6.15.2020

Ep 81: Rain For Roots' Flo Paris Oakes and Katy Hutson

Episode 81 features my interview with Flo Paris Oakes and Katy Hutson of the children's worship music group Rain For Roots, who are described as "a collective group of musicians and songwriters who write singable Scripture songs for kids and grown ups alike." They released their fourth album All Creatures this spring, which focuses primarily on settings of the Psalms. Each of their albums carry an underlying concept, from the call and response poetry of Sally Lloyd-Jones (of Jesus Storybook Bible fame), to settings of Jesus' parables, to songs of waiting for the season of Advent. I have listened to their music since the very beginning and have incorporated a few of their songs into the regular worship repertoire at my own church. I guess you could say I'm a huge fan, and this latest album might just be my all around favorite. Simply put: it is great songwriting and musicianship. Sandra McCracken is also in the group and was unable to join us for the interview. Alice Smith, who is a co-songwriter in the group, helped to set up the interview.

Fun fact: Katy's husband Kenny, who produced their records and plays multiple instruments on them, has visited my church a few times while on tour with David Crowder.

Please check below the episode for more links, including an article that delves into their new album with more depth.

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More Links:
https://rainforroots.com/
https://ffm.to/allcreatures
https://rainforroots.bandcamp.com/music
http://www.floparisoakes.com/
https://www.katyhutson.com/
http://www.sandramccracken.com/
A review of All Creatures on Anglican Compass

Related Podcast Episodes:
Ep 74: Charlie Peacock
Ep 73: Phil Joel of Newsboys and Zealand
Ep 53: The Mosleys—Husband and Wife Duo
Ep 67: Singer-songwriter John Van Deusen
Ep 70: Glenn Kaiser

6.14.2020

Ep 81: Rain For Roots' Flo Paris Oakes and Katy Hutson


Episode 81 features my interview with Flo Paris Oakes and Katy Hutson of the children's worship music group Rain For Roots, who are described as "a collective group of musicians and songwriters who write singable Scripture songs for kids and grown ups alike." They released their fourth album All Creatures this spring, which focuses primarily on settings of the Psalms.


Here's our latest episode!

Ep 81: Rain For Roots' Flo Paris Oakes and Katy Hutson


Episode 81 features my interview with Flo Paris Oakes and Katy Hutsoon of the children's worship music group Rain For Roots, who are described as "a collective group of musicians and songwriters who write singable Scripture songs for kids and grown ups alike." They released their fourth album All Creatures this spring, which focuses primarily on settings of the Psalms.


Here's our latest episode!

2.06.2020

How to Write a Book Proposal (as best I know how)


Note: this article was created as a presentation for the 2020 Business of Art conference put on by Arts Partners of Central Illinois and held at Bradley UniversityThis is the experience I have gained in getting my own book, Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, accepted and published. This is the third article in a series on completing a book from proposal to publication. The other articles are:
12 Days of Christmas Book Marketing Blitz!
How to Market a Book (as best I know how)

The buildup to the proposal
In my short career as an author (depending on what you mean by short), I have written one successful and one unsuccessful book proposal. Each of them took me months and months of preparation and work and both were essentially formatted the same. With the unsuccessful book I truly played the lottery, as it was written for a specific book series (33 1/3 with Bloomsbury) and was specifically about the band Arcade Fire's album Reflektor. With around 500 submissions, my proposal made the first cut to around 80 proposals, but it did not make the final cut of being accepted for publication. Knowing there was not much of a place in the publishing world for a book like this (at least that I could see), I regrouped and attempted to figure out what kind of book I could get published.

Here's How to Market a Book (as best I know how)




Note: this article was created as a presentation for the 2020 Business of Art conference put on by Arts Partners of Central Illinois and held at Bradley University. 
This is the second article in a series based on my experience of getting my own book, Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, written and released, from proposal to publication. 
The other articles are:
Here's How to Write a Book Proposal (as best I know how)
12 Days of Christmas Book Marketing Blitz!

The first two articles in this series detailed my approach to writing and getting a book proposal accepted by a publisher and then everything I did to market that book once it was published. This final article explains my approach to how I marketed the book. 

Disclaimer: The suggestions in this article are in no way comprehensive!

2.04.2020

The 12 Days of Christmas Book Media Blitz!

Artwork by Blair E. Clark
Note: this article was created as a presentation for the 2020 Business of Art conference put on by Arts Partners of Central Illinois and held at Bradley University. 
This is the first article in a series based on my experience of getting my own book, Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, written and released, from proposal to publication. The other articles are:
How to Write a Book Proposal (as best I know how)
How to Market a Book (as best I know how)
___________________________________

What a whirlwind....

It's been quite the few months for me as I launched my first book, Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas out into the world. 

12.30.2019

Ep 80: Dr. Susan K. Roll on December 25 and the origins of Christmas




Episode 80 of the podcast features my interview with Dr. Susan K. Roll with her expert and scholarly insights into the origins of December 25 as the date for Christmas. The author of the book Toward the Origins of Christmas, my conversation with Dr. Roll touches on the earliest documents adhering to that date and how to address the pagan origins and influences on the holiday (as well as how the early church distinguished itself from them). As a Catholic lay woman, we also discuss her passions, insights, and ongoing work of being an advocate for women's ordination in the Catholic church.


You can purchase Dr. Roll's book Toward the Origins of Christmas from her publisher
(because Amazon is far too expensive!) and find one of her published articles here:
Christmas in Fear—or looking over one's shoulder at the creche
Also, the Christianity Today article mentioned in my opening can be found here: C.S. Lewis Was a Grinch

This interview was done in research for my own book 
Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas, which can be purchased on:
Amazon
Christian Book Distributors
Wipf and Stock
Barnes and Noble
Google Play
Faithlife
Cokesbury

Subscribe to the podcast on itunes 
or
Check out the podcast page to subscribe on Stitcher, 
Google Play, Tunein, and PocketCasts.


Other related podcast episodes on Christmas and theology:
Ep 79: Blair E. Clark and the Artwork for the 12 Days of Christmas
Ep 79: Dr. Michael Ward on C.S. Lewis, Paganism, and Christmas
Ep 71: Happy Pagan Christmas!
Ep 72: The 12 Days of Christmas, New Years, and Epiphany
Ep 69: Ex Mormon Ministry Found Lynn Wilder
Ep 68: E. Byron Anderson on his book Common Worship
Ep 62: Stephen Backhouse on the Life of Kierkegaard
Ep 45: Religion and Philosophy Professor Brooks McDaniel
Ep 49: Doug Chu on White Churches, Multicultural Worship, and the Asian-American Experience
Ep 47: Dr. Lester Ruth on the history of Contemporary Worship
Ep 26: Zac Hicks author of The Worship Pastor
Ep 07: Pastor Luke Edwards on "why churches should stop giving stuff away"
Ep 11: Thom Blair on the Hebrew English Interlinear O.T. and Logos Bible Software

12.16.2019

Ep 79: Blair E. Clark and Artwork for the 12 Days of Christmas


Episode 79 features an interview with Blair E. Clark about the artwork she did for my book Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas. A native of Michigan, Blair is a Central Illinois artist whose work you can find at: https://blairjeffers.wordpress.com/. At the moment she is in the process of starting her own business Rabil Illustration (stay tuned for more info), but she also co-founded and helps lead the Emerging Artists Collective, a group of artists in Peoria, Illinois looking to equip developing artists to become more established. Blair and I have known each other a number of years now. She and her husband are family friends whom I go to church with and respect deeply. 


Image taken from Peoria Magazine article
"Rediscovering the 12 Days of Christmas"
When I began writing my book I knew I wanted to collaborate with Blair on the artwork. I also wanted to give her the opportunity to have her work featured on and within a book that people can buy all around the world. It was tremendously enriching to sit down with her every few months and check in about how her piece was coming along, discussing what influences, symbols, and general direction we wanted it to take. In our conversation, Blair talks about her process, some of the imagery embedded in the her work on the book that might not be immediately obvious, and also her approach to making Mary and Joseph people who were not white Europeans and yet still universal figures we can all relate to.

Here are two recent articles featuring her art and community work (one of which I wrote):
"Rediscovering the 12 Days of Christmas" in Peoria Magazine
"Collecting Growth" about the Emerging Artists Collective in Peoria Magazine



Subscribe to the podcast on itunes 

Check out the podcast page to subscribe on Stitcher, 
Google Play, Tunein, and PocketCasts.

My book Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas is available most anywhere you can purchase books online:
Amazon
Christian Book Distributors
Wipf and Stock
Barnes and Noble
Google Play
Faithlife Ebooks

You can also listen to the previous more longform interview I did with Blair on episode 22.

Other related podcast episodes and articles:
Ep 79: Dr. Michael Ward on C.S. Lewis, Paganism, and Christmas
Ep 71: Happy Pagan Christmas!
Ep 72: The 12 Days of Christmas, New Years, and Epiphany
Episode 63: Artist Jaci Musec




11.29.2019

Ep 78: Dr. Michael Ward on C.S. Lewis, Paganism, and Christmas


Dr. Michael Ward is a professor at both Oxford University and Houston Baptist University where he teaches on imaginative apologetics. Dr. Ward is perhaps best know as a C.S. Lewis scholar and for his groundbreaking work Planet Narnia. You can read more about his life, his research focus, and find links to many of his articles at his websites:
http://www.michaelward.net/
http://www.planetnarnia.com/
Purchase my book on Amazon.

I interviewed Dr. Ward in research for my book Celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas. I specifically wanted to ask him what C.S. Lewis' approach to "paganism," and mythology was in the hopes of gaining a broader understanding of how that can help us view some of the pagan influences embedded into our Christmas customs and traditions. I also wanted to ask him about Lewis' views on Christmas and what some of his own Christmas traditions were. This episode was released on November 29 to commemorate Lewis' birthday. In my book there is a section on paganism and Christmas that was directly influenced by my interview with Dr. Ward as well as his writing, which can primarily be found in these 3 articles:
"God the Father of Lights: C.S. Lewis on Christianity and Paganism
C.S. Lewis, Jupiter, and Christmas
C.S. Lewis and the Star of Bethlehem








Subscribe to the podcast on itunes 

Check out the podcast page to subscribe on Stitcher, 
Google Play, Tunein, and PocketCasts.


Related Podcast Episodes and Articles:
Ep. 29: Melody Green—Tolkien Scholar
Episode 15: Mike Foster Tolkien Scholar and Author.
Ep 71: Happy Pagan Christmas!
Ep 72: The 12 Days of Christmas, New Years, and Epiphany
Ep28: Dialouges With Brandon: What Makes a Good Novel?
Introducing Classical Education
Why Study LIterature: a concise answer
The Confessions of a Failed Literature Graduate



11.13.2019

Ep 77: Artist and Musician Jimmy Abegg


Jimmy Abegg is a veteran of both the music and art worlds. He also has a heart of gold and is generous with everyone he meets. Currently Jimmy is in need of financial help to complete the building Blind Jimmy's Lighthouse, an art and music studio he's building behind his home. You can support Jimmy through direct donations on his website or by simply buying his artwork, such as hi-resolution prints of his album cover of Charlie Peacock's Lie Down in the Grass. Associated with Rich Mullins's Ragamuffin Band, Charlie Peacock, and the band Vector, our conversation intentionally focuses on his own art and music, especially his plans once his studio gets completed, including recording albums, offering art workshops to the community, finishing his podcast, and writing his memoir. Please take a look at the videos after the episode link for examples of his work throughout the years.

Other Jimmy Abegg related links:
Purchase Charlie Peacock's West Coast Diaries Vol. 1 on vinyl
Stu G's Beatitudes Project that Jimmy did artwork for
Jimmy's Between the Songs Podcast Interview about Rich Mulllins and the Ragamuffins

Also, please check out my book on the 12 days of Christmas

Subscribe to the podcast on itunes 

Check out the podcast page to subscribe on Stitcher, 
Google Play, Tunein, and PocketCasts.

Music Related Podcast Episodes:
Bonus: Stu G on the Beautitudes Project 
Ep 74: Charlie Peacock
Ep 73: Phil Joel of Newsboys and Zealand
Ep 53: The Mosleys—Husband and Wife Duo
Ep 67: Singer-songwriter John Van Deusen
Ep 70: Glenn Kaiser


Examples of Jimmy's work: