June 9, 2015

Add HUNTER to Goodreads!

And now for the trailer…

Renee DonneAbout the Author

Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head she’s a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she’s a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.


Friday Fictioneers: Wasted Time

At our house, we  celebrate creativity and sometimes, well… kind of, sort of muddle through the mess. Today’s story, while purely fictional, is not so far from reality. It hasn’t happened yet, but it could… at any time… and with the right materials…happen.

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Douglas M. MacIlroy

Wasted Time

“What are you doing, child? I told you to clean your room two hours ago!” I should’ve checked on him sooner. Should’ve brought a trash bag, too, come to think of it.

“Um… I lost track of time?” He’s smiling like we haven’t had this discussion a thousand times in his short life. “But look. I made something.”

The glorious monstrosity sits on his desk, a heap of tile and seashells and a broken down alarm clock.

“What is it?”

“It’s… It’s.. I just made it. I don’t… It’s…”

I sit beside him. “It’s splendid, child. That’s what it is.”

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

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Cover Reveal: BRICKS by John Davidson

Bricks Banner

Today Anaiah Press is proud to present the cover reveal for John Davidson’s YA novel BRICKS!

Sixteen-year old Cori Reigns learns that not all tornadoes take you to magical places. Some take your house, your school, and life as you knew it. Struggling to put the pieces of her life back together, Cori learns to rebuild what the storm destroyed by trusting a family she didn’t know she had and by helping friends she never appreciated.

BRICKS release February 3, 2015 but you can add BRICKS on Goodreads today!

And now for the cover…

Bricks cover

John D author

About the Author:

Married to my bride for twenty-four years, I have an amazing son and a wonderful daughter.
Born and raised in central Oklahoma, I work in education, first as a teacher now in technology curriculum. I write. I read. And in the summer I make snow cones. Find John on Twitter @jdavidsonwrites or connect with him at his website and on Goodreads.


Guest Post by Robert A. Polk, Author of OPERATION TREE ROPER

Today I have the privilege of introducing you to Robert A. Polk, author of the Middle Grade novel, OPERATION TREE ROPER: AN EYE ABOVE. When asked what I’d like Robert to blog about, I remembered the pang of parental anguish – and ultimately triumph – I’d felt upon reading that Robert’s daughter had influenced the creation of his main character, Declan. I wanted to know more about his personal experiences and the message he hoped to deliver through this story. Thank you, Robert, for sharing a bit of your story.

Robert: Thank you so much for having me on your blog this week, Lisa. I’m going to get a little personal in this post in order to share a bit about the creation, or actually, the discovery, of my book’s main character. You see, OPERATION TREE ROPER would not exist without the influence of my children, especially my third child. She was born with only one eye.

When she was an infant and toddler and we’d be out in public, people would often come to see the cute little baby and then awkwardly hasten away when they saw her face. Those people weren’t trying to be mean, they simply didn’t know how to address us without focusing on her absent eye.

She’d never respond to people’s questions and comments which were frequently directed toward me anyway and often phrased something like “What’s wrong with her?” Can you imagine a child growing through early years of life and hearing and seeing those comments over and over? She’s learning about herself from the expressions on the faces of the people around her. So what if her parents always focused on her strengths and lovingly accepted her as a beautiful and strong young child. The larger world around her saw her differently. She noticed.

I noticed, too. She was still an infant, with two toddler siblings when it sank in much deeper, what an important role her mother and I should play in our children’s lives. We had to find that correct balance of sheltering, nurturing and supporting that each of our children required to grow into confident and capable individuals. When my first three children were very young, I began telling them, “It’s more important how you act, than how you look.” I still remind my children that.

In crafting Declan, I did not so much create him as I tried to hear him. And I tried to hear him through the experiences and emotions of my own children.

When I began writing the first draft, Declan was too shy and defensive. Although that was a necessary portion of his personality, its significance diminished as the story evolved. While this did fit his age and attitude, I began to see that it was only a small part of him.

As the book evolved through the revision stages, I heard more clearly Declan’s sense of humor, intelligence, and fortitude. I recognized his family devotion and fierce loyalty to his siblings in my own children, in particular, my third child. Declan was becoming more multidimensional, and I was seeing moments of stubborn strength and courage in the face of adversity.

I hope everyone who reads OPERATION TREE ROPER will have opportunities to consider that the value of other people might just be how they act, rather than how they look.

By Robert Polk
Adventures, Anaiah Press
Twelve-year-old Declan Parker was only born with one eye, but all he seems to have trouble seeing in proper perspective is himself. All he wants is for kids to see him as normal before he starts a new school in the fall. To that end, he sets out to make money helping with his dad’s tree care business.
Unfortunately, when his dad lands in the hospital after a climbing accident, Declan’s surgery hopes are wrecked. His only hope remains in a neighbor girl and her uncle, a wounded army veteran. Can they help him save his dad’s business, or will Declan’s once-courageous drive turn into total despair?
Operation Tree Roper: An Eye Above is a well-crafted story about a strong, dauntless young man who redefines the value of self-reflection. Declan is a character you won’t be able to forget.

Welcome to your new favorite book…

Release Date: October 7, 2014
Buy Now!

Author Bio:
Robert Polk lives in western Nebraska where he shares his love of books and the great outdoors with his wife and seven children. He is a former school counselor, business owner, and tree climbing arborist. Robert participates in his church and local community, currently serving on several non-profit boards. 
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Friday Fictioneers: Margot North’s Secret

It may be my present inclination to crawl into a hole and do nothing but hang out with my family and write (not at the same time), but a room full of instruments to play seemed like the perfect opportunity for a character to refuse to perform extraneous activities. So, meet Margot North…

Copyright-Rochelle Fields

PHOTO PROMPT Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Margot North’s Secret

Margot North’s exquisite music fills the whole house, even this secluded wing.

“What are you doing here? I didn’t open this room to the public.” She’s even lovelier up close, her silk dress draped perfectly over every curve, than she is on stage.

I glance about the cluttered room, the piles of electric keyboards. “Do you practice on them?”

“Heavens, no! The piano’s my instrument. I wouldn’t dream of playing these.” Even in disgust, her face is radiant.

“Then why…”

“They remind me of all I’m not meant to do.” She almost smiles. “Someday, I may add a violin.”

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

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Friday Fictioneers: In Which Agnes Plop Makes a Discovery

Life has been so busy lately, I missed last week’s photo prompt. Or rather, I saw it, thought about it, and never did anything with it, only to realize that, “Oh, my! It’s a new week!”

Today’s peculiar prompt perplexed me until I looked at it through the eyes of Agnes Gertrude Plop, who has a habit – most vexing to her friend Basil – of seeing the impossible in the most mundane moments.

Do join in the Friday Fictioneers fun by clicking on the link at the end of the story to read other entries or add your own.

unidentifiable on a stick

Photo Copyright-Kent Bonham

In Which Agnes Plop Makes a Discovery

“It’s a witch’s spoon. That’s the shrunken, flattened head of her first victim.” Agnes picked the thing up, her nose scrunched all ugly like. “I bet she stirs lost child soup with it.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. It’s no such thing.” As Agnes examined it, Basil was certain bacteria floated through the air, straight into the silly girl’s nostrils. He’d shower when he got home. Let the bacteria do what they would with her.

Her eyes widened. “Oh, dear Basil. I was mistaken. It’s actually a dreadfully unimaginative boy with a ridiculously large head. Why, something about him seems almost familiar.”

Friday Fictioneers (n): A world-wide community of writers addicted to writing 100 word stories based on a photo prompt provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. 

Read or Join here: