Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Heart Behind the Hope Chronicles

It started out with a simple e-mail from my friend Joanne:
Would you be interested in a blog hop?
Historical writers, she said. All writing from their story's heroine's point of view. What a creative approach to the hopping-of-blogs! I was in.

The wheels in our collective brains began to turn:

“What if we invite these other authors to jump in?”
“What if we do giveaways to go along with the blog hop?”
“What if we all have a common theme to serve readers through our message, to give them something? Some thread of truth to stitch the event together, give it a foundation?”
“What if—and is this cheesy?—we send a journal around in the mail and hand-inscribe it?”

And so the Hope Chronicles was born. I won't go into details here about what the project actually is, because both Joanne Bischof and Sarah Sundin have done a wonderful job of that on their blogs. But do let me give you a little more of a peek behind the scenes.

As things began to unfold and God kept opening doors, there was something nameless, something we hadn’t quite put our fingers on yet, that kept cropping up in our desires, even in the schedules and plans that emerged. 

It was the purpose, the heart.

Why do all of this? It’s fun, yes. It’s a new way to connect with readers, yes. But… on a deeper level… why?

That’s where this came in:
As five historical fiction authors that span a century of settings and every stage of publication, the common thread that ties us together is our desire to offer hope from the Master Author, our Lord and Savior. Our goal is to join together as storytellers and to connect with each other and our readers in a meaningful way through the Hope Chronicles event.

Our mission statement. 

This purpose, it’s why I write. Serve readers with meaningful, life-giving truth. 

And I suspect I wouldn’t be too far off if I said that’s why these other ladies write, too.

In the next month, as Hope Chronicles week approaches and you see pictures and verses and information floating around the web, know that this is about true Hope. The kind that does not disappoint. 

"Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts..." 
Romans 5:5

And in the meantime, allow me to give you a sneak peek of the Hope Chronicles journal and its journey around the U.S. to be hand-inscribed by all 5 authors. 

 Regina Jennings was the first stop.

...and a sweet note to the other 4 collaborators on our instruction page:

 ...then came Joanne, inscribing for her book's heroine, Lonnie:

Joanne's message to the other 4 collaborators-- pretty much sums up our desires!

Then it landed in my hands, the third state along the journey, to be inscribed "on behalf of" my book's heroine, Georgianna:

Imagine my joy when I stumbled upon this antique post card in the middle of thousands upon thousands of goods in an antique store! It's from just about the right time period (the back says it costs 2 cents to send it. Can you imagine?), and exactly the right location. Talk about a needle in a haystack:

That verse-- "Hope as an anchor for the soul"-- isn't it wonderful? I cling to it, and my *hope* is that it'll encourage you, too. It emerged quickly as the theme of my journal entry here, and so my prize bundle is centered around it, too. On that same trip to the antique store, I spotted this:

An "H"! An anchor! Hope as an anchor for the soul. It, along with a floating candle to create a lantern...
... is one of the things I'll be giving away during Hope Chronicles week. 

This week I'll be sending the journal on to Karen Barnett, who will then pass it along to Sarah Sundin... and then, friends, we'll be ready to go live with the blog hop, and type some hope onto our screens. 

Won't you join us? 


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