Brent Brantley

Why I Started Writing:

Children’s drama, monologs, puppet scripts, and long detailed letters: I had written all of these, and friends kept encouraging me to write-to-publish. Likewise, I encouraged my husband to consider the same with his poetry, essays and fiction. When we saw a brochure posted in our library for a writers conference in Montrose, PA, an hour’s drive south of our parsonage, we decided to give it a try.

It was the summer of 1992 when we first jumped into the pool of authors and editors, hoping we wouldn’t sink. We certainly didn’t do the front crawl, but we did float, and that gave us hope. We have attended that conference for two and a half decades since. I desired to hone my skills to write especially for children. I wanted them to learn about God’s truth and love through fiction. Conference workshops have also aided me in developing skills in poetry and drama, and in the process of publication.

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

I have read and loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House books since I was a child.  I can still recall the carpet in the children’s room of the big stone library where I laid down to better see the volumes in chronological order on the bottom shelf. My parents ordered my own hardcover copies one by one; they still hold a special place on my bookshelf.

Winnie-the-Pooh books by A.A. Milne were more childhood favorites that I still turn to for the joy of reading and for catching the humor of his writing on an adult level.

The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis have influenced me both in terms of writing and spiritual insights.

The novels of Walter D. Edmonds inspire me, especially Bert Breen’s Barn, Rome Haul, Erie Waters and The Boyds of Black River – such good historical fiction. Wendell Berry’s poetry, essays and fiction are other literary avenues I often turn to for joy in reading and inspiration in writing.

Books I Have Written:

A Ram for Isaac was my first book in print, published in 2009 by BJU Press. It is a children’s early reader chapter book, beautifully illustrated by Keith Neely. The book retells the familiar story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac from the unfamiliar viewpoint of young Isaac.

BJU Press also published my second book, The Window in the Wall, in 2013. This is a historical fiction novel for children ages 9-12 about the story of the fall of Jericho. Again, it is from an unusual point of view, that of a young girl, Talia, who lives inside Jericho with her family. Her father is a flax farmer, her mother a linen weaver and her aunt is Rahab – the woman who hid spies under stalks of flax.

My manuscript for another historical fiction story for children, Ed’s Christmas Miracle, is now under consideration for publication. This tells the true account of a 9-yr-old boy on Christmas Eve in 1963. Ed’s family is sick, there is almost no food in the house, and there’s no snow for Christmas. When Ed hears people singing in church up the street, he decides to pray. He discovers how God hears and answers his prayer.

A fourth book I’ve written is a fictionalized story of Tobias, a little tailor in Nineveh at the time of Jonah’s prophetic visit. Tobias keeps getting orders for sackcloth coverings and wonders what is going on. He also helps himself to some of the vegetables from his neighbor’s garden and cuts corners in his shop. He and his apprentice learn of the need for repentance in their own lives, even as the evil city is called to repentance. The ms. is entitled Mending the Tailor.

What I'm Working On Now:

My newest idea for a story is one I hope will help children become aware of the bigger world than their own communities and, then, the need to consider missions in their future. A boy discovers a tag in his T-shirt that says, “Made in Guatemala.” He asks his mother what that means. She helps him and his younger sister find Guatemala on a map. Then they research the map, the culture and the food. Finally, they try to find out about missionaries and their work in that country. And the search goes on with clothing tags found in shorts, shirts and jeans from India, Lesotho, Bangladesh and Honduras.

I also have been working on a personal endeavor for two years called “The Revelation Project.” I had studied Revelation several times, keeping notes, journals and charts. But when I started afresh, I decided to draw pictures in many forms to illustrate some of the events. It has been a special time of worship for me to work on this, with no intent to publish, just to enjoy the hands-on learning process.

Ginny web

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