WordServe News: July 2012

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

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Something Blue by Dianne Christner

Publisher: Barbour

Agent: Greg Johnson

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One Big Thing by Phil Cooke

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Agent: Rachelle Gardner

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Serving God and Country by Lyle Dorsett

Publisher:  Berkley Caliber

Agent: Greg Johnson

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The Well-Lived Laugh by Rachel St. John-Gilbert

Publisher: Barbour

Agent: Greg Johnson

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Son of a Gun by Anne de Graaf

Publisher: Eerdmans

Agent: Greg Johnson

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A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California by Keli Gywn

Publisher: Barbour

Agent: Rachelle Gardner

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Shrewd by Rick Lawrence

Publisher: David C. Cook

Agent: Greg Johnson

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Desperate for Hope by Bruce W. Martin

Publisher: Revell

Agent: Rachelle Gardner

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The Soul Saver by Dineen Miller

Publisher: Barbour

Agent: Rachelle Gardner

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The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon

Publisher: Baker Books

Agent: Greg Johnson

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Central Park Rendezvous by Marylu Tyndall and others

Publisher: Barbour

Agent: Greg Johnson

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DawnSinger by Janalyn Voigt

Publsiher: Harbourlight Books

Agent: Barbara Scott

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New WordServe Clients

Dave and Claudia Arp and Peter and Heather Larson. The Arps started “Marriage Alive” 25 years ago. Now the Larsons are transitioning into leadershp roles for their ministry to marriages.

Dr. Dave Stoop, a longtime Greg Johnson client when he was at Alive, has rejoined Greg at WordServe.

New Contracts

Marcus Brotherton to collaborate on Austin pastor Matt Carter and NFL quarterback Colt McCoy’s book on BIBLICAL MANHOOD, to be publsihed by WaterBrook Press.

Leigh Ann Bryant sold her book, IN MY DEFENSE. It’s the true story of a life of shame and abuse with a husband she finally had to kill in self defense to protect herself and her small son. Soon after, she came to faith and has built a life as a pastor’s wife and a minister to those in prison (though she served no prison time). Our first sale to the new publisher Authentic Publishers. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Roberta Kells Dorr was a Christian novelist who wrote biblical fiction in the 70s and 80s. Though she died several years ago, her family and estate wanted the books back in print, especially as e-books. We were able to do a 5-book deal with Moody Publishers for an unpublished work of biblical fiction and four previously published and out of print books. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Ken Gire to collaborate on Chrissy Cymbola Toledo’s memoir of her prodigal life. Published by Tyndale House Publishers. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Caesar Kalinowski, pastor and thought leader in the missional movement for the Soma Communities network of churches, a book with a working title of TRANSFORMED. A new way of seeing who we are in Christ and what a foundational difference that makes as we attempt to represent Jesus well to our network of friends.  Sold to Zondervan Publishers. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Amy Sorrells debut novel CANARY SONG and another untitled work to David C. Cook Publishers. Synopsis: Tucked into the groves of a pecan plantation near the coast of Mobile Bay, secrets deep within the Harlan family simmer until they boil over one long, languishing summer. Will Anna Pearl Harlan, her family and friends seek hope in the midst of unbearable pain, or allow it to destroy their lives? Inspired by Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, Canary Song combines one girl’s coming-of-age with another woman’s redemption to show how God heals the hearts of the broken, and how crooked branches can one day provide the best shade. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Shellie Tomlinson, our All Things Southern Belle (www.allthingsouthern.com), sold to WaterBrook Press, LORD, I WANT TO LOVE YOU MORE, a book for those who have ever wondered how to get from “belief” to “passion.” (Agent: Greg Johnson)

What We’re Celebrating

Jan Drexler‘s Amish novel slated for publication by Harlequin’s Love Inspired line (titled  Love Bears All Things) placed second in the Inspirational category of the The Fool for Love contest sponsored by the Virginia Romance Writers. 

Bestsellers

Rebecca Alonzo’s book The Devil in Pew 7 reappeared on the New York Times Bestseller lists after her episode on Dr. Phil re-aired:

#4 – Primary e-book best seller list

#14 – Primary combined print & e-book list

#26 – Extended paperback non-fiction list

Karen Witemeyer’s book Short Straw Bride made it two months in a row on the list, moving up from #13 (July) to #10 (August).

Mike Yorkey’s book Playing With Purpose: Tim Tebow (Barbour) debuted #32 on the ECPA Top-50 list for July (May release). (Sorry we missed this last month, Mike.)

Carol Award Finalists

Though these authors are no longer with WordServe, we’re so very proud of their accomplishments and their books that were contracted under the WordServe banner. Rachelle, of course, had a great eye for good writers and good stories, so the kudos goes to her, as well.

Roslyn Elliot is a finalist both for “Debut Novel” and “Long Historical” for her book Fairer Than Morning. (Thomas Nelson)

Lisa Jordan is a finalist for “Short Contemporary” for her book Lakeside Reunion. (Love Inspired)

Erica Vetsch is a finalist for “Short Historical” for her book Light to My Path. (Heartsong Presents)

Karen Witemeyer is a finalist for “Long Historical Romance” for her book To Win Her Heart. (Bethany)

What writing celebrations do you have?

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WordServe News: June 2012

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

Will Davis, Enough, Revell (Agent: Greg Johnson)

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Katie Ganshert, Wildflowers From Winter, WaterBrook Press (Agent: Rachelle Gardner)

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Ken Gire, Relentless Pursuit, Bethany House Publishers (Agent: Greg Johnson)

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Lisa Jordan, Lakeside Family, Love Inspired (Agent: Rachelle Gardner)

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Maureen Lang, Bees in the Butterfly Garden, Tyndale House Publishers (Agent: Rachelle Gardner)

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Kathi Lipp, Praying God’s Word for Your Husband, Revell (Agent: Rachelle Gardner)

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Gilbert Morris, The River Rose, B&H Publishing Group (Agent: Greg Johnson)

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Jordyn Redwood, Proof, Kregel Publishers (Agent: Greg Johnson)

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Beth Vogt, Wish You Were Here, Howard Publishers (Agent: Rachelle Gardner)

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Karen Witemeyer, Short-Straw Bride, Bethany House Publishers (Agent: Rachelle Gardner)

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Mike Yorkey, Tim Tebow, Barbour Publishers (Agent: Greg Johnson)

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Mike Yorkey, Linspired (Kids Edition, too), Barbour Publishers (Agent: Greg Johnson)

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New WordServe Clients

Caesar Kalinowski is one of the thought leaders in the missional church movement and a trainer and founder of the Soma Communities in the Tacoma, Wash, area. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Gillian Marchenko is a small town girl from Michigan who has spent the majority of her married life in big cities: first Kiev, Ukraine and now Chicago, Illinois where she lives with her husband, Sergei, and their four daughters. Gillian writes and speaks about parenthood, stumbling faith, adoption, and special needs. Gillian has written a memoir about the birth of her third daughter, Polly, and her diagnosis of Down syndrome in the former Soviet Union. Her writing has appeared in MomSense Magazine, EFCA TODAY, Four Cornered Universe, CHICAGO PARENT, Story Bleed, and CHICAGO SPECIAL PARENT. Check out Gillian’s website at www.gillianmarchenko.com. (Agent: Sarah Joy Freese)

Laurie Polich-Short, veteran youth speaker and author, is making the leap to adult non-fiction for women. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

New Contracts

Marcus Brotherton signed with Zondervan Publishing House to collaborate and write DiscipleShift with pastors and authors Jim Putman and Bob Harrington. The book will be the lead book for the April 2013 Exponential Conference. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Julie Cantrell has signed with David C. Cook for two more untitled novels. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Jan Drexler, a debut author, has signed a contract with Harlequin’s Love Inspired line of Christian fiction for her Amish book Love Bears All Things. With her Anabaptist upbringing and ancestral ties to the Amish church, Jan brings a unique understanding of Amish traditions, doctrine, and theology to her writing. Her ancestors were among the first Amish immigrants to Pennsylvania, fleeing intense religious persecution in Europe in the 17th century, and then continued west, arriving in northern Indiana in the mid-1800’s. Their experiences are the basis for her stories. Jan holds a B.A. in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She lives with her husband and two of her four children in the Black Hills of South Dakota. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Pamela Binnings Ewen, an award-winning fiction author, signed a contract with B&H Publishing Group for the second edition of her non-fiction apologetics book titled Faith on Trial: Would the Testimony of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Stand Up in Court? The first edition of Faith on Trial was published in 1999 and was listed on many best-seller lists and even used as a textbook at Yale University in a course on Law and Religion. Pamela practiced law for twenty-five years in Houston before retiring in 2004 to write full time. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Denver Pastor Michael Hidalgo signed with IVP for two books. The first is called Unlost, a book about stopping our search for God and standing still long enough for Him to find us. The second book is untitled. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Amanda Jenkins recently signed a contract with Tyndale House Publishers for her memoir tentatively titled Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist. Before life as a homemaker and mother of four, Amanda worked in sales and marketing for a number of Christian retailers, as well as in visual communications and advertising. She spent ten years in L.A. alongside her film-making husband Dallas Jenkins, son of bestselling author Jerry Jenkins. Amanda attended Northwestern Bible College and graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and Communications. She has taught Bible studies for women of all ages for the past fourteen years and is passionate about communicating truth in a culturally relevant and humorous way. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Our own Becky Johnson and her daughter, Rachel Randolph, have signed a two-book contract with Zondervan Publishing House. The first book will mirror the title of their food blog, We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook.  It’s a book of vignettes about mother-daughter life up to and after the birth of Rachel’s first child.  The second book is tentatively titled Getting Momma Fit, Getting Daughter Relaxed. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Jerry and Carolyn Parr signed with Tyndale House Publishers to write their memoir. Jerry was a Secret Service Agent for 25 years. Jerry was the agent who pushed Ronald Reagan into the limo after he was shot by John Hinckley and then made the decision to immediately go the hospital, a decision that saved the President’s life. After retiring, he went to seminary, and he and his wife spent more than 15 years serving the poor and homeless of Washington D.C. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Debut author Amy Sorrells signed a two-book contract with David C. Cook. Her first novel is tentatively titled Canary Song and was the winner of the recent Women of Faith writing contest under the title of Comfort and Salvation. As well as an author, Amy is currently a registered nurse for Indiana University Health North Hospital in Carmel, Indiana. Her professional writing has been featured in numerous national journals. She lives with her husband, three boys, and three golden retrievers in central Indiana.  (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Mike Yorkey and Jesse Florea have signed with Barbour Publishers to do a shorter book on New York Yankees future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Mike Yorkey signed with Barbour Publishers to write a “Playing with Purpose” book on a broad range of NFL stars. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Mike Yorkey signed with Harper Collins Publishers as the collaborator for the Eric LeGrand story that will be published this fall. Eric was the Rutgers University football player who suffered a spinal cord injury and yet has inspired millions with his courage. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

What We’re Celebrating!!

Jordyn Redwood received a starred review from Library Journal for her debut medical thriller Proof. Their Verdict: Strong writing, terrific plot twists, and a great premise make this debut medical thriller a must-read. Recommend it to fans of Richard L. Mabry and Robin Cook.

Dave Runyon was featured in the June 2012 issue of Christianity Today. It highlights Dave’s work in the Arvada, Colo., area pulling churches together to be better neighbors. His book, written with Arvada pastor Jay Pathak, The Art of Neighboring, will be releasing in August. (www.artofneighboring.com)

Karen Witemeyer’s book Short-Straw Bride was #14 on the CBA Fiction list for July (May sales).

What can we help you celebrate?

WordServe News

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

Sifted by Wayne Cordeiro (Zondervan). This was the lead book at the Exponential (church planting) conference in Orlando.

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You’ll be Sor-ree by Sid Phillips (Berkley Caliber). Sid was one of the men portrayed in the HBO series “The Pacific.”  He’s still alive and well and living near Mobile, AL. A very fine Southern Christian gentleman.

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Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum (Berkley Caliber).  Chuck was another one of the Marines portrayed in “The Pacific”. He’s also still alive and living in Stockton, CA. Stephen Ambrose called this book (originally self-published in 1995) “Probably the best WWII memoir ever written.”  Chuck’s book served as part of the basis for the 10-Part HBO series.

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The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport (Revell).

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Playing with Purpose: Baseball by Mike Yorkey (Barbour).

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Always the Designer, Never the Bride by Sandie Bricker (Abingdon).

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Toward the Sun Rising by Lynn Morris (Hendrickson) book #4 in the republished Cheney Duvall series.

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New WordServe Clients

James A. Hall was a successful businessman for many years before working as a vice president with Walk Thru the Bible Ministry. For 15 years, he led their Seminar Division and currently is the Executive Director of a 25-year-old national ministry, Saints Prison Ministry. Some Jungles Have No Giraffes is his exciting memoir that details his amazing and compelling life. From a childhood tarnished because his father was on the run from the law, through his boarding school experiences at a Catholic seminary, to his days as a wealthy businessman involved with the Mafia, and his time spent in prison, the author’s life story reads like fiction, but is true. The miraculous conclusion of this tale again proves that without God life is indeed a jungle. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Kariss Lynch began her writing career in third grade when she created a story about a magical world for a class assignment. Since then, she has received a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in creative writing from Texas Tech University. Kariss believes her readers should expect a journey. Readers can expect to see the beauty that God creates through broken lives and the adventure that comes when we follow the Lord. We serve a God of big dreams, daily adventure, and lasting hope. Making her home in Dallas, Texas, Kariss recently finished the Craftsman course through the Christian Writer’s Guild. She became a freelance writer and blogger for Demand Media Studios in January 2011. In March 2012, Kariss accepted the writer position in the Communications Ministry at First Baptist Dallas. She is very active with her church and family, is an avid Texas Tech fan, and enjoys photography and swimming in her spare time. (Agent: Sarah Freese)

New Contracts

Terry Brennan signed another contract with Kregel Publications for his next book The Brotherhood Conspiracy, a sequel to Sacred Cipher. Terry is in his 14th year of senior management for New York City nonprofits dealing with homelessness. Prior to his present focus with nonprofits, he had a 22-year career in journalism with the Pottstown (PA) Mercury, winning the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing while he was editor. His first novel, The Sacred Cipher, was published in 2009. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Rebecca DeMarino signed a three-book contract with Revell Books for her debut Blue Slate series. The first novel, A Love of Her Own, will be released in 2014, followed by Heather Flower and Pure Patience. A 2011 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, Rebecca and her husband Tom live in the Pacific Northwest. When not writing, Rebecca enjoys reading, running, gardening, and trying to keep up with her eleven grandchildren. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Steve Addison signed with IVP for What Jesus Started, a follow up book to his first release onMovements. Steve works with Church Resource Ministries in Austraila.(Agent: Greg Johnson)

Calvin Miller signed with Baker Books for The Vanishing Evangelical, a penetrating look back and forward on what has happened to the Church in the last 30 years, where it’s going, what good and what harm has been done, and what we can learn from it all.  This is the 61st book Greg has represented for Calvin in the last 18 years.  (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Joe Wheeler signed with Howard Books for The Civil War Stories of Abraham Lincoln, a follow up to his book: Abraham Lincoln: Man of Faith and Courage (also with Howard). One of America’s top-three story anthologizers, this is the 74th book Greg has represented for Joe, as well as his 64th short story collection. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Lauren Scruggs signed with Tyndale Houe Publishers for Still Solo: A Plane Ride, a Horrific Accident and a Family’s Journey of Hope. The book tells the story of losing Lauren losing her hand, her left eye, and becoming scarred for life after a tragic airplane propeller accident in December 2011. It is written with collaborator Marcus Brotherton, and it will be published this November. Also signed was a second book to young girls on body image. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Jonathan McKee signed with Youth Specialties/Zondervan for More 10-minute Youth Talks, a follow up to his previous book for youth pastors. (Agent: Greg Johnson)

Ken Gire signed with eChristian/Mission Books for Finding God in the Hunger Games, an insta-ebook and follow up trade book on the spiritual themes in the book series and the new movie. The ebook will come out in June!  (Agent: Greg Johnson)

What We’re Celebrating

The Christy Awards committee has announced that Dancing on Glass (B&H Publishing Group) written by WordServe Literary author Pamela Binnings Ewen is one of three finalists in the Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas category. The winner will be announced at a dinner to be held at 7p.m. Monday, July 16, at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.

Amy Sorrells is the grand prize winner of the 2011 Women of Faith Writing Contest for Comfort and Salvation (now titled Canary Song). Amy is a wife, mother, registered nurse, and blogger, but most importantly, she is a woman of faith and a WordServe client. Recently, Amy received an offer for the manuscript from a well-known publisher. More to come later. (Agent: Barbara Scott)

Sarah Freese attended the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 19-21. She met with several editors and potential future WordServe authors. Various current WordServe authors, including Patty Kirk, Anne Lang Bundy, Leslie Leyland Fields, and Margot Starbuck, were in attendance, and a few of them presented on panels and led forums. Leslie and Patty’s forum was so full that people sitting in desks and on the floor had to make more room for people to stand around the perimeter of the room! The picture below doesn’t even show the room at its fullest.

What can we help you celebrate?

The honest stain of truth

Professor looked like Jabba the Hut, jowls of  flesh hanging over the collar of his shirt. He watched, smirking, as fellow co-eds and I jockeyed for seats around the long conference table, Professor’s preferred room arrangement for this, our first college creative writing class.

Until I met Professor, I could always count on my writing to please teachers and professors. But assignment after assignment came back with haphazard red-pen scratches. I imagined Professor held my paper for a brief moment before tossing it aside.

Professor enjoyed two things: making students cry and picking favorites. I landed in the first group, and was left out of the second like a scrawny girl in a middle school dodge ball gym class.

The class favorites wrote about sex, of course, and they wrote about it often. Though I lamented my mediocre scores, I refused to write about something so sacred just for him.

One fateful morning, my alarm clock malfunctioned and I was late for Professor’s class. When I arrived, he stopped class and laid into me with a barrage of insults. On and on he spat about how lazy, irresponsible and stupid I was, daring to enter his class late. Too hurt to hold back tears but too proud to leave, I stayed for the whole class.

My notebook was a soggy mess.

That day, I resolved to please Professor–if not shock the hell out of him–with my writing.

And I did.

I wrote a short story full of violence and deceit, sex and betrayal, blood and fine champagne.

The story disgusted me.

Professor loved it.

I hated Professor for a long time after that.

Years later, I realized my sordid short story paralleled scars of abuse from my childhood. The rage I felt toward Professor was a pivotal breakthrough from flowery, Pollyannic prose, and the beginning of my journey of writing hard, writing real and learning to write well.

I can’t say I agree with Professors tactics.

But I think I understand, now, what he was trying to do.

See, good writing involves daring to go to deep and frightening places. Like John Coffey–the man who breathed light and life into dead things in The Green Mile–hearts come alive when we breathe into still and long-forgotten places.

Words become life when writers allow the pen to pull them places no one else wants to go.

Like leper colonies, places in the soul exist where fear hangs like shadows, veiling what we don’t understand and shielding us from disease and pain. And yet, the only way to be real and alive is to allow the pen to touch diseased and painful places.

It is the unsought job of the writer to burst through the gates of leper colonies . . . to run to those who are bandaged and losing limbs . . . to embrace those who smell like rotting flesh . . . and to caress touch-starved hearts until they stop trembling and maybe, just maybe, believe in life again.

Good writers learn to distinguish the honest stain of truth from pencil scratches on paper.

Good writers learn the events in life which enslave us are ultimately the ones which set us free.

Good writers endure hours–even days–of depression that come when the pen finds fragile, tender places.

Good writers touch ugly, diseased places, in order to touch ugly, diseased places of others.

Good writers allow the pen to pull them.

To set even one person free.

What about you? How have you learned to write more deeply? Has a person, teacher, mentor or friend influenced the deep, true pull of your pen? Do you believe words have the power to set people free?