I am so excited to welcome my friend and fellow member of my Word Weaver Aurora group to my blog today. He has been a faithful member and participant since our critique group formed. His insights have been so helpful. Now it’s my turn to pay it forward.
Lynn Cornell released his first novel last month. The Color of Redemption tackles racism from a different perspective. I so enjoyed reading the story of Katie Smith and her journey toward forgiveness.
Here is the back cover blurb.
Raising her family in the turbulent ‘60s in a segregated rural Alabama town, Katie Parker understood the ugliness of racism and Jim Crow all too well. Her farm, which she shared with her activist husband, became her oasis, her retreat. Here, she had control. Here, she could witness God’s handiwork in the beauty of the land. Here, she was at peace. But it was a peace soon to be shattered. After a devastating and horrible event, Katie moves with three of her four children to a relative’s house in a majority-white suburb of Los Angeles. Settling in, she was confident she had escaped the horrors of her hometown. But the memory of that horrible event, and the animosity and hatred it stirred in her, were not easily shaken. Though she escaped a segregated Southern town, racism and intolerance were not easily left behind. Oddly enough, it was her granddaughter’s addiction to drugs that led Katie on a path causing her to confront her fears and prejudices and face head-on the past that she thought she had left behind. Katie’s journey will introduce this generation to the ugly racism of the sixties and confront the racial realities that exist in the church today. The Color of Redemption will show readers how to break down these walls that separate Christians and deal with racial prejudice, not from a civil rights perspective, but a Christian world view dictated by the Bible.
I love that you wrote this in first person. Following the story from Katie’s perspective added so much depth. I haven’t read a story like this and so I want to start out by asking: Why this book?
I have been a Christian since 1978. I’ve been a part of all black churches and all white churches (my presence at white churches excluded). I’ve found it troubling that the same racial feelings and opinions that exists in America exists in both churches. The Color of Redemption shows how Christians should view and resolve racial issues.
How did you research to get the clothing right? The setting? And dialect?
As a young boy, I spent summers in a small southern town and worked cotton fields to buy my school clothes. The color divide was marked by railroad tracks dividing the white side of town from the black side of town. I also lived in Los Angeles and found the racial divide marked not by railroad tracks, but by area of the city or suburb.
Who coached you on how a woman talks and thinks. You really nailed it.
That’s funny because I just picture in my mind how women I know would speak and react to situations. Of course, I get feedback from writer’s group, i.e. you, and I’ll ask my wife and daughter how something sounds.
I’ve heard you share your journey to publication. So, encourage my readers by answering these two important questions
How long did it take you to get it published?
About ten years
What were some of the obstacles?
I think the biggest obstacle was learning how to write. I had written an entire first draft of COR and didn’t know what things like point of view or show and not tell were. Once I had taken the time to learn the craft of writing, the story came together and I was, with confidence, able to seek publishing. I think some publishers were hesitant to tackle the issue of race. I had to have patience to find the publisher who was willing to publish my book.
We always end the journey in a better place than we began. Share some of the things you learned along the way?
The most significant thing I learned is Christians who view life through a racial prism fail to see the wonderful work of the cross. That’s the cure of racism.
What words of wisdom would you pass on to newbie writers?
I can’t say this enough, learn the craft of writing. Take the time to hone your skills. Then learn the publishing business, and yes, it is a business. With those two things, you’ll have confidence as a writer and in what you’ve written.
Lynn, tell us about your upcoming projects.
Currently I’m working on two novels, A Most Precious Pearl which tells the story of an immoral woman who discovers she is God’s pearl. In God’s Honor tells the story of an Iranian secret police woman who comes to faith in opposition to her strong Muslim tradition.
Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope everyone takes to heart your advice to learn the craft. And I hope my readers will take the time to purchase this thought-provoking, timely story. Click here.
Lynn Cornell has been a Christian since 1978 and started writing in his forties, at the request of his wife. He’s currently working on three novels and two non-fictions books. Lynn has completed a children’s book, Obi’s Three Nails and four screenplays. His screenplay Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol received honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest competition. The Color of Redemption was a semi-finalist in the Christian Writer’s Guild Operation First Novel contest. He is a member of Word Weavers.When not writing, he enjoys riding his bike. He’s been married to his wife, Beverly for twenty-three years and has five adult children and thirteen grandchildren. Visit him on Facebook.
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