Friday, May 1, 2020

Behind the scenes of Port of Origin

Lynne and I recently took some time to chat about Port of Origin and what's it's been like to write a book about a pandemic and then experience one in real life!

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Saturday, March 14, 2020

When fiction mirrors reality

Over a decade ago, Lynne and I started writing Ghost Heart, a haunting story about albinos and black market organs. About that same time, we started planning a second book, Port of Origin, about a virus that gets loose on a humanitarian ship after the ship is taken over by pirates. With busy writing schedules, we finally finish Ghost Heart in 2017, and a few months later, made time to start squeezing in Port of Origin. 

The story simply wouldn't let us go.

Fast forward to December 2019. We were finally finishing up Port of Origin and planning the next two books in the series, when we started hearing news reports about a virus that was sweeping across China. News reports started coming more frequently. A cruise ship was put in quarintene. The virus continued to spread like wildfire across the globe. Borders were shut down. It was chilling to see the news unfolding with so many similarities to our fictional story, both Port of Origin and the rest of the series that follows.

Today, we are facing a world wide pandemic, and I feel like I'm living in one of my novels. Yet, in the midst of the spread of the coronavirus, the world is asking questions. The world needs hope. I'm going to guess you need hope too. Because I know I do. 

So many uncertainties.

And I'll admit it, so much anxiety.

I started thinking today about how often I have talked about trials, tragedy and hope over the past decade on my blog. How most of the books I write, deal with those very questions. And how on a personal level, how I still sometimes question and ask God, 'Where are you?'

Our stories are scary. Very scary. But they also have hope. Because while it seems like everything has changed because of this pandemic, nothing has really changed at all. Life is fragile and unpredictable. Tragedy strikes unexpectedly. And yet one thing holds constant.


Tragedies like right now with the coronavirus demonstrate the reality of a fallen world, and it’s pretty clear that none of us are immune from suffering. But God’s plan has always been a plan of redemption. While God is capable of fixing our problems, He chose instead to rescue and redeem humankind permanently with His son.

We never expected reality to take some of the twists our story does, and we know that there are no easy, pat answers to what people are experiencing right now. I'm currently half way around the world from my three kids and struggling to get to them. Nothing is going to be fixed overnight, but I can hold onto the promise that God will walk with us through the bad times. 

Lynne's Carthage Chronicles series is a reminder of that. Historians believe the threat of the third century Plague of Cyprian finally turned when a few brave souls began to bring the sick to one central place and risked their lives to care for them. The process of isolation caused the plague that was killing 5,000 a day to eventually die out. As crazy as it seems, somehow, when bad things happen, we start to see God’s grace. We start to dig deeper. Often it takes trauma to get someone searching for God. And hard times give us compassion toward others, deeper love, and more courage. 

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NLT)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Price Tag on Your Head

I can't imagine what it would be like to have a price tag on your head. But this is what many albinos in Africa live with on a daily basis. Here are some beautiful photographs taken by photographer Marinka Masseus to raise awareness of this horrible treatment of these precious people.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

People Like Us (Video)

"Watu Kama Sisi, also known as Albino Peacemakers, is a community organization based in Arusha, Tanzania that works toward social acceptance and better lives for Persons with Albinism (PWA) in Tanzania. We do this through village education and sensitization programs, as well as health education for Persons with Albinism to allow for longer, more fulfilled lives."

Here is their video.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Behind the scenes chat with Lynne and Lisa (number 3)

Every had questions about what it's really like living in Africa? Check out the latest video on our You Tube channel here!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Why we wrote this story. . .

Where did you get the idea for this story?

LYNNE: Just over a decade ago, a newspaper picture of a terrified albino caught my attention. As I read about the horrors these fragile people face, I couldn’t believe such evil existed in the world. I called Lisa, who lives in Mozambique, and asked her to find out if what she’d read was true.

LISA: Until Lynne wrote to me about the article she’d read, I’d never heard of these barbaric crimes. But after doing some further research, I discovered that what she’d read was true. Once we learned that the witch doctors use the pale skin and hair of these fragile people to make good luck charms and potions, we knew we had to tell their story.

Is the plight of albinos real or something you made up for this story?

LYNNE: Sadly, the atrocities committed against those born with this genetic mutation is very real. Less than 2% of Tanzanian albinos survive beyond their 40th birthday.

Why did you feel that writing about the atrocities happening to albinos was a story that needed to be told?

LYNNE: We both have a heart for those suffering prejudice and discrimination. People with albinism are not ghosts. They are human beings.

LISA: And this issue goes far beyond the horrors facing albinos. All around the world people are discriminated against. Sometimes it’s for the color of their skin. Other times it’s for their faith or beliefs. But in the end, we are all human beings and we all bleed the same color.

Under the Sun has some great information here about Albinism and the issues facing them today in Africa.  The discrimination toward these people is what moved us into writing Ghost Heart.