Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Enclave: Author Spotlight + giveaway

It's Christian Science Fiction/Fantasy Blog Tour time again and today through Wednesday, I'll be telling you a little about a new release by Karen Hancock, The Enclave. Today the focus is going to be on the author, Karen Hancock.

This is taken from Ms. Hancock's website:

The Dry Bones

Born Pasadena, California

Grew up in Tucson, Arizona and Danville, California

Presently reside in Tucson.

Graduated from University of Arizona with bachelor's degrees in Biology and Wildlife Biology

Married to an engineer and we have one son whom I homeschooled for 8 years. He has recently graduated from public high school and is embarking on his own college career.

Activities/Experiences: besides being wife and mother, I am a keeper of hounds and a watercolor artist (yes, the paintings on this site are mine). I have raised chickens, turkeys and goats, made apple cider, hiked the Grand Canyon in a day, snowshoed three times into the Sierra Nevada's Desolation Wilderness (encountering blizzards two times), managed a stable of sixty horses, worked at Steward Observatory as an artist and in the Biology Department at the University of Arizona as a keeper of rats, mice and frogs for experiments. I have cleaned oil spill off scores of seabirds so they could be re-released, nursed a sparrow and a red-tailed hawk back to health, and lost a snake in the couch. I play tennis, walk, journal, sketch and am teaching myself how to make books. I love to read, and I watch a lot of movies and I drive my friends and family crazy with my analysis and discussion of both categories. I am completely captivated by stories and words, especially in their function of communicating the truths of life. Most of all, I love Bible Class.

The Meat -- Or How I Came to Write Christian Science Fiction and Fantasy

More than 25 years ago I left my college area apartment to go to a meeting with a man who would supposedly answer all my questions about the Bible and Creation versus the theory of Evolution, which I passionately supported. As I locked the front door, I remember saying to myself, "Those people think they're going to convert me, but they're wrong. No one can know for sure which explanation is right because no one was actually there back when whatever happened happened."

The man did answer all my questions -- every one of them. I just didn't understand any of his answers. What I did understand -- suddenly, stunningly -- was the reality of the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that I deeply desired to know Him. Without understanding much of anything about what sin was, I acknowledged I was a sinner and believed that He died for me on the cross some 2000 years ago.

I came home utterly changed. Family members couldn't figure out what was the matter with me. "What happened?" one asked. "Did they give you some sort of injection over there at that church?"

I was one of those wildly enthusiastic, intensely emotional converts. Evolution flew out the window and I've never looked back.

A year later I was married and living in Northern Arizona where the Lord introduced me to the taped sermons of Col. R.B. Thieme, Jr out of Houston, Tx. Col Thieme taught six times a week in those days, using an intensive isagogical, categorical and exegetical approach to teaching the Bible. I couldn't get enough of it, sometimes listening to three tapes a day, which, since I was carless and jobless and still new to the community, I had plenty of time to do.

A year after that while house-sitting for some Christian friends I was complaining about a best-selling novel I had picked up, and my husband suggested that instead of complaining I might want to write my own. The light went on, the fire blazed and off I went. The very next day while dusting I discovered a copy of The Writer's Market on the bottom shelf of a bedside table and in it was an article that was supposed to help you decide if you were a writer or not. I was.

Reading since before I even started school, I'd routinely carried home armloads of books from the library and read them all. I'd made up stories since I could remember, and when I was in junior high school I began to actually write them down. I wrote an entire novel in high school (a western) and started another (SF) before I left for college. I even had the audacity to send the western off to Doubleday for consideration for publication. When it was returned to me six months later I was mortified that I had actually shown it to anyone and threw it away lest I ever be tempted again.

Now, with my husband's encouragement I started a Christian western. Four months later I saw Star Wars at the same time as I was in the midst of a Bible study about putting on the armor of God, and something clicked. Suddenly I could see all the parallels and metaphors. I scrapped the western and launched into SF allegory . . . It changed into fantasy, a novel that got me two agents and an almost-sale, that has just been entirely rewritten for the third time and only awaits an opening in the Christian market. I believe eventually its time will come.*

Meantime, the Lord has given me Arena, and after many, many years of writing on trust alone, He's seen fit to have it published.

*It has! In May of 2002 I signed a contract with Bethany House for a four-book fantasy cycle, entitled Legends of the Guardian King, the first volume of which is this book. God is good!

Julie here....I have placed her Legends of the Guardian King volumes on my TBR list. If these are as good as this book, I'm in for a real treat! :)

Karen is also a Christy Award winner for the year 2003 for her debut book Arena.

I do hope you will take a few minutes to go and visit others blogs on this tour:

Brandon Barr
Jennifer Bogart
Keanan Brand
Grace Bridges
Melissa Carswell
Valerie Comer
Amy Cruson
CSFF Blog Tour
Stacey Dale
D. G. D. Davidson
Janey DeMeo
Jeff Draper
Emmalyn Edwards
April Erwin
Karina Fabian
Beth Goddard
Todd Michael Greene
Heather R. Hunt
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Carol Keen
Krystine Kercher
Dawn King
Mike Lynch
Melissa Meeks
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Eve Nielsen
John W. Otte
Steve Rice
Crista Richey
James Somers
Speculative Faith
Rachel Starr Thomson
Steve Trower
Fred Warren
Elizabeth Williams

Also, remember I'm giving this book away tomorrow (July 22). Be sure to sign up to win this great book!
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