Inspire Christian Writers member Dana Sudboro joined the group in 2007 and fondly remembers the days when all of Inspire was one tiny group, moderated by Elizabeth Thompson, meeting at Warehouse Ministries in Rancho Cordova. Since then, he’s gone on to moderate the critique group that meets at Harvest Church in Roseville and to step in to serve as one of the editors of Inspire Anthologies.
Let’s take a few moments to learn more about him.
Your work as an editor for Inspire Press and of the Inspire anthologies has given many authors a voice. What do you find most rewarding about that process?
“Critique groups equip writers. Anthologies showcase their work. I love being involved in both, to learn from and encourage my fellow writers.”
What would you encourage authors to remember when they submit their work for an Inspire Anthology?
“Strive for perfection as you write, but once the imperfect result is submitted, don’t plague the editors with endless rewrites or, worse, treat their edits as tampering with sacred writ dictated from above.”
How does editing the work of others affect your own writing?
“lt blesses me with a wider view of the enterprise God has called us to and the variety of experiences and gifts He has given to fulfill it.”
Sudboro served as a Teen Challenge staffer, a pastor, and on the foreign mission field in Burkina Faso before “retiring” back to the States. He also teaches at Sacramento’s EPIC Bible College. Retirement doesn’t equate to indolence for the dynamic author.
How have your experiences as a missionary impacted your writing career?
“Cross-cultural adventures figure in each of my novels: a Muslim convert from Mauritania in Fatima’s Fate, missionaries to Japan and Mali in Continents Apart, French cooking and a visit to Montreal in Off the Menu, and a quest from Pacific paradise to Peruvian jungle in Exit Cyrus. “
When he returned from his overseas assignment, his daughter advised him to network if he wanted to write. An author herself, she encouraged him to attend conferences and join a critique group to hone his craft.
“It’s just amazing how much you learn, including online with the website, by looking at what other writers are writing about their craft,” Sudboro observes.
Your new release, Exit Cyrus, is now available. What inspired this story for you?
“Existential angst that plagued me from age six to sixteen, and re-emerged during my blue Beatnik period.”
He describes it as a novella dealing with a man facing an unexpected terminal diagnosis.
He describes his philosophy of writing as “Entertaining readers while sharing what’s deepest on my heart.” Sudboro describes romance as his favorite genre to read and therefore to write. His romances share a Christian perspective on a personal relationship which must be lived in a secular world.
His approach to marketing his book is a “soft sell.” He isn’t comfortable with big book release parties and a hard marketing program, which he tried with his full-length novel, Continents Apart. When he asked a friend to pray with him over the situation, he noted the friend addressed God as his agent.
“So I decided, that’s what I’ll do,” he says. He doesn’t consider himself a salesman, so he’s leaning on God’s direction in selling his latest offering. At $.99, the novella has an attractive price to match the beautiful cover art. The combination should prove a winning one.
What’s next on your writing agenda?
“I’m not sure whether my present project will be a keeper, not until the plot successfully works itself to some meaningful denouement. Meanwhile, I’m hoping to find the right destination for my full-length novel, Check or Mate.”
What do you want people to know about Dana Sudboro?
“I’m looking for Jesus’ return and His restoration of the paradise that Adam and Eve lost.”
Mary Beth Magee has been a born-again Christian for more than 50 years. Her faith leads her to explore God’s world around her and write about it. She first saw her name in print as a juvenile book reviewer her hometown paper and hasn’t stopped writing since. Her checkered past includes stints as a telephone operator, substitute school teacher, cosmetic sales, home health aide, government contractor, kitchen help in a deli, real estate sales, office manager and corporate trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, focusing on adult learning. Over the years, her writings covered news and feature articles for print and online publications, book and movie reviews, training materials, greeting cards, short fiction, poetry, and church bulletins. Most recently, her work has appeared in anthologies from Publishing Syndicate.