|Allia Zobel Nolan|
My friend and fellow author Allia Zobel Nolan guest posts today!
When I met Allia, we both worked for publishing houses that sometimes collaborated to create children’s books. One day Allia sent me an e-mail asking what Bible versions I read or would recommend. The next time we saw each other, I knew something had changed. I’ll let her tell you more:
I admit it. I never read the Bible much before I became a children’s book author. I’d just jump in and out when I needed a quote for a toddler’s Noah or Moses book I was editing. I never lingered.
Oh, I’d pour over books like The Purpose Driven Life or The Jesus I Never Knew or The Case for Christ. More my style. The Bible? Too dry for me.
That all changed when I made a deal with God one day: Heal me from a horrible nerve disease, and I’d write a book just for Him. I’d call it The Worrywart’s Prayer Book because not trusting God and being anxious was one of my greatest problems. So I figured I’d help myself as well as others researching a book like this.
Well, needless to say, God came through, and so did I. And that’s when I got really “into” the Bible.
And eureka! I could write pages about what I found there … because what I found is that it’s ALL there. An answer for every challenge, every problem, every doubt we face, all in that one Book.
Of course, I concentrated on worry, and the Bible didn’t disappoint. I wrote 40 chapters on trust, patience, accepting joy, loss, change, finding a mate, job jitters, failure, success, possessive possessions, death, money, terrorism, and more. I found advice on it all, right in God’s own words.
My love affair with the Good News (and it’s all good) didn’t stop there. I became intrigued by Philippians 4:8, a Scripture verse from the apostle Paul. I call it the whatever Scripture:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about those things.”
Whatever, a word we hear so often, a word we use sarcastically to mean “Do what you want,” “Yeah, right,” or “I don’t care.” But Paul used the word in a totally different context. So I did too. I used it to write WHATEVER: Livin’ the True, Noble, Totally Excellent Life to help girls 9-12 “take captive every thought and hold it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Once again, in the Bible I found all the answers I needed that would resonate with young readers:
Bad hair day? The Bible says, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles…. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within” (1 Peter 3:4).
No money for new duds? The Bible says, “And why worry about your clothes? Look at the field lilies. They don’t worry about theirs” (Matthew 6:29).
Feel uglier than a troll? The Bible says you are “amazingly and miraculously made” (Psalm 139:13). So feel blessed, not depressed.
And that’s just a sampling; I could go on and on. (And I did, for 300 pages!)
Bottom line is, though, that through a GINORMOUS amount of grace, I found the Word to hold more knowledge than ten thousand Google searches on how to live a totally excellent, God-focused life now–as well as whatever I need to get me to my ultimate destination: the room the Bible says Jesus has gone to prepare for me.
But don’t take my word for it, take HIS. You’ll find answers to whatever you’ve been searching for … and more!
The Scripture in today’s post is from the New International Version, the New Living Translation, the Living Bible, and God’s Word Translation.
Allia Zobel Nolan is an internationally-published, award-winning author of over 170 children’s and adult trade titles with close to two million books in print. Her books reflect her two main passions, God and cats, and include such varied titles as Cat Confessions: A Kitty-Come-Clean Tell-All Book, The Ten Commandments for Little Ones, The Worrywart’s Prayer Book, and her latest, WHATEVER: Livin’ the True, Noble, Totally Excellent Life, a Zondervan FaithGirlz title.
Allia lives in Connecticut with her husband, Desmond Finbarr Nolan, and their three feline children, Sinead, McDuff, and Angela. Visit Allia at www.AlliaWrites.com or on Facebook.
Thanks, Diane. It was a pleasure guest blogging, and I hope readers will get the Word out…..and read it. Allia
My pleasure, Allia! You’re an inspiration 🙂
Wow! It’s no coincidence I found your blog today. Indeed, reading the bible is a challenge for most but it is what grows personal relationship with our Heavenly Father – something most miss out on. We can’t know Him if we don’t spend time with Him. Often times it takes a hardship or difficulty to make us realize we need God. 2 Corinthians 4:17 says… For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. James 1:2 says, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Easier said than done I know but, in the end, so worth it. I am a walking testimony that trials can grow faith just like you Allia. Christians not engaging in personal relationship is a burden on my heart so I set out to write a series of Christian children’s books to teach kids what a growing faith looks like. It’s been over two years and I am just now trying to get these books launched. Three are completed. I’m trying to raise funds on kickstarter.com but it’s looking grim. I am also researching literary agents. Can you help direct me to some good ones? Luke 11:9, says “And so I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” So enjoyed your blog!
Hi Susan! I’m glad you found Allia’s post this week. Your desire to write out of your relationship with God and time in the Word is a great thing! It can take a lot of practice and patience to become published, so don’t be discouraged.
Allia’s comment (below) that conferences are a good place to meet agents is correct. Conferences are also a great place to get feedback and help with your writing and to make friends with other writers. There are some really good Christian writers conferences; just search online for recommendations. One that focuses just on writing for children is Write2Ignite. It’s in March next year, in South Carolina.
Don’t know too much about agents myself. I got my first two books published without an agent. Then I bumped into my present agent at Book Expo, and that’s how we got hooked up. I do know there is some kind of National Association of Literary Agents which I think you can find on the net; there might even be an association of Christian Literary Agents…though I’m not sure. YOu could also put the word out on Linked in that you are in the market for an agent. Also many times, writing seminars feature one on ones with agents.
Anyway, good luck with your books, and blessings.