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Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Part the Waters" Submitted to Kregel

I recently submitted the manuscript of a young adult (tween) novel called Part the Waters to Kregel Publications. I had mentioned the project to my editor at Kregel last fall, and he expressed interest. After finishing the edits on FATAL ILLUSIONS in June, I finally found time to dust off PTW (which I'd written in 2007) and spend some time reviewing the project. I also did some marketing research to determine whether other novels in the market are like mine; this type of research is always helpful for publishers as they determine whether the project is a fit for them. Anyhow, I shot off the manuscript along with a two-page synopsis and the findings of my marketing research. Now I wait to see if Kregel wants the project.

For those interested in what Part the Waters is about, let me first share a bit about the background of this project. When I was on staff at Northland Baptist Bible College, I became friends with science professor Arthur Raske. While getting to know Art, I heard an amazing story about his family's escape from East Germany at the close of World War II. Someone else had already written his story. Upon reading the story, I saw its potential, not only for magazine articles but also for a young adult novel.

I did write a two-part article for Northland's Heart magazine about the Raske family's amazing experience and escape, but I felt that the story needed more exposure. I became consumed with the idea of writing the story for a young adult readership as a full novel, but immediately I faced a few challenges. In the true story, Art was only two years old at the time of his family's Atlantic crossing, so I chose to make Art older and develop a fictitious characterization. The second challenge was research. This story is about an American family trapped in Germany at the outbreak of World War II in 1939. They endure the hardships of homefront Germany during the war and later escape. The challenge was finding books about homefront Germany during the war. Though the Holocaust provided some background for my novel, my story is not a true Holocaust account. But most books about Germany in this area are about the Holocaust, so I faced a few challenges in just finding material about what Germany would have been like for the average German from 1939 to 1945.

Anyhow, here is the summary blurb of what Part the Waters is about. I'm leaving the project in the Lord's hands to do with it whatever He wants. But it was a blast to write because the true story practically told itself.

A reunion with grandparents in 1939 Germany turns into a nightmare for eight-year-old Minnesotan Walter Schroeder and his family when Germany invades Poland. As World War II breaks out, the Schroeders—American citizens—become trapped behind enemy lines, all the while under the watchful gaze of the Gestapo, who suspects them of being American spies. To protect his family, Papa, a German native, joins the army, leaving them to fend for themselves in a land oppressed by the Nazis and their ruthless dictator. When the German army falls at Stalingrad, Papa’s letters cease. Will Walter see his father again? If so, do they dare dream of escape?

Based on a true story, Part the Waters is an adventure story about faith, prayer, and God’s protection in danger. As Walter learns, God still performs miracles, even for ordinary people like him.

1 comment:

  1. HI!

    The other day I was at Border and I was just blown away .. it seemed to me that over 50% of the "teen" books were vampire or dark hero books...

    Nice to add some variety to the pot I say!!!!


    rachel beaton ashmore