You don’t know God’s business.
It was an expression that I heard an elderly lady use to describe her opinion about a weather forecast. I’ve used it myself in books and probably in person, but it was never so clear to me than when I began to write Their First Noel for Love Inspired.
It started from the kernel of an idea planted at a book signing at a friend’s antique store (the Red Scooter in Taylorsville, KY) where they displayed the entries in a local gingerbread house Christmas contest. The story was to be about a girl who needed an excuse to go to Vermont to see her first snow and to look for her birth father, connecting with a man who needed to understand that the best laid plans in life are not always what God has in mind. I love the characters of Andy and Corrie, and of Andy’s younger sister Greer, but had no idea that the book might become more than a holiday romance.
While writing the book about connecting with people long gone from each other, I happened to make contact with one of my dearest friends from high school. We hadn’t spoken in years and it was so nice to catch up and talk about our lives and family. She was especially excited for me to read some of her son’s poetry and song lyrics. The eighteen year old was very interested in becoming a writer, and soon I had befriended him too on Facebook. I loved hearing from my old friend and found her son to be thoughtful and talented and offered to help encourage his writing if I could. That opportunity never came.
Theodore Anderson died on November 11, 2009 of an undiagnosed heart defect. As a mom and friend, I have no words even still to offer comfort over the loss of a child. But as a writer, God gave me a way to give Theo what all writers aspire to – readers. And so an excerpt of one of Theo’s pieces appears in the dedication of Their First Noel.
From that moment the book has received special attention, from being the cover of the sales catalog, to getting an Editor’s Choice 4.5 in Romantic Times, to offers to do interviews or opportunities to guest blog that I don’t usually get. This has nothing to do with me or with what might literally be called a cookie cutter book (because it’s about cookie dough houses, of course). I honestly believe that has been God at work, that this book has been blessed in order to help us share Theo’s writing and draw attention to young people with bi-polar disorder and am humbled to be a part of it.
To read more about Theo Anderson and read some of his work you can visit The Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation and http://theodoreanderson.blogspot.com/
Annie Jones is the award winning author of 37 novels under 4 pen names with 6 publishers. Though she has lived all over the country, she currently lives in Kentucky with her husband and children. You can find her at her blog Writing Through Life.
It's giveaway time!
Annie, thanks so much for visiting and sharing Theo's story!
Now I've got a copy of Their First Noel to give away (right after I finish reading it). Just leave a comment for Annie between now and Sunday and I'll pick the winner this weekend.