Friday, 5 September 2014

In Magnificent Company (and ACW Birthday Scavenger Hunt)

By Rose Dee

The first Australian novel I read was Return to Baragula by Mary Hawkins. I loved reading about her Aussie characters in a place I knew and loved—my home. It delighted me no end to discover Christian novels set right here in Australia, and written by an Australian.

I have been hooked on our homeland writers since reading Return to Baragula. Australia has produced some magnificent storytellers, and in this post I would like to pay homage to those taking part in this ACW scavenger hunt anniversary celebration—and to encourage Australian and New Zealand readers to experiment with some local writers.

It isn’t easy being a faith-based writer in Australia. Limitations in population and a fluctuating interest in home-grown stories have often left me questioning why I am writing in this niche market. But then I look at my peers and I know I am not alone. We all have the calling to write Christian stories, regardless of how the world sees our success. We all know it is what the Lord thinks that counts. We are the body, and the support I have had from my writing friends has often supplied the faith juice that has kept me going.

I’ll never forget writing The Greenfield Legacy. I wondered how four very different authors would amalgamate a story worth reading. Yet we were able to mesh our styles and ideas together so beautifully that it literally fell into place. Before they were my co-authors, I was a fan of each of these writers. I remember sitting up until all hours of the night marvelling at the twists and turns in Paula Vince’s Best Forgotten, and since then have done the same with her new release, Imogen's Chance.

She’s not the only author who has influenced and encouraged me as a reader. Jo-Anne’s memoir, Soul Friend, made me cry happy tears—several times. Carol’s beautifully told stories give the world a taste of where we have come from and how our heritage has shaped our culture.

Ian and Ray add diversity to our group, forging new ground and paving paths for us all. Andrea has captivated the young adult market with her work, and her new release Too Pretty holds pride of place on my Kindle. Rita’s historic novel, Signed Sealed Delivered, takes us back to our very beginnings both as a new country and as a people who look to God. And Jeanette encourages us all. Facebook can be a lonely place, but she will always be the one person to like the author posts I wonder if anybody else sees. She is the best social media friend, and a greatly appreciated one.

As well as our group having fabulous writers, there are those I have learned from. I savour Anne Hamilton’s wisdom, and grow each time I soak in the knowledge she shares. Iola has been an angel in disguise to me. Her editing skills are finely tuned, and she shares them with all of us. She is the one person who I know ‘gets me’, who challenges me to be a better writer.

Our group would not have formed had it not been for the passionate energy of Narelle Atkins. She has worked tirelessly for all of us. Her help has often left me full of hope and thankfulness. I rejoice when I see her novels in print, as she’s bringing contemporary Australia alive to US readers.

I remember my very first online chat in the US—Jenny Blake was there, holding my hand and being my friend in an unfamiliar place. She has done so much to support and uplift every Aussie author who has come her way. Dorothy’s blog is one of the best I have ever seen and she has supported and loved us all through the years. I can’t wait to see where her writing will take her. Rel and Ellie are also terrific promoters of Christian fiction, while Dale writes stories that tell the world who Aussies are.

I am in magnificent company, and I hope that if you have read to the end of this post you will take the time to click on the blog link attached to each author’s name and check out each individual I have mentioned, and the ones I haven’t—Melissa Gjisbers, Lucy Thompson, Hazel Barker, and Catherine Hudson. I’m looking forward to reading the work of these pre-published authors in the near future. We are part of the contingent that makes up this Australasian Christian Writers body, and I am so thankful to be a part of it and to be celebrating our first anniversary with you all.

As part of the anniversary celebrations I am giving away a $20 voucher from Deeper Shopping in the USA and a $20 voucher from Koorong in Australia. All you have to do is leave a comment for me below. Please specify which giveaway you'd like to enter in your comment. Deeper Shopping and Koorong provide local and international shipping information on their websites. The winners will be announced on September 9.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

ACW SCAVENGER HUNT CLUES FOR FRIDAY (FINAL DAY):

Clue 13 from Rose Dee: Which international online Fiction Magazine does Rose contribute to each month? http://www.rosedee.com 

Clue 14 from Narelle Atkins: What is the name the doctor hero in Narelle's latest release, The Doctor's Return? http://www.narelleatkins.com 

Clue 15 from Dale Harcombe: What is the name of the country town Abby moved to with Joel after her marriage? http://www.daleharcombe.com/

You now have all fifteen clues for our ACW Scavenger Hunt. We hope you're enjoying the hunt and locating the answers to all the clues. The contest rules are listed in Monday's post. Please remember to comment on Monday's post, complete the online form (see above) and your Rafflecopter entry. Rafflecopter lists all the options for gaining extra entries in the drawing, including commenting on the posts this week. 

The Scavenger Hunt closes at 2pm on Sunday, September 7 (AEST). The winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 9. Good luck!

35 comments:

  1. Hi Rose, thanks for the mention and the encouragement. You have done so well in sharing around the thanks - giving a shout out to some wonderful authors, movers and shakers, bloggers, reviewers, thinkers, editors and pre-pub authors. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your books including the Greenfield Legacy. Such a good reminder that we need each other.

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    1. Absolutely, Jeanette. Encouragement has been so vital to me. I hope I can do a little to encourage right back. . xo

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  2. What a beautiful tribute to everyone, Rose, and suitable end to this week. We are all very hard workers, and I'm also encouraged by the names on this list. I agree with all that you've said and will add that I've often recommended your evocative trilogy to women who are looking for a good holiday read. It's tropical setting is perfect. I often try to connect with individual American readers of Christian books, and they are always surprised to hear about our Australasian community.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. I have such a desire to get the word 'out there' about our work here 'Down Under'. We have a lot to offer, and I know this is just the start of showing the reading world who we are. xx

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  3. What a great group you work with. Fascinating how it all works. Truly Blessed!
    I'd like to be entered in the Deeper Shopping USA giveaway please :)

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    1. Hi Deanna,

      Thank you so much for stopping by. It's great to see you here. I am so blessed to be a part of this awesome group of writers.
      You are entered.
      Have a great day.
      xx Rose.

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  4. Aww! What a beautiful post Rose! Thanks for the mention and you couldn't be more on the mark, I love this group and it's members. It will be very exciting in the years ahead to see what comes our way, what successes we shall share. Each member here has touched my life too and I'm grateful. Happy birthday ACW!

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    1. Thank you, Catherine. It is exciting to think what will come in the next 12 months. It's an amazing group. I love it too. Xxoo

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  5. Thanks to all I had a very enjoyable Scavenger Hunt :)
    Enjoyed each days blogs & some extra's.
    probably have a dream about a carpet snake, TY Rose! lol
    Bless you all!

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    1. Oh, Deanna, I hope no dreams. They are certainly creatures I like to avoid. Thankfully they choose to avoid me too. Lol.
      Thank you for joining in on our festivities. Good luck in the Scavenger hunt. It was a bit of fun and something different.
      Xxoo

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  6. Thanks, Rose. It's been a great first year for ACW, and this is a beautiful post.

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    1. Thank you for all your hard work on my behalf - and for all of us, Iola. Xo

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  7. Rose, what a delightful heartfelt tribute. Thank you for the encouragement. I thought it pretty special to see your articles in the Book Fun magazine. Great how you presented Australia to a mostly American audience.

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    1. Thank you, Ian.
      I love flying the Aussie flag in Book Fun, and I am so very grateful for the opportunity.

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  8. Wow, Rose, it's so wonderful and refreshing to read how appreciative you are of your fellow blog-mates. I am certain they feel the same about you. You all are awesome. Again, Happy Birthday. It's been an enjoyable week getting to know you all better!

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    1. Hi, Suzie.
      Thank you for stopping by. I am very blessed to belong in this group. I'm pleased to hear that the celebrations have helped you get to know us better.
      All the very best in the draw.
      Xx

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  9. Thank you for the tribute and wonderful post, Rose. I'm thrilled to be a part of ACW, and proud to be involved with what is happening in the writing world Down Under. We have a fabulous support network, something I don't take for granted. Happy birthday ACW!

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    1. Sometimes I do wish we all lived closer so we could get together - one day soon maybe. ☺

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  10. What a sweet post and tender way to end our celebration week, Rose.
    THANK YOU... and bless you for honouring some of the most committed and generous souls I know. xx

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    1. Hi Dotti,
      It really is a great pleasure to be a part of this group. Seeing it roll in year 1 on such a high is an awesome feeling. ☺

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  11. Wonderful company, indeed. And I am sure, Rose, you can hold your own in this lovely group. Congratulations to all of you!

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    1. Hi Janka,
      I think the best thing about our group is the way we all support each other. It feeds both our industry and our faith. ☺
      Thank you for reading my post and taking the time to comment. Xo

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  12. Hi Rose, Thanks for your lovely post to end our birthday week. We appreciate your generous heart and encouraging words :)

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    1. I feel very privileged to be posting on the last day. Thank you for all your hard work in this organization, Narelle. It blesses so many. Xxoo

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  13. Looks like I have some books and authors to add to my TBR list! Thanks for sharing! Please enter me in your generous giveaway to Deeper Shopping :)

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    1. Hi Heidi, thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I know you will enjoy our Aussie stories. Both our contemporary and historic writers do a fantastic job.
      Xx

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  14. yay all the clues are out time to get my hunt on!

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    1. Good luck on your hunting expedition, Kirsten.

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  15. I'm glad you're all enjoying the hunt. I just took a peek at the answers we've received and only 3 entrants have listed all 15 correct answers (some questions do have multiple correct answers). The online form can be edited, if you need to update your responses. Happy hunting and good luck!

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  16. Thanks, Rose, for your lovely, encouraging 'round-up' of all our Aussie and NZ author folk and your promotion of our books. Really appreciate it.

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    1. You are most welcome, Jo-Anne. It was my pleasure. xxol

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  17. A great post, Rose and I am so thrilled God used one of my books to inspire you. I too was thrilled many years ago to discover Meredth Resce's books which inspired me. After reading and enjoying so many books from overseas it was sheer delight to read some set in our own beautiful Australia. Now It is awesome to now have so many Aussies like yourself writing Christian novels of all genres set here.

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  18. Meredith's novel For all Time was one of my early favorites when I first started reading Aussie fiction. :-) xo

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  19. Playing catch up here. Thanks for the mention, Rose. So many good books here by Aussie authors.

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  20. I'm a late reader of this post, but I would hate to leave without commenting how positive it was. The very first Australian Christian book I read was written by Meredith Resce. This soon followed by Mary Hawkins's trilogy 'Faith, Hope and Love in the Great South Land.' To meet Mary in person at the Omega conference was a real thrill for me.

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