What is the Christian Utopia?

I started writing novels because I wanted to help people understand. I wanted to use my gift, of words and imagination, to bring clarity and do so wrapping it all in an exciting, suspenseful, character rich tapestry called ‘fiction.’

Easy right? Pfft!

Here’s my dilemma. I am part of a generation that grew up in church. If you ask me to find Hebrews in the Bible, I’ll mentally sing the song until I figure out where it is. I grew up on a solid diet of Newsboys, DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline and Veggie Tales. I can mock Christian dancing with the best of you. I’ve read “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and sang along to Rebecca St. James’s anthem “Wait for me.”

As far as the Christian experiences go, I’ve got the whole collection. Been there, done that, wore out the t-shirt. I’ve heard messages on just about every topic.

What’s this got to do with my writing?

There’s something no one is telling me, and I can’t write this sequel until I figure it out. (so disclaimer: what I write will only be an artists impression but its better than nothing). Since Jesus walked the earth, Christians have lined up their prayers with the model prayer: “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” 

So hands up who can tell me what exactly that last bit means? No, not the theological answer. What does it mean in practicality? Real nuts and bolts stuff?

Its the thing we strive for – To be more like Jesus. To be better representatives of Heaven on Earth. We can all do our tiny part. We can all try to make the world a better place. We can all strive for that Philippians 3:14 thing where we press towards the goal of the prize of the upward call of God… but we never really get there.

The point of fiction is to be able to imagine the end-point. What does it look like when said Kingdom has come? What does it look like when only His will is done?

Its kind-of a Christian utopia, I guess. But to date, it hasn’t been seen on the face of Planet Earth. Its got to be a deeper answer than ‘no more war, no more hunger, no more pain,’ (and lets face it, that wouldn’t make for a good story!)

That’s it. This isn’t a post with answers. Its just a post with questions – a little rant about just how deep one has to dive to find the content one needs. Sometimes you have to go a bit deep with God and find at least an inkling you can run with yourself.

But what is fiction if its all been done before right? Rant over.

All The Details: The Remnant

The Remnant Cover-2Hey guys and girls,

The Remnant is out and the first readers have only great things to say. One happy author here! Now, I thought I’d better put a blog post out there so ya’ll know where to get it.

All the purchase details for The Shadows Where We Walk remain the same. Click here to find your copy.

To get a single copy of “The Remnant: Mark of Elijah,” you can jump onto the purchase site here and choose either the domestic postage or the international postage option. Yes it still say pre-order. That will be changed tomorrow. Don’t worry though! I’ll still get the message.

Sale people – get on down to Collins Booksellers or City Builders Church to grab your copy.

Important Information for Churches and Youth Groups

We want to give youth groups an opportunity to make a bit of coin for their favourite fundraiser or cause. Hence, we are doing bulk packs.

  • 10 copies – $120 plus postage
  • 20 copies – $240 plus postage
  • 30 copies – $300 plus postage
  • 100 copies – $1000 plus postage

Pop us an email using the contact form here, and I can quote on postage then we can arrange the rest. Each bulk pack comes with a t-shirt (while stocks last), some posters and a signed cast photo. Copies of The Shadows Where We Walk can be included in your pack too. Just let us know what you are after.

What People Said About The Shadows Where We Walk:

Just incase you are curious – here’s what people said about my last book.

  • “A good story on the spiritual battles that rage around us. Well developed characters and a strong plot move the reader forward. I definitely feel differently about how important our prayer life really is here on earth!”
  • “This book opened my eyes to some struggles that I personally face and given me the courage to know that I am on the winning team and I can fight.”
  • “Every church, every parent and every young person needs a copy of this book”
  • “It is beautifully crafted masterpiece. I truly look forward to the next book from this author.”
  • “Thoroughly enjoyable book. Well executed and thought provoking.”
  • “An amazing book! You can not go passed it! If you are young or old, an avid reader or not this book is for you. Shadows may just change your life. Enjoy!”

 

Launch Day, Baby!

On Saturday, Team Remnant was in full swing launching the long-awaited book. The hype had been building for a while with three book trailers released in the lead up to the day. I’d launched a couple of books before. I’d be all good with this…right?

Wrong! So nervous! I sat in the car doing deep breathing exercises for ages in order to calm myself down. Writing is a solitary pursuit. Launching and selling the book? Not so much.

Turns out my nightmares of all the books being wrong in some way or another, or of no one turning up to the launch, didn’t come true. Saturday was awesome. We even had to put more chairs out! We were able to Skype in people from around Australia, and the internet even worked. Yay! Well it kinda worked. So kinda yay.

The Remnant has now officially been launched. We are doing special prices for youth groups and churches so they can raise money for their chosen causes. Drop me an email if you are interested (via the contact form). The book is only days old and is already getting great reviews. Can’t wait for you to meet The Remnant.

If you want to see the book trailers, which you really should because they are AWESOME, here’s the location of the YouTubeChannel! (Click here to see the good stuff)

So without further ado…here are some photos from the day.

Much love

Clare

Taken from snapchat, here are some members of #TeamRemnant.

Taken from snapchat, here are some members of #TeamRemnant.

Again taken from snapchat, who says you can't go to a book launch in your active wear?

Again taken from snapchat, who says you can’t go to a book launch in your active wear?

Third snapchat pic - its exciting, when your bro is the face of a book. Whoop!

Third snapchat pic – its exciting, when your bro is the face of a book. Whoop!

The merch table, with cast pics, t-shirts and posters. And books. There were books too.

The merch table, with cast pics, t-shirts and posters. And books. There were books too.

That would be me, doing a reading. Like a boss.

That would be me, doing a reading. Like a boss.

Me doing a reading...again

Me doing a reading…again

Cutting the ribbon on the box (apologies for the blur. iPhone shot!)

Cutting the ribbon on the box (apologies for the blur. iPhone shot!)

The autograph table with Elise who played Phoebe Clements, and Sam who played Hunter Rhodes.

The autograph table with Elise who played Phoebe Clements, and Sam who played Hunter Rhodes.

Hard at work signing books and posters

Hard at work signing books and posters

 

 

Book Launch (11 of 15)

Book Launch (12 of 15)

My book trailer cast! Back row: Marc McLeod/Milo Katan, Erin Murphy/Kit Speechly, Amy Wallace/Karlin Dent, Kyra Cruz/Sidra Zayne, Hadassha Tamanaba/Gaia Kadaro Front Row: Hannah Rose/Agent Amara Chaise, John Heath/Leonides Abrasax/ Elise Heath/Phoebe Clements, Me!/I didn't play a character. I just wrote them. Sam Murphy/Hunter Rhodes and Tim Wallace who played Dallas Speechly.

My book trailer cast! Back row: Marc McLeod/Milo Katan, Erin Murphy/Kit Speechly, Amy Wallace/Karlin Dent, Kyra Cruz/Sidra Zayne, Hadassha Tamanaba/Gaia Kadaro
Front Row: Hannah Rose/Agent Amara Chaise, John Heath/Leonides Abrasax/ Elise Heath/Phoebe Clements, Me!/I didn’t play a character. I just wrote them. Sam Murphy/Hunter Rhodes and Tim Wallace who played Dallas Speechly.

The cast, blue steeling

The cast, blue steeling

The cast is joined by the cutest member of The Remnant...Riley, son of our amazing film-maker Joy Churchill.

The cast is joined by the cutest member of The Remnant…Riley, son of our amazing film-maker Joy Churchill.

Countdown to Launch

It’s happening. The first boxes of “The Remnant” are on the doorstep, waiting for the postman to take them away. The launch party venue and decor is arranged (I think, but I’ll leave that with my people to take care of). The media releases have gone into the newspaper. The guests have been  invited. Facebook is buzzing. I’ve got an office full of books, t-shirts and posters.

All I’ve got to do is organise catering. Food, of course, being my least favourite thing to organise. But we are getting there.

Today, I’m enjoying a flashback to this time two years ago when I was launching my first book. I sat in my car for a very long time, with my hands white knuckled on the wheel. Writing the book was one thing. Putting it out to the world to have it judged, and read, and loved, and hated, is another (quite terrifying) thing.

Turns out it wasn’t nearly that bad. The feedback has been faultlessly great! Amazing for a first time author. But it also turns out I’m not that comfortable with being the centre of attention. Writing is a solitary pursuit, but marketing isn’t. Argh! But its just a fact of life. This time around, I’ve got a marketing chic and a publicist so I’m hoping that will be a bit easier.

I was warned prior to my first launch that writing it is 10% of the work (and ask anyone who has written a book – its no walk in the park). Marketing and promotion is 90% of the work. We all wish for some well-oiled supply chain we can just slip into and be carried along by, but that’s not how it works. It’s still something I’m up for though – because writing is what I love. I’ve been incredibly lucky to be one of the few who has been able to pay her mortgage with writing for the past 18 months now. But it isn’t lost on me how much luck, good fortune and plain old hard work has gone into that.

I’m a blessed and thankful girl.

I completely believe in this book. I love the characters, and the storyline, the cover (my gosh, the cover), but it doesn’t insulate me from the nerves of the actual launch. I’m guessing thats just a fact of life for a writer. I’m still going to rip the bandaid off and launch this thing because books are meant to be read – but gosh! The nerves.

There. That’s just a little honest confession from a soon-to-be three time author.

Happy Friday to ya’ll

Cheers

C