Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Elijah and the Priests of Baal, covers, interior, and the secret back story.


Know what’s awesome?

Getting proof copies in the mail.

There may be more wonderful feelings, but not that are reasonably cheap and legal in all 50-some-odd states.

This book is called Elijah and the Priests of Baal. It’s an approachable Biblical narrative for slightly older kids. Illustrated by a super-talented artist who was a pleasure to work with. More words & substance than your typical picture book... more pictures than your typical big-kids' book. It's sort of a hybrid for big kids who like pictures.

Here I am getting my hands on it, literally, for the very first time.


I’ll be honest:  I was always bored to tears, or thought I was, by stories of the ancient prophets (in Hebrew, nevi’im).  I never thought I would write a Biblically-based story.  I’m just not that kind of person – I thought.

Then, I moved to the neighbourhood. 

Literally.  Our home now is right around the corner from where Elijah preached (and raged) on Mount Carmel.  I have visited what is traditionally thought of as Elijah’s cave in Haifa.  And suddenly, his story started feeling a lot more personal.

Suddenly, this was a story I wanted to share with my own kids.


And I thought, just like we don’t like reading the prophets’ words (so harsh!  so boring!), what if the prophet didn’t really want to be doing what he was doing?  In fact, most probably didn’t.  But when God speaks, you don’t get much of a choice.

Now there’s a prophet I can relate to.

I chose a nifty public-domain “Bible Lands” antique map for the back cover, which doesn’t match as such, but I think complements the subject matter very nicely.


Here’s the back-cover text:

The life of a prophet was rarely much fun.
Sometimes, it could even get you killed.

Carmel, the eternal green mountain, is drying up, and God won't send rain until Elijah convinces the Jews to turn back to Him and destroy the false idol, Baal.
But they believe Baal is the only one who can send them rain.
How will Elijah restore their ancient faith and save the people of northern Israel?

Drawing on Biblical narrative, Elijah and the Priests of Baal shares memorable scenes from the life of this important prophet, bringing them to life with rich, full-color illustrations.  The depth, the warmth, and the humanity of the story all shine through in the character of the prophet Elijah.

My illustrator for this project was Goce Ilievski, an artist from Macedonia, who did a fantastic job with the illustrations, and truly deserves a ton of credit for all his care and attention.

Seeing words and pictures coming together is such a fantastic thing.  I wanted to call this a “brag” post, but hopefully, it’s an “encouragement” post instead. 

If you have…

  • A story inside you waiting to be written – don’t second-guess yourself.  Just let it flow.
  • A story you wrote that isn’t much good – after it’s sat for a while, fix it.
  • A story that’s absolutely wonderful – edit it to greatness and then send it around to publishers OR get it illustrated yourself.
  • A story and pictures that you don’t know how to put together – find someone affordable who can help you format and submit it.

It’s all about setting our stories free.  Seriously, if I can do it, anybody can.

If you have a story you’re not so sure about… what’s stopping you?

What will it take to get it out there into the world?

I’d love to share this awesome feeling with you someday soon.  (And if you’ve experienced it already, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments section.)

1 comment:

  1. Looks great, Jennifer! You're so prolific.
    I wish I had the freedom of time to go with all my book ideas.


As always, I love to hear from you.