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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Guest Author ~ Patti B. Ogden


As an enthusiastic Sunday school teacher, there was only one thing Patti Ogden did not enjoy about the teaching experience; too often, her lessons would end with the children not grasping the concepts that they were intended to teach. With a genuine heartfelt desire to reach children’s soul realm, she unleashed her God-given creativity and began to break down her lessons into simple terms – added excitement and drama - and suddenly she saw the "lights go on!" Soon the kids were asking questions and wanting to know more!

With a background in journalism and a sincere burden to help kids seek their own spiritual growth, she is now the author of Keoni’s BIG Question and two other Christian children's books due to be released in 2009.


She was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Patti is a devoted wife to her husband Jeff, of 35 years, mother of two and grandmother to five darlings that fill her life with joy. She and her husband Jeff enjoy life on their eleven acre hobby farm in Oregon, Illinois.


What is the genre for your book Keoni’s Big Question?

This is Christian children’s fiction.

Who is Keoni and what is the question that Keoni has?

Keoni (KEY_OH_KNEE : Hawaiian for John) is a curious young boy who really wants to know if a person can see God.

Why did you decide to use a fishing trip as the vehicle for answering Keoni’s question about God?

The fishing trip connected the characters with nature which helps Keoni recognize that God is the great creator of the beauty around us and the first step in “seeing” Him. This part was in the original story told by William Branham.

Will you tell us more about William Branham? What do you mean by the “original story”?

William Branham was a simple preacher from Kentucky who was known for his simple stories that brought out the beautiful virtues and characters of the Lord Jesus Christ. To this day, he is acknowledged by Christian historians as the “pacesetter” of the 1950s healing revival that transformed the Pentecostal movement. In several of his sermons, he told of Old Fisherman and the little “lad” that was curious about God. In his story, he told that they went fishing together and how the boy finally realized that Old Fisherman held the answer to his big question.

How do Keoni and Old Fisherman become friends and what is special about their relationship?

Old Fisherman is very dear to Keoni’s family; he is a Christian gentleman whom they befriended after his wife passed on. Old Fisherman is a mentor and grandfather figure to Keoni. He taught him many things about fishing and life in general.

Will you tell us about the fishing trip? What dangerous event occurs during it?

Keoni and Old Fisherman suddenly find themselves in a bad thunderstorm while they are in the boat on the river. Keoni has always been scared of storms so to be out in the middle of one was terrifying to him. Old Fisherman tries to shelter and protect him when they finally reach the shore, but at one point he must leave him to go save the boat from sinking. Keoni realizes he must turn to God for help on His own.

How does Keoni turn to God? By praying?

Yes, he recalls what his mother taught him about prayer.

What do you most hope children will learn and understand from reading “Keoni’s Big Question”?

It is my hope that children will learn that they can have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus on their own level. Their experiences with God don’t need to be through their parents or another adult especially when help from an older person is not available during times of trouble or helplessness. It’s my desire to teach them how to communicate with God on their own. I want them to understand that God hears and answers their prayers. He can be touched, reached and seen in the beauty that surrounds us.

What age group is “Keoni’s Big Question” most suited for?

I feel it’s never too early to read to little ones when it instills moral guidance and Biblical principles—but for reading purposes, this book is best suited for ages 4-9.

You mentioned in your biography that you are a grandmother. Do you test your books out on your grandchildren or other kids before you publish them?

I certainly do. The reactions I received from them were even more inspiration to continue. I knew I had to pass the test of peaking interest in my stories and present enough drama and excitement to keep them wanting to know what the next page said. Keoni’s Big Question has a surprise ending too!

Is the book geared toward a specific religious audience, for example Christianity or a specific denomination of Christianity?

Really, it will appeal to a very broad audience. The word Christian means “Christ-like.” This book is for anyone who believes on the Lord Jesus, His character and that the fruits of the spirit are meant for us to manifest.

What for you was the most difficult part about writing “Keoni’s Big Question”?

The hardest part of writing this book was to try to make its complex subject and multi-faceted points brought through one plot line, add a dramatic climax and yet be easy to read and to understand.

What type of feedback have you received from parents or children regarding the book?

I have had a lot of feedback from parents that shared the book during their family reading time. Many of them told me the whole family was very touched by the story and some to tears after reading Keoni’s Big Question, especially the ending. One family told us that the book opened an opportunity with their children to answer questions about God. Another little boy had just asked his dad the week before—why people can’t see God—and when his Dad finished the book, he said he finally understood!

I understand you have some more books soon to be published. Will you tell us a little about them?

“Shamgar and the Ox Goad” is scheduled next. I am very excited about it! It is a very imaginative tale of the little known story of Shamgar, who was only mentioned twice in the Bible, yet greatly used of God. Taken from one verse in the book of Judges, this is a story of one man and how he delivered Israel from the hand of the Philistines, killing 600 single-handledly with an ox goad. This is the first volume in our Untold Heroes of the Bible series and is a powerful, intriguing story that teaches children the virtues of Godly character and faith.

“Momma, Am I Pretty?” is about a young girl who deals with her first experience of religious persecution and how the wisdom of her mother helps her through her emotional reaction. Illustrator and designer Robert Sauber is busy working on this project and we hope to have this one out by late summer.

Your website states that part of the proceeds from book sales go to charitable causes. Will you explain more to us about that extra benefit of helping others by purchasing the book?

Capstone Productions helps pay the postage for sending books and Bibles overseas to Christians who can’t afford them or have no way of obtaining them. It is heartbreaking, yet rewarding, to read the letters of appreciation from India, Africa and other parts of the world after they receive the first Bible they ever owned. Postage costs have risen tremendously, which places even more importance on our contributions.

Tell us about your website and where “Keoni’s Big Question” is available?

Our website is http://www.capstone-productions.com/

Our book is available at:

Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Keonis-Big-Question-Patti-Ogden/dp/098167836X
BarnesandNoble.com - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Keonis-BIG-Question/Patti-B-Ogden/e/9780981678368/?itm=1
Bookch.com - http://bookch.com/details.taf?title=Keoni%27s%20Big%20Question&book_id=1718

7 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great way for Christian parents to help their children try to grasp religion without it being daunting.

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  2. Hello Donna, I wanted to stop by your blog and say thank you for featuring my book today. There is nothing as pitiful as a child who experiences helplessness. As parents, we can give our children the proper teaching to know that the Lord Jesus still hears and answers prayer. In my book Keoni's Big Question, Keoni learns to call upon God in his time of need, in a time when no adult was there to help. The exciting part is when he really got an answer!
    Donna, I appreciate your blog. I encourage all writers who have a burning desire in their heart to tell a story with a message, to put it on paper. After all, that is what our Bible is. A message of love from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Have a grat day everyone!
    Patti

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  3. Thanks for hosting Patti today, Donna. I've read "Keoni's Big Question" and absolutely adored it, especially the ending.

    This would be a great book to add to any Sunday school classroom.

    Cheryl

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  4. Patti...welcome! It's a pleasure hosting you today. Thank you for your insightful words...so true.

    Best wishes,
    Donna

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  5. Neat interview. It was really interesting to meet Patti through your questions and her book. Sounds a great book for parents with small kids... or grandparents. Maybe one day...

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  6. Donna, I enjoyed this interview with Patti. I loved the way she tells this story.

    Carma
    http://carmaswindow.blogspot.com

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  7. wonderful interview! thanks for sharing!

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