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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 04/16/14
Above, April Spring of Armada has released her first novel, "Fear Not," a Christian mystery about a woman who moves back to Texas with her children after her husband dies in an automobile accident. Spring said the book, the first in a trilogy, emphasizes having faith to make it through any situation.
(Observer photo by Chris Gray)
Christian author publishes first novel
by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
April Spring of Armada proved to herself two things with her first book -- to not fear and to not doubt.
"I wouldn't have thought at 60 I'd be writing a book, but you're never too old to start a new career," she said. "The older I get, the closer and stronger my faith walk is -- I don't fear as much, I don't stress about things as much."
Spring has published "Fear Not," the first book in a Christian mystery trilogy that draws upon faith and her own life to convey that trusting in God can conquer fears and tribulations.
Spring said she has always wanted to write a novel, but put it on the backburner for 30 years. She said five years ago she found the desire to write it after praying about it, so she sat down and penned her "Fear Not." From there she had friends read and edit it, and sought out a publisher three years later. She found WestBowPress, a Christian self-publishing group, and published her book on her birthday in April 2013.
The book follows Christina, a nurse and native of Texas, who marries David, a Michigander, and moves to the Great Lakes State to start a family. When David dies in a car accident, Christina decides to move back to Texas with her three children. From there the family struggles with spiritual trials as well as physical and emotional turmoil, learning to rely on their faith to make it through.
"There are threats against her life, there is a character in there that hates her," she said. "Her life is just one turmoil after another."
Spring drew from her own life to create Christina, with both being native Texans and registered nurses. Christina's hometown is based on Spring's hometown -- though she changed the name for the story -- and Spring and Christina have three children each.
The plot itself was stirred by Spring's own worries of what would happen if she lost her husband of 40 years. The book also ties in the fear and paranoia generated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, being set in 2001.
"It's kind of based on reality but not 100 percent," she said. "The characters are taking on their own lives, which is amazing, because they seem so real."
Since faith plays an important role in her life, she said the main message of the 470-page book derives from a Bible passage that tells followers to "fear not, for I am with you." She said no matter what happens in life, having strong faith and trusting in God can deliver people through it.
"I think as our society is I think we're fear-driven a lot of times," she said. "God tells us the opposite -- `don't be afraid, I'm in control.'"
Even so, Spring said she didn't wish to come off as preachy in the novel, so she shies away from direct Bible quotes and instead tries to weave in faith throughout the story by showing how Christina reacts to situations.
"I don't want to force this on people, I want them to think about it," she said.
Spring said she intentionally leaves readers hanging in the first book's ending because she always planned on writing a trilogy. She is halfway through finishing the second book, "Trust Me," and already has ideas for the third book, "Angelic Rejoicing."
For authors who may fear the challenge of publishing their own books, Spring's advice is to research self-publishing venues, read "Writer's Digest" and read every day in general.
"It's very scary to put yourself out there," she said. "It's been fun for me, I've met a lot of wonderful people, and the positive feedback is exciting."
Spring is scheduled to hold a book signing 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on April 23 at the Washington Senior Center.
"Fear Not" is available on Amazon.com and christianbook.com.