Book: Altered Hearts by Roger E. Brunercategories: Book, Mission Trips, Forgiveness, Maturity, Bible Reading, Race Relations, Friendship, Parent Problems, Religious Bigotry, Christian Fiction
Roger Ellis Brunerabout this anthology: When my daughter was eighteen, she went on a Christian mission trip to Mexico. Although she told us all about it when she returned home, certain things stuck out in my mind. She had paid for overweight luggage to take things she didn't need, and she'd failed to take some of what she did need. That kind of thing can happen when a thoughtless young lady doesn't pay enough attention to the instructions.
She worked on construction, helping to build houses for needy families, something high school hadn't prepared her to do. The area was quite trashy.
Somehow, those facts about her trip inspired me--with God's help, I assume--to write a short story called "Found in the Translation." But even while writing it, I knew I was going to turn it into a novel.
A publisher who didn't deal with young adult novels was so impressed with it that she found an agent for me. A year later I had a contract for Found in Translation (they insisted on dropping the "the") plus a sequel. The intention was for more books in this mission-themed series, but my publisher, who hadn't published any other young adult books, decided to discontinue their young adult line.
That left me with 30,000 words of a third book in the series and ideas for finishing up with a fourth book. What publisher would want to continue another publisher's series?
The answer came when I got the rights back to the first two books and found a smaller publisher who was willing to republish those two plus the third and fourth books. And now I have the rights to all four books and have republished them myself.
I'm not trying to make money with my writing. I feel convinced, however, that these books will both bless and entertain both teen and adult readers. So I've priced the individual Kindle books as low as possible; I didn't have much control over the price of the print editions.
But then it struck me: why make readers pay for four individual Kindle books when I could roll them into one and sell them for half the price of the individual books?
I've been on mission trips to Nicaragua, England, Wales, Romania, and Australia. Although the first of the Altered Hearts books takes place in an imaginary Mexican village, the missions emphasis, the relational problems, and the need to follow God's leading are quite realistic.
I might add that when I felt led to write the third book, Overshadowed, which involves a trip to Nicaragua, I was at a loss for how to make it sufficiently real just using facts about Nicaragua from the Internet. So when my wife suggested that I check with people at church to see if a trip to Nicaragua was any time in the future, it turned out a small group was going three weeks from then! If that wasn't God's timing, I don't know what was.
Even though the Altered Hearts books have been marketed to teens, adults seem to have fallen in love with them, too.
I'm currently reading Altered Hearts myself. As many times as I've read the individual books, I've never read them all straight through. I think being able to keep reading--each book begins at the end of the previous one--is a wonderful benefit.
I hope some of my readers will let me know what they think.
preview: read a sample from this book
what to read next: if you read and liked this book...
Other books by Roger Ellis Bruner (more)
• Book Review: A Season of Pebbles (Altered Hearts Book 2) by Roger E. Bruner|
• Book Review: Found in Translation (Altered Hearts Book 1) by Roger E. Bruner with Kristi Rae Bruner|
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