NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: Author releases first solo novel Tuesday, May 07, 2013 03:00 am | BY KEVIN VINK Many people – religious or not – struggle with loving others as themselves. A local author published her second novel in March, which explores one woman’s struggle to do just that.
Christian author Rebecca ‘Becky’ Sundberg says her goal as a writer is not only to touch the heart, but to also offer a challenge through her writing.
“I love conjuring up a story and working to bring all of the pieces together, but in the end I want it to mean something,” says Sundberg.
“My objective in writing A Call to Love is to leave the reader asking the question ‘What impact could I have if I truly loved my neighbour as myself?’”
Despite being one of the commands of Jesus Christ, she notes people often offer excuses, such as being too busy, too shy or thinking the cost is simply too great.
These are some of the obstacles that the protagonist in her novel has to deal with, she adds.
“Having lost her husband to tragedy, Maddy comes face to face with life's struggles as she is left to raise her daughter on her own. Certainly, there are times Maddy is tempted to withdraw as she cries to God, uncertain she has anything to give -- but God does not leave her there,” she explains.
“He challenges Maddy to reach out despite her uncertainties, and although we see her struggles along the way, Maddy's desire is to serve God, and she embraces His challenge. Throughout the story, we experience her journey and witness the impact it brings.”
Though this is her second novel, it is her first solo endeavour and has been self-published through Westbow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson, she says.
She had been working on the book for a few years and says she enjoys the process of writing, putting it down, going back and making additions, and eventually coming out with a book.
"It's a process of writing and setting it aside, and then you get it back out and rewrite and then you write some more,” she says, “and just also the process of finding out how to get it published, because that's not easy.”
It is actually very difficult to get into traditional Christian publishers, she says, noting that attending writers’ conferences and workshops helped her quite a bit.
“Through the writers’ conferences, they worked with me, and the goal is to still give you a chance, because they realize most publishers won't look at beginning authors anymore,” she says.
She has spent many years working to learn how the publishing industry works, improving her skills, and writing to get to a point where she could get published, and has finally reached her goal.
The investment for her was about $1,200 for publishing, which includes some services that other publishers provide, she says, adding that she is currently working on finding a publicist to help her sell the book.
“I did have to pay as I said, but (this publisher) does distribute and offer more help than a standard self-publishing company,” she notes.
“They still keep track of sales and pay royalties. I guess they just remove some of their risk by limiting their cost and investment, and it does provide a means of breaking into the market.”
Besides marketing her novel, Sundberg is also currently working on her first non-fiction book, I Dedicate This Child.
"And it's dealing with the fact that we dedicate our children to God and we have no idea how he's going to use them and what he's going to do,” she explains.
“So it’s just working through my own personal journey of dedicating my children.”
CBM BOOK REVIEW: 5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, April 29, 2013 By CBM Book Reviews (USA) - See all my reviewsThis review is from: A Call to Love (Paperback) A Call to Love by Rebecca Sundberg, is a heart-warming novel displaying God's mighty hand and the power of Isaiah 58 (giving to others in their need), while readily revealing the theme that, "...all things work out for good" (paraphrase of Romans 8:28) throughout.
How many of us are so busy, we don't pay attention to anyone else's needs, but our own? The author has written a poignant novel of a young woman named Maddy, whose life has not been so easy as a single mom. Yet, through her trials, Maddy has trusted God and has prayed that the Lord's love might pour through her to others. She has no idea how the Lord will answer this prayer, but realizes the magnitude of this prayer as she is called to not only minister love and support throughout her hurting community, but also when she is called to aid a woman named Isobelle.
You will not want to put down the pages of this fast-paced and intriguing novel of real life drama unfolding before your eyes. This story is heart-warming and will touch the soul of everyone who reads it. It's a story of triumph over trials and displays that the Lord is good. The book invokes a sense of hope for putting your trust in God and encourages all to come into a relationship with the Lord. ____________________
Although I grew up in Ohio, I now live in Alberta, Canada with my husband, Perry. I have three grown sons, all of whom are married. I work part time as a receptionist, but in my spare time I love to write as well as travel to tropical destinations. I’m also involved on the missions committee at my church.
My goal as a writer is to not only touch hearts, but to inspire and challenge my reader.
How do you find time to connect with God?
That’s a good question, as life always seems to be busy. I would have to say my favorite time to talk to God is before going to sleep or just when I’m waking up. I find at those times I’m less distracted and I enjoy these quiet moments to focus on what really matters.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
I love Karen Kingsbury and Francine Rivers. I think partly because they deal with issues as well as tell a story. There is so much power in a writer’s hand to not only entertain, but to minister.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
It has been a long process since I first started to write. I first took on the challenge with the help of my twin sister about 20 years ago. I loved having a partner to share the experience and it helped to keep me going among the disappointments. In hindsight, I wish I would have had more training before I started as I’m sure the learning process wouldn’t have been so difficult. On the other hand, I think the learning process will go on forever, so I attribute it all to part of the experience. Our first book together was published in 2004 and was called “Destined for Eternity”. “A Call to Love” is the first book I am publishing on my own.
Tell us about your current book, A Call to Love ?
My goal in writing A Call to Love is to leave the reader asking the question: “What impact could I make if I truly loved my neighbor as myself?” It shows some of Maddy’s stuggles and blessings as God leads her on her own unique journey of learning to love and serve those around her. I try and portray even a small glimpse of the impact we can have if we take the command to love seriously.
Of course this theme is interwoven with story and even a little romance to draw you into the hearts and lives of my characters.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
I tend to draw a lot from my own life experience and what I’m learning. Often the struggles I give my characters are also my own. As for “A Call to Love”, I see the importance of God’s command to love, but I also get caught up in the excuses we create to avoid obeying that command. Life is busy, I’m shy, or the cost is too great. I guess in the end, I like to challenge myself as much as my reader.
What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?
There are two. Obviously I have covered the first in being more willing to invest in the lives of the people around us. The second being, the fact that God is in control. No matter what pathway life takes us down, there is a purpose and God can use that to His glory.
What’s next for you?
I am very excited for my next project. I am currently working on my first non-fiction book, entitled, “I Dedicate This Child”. It’s the journey of letting go and releasing our children to God. The premise being, when we dedicate our children to God, we have no idea where He is going to take them. Are we going to hold on tightly or give them to His service? What happens when your son tells you, “I want to die telling other people about Jesus and if that happens, I don’t want it to be a sad thing — I want it to be a celebration.” “I Dedicate this Child” is my story.
Please tell us where we can connect with you online.
Multi-published Christian author Rebecca Sundberg of Alberta, Canada releases a wonderful new novel, A Call To Love -an encouraging story of giving from a biblical perspective.
Maddy Walker, a widowed young mother, goes on a touching journey with God as He uses her to bless others in their difficulty. Despite her own temporary struggles and shortcomings, we learn of this young mother who steadily copes with the loss of her husband and the challenge of raising her young daughter alone with the help of God. But God does something unimaginable with Maddy. He encourages her to give even when she is barely making ends meet herself. Although timid and unwilling at first, Maddy follows the Lord's call to reach out and give to others, granting us a special glimpse of her impact through a woman named Isobelle.
Author Rebecca Sundberg writes this novel in the spirit of giving and Isaiah 58 that says, "If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places – (Isaiah 58:10-11 The Message). Caring for others in their deepest needs is what the Christian walk is all about, a must read to reach outside yourself and to see what it means to really live…
As a creative writer, Rebecca's desire is to be used by God to fulfill His purposes through her life and the gifts that God has so graciously gifted her with. This shines true within the pages of Rebecca's new book release.