"THE MINOR PROTECTION ACT" by JODI COWLES!
This book is thankfully fiction, but could easily become reality if we are not aware and active people. It's an amazing book with great characters (good and bad) that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you read, but it's not necessarily a mystery/suspense book... its more of a fiction drama. I actually told Jodi after I read it that I think everybody with two working brain cells needs to read this book. Hopefully you will be one of those people after you read this interview and you can also go to this link - http://cornhuskeracademy.blogspot.com/2007/12/minor-protection-act-with-first.html where I have previously published the 1st chapter of this book on this blog - check that out as well - now come meet Jodi Cowles...
1) Sometimes people think of authors as being bigger than life and not "real", so I thought we would start off with a very important question, one that will show people just how real you are! "What dessert can you not resist when it is time to indulge?" First of all, that just makes me laugh. "Bigger than life" is not a descriptive commonly used for me! ;) As for the dessert -- my grandmother's homemade lemon meringue pie does me in. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a piece in a couple days as we celebrate our traditional family Christmas at her house.
2) This book is mind blowing in a good way, a wake-up call of sorts. To me this is a book that people need to read. Was there a particular event or situation that triggered the desire to write this book? Well thank you! :) I've always enjoyed writing, but there were three things that I think "triggered" the book. First, a relative of mine teaches missions at the seminary level and told me, years ago, that Christians in China had been praying for Christians in America to be persecuted. Second, I had a dream that was sort of the seed of the plot. And finally, I felt like everywhere I turned people were calling me a close-minded, intolerant bigot because of my Biblically-based beliefs. Not ever to my face -- but it seemed to me almost like a cultural squeeze, trying to squish my God into a little tolerant box.
3) This book is a well written drama/mystery that I found not only enjoyable, but horrifying at the same time as a Christian pro-life, homeschooling parent. I don't even know how much to say about the book w/out giving too much away, but suffice it to say that you set up a scenario of what could happen if the wrong people gain too much power in our government. Do you think instances like this could play out in the future? I have to admit that I didn't do a smidge of research other than the usual things: "how fast can a lear fly?" and "what hotel faces the White House?" It was more of a personal statement as I worked, not too-much informed by current events. That said, when the book came out I was rather stunned by all the news stories people started sending me. It's amazing to me how many circumstances eerily similar to scenes I made up have played out in the past year or two.
In fact, just yesterday I read of a Utah woman who says she fled her home because a judge ordered her to put her children in public school or he would have them removed. I don't know all the particulars of the story, but it blows my mind that a judge would have that kind of authority when there doesn't seem to be any abuse, simply a desire to teach children outside the bounds of the hyper-sexualized public school environment. I know a similar thing happened to a whole community of Mennonites in Canada last year -- but this is America! Of course, you mentioned you're a homeschooler so I'm probably preaching to the choir. :p
4) I love the reactions of some of the Christians when things start to happen. They aren't willing to just stand by and watch, but they step up and make themselves willing vessels for God to use as He sees fit. When you develop characters like that, do you have someone in mind (like a Christian that really influenced you) or are they completely fictional?
You know I appreciate you saying that because part of the reason I wrote a novel instead of a non-fiction recitation of the facts is that fiction moves me. Watching characters react to realistic situations stretches me, teaches me about God and impacts me in a way non-fiction never has. I wanted to write an entertaining book to be sure, but I also wanted to write something that might cause people to think...maybe open their eyes to what's going on around us a little bit more and spend a moment thinking and praying about how they might react in similar circumstances.
But I digress from your question! ;) Although the characters are all completely fictional, I did incorporate personality traits from different family members or friends for some of them. I also named a lot of characters after people close to me, but there's not always a direct correlation.
5) Is this your first major book?
First book period, major or no. :)
6) Do you have any new projects in the works we can be looking for?
I'm about a third of the way through a sequel but I'm finding it tough going. I'm also considering writing a memoir of sorts about the 11 months I spent on the road last year, traveling around the country in a motorhome while promoting the book. I'm sorry to say I don't think you need to hold your breath before either is finished.
7) You just got back from a medical missions trip, will you be incorporating that into any upcoming books?
Ooh, I hope so! I had a lot of fun twisting the plot around for MPA so that it included different countries I've visited. Since writing the book I've been to a number of new countries that I'm just itching to write about.
This past trip I was in Africa working with Latin missionaries who called me La Chica because they thought I was 19, which was an ego boost to my 33 year old self, let me tell you. :p Anyway, they told me I needed to write a book called La Chica in Africa and include them as characters. I was thinking that I'd enjoy writing a novel about a short term mission team, but that'll have to go in my ideas stack for now.
Jodi has agreed to give away a copy of her book as well - so please be sure to leave a comment with a way for me to reach you in case you win. If you have already read the book please leave a comment about what you thought!
Here's the link to amazon where you can buy "The Minor Protection Act" as well -