I know it says Tuesday and this popped in your inbox on a Wednesday, but blame it on the holiday. I can’t keep track of the days. 😉
For Takeover Tuesday, we have Lori Altebaumer here with us today. Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with her!
Books have been some of my best friends for as long as I can remember. If you asked me why I love to read, I would have probably said because I enjoy the escape of immersing myself in a story—a story where the characters are bolder, stronger, wiser, braver, and every other good kind of “-er” than me.
Then I became a writer. Correction… I had always imagined myself a writer, but I finally got serious about the craft and committed to making “it” happen (it being actually finishing more than one chapter). Looking at story through the lens of a writer is different than looking through the lens of a reader, and it caused me to reflect on what it really is that I love about books. A reader only cares to know if it works. A writer has to know the how and why.
I’m not talking about the stunning covers, the comforting smell of old ink or fresh binding, or the friendly sound of turning pages. I’m talking about why stories matter so much to me. My life isn’t so terrible that I need the “escape from reality” I assumed was the reason. Why am I drawn to characters and places and predicaments that aren’t mine? And why do I feel better about the world or believe I’m a better person after I’ve read a really compelling story?
And then I heard Allen Arnold teach a workshop on writing in which he said the best stories aren’t the ones that give us a break from reality. They are the ones that take us into a deeper reality. These are the stories where the unseen becomes visible, giving us a glimpse of God.
Boom! I understood why I’m drawn to stories and why some books resonate on a level I can’t explain, making me into a better person after I have read them. They don’t hit me over the head with a sermon or a lesson. They simply invite me to see things differently, more deeply. They give me a glimpse of God.
I have written about some hard things, but real things. Things I hope none of us ever experience in real life. But the truth is some of us will or have already. That is the reality we see. It is tangible in front of us.
But what about the deeper reality? The reality that points to God’s sovereignty? The truth behind why bad things happen, and His plan to make all things right one day? The reality of a love and a promise so immense our human hearts can’t yet comprehend it’s power?
Yes, the hard things, the ugly things, the painful things are real, but I pray that through the books I write, people will know so is God’s grace and mercy, His forgiveness, and His love. I pray that they’ll go deeper into the reality of who they are and Whose they are.
When I write I hope to take the reader on a journey filled with laughter and hope, while asking them to consider what really matters.
I can no longer say I read stories to escape. I read stories to go deeper into the reality of the ultimate story—God’s story. May the stories I write do the same.
About the Book
A Far Way to Run is a compelling story about overcoming the past to discover your purpose. This novel chronicles what happens when a woman traumatized by a violent sexual assault must make a life-defining choice to continue hiding, or stand up in the face of evil to save a stranger.
Shayne Wright returns to the Texas town where she grew up for a funeral and accidentally gets caught in a human trafficking scheme gone wrong. When she stops to render aid at an accident, she ends up with a gunshot wound to her shoulder and a target on her back when the trafficker believes she stole his money.
Her plan to stay the night at the old family farm becomes complicated when she finds it has been leased to a man working through some past demons of his own. Former military sniper Ethan McGregor is here on a reconnaissance mission for an organization that fights human trafficking. The complications keep coming when her prodigal brother shows up. When he tells Shayne and Ethan he saw a woman being held against her will, Ethan’s interest intensifies, thinking this might be the human trafficking he’s here to uncover. Shayne, on the other hand, wrestles with trusting her brother.
Her conscience propels her to search for a way to help, but knowing the woman is being held at the place where she’d been assaulted makes her wary. It doesn’t help that she’s kept the attack a secret. The one person who knows her secret is also obsessed with her. When he abducts her, she finds out her strength to face evil is stronger than the shame she fears.
Possible Triggers: Sexual Assault, PTSD, Sex Trafficking
About the Author
Multi-published author Lori Altebaumer describes herself as a wandering soul with a home keeping heart. Her tag line of head in the clouds, boots on the ground, and heart in His hands isn’t just a catchy phrase, but sums up the way she lives her life. Lori has enjoyed both traditional and independent publishing. Her debut novel, A Firm Place to Stand, has been recognized as 2020 AWSA Golden Scrolls Awards winner as well as being selected as a finalist for multiple Selah Awards and the BRMCWC Director’s Choice Awards in 2021. Her work has been included in multiple compilations including Arise to Peace published by Right to the Heart and The Power to Make a Difference published by Lighthouse Bible Studies. Lori enjoys engaging with all facets of the writing industry and people who are passionate about the craft of writing. A life-long Texas, she loves her Southern roots, things that make her laugh, and the company of family and friends.